Monday, September 14, 2015

Read-a-thon Days 4-6

Friday I was able to get a bit more reading done on Far From the Madding Crowd
I still didn't get to as much reading as I wanted that day but I was able to get to about the halfway point of the book. 
I took my daughter's to the park after school and took that time to do some reading while they played. 

Saturday I was able to spend almost the whole day reading and in so doing was able to reach my goal of finishing this book! 
I really enjoyed it. 
There were some parts that were a little harder to get through, a few descriptions that went on a little too long, a few conversations of the locals that caused me to zone out while reading...
but for the most part I really loved Thomas Hardy's descriptions and ideas. 

In chapter 17 ("Boldwood in meditation: a visit"), I loved when he was describing Mr. Boldwood's home. 

"His house stood recessed from the road, and the stables, which are to a farm what a fireplace is to a house, were behind, their lower portions being lost amid bushes of laurel."

After reading the book, I feel that they did a really good job on the recent film adaptation. It was very close to the book and the things that were changed, to me, enhanced the story. 

I will definitely read more Hardy. 

Sunday I tackled All I know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

I loved the inscription at the beginning. 

"This book is for those who said I'd never get anywhere in life and those who never doubted for a second that I would. Without either of you, I wouldn't be here."

This story was a collection of stories from Carrie's pre-teenage and teen aged years. 
She is still in her early twenties so it is really aimed for those kids that are still struggling through those years. 
I would venture to say that the best audience for this book is 13-17 years old. 
It was broken up into sections with each section broke up into chapters. 
For example, the first part or "Act 1" as she calls it, is titled, "How to Make Friends Without Vomiting on Their Shoes.. and other school stories."

We read about the way she was bullied and how she dealt with it, how she wish she would have dealt with it, and the things that she has learned from those experiences. She also was very candid about the things that she did wrong. The mistakes she made, the times she wasn't as kind as she should have been, the ways that she wished she would have appreciated her parents, etc. 
It was a fun and quick read. She is a talented budding writer and I will be interested in reading the work of fiction she is working on now. 
However, I don't think this was as good for pre-teen aged girls as say the American Girl books about growing up. It is not a masterpiece or a piece of work that I would recommend that everyone read or gift to young women. 
As a mother I found that there were things in her youth that I wouldn't want my daughters to do or that in our family we wouldn't necessarily encourage until they are older, but I think it is very realistic to what teenagers are going through in today's world. 
 I think Carrie is a good role model. 
She believes in being positive and kindness, and I think that is lacking in a lot of role models for young women these days. 
With my daughter's I do plan on letting them read this when they get to be about 14. And we can discuss it as they read it. 
As I read, whenever I thought that something might not exactly be appropriate for a young teen, I then thought back to when I was 13-15 years old and realized that I would have loved this book then.
She does a really good job of coming across as a big sister or friend trying to help the younger girls find their way. 

*Did you get any reading done over the weekend?


Donna said...

Thanks for your thoughts about "Far From the Madding Crowd." I'm looking forward to reading that at some point. I finished one of my books over the weekend and started the second one. This read-a-thon is helping me find time to read in my everyday "during the day" life, not just at night before bed, and I love that.

cheryl said...

Nice! So glad it is helping others. I have loved pulling books off my shelf that have been sitting there waiting to be read and giving myself the excuse and motivation to read them!

The Kings said...

I am glad I bought "Madding" the other day and am looking forward to reading it soon. However my book choice for the book-a-thon was "Silas Marner" by George Eliot and I have enjoyed it. I hope to finish it tonight.

cheryl said...

I am excited to hear more about that book!