Bonniejune54 Tries Again

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Bonniejune54 Tries Again

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1BonnieJune54
Editado: Ene 1, 2016, 12:53am

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. Uncle Tom's Cabin
3. Far From the Madding Crowd
4. Gone with the Wind
5. Pygmalion
6. Murder Gets a Life
7. Mere Christianity
8. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
9. And Then There Were None
10. The Once and Future King
11. The Last Picture Show
12. A Passage to India
13. The Professor
14. The Return of Sherlock Holmes
15. Their Eyes Were Watching God
16. Lorna Doone
17. Anne of Ingleside
18. Dark Nantucket Noon
19. David Copperfield
20. The Merry Wives of Windsor
21 Twelfth Night: Shakespeare Appreciated
22. The Joy Luck Club
23. The Chosen
24. The History of Tom Jones a Foundling
25. The Castle of Otranto
26. The Warden
27. A Room with a View
28. Silas Marner
29. The Custom of the Country
30. Measure for Measure
31. The Pickwick Papers
32. Much Ado About Nothing
33. The Return of the Native
34. Hard Times
35. Barchester Towers
36. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
37. The Eyre Affair
38. The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits
39. Winnie the Pooh
40. Slaughterhouse Five
41. The House At Pooh Corner
42. The Call of the Wild
43. A Midsummer Night's Dream
44. Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow
45. The Cereal Murders
46. Just So Stories
47. The Last Suppers
48. The Age of Innocence
49. The Chimes
50. The Story of the Treasure Seekers
51. The Pavilion on the Links
52. Romeo and Juliet
53. The Enchanted Castle
54. Winesburg, Ohio
55. A Wrinkle in Time
56. Four to Score
57. The Red Badge of Courage
58. High Five
59. Rainbow Valley
60. The War of the Worlds
61. A Test of Wills
62. Frederica
63. Rilla of Ingleside
64. Loves Labour Lost
65. Invisible Man
66. A Frog Prince
67. The Brothers Grimm Rapunzel
68. The Princess Who Grew Down
69. The Lonely Doll Learns a Lesson
70. The House of Seven Gables
71. Fashions of the Old South
72. Heroine of the Limberlost

2BonnieJune54
Ene 7, 2015, 10:55pm

Edmund Dulac provided oriental illustrations for this addition of Beauty and the Beast. The story is pretty basic in this one. The illustrations and the descriptions of being really, really rich are the best things about it.

3drneutron
Ene 8, 2015, 10:29am

Welcome back!

4BonnieJune54
Ene 8, 2015, 12:32pm

Thank you

5rretzler
Ene 31, 2015, 5:31pm

Just stopped by to add my star as I noticed that we had quite a few mysteries in common! And then I also noticed that you had me added to your interesting libraries list - I'm very flattered!

I look forward to keeping up with what you are reading this year!

6BonnieJune54
Ene 31, 2015, 11:35pm

>5 rretzler: thanks for dropping by. I need to get to work on this thread! It looks like we both like mysteries and are also trying to fill in some classics that we've missed.

7BonnieJune54
Feb 24, 2015, 4:50am

I haven't completely forgotten this thread.
I listened to Uncle Tom's Cabin. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I read it more out of curiosity about a book that I had heard so much about. I got very caught up in the plight of the slaves especially when they were running away. It is really a bit of an adventure story. It is a thoughtful book that looks at slavery from a variety of angles. There are kindly masters as well as Simon LeGree. The Northerners hands are not clean either. She knew the slaves would have problems when they were free.

8BonnieJune54
Mar 26, 2015, 1:06am

Far From the Madding Crowd was a book that I should've liked more than I did. I had seen the miniseries fairly recently so I knew a lot of the plot though I had forgotten some major things. Gabriel was an interesting character in the beginning of the book but then he became this nice guy that just sort of hung around. I think that my main problem with Bathsheba is that we're just not much alike. I am not impulsive and I've certainly never had too many men interested in me.
My favorite scenes were with Sgt. Troy. I liked when he was showing the swordplay to Bathsheba and when they were tangled in the dark. Maybe Bathsheba and I are a bit alike.

9BonnieJune54
Mar 26, 2015, 1:37am

Gone with the Wind is definitely the novel where you should see the movie and forget the book. The only thing good about the book is the bones of the plot and the basic characters. Whatever I had imagined was going on in Scarlett O'Hara's head was much more interesting than what Margaret Mitchell told me was going on. She is usually bored with what people are talking about and wondering if everyone thinks her dress is pretty. Scarlett is basically a permanent 16-year-old who goes through the Civil War and reconstruction with the major goal of trying to be popular. It is also the most racist book I have ever read.

