Tag Archive | fiction

Martin Chuzzlewit

1990

Title: Martin Chuzzlewit
Author: Charles Dickens

Other works by author: The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Old Curiosity Shop
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Hard Times: For These Times
Little Dorrit
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations
Our Mutual Friend
Several Christmas Novellas (including A Christmas Carol)
Several Short Stories
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – unfinished

For a complete list with the shorter stories see Charles Dickens Wikipedia biography here.

My Rating: 5 of 5

Summary: The greed of his family has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and namesake to make his own way in the world. And so young Martin sets out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America.

My thoughts: This is one of Dickens lesser known works and it is one of my favorites. The story deals mostly with selfishness and greed and how it can effect those around you. It leads to bad things such as estrangement, murder, and suicide. It also shows how certain circumstances and people can teach and grow you.

As with most of Dickens works he does use some gritty issues from the time to convey his story but nothing terrible.

It was written not long after his first visit to America which was not long before the Civil War so he does have some… interesting perceptions of Americans that come out in a portion of the book. In the postscript, however, he tells that he visited America again under much more favorable circumstances and no longer felt the way he did when writing the book.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Gutenberg, and there is also a free audio book at Librivox

Cranford

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Title: Cranford
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

My Rating: 4 of 5

Good for ages: 10+

Summary: A collection of vignettes that tell of Miss Mattie and Miss Deborah in their little town of Cranford. Told in the first person by Mary, a friend of Miss Mattie through both personal encounters and letters.

My Thoughts: I had watched the BBC production before I ever read the book. The movie combines the various vignettes into one continuous story so it was a little difficult to get into the stories at first.

The characters are lovable and the stories sweet.

My Favorite Quotes:

“Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency! This is no occassion for sport- there is lace at stake!”

“But I was right. I think that must be an hereditary quality, for my father says he is scarcely ever wrong.”

“A man,” as one of them observed to me once, “is so in the way in the house!”

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox

Sherlock Holmes

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Series: Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Author Conan Doyle

Works in this Series:
A Study in Scarlet
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last Bow
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Genres: Adventure, Mystery

My Rating: 4 of 5

Good for ages: 12+

Summary: The series – the four novels and the five books of short stories – follows the cases of the consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. The majority of the stories are related through the writings of Holmes best friend and faithful historian Dr. John Watson though there are a few written in Holmes’ perspective.

There are a variety of cases that Holmes always solves them with his great powers of deduction. The cases vary, from a man living a double life and faking his own death in one of those lives to a rare jewel getting lost and eventually found in the stomach of a turkey.

My Thoughts: While I do not always enjoy each individual short story, I love the series as a whole. Holmes deductive abilities boarder on fantastical but watching him solve each of the cases is fascinating anyway.

My personal favorites are: The Hound of the Baskervilles (novel), The Valley of Fear (novel),  and The Adventure of the Dying Detective (short story).

My Favorite Quotes:

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.” ~ The Valley of Fear

“Should I ever marry, Watson, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her.” ~ The Valley of Fear

“The best way of successfully acting a part is to be it.” ~ The Dying Detective

“Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.” ~ The Hound of the Baskervilles

“Really, Watson, you excel yourself,” said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. “I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.” ~ The Hound of the Baskervilles

Where can you get this book: Most of these books are available for free on Amazon, they may even be on Gutenberg as they are in the public domain. There are also several recordings of the novels and short stories on Librivox.

Book Review – Pollyanