Sunday, January 24, 2016

Literature of Late

I love to read.

Well, perhaps I should say that I loved--past tense--to read. I recently went through a period where reading rather bored me. I assure you, it was not a productive time.

However, with a few of the right books put blithely in my path, I have found again that joy which follows one who has been buried a few hours in the printed word.

I now, once more, love to read.

The books I've been reading have, as books always do, transported me to the worlds, the fashions, and the personalities of the people within them. My emotions were fiercely caught up in the merciless things. They raised hopes and dashed them, founded loves and hatreds and promptly turned them around again. They were, all in all, Good Books.

(Another note on which I feel compelled to state my opinion: paperbacks are wonderful. I cannot explain it, but I have an immense love for paperbacks.) 

My brother was the one who gave me The Princess Bride. I had, of course, previously seen the movie, and had absolutely no idea there was a book until I stumbled across some quotes that had never made it to the screen. I was entranced, and instantly knew what my Christmas present should be. Brother indulged me, and soon I had a book in my greedy hands.

He had gotten me the "good parts" edition, adapted by William Goldman. At first I was disappointed, but I practically ate the thing anyway.

I must say, I unexpectedly loved this edition. S. Morgenstern, the original author, was a satirist. Thus, he goes to great and ridiculous lengths to make a point. I was glad that I didn't read the original, because Goldman's explanations on why he removed certain passages is headache-inducing enough:

 "what happens is just this: Queen Bella packs most of her wardrobe (11 pages) and travels to Guilder (2 pages). In Guilder she unpacks (5 pages), then tenders the invitation to Princess Noreena (1 page). Princess Noreena accepts (1 page). Then Noreena packs all of her clothes and hats (23 pages) and, together, the Princess and the Queen travel back to Florin for the annual celebration of the founding of Florin City (1 page). They reach King Lotharon's castle, where Noreena is shown her quarters (1/2 a page) and unpacks all the same clothes etc. that we just saw her pack one and a half pages before (12 pages)." 

I'm very glad I missed that. Anyway, the book was great, and other than the stuff taken out, it was original Morgenstern. I loved especially getting to know the characters more deeply. It was so satisfying to know the ins and outs of where Fezzik had come from and how Inigo trained and why Count Rugen was so fascinated by pain. I highly recommend reading it.

Till We Have Faces is another book that gave me great joy while I read it. That's actually sort of odd, because it is a very dark, devastating work. It is definitely Lewis' best book, in my opinion--even succeeding The Chronicles of Narnia. 

I always had a bit of a fascination with the myth of Cupid and Psyche, so when I first started the book I was eager to see another vantage point. I got a bit more than I wanted--hardly any of the novel is dedicated to Cupid or Psyche at all. Instead, it focuses on Psyche's sister, who is ugly and hated and loved her beautiful sister to the point of despair.

I think the reason I loved it is because it was honest. Orual was not beautiful, was never happy, was selfish and bitter. She was smart, but she refused to think. She was insane with hatred and jealousy and longing. She was loved undeservedly by many people and completely missed it.

"And I thought how the seed of men that might have gone to make hardy boys and fruitful girls was drained into that house, and nothing given back; and how the silver that men had earned hard and needed was also drained there, and nothing given back; and how the girls themselves were devoured and nothing given back." 

Anyway, I loved it, and recommend it highly.

I am ashamed to say, that though I've seen all of the movies (multiple times), I'd never read Pride and Prejudice until a few days ago.

Oh my goodness.

I will never ever marry a man who has not read this book. This book made me want to get married again. This book is brilliant, hilarious, joyful. Mr Collins is the creepiest guy ever. And Darcy. 

Lizzy Bennet, you are the luckiest fictional character to ever walk this earth and you better know it.

In case you couldn't tell, I loved this book. Loved it. It is recommended to you. So go read it. Now.

(On a side note, if I did the whole so-and-so is my spirit animal thing, which I consider very stupid {what is a freaking spirit animal? that doesn't make sense. But I digress.}, Mr Bennet would be my spirit animal. As Lizzy said, "We are so very similar.") 

The Book Thief is a reread, and my favorite book of all time. The writing in this book is I can honestly say that this is the first book I ever cried for.

Death broke me. Liesel broke me. Papa broke me most of all. There is almost nothing I can say for this book, except that every time you read it you see more. Read it, guys. Read it.

I will bid you all a very fond farewell. 
It is not often, after all, that one such as me
writes a rambling post about books.

1 comment:

  1. Rambling posts about good books are the best! I shall probably be making one myself here shortly. :) Sounds like I need to read The Book Thief! I'm going to hazard a guess that your favorite version of Pride and Prejudice was the one with Colin Firth? That's my favorite. I haven't seen another one, but I don't need to after seeing that one. :D