10BonnieJune54
Mar 29, 2015, 12:24am

I am crazy about musicals so I had to read Pygmalion which is the basis for "My Fair Lady". In the play you can see the more serious undercurrent about classism underneath all the silliness. Has Eliza been turned into someone who will not fit anywhere in the British class structure? The play includes a wonderful sequel about what happens to everyone.

11BonnieJune54
Abr 8, 2015, 3:20am

My first silly mystery of the year was Murder Gets a Life. It is a series set in Birmingham,Alabama about two sisters in their 60s who keep falling over bodies. I like the sisters' relationship and the southern atmosphere and it it's just funny.I didn't like this one as much as some of the earlier ones but I think I just know all their schtick.

12BonnieJune54
Abr 25, 2015, 12:49am

Maybe I shouldn't avoid nonfiction. I quite enjoyed Mere Christianity which is a bit of theology based on British radio chats from the 1940s. I was finally able to put all my childhood Sunday school lessons and the awful sermons I have listened to in to a somewhat logical shape that made sense to me.

13thornton37814
Abr 25, 2015, 4:18pm

>12 BonnieJune54: Glad you enjoyed C. S. Lewis' classic work.

14BonnieJune54
Abr 25, 2015, 10:56pm

>13 thornton37814: Hi I have a copy of Maisie Dobbs on my Mt.TBR based on your recommendation.

15BonnieJune54
Abr 30, 2015, 1:33am

With The Tenant of Wildfell Hall I have now read something by all the Brontë sisters. Helen is a bright but naïve 18-year-old who pays dearly for a rash decision. I particularly liked how Helen goes from a typical teenage girl to an older but wiser version of her self. I didn't care for the structure of the novel. The middle was one giant flashback. Helen's plight would've been much more dramatic if there had not been built-in spoilers in the introductory part of the novel.

16Tess_W
Jun 2, 2015, 8:45am

Hi Bonnie! I love ALL the Bronte sisters, but The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is my least favorite. I have Uncle Tom's Cabin on my bookshelf as a re-read; it's been about 40 years since my first reading of it.

17BonnieJune54
Jun 2, 2015, 8:53am

Oh a visitor! I need to tidy up and get some more books on here . Jane Eyre is my favorite by the Brontë sisters.

18Tess_W
Jun 3, 2015, 12:11pm

Wuthering Heights would be my favorite Bronte book and my tied with my favorite books of all time!

P.S. No tidying up necessary, I'm a come as you are type gal!

19BonnieJune54
Jun 3, 2015, 9:35pm

I wonder what I would think of Wuthering Heights if I reread it now? At the time I just kept thinking that Heathcliff is not my idea of Prince Charming.

20Tess_W
Jun 3, 2015, 10:02pm

Heathcliff, the original "bad boy"! So misunderstood....loves so deeply.

21BonnieJune54
Jul 16, 2015, 6:08am

And Then There Were None is a standalone Agatha Christie mystery. It has become a classic scenario with all the characters isolated on an island and someone starts killing them off. I saw a stage version of this as a child when my mother was in amateur theater. I guess she played the housekeeper. It scared the beejesus out of me. I knew a twist or two to the story but I still didn't guess the murderer. I loved it. It had lots of interesting characters. The action moved along quickly. It was short and to the point.

22BonnieJune54
Jul 19, 2015, 2:45am

The Once and Future King contains four parts. The first three were originally published as separate books. The Sword in the Stone is wonderful. The boy Wart and his tutor Merlin have many hilarious magical adventures. He becomes a fish and a bird as well as other creatures and also has an adventure with Robin Hood. There is also a wonderful sense of what it is like to be a boy in the Middle Ages. Then he becomes king and it all goes downhill. White was wonderful as long as he was making up everything. Then he just becomes a professor writing a commentary on Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. The humor disappears and is replaced with all the facts he has discovered. There are still moments of beautiful descriptions and making his points such as that it has always been a rich man's war and a poor man's fight. Everyone in Camelot is always very sad and very confused and angry. I don't think any romance develops between anybody. All the knights of the roundtable constantly kill each other. Guinevere was a brat. I was much more involved with the characters in the musical Camelot than I was in this book.

23scaifea
Jul 26, 2015, 6:19am

>22 BonnieJune54: I've read The Sword in the Stone, but I don't remember if I've read the rest of it. I did love that first part, though; I'm sorry the rest doesn't hold up.

24BonnieJune54
Jul 26, 2015, 10:34am

Thanks for stopping by. Even people who love the whole book comment on what a drastic change it takes. I mean they slaughter a unicorn for heaven's sakes!

25scaifea
Jul 27, 2015, 6:46am

You know, if you're interested in the Arthur characters, I'd recommend Bernard Cornwell's Arthur series (The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur). Cornwell does a nice job bringing the characters believably to live and tells a good story.

26BonnieJune54
Jul 27, 2015, 12:30pm

Thanks I'll keep it in mind but I think I've had enough of those guys for a while.

27scaifea
Jul 27, 2015, 9:23pm

Ha! Fair enough.

28BonnieJune54
Jul 29, 2015, 3:10am

I liked the movie "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" that I saw recently. It probably used up all the goodwill that I can muster towards high schoolers. I didn't have any left for The Last Picture Show. I can see how other people might like this novel but I didn't. I thought the characters were unlikable and uninteresting. They weren't trying to be happy. I don't require my characters to succeed at being happy but I want them to try. Everyone in Thalia, Texas of all ages plans their life so that they can impress or shock other people. There is too much graphic sex for me and it doesn't even work as porn because generally they are complaining about it while doing it. It fails the Bechdel test despite having lots of women characters and spending a lot of time on them. They are all just appendages to the men and they constantly obsess about men. I still may give Lonesome Dove a try sometime. I know there is no high school and I think he sticks to male characters pretty much .

29BonnieJune54
Editado: Ago 15, 2015, 4:26am

I was totally carried away by A Passage to India. I could just see, smell and hear colonial India. Mrs.Moore and I are probably about the same age. I could definitely relate when she just kind of shut down with all the heat and the strangeness and more heat. She was basically a good person and interested in people different from her self but she was just away from her home too long. People with all kinds of different internal rules and customs were constantly bumping into each other and causing offense. The same sort of problems happen with different age groups and different genders and every other way that people can be different.

30BonnieJune54
Ago 15, 2015, 4:46am

The Professor is an early novel by Charlotte Brontë. The main character is a man who is just too stiff and boring. I usually like the men of good character that the 19th century heroines fall for. In the LT arguments I am always on the side of the sweet young Vicar. But this guy is over the line. The women and the rest of the characters are really more interesting. Fortunately in her later novels she made the women the main characters and added more action. I also never knew anyone had ethnic prejudices against the Flemish. She constantly says they are inherently ugly,stupid and lazy.

31BonnieJune54
Ago 17, 2015, 2:39am

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories. I appreciate that Sherlock and apparently Sir Arthur Conan Doyle look on women as adults not children or some decorative ornament. I like the connection to life in the colonies as well.

32BonnieJune54
Sep 13, 2015, 4:18am

I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. It was a nice break from all my novels about the rich upper classes that have the working-class people as some kind of invisible sub-species. She has the kind of characters I like. They are whole real people trying to be happy with the lot that they been dealt with in life. They may be poor and black in the land of Jim Crow but they can still laugh and love and enjoy today. I can hear the same wicked sense of humor in comments my friends make today. The main character grows and changes over the course of the novel. The writing can be beautiful and lyrical.

33BonnieJune54
Sep 13, 2015, 4:40am

Lorna Doone is set in a completely different time and place from the previous book but it is also about modestly successful hard-working people. This time they are farming and raising sheep in western England during the 17th century. It is a Victorian romance more in the sense of an adventure story but there is some romance too. I thought the adventure was great. I never knew what was going to happen next and I saw all kinds of aspects of life. There are all kinds of interesting characters, thieves, merchants, government officials . The romance wasn't that great because the female character is a pretty doll Victorian type. My edition has pretty illustrations from the 1940s. There is a wonderful sense of what life was like in Exmore at that time .

34BonnieJune54
Oct 12, 2015, 4:30am

Anne of Ingleside is Anne of Green Gables grown up with a houseful of young children. It's very episodic. I liked the descriptions of spending the night with another family away from your own. The smallest things really can seem quite strange and even scary. Taunting children are able to convince one little girl that she looks totally stupid because she is carrying a cake. She throws it into a creek with no one is looking. Yes that's how my little brain worked. Anne herself seems to have a kind of boring life as a proper doctor's wife.

35BonnieJune54
Editado: Oct 18, 2015, 1:46am

Dark Nantucket Noon is the second in the Homer Kelly mystery series. I have realized that I like mysteries because I usually like the personality of the detectives and I like for my characters to have something to do. I am not really trying to solve the puzzle. In this one I really liked Kitty Clark the murder suspect. She is an eccentric poet with a loose grasp on reality at the best of times. The author tells you all about life on Nantucket Island past and present also about Herman Melville and Quakers.

36BonnieJune54
Oct 28, 2015, 2:29am

David Copperfield isn't that interesting a character but fortunately he meets a wonderful assortment of people and goes from one interesting situation to another.
I even like David's aunt enough to ignore Dora the ridiculous child-wife.

37BonnieJune54
Oct 28, 2015, 2:55am

I am continuing to make my way through Shakespeare. I now know who Falstaff is thanks to The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was a bit slow moving and confusing but it had its wonderful moments of comedy. And unlike Mr. Dickens, Shakespeare had no problem with female characters.

38BonnieJune54
Nov 4, 2015, 4:07am

Twelfth Night: Shakespeare Appreciated was an audio download from my local library. It is a dramatization with commentary and a second reading without the commentary. I like the comedy and all the gender roles swapping going on but the romance didn't really work for me. The commentary was interesting but I suppose I didn't get lost in it as much as if I had just listened to the play.

39BonnieJune54
Nov 18, 2015, 11:08am

My recent trip to China made the The Joy Luck Club particularly interesting reading. It is the story of four mothers from China and their American born daughters. It brings in all of the ways the Chinese traditionally have tried to control the fates. The daughters go from seeing their moms as old women with poor English and bad fashion sense to some sense of the incredible survivors who have put all their hope in their children that they are. The characters are not really likable but understandable.

40BonnieJune54
Nov 20, 2015, 1:07am

With The Chosen I have gone from Chinese mothers and daughters to Jewish fathers and sons. Two Brooklyn teens become friends despite one being Hassidic and the other not. One father-son relationship is ideal and the other strange. It is set at the ending of WWII and has a great sense of life in that time and place. I enjoyed it very much despite the quirk of female characters being almost nonexistent.

41BonnieJune54
Nov 20, 2015, 3:11am

As much as I love 19th century novels, I think I went back a century too far with The History of Tom Jones a Foundling. It is incredibly long. There is very little description even when they went to a masquerade there was little about what anyone was wearing. I suppose the author assumed that his readers would only be people who had come out in London society and knew what everybody's house looked like and what they were wearing. There are lots of conversations in the most incredibly wordy, convoluted sentences. Squire Western, a domineering buffoon from the country was pretty obnoxious but at least he said what he meant. I felt like another book was shuffled in with the story of Tom Jones. This book was the author whining about how hard it is to be an author. He whined about critics, other authors and how hard it is to write books. There is a fun story and characters in all this. I would recommend watching the movie with Albert Finney to see it.

42BonnieJune54
Nov 21, 2015, 10:35pm

With The Castle of Otranto I am staying in the 18th century but with a very different novel. In the preface the author lied and said it was an Italian manuscript from the dark ages that have been translated. He thought the author was very talented. This short book basically stays that silly. There is a trap door, a ghost, a really big giant, characters with incredibly involved pasts and strange coincidences. Everyone left alive lives happily ever after or goes to a convent to pray for their soul.

43BonnieJune54
Nov 22, 2015, 11:46pm

The Warden is the administrator of a charitable trust.
Most of the income of the trust is spent on his large salary and the upkeep on his large home. The trust supports ten poor old men who are meant to be praying for the soul of the long dead wealthy landowner who set up the trust. Victorian do-gooders would like to see the poor get more from the trust and the clergy less. The warden is a nice man who does a great deal of soul-searching about what is the right thing to do but he also has a strong desire to just be left alone when he is criticized. The novel definitely makes you think about social justice and how much responsibility does the individual have to making things right.

44BonnieJune54
Nov 23, 2015, 8:39pm

I like to travel and A Room with a View is a great look at being an Edwardian tourist in Italy. There is a number of quirky interesting characters. It didn't quite work for me as a romance. Lucy and George's attraction to each other is presented well but I didn't think they got to know each other very well. I loved everything about it as long as they were in Italy but once they got back to England it bogged down a bit.

45BonnieJune54
Nov 24, 2015, 6:57am

I loved Silas Marner despite its reputation as one of the most boring books they made you read in high school. I think you have to be older to appreciate the story. Life is not fair. You can sulk and hide for a while but eventually you need to get out there and find the good stuff in life. The prose is beautiful. It is a nice change to have a Victorian novel where the working-class people are the real people and the rich are the buffoons put in for comic relief.

46BonnieJune54
Nov 26, 2015, 12:24am

I liked The Custom of the Country even though the main character isn't all that interesting or likable. She has a great name though Undine Spragg. She is climbing her way through society in New York and Europe during the early 20th century. She uses men shamelessly but it is hard to feel sorry for them when they marry her for her beauty and don't notice that they have nothing in common with her and that she is totally self-centered. I liked following her around. It was amazing how she would get in and out of one scrape after another. She met very interesting people.

47BonnieJune54
Nov 26, 2015, 11:18pm

I read more Shakespeare with Measure for Measure. It wasn't that entertaining. I think everyone running around pretending to be someone that they are not works better in the comedy. It didn't help that one of the women was hopelessly in love with a guy that was just slimy.

48BonnieJune54
Nov 28, 2015, 2:32am

I loved The Pickwick Papers. It is a great feel-good read. A group of nice people travel around the country having funny adventures. I think I have the correct qualifications to make a good Pickwickian if they only allowed girls. I have an unassuming personality and modest knowledge of something scientific or artsy.

49BonnieJune54
Nov 28, 2015, 9:36pm

Much Ado About Nothing was great. The comedy worked and the romance worked. The verbal sparring worked and the plot was convoluted enough to be interesting.

50BonnieJune54
Dic 1, 2015, 6:21am

For some reason I didn't find The Return of the Native depressing. Everything about it just seemed to weave together perfectly. It is the story of a moor and its scattered inhabitants. The prose is beautiful. Everyone on the moor plays their part in the story regardless of their age or social class. The weather and the landscape are characters too. While some characters are more selfish than others they all seem quite human and not just cardboard characters of good and bad. They are trying to be happy even if it doesn't work out.

51scaifea
Dic 1, 2015, 6:58am

>50 BonnieJune54: I'm currently reading The Return of the Native and so far I don't think it's too depressing, either (although I'm anticipating it to turn that direction - it *is* Hardy, after all). And I agree that the prose is gorgeous. It helps that I'm listening to Alan Rickman read it to me...

52BonnieJune54
Dic 1, 2015, 11:36am

>51 scaifea: Hi, Amber. I like mixing my reading up. TH breaks my heart but I also have no idea where his stories are going. I have only read three of his. I listened to an audiobook as well but mine was Patrick Tull. He was competent but no fantasies going on.

53scaifea
Dic 2, 2015, 6:53am

>52 BonnieJune54: When I first started listening to this one, I couldn't concentrate on the story because I'll I could think was that Severus Snape was reading to me! Ha!

54BonnieJune54
Dic 3, 2015, 10:35pm

>53 scaifea: Hi again. I have to get a respectable number of books on here.
Hard Times had a slow start and wasn't as funny as the other Dickens I have read. It improved as it went along though. I think my favorite part was the industrialists complaining that regulations were just going to put them out of business and how the working class were just being so greedy. Nothing changes.

55BonnieJune54
Dic 6, 2015, 8:57pm

Thanks to lyzard 's tutoring thread Barchester Towers was quite enjoyable. 19th century Church of England politics doesn't sound terribly relevant but thanks to human nature it is. There is lots of jostling for jobs and trying to curry favor with the boss and trying to be the boss and generally misunderstanding everyone around you. There is also a little romance and some unromantic trying to make a good match.

56BonnieJune54
Dic 6, 2015, 10:05pm

I am glad that I read The Hunchback of Notre Dame but I don't think that I could say that I enjoyed it. It is certainly much darker than any of the film versions and Victor Hugo goes off on a lot of tangents about architecture and how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I did feel like I have visited medieval Paris now. There are many fascinating characters in the book and the plot is bizarre and original. Maybe I should go watch the Disney version and see Quasimodo get a happy ending.

57BonnieJune54
Editado: Dic 24, 2015, 2:21am

I actually read something that was written in this century. The Eyre Affair is the first of a detective series with time travel, alternate history and characters who jump in and out of books. I have read enough literature to get many of the jokes. I loved it partly because it was so new to me.

58BonnieJune54
Dic 19, 2015, 12:37am

I love The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits because it is nonsense and the truth at the same time while rhyming. It makes much more sense to me than the nonsense that they spew at work about being an engaged employee. I have the original illustrations by Henry Holiday. They are intricate and very Victorian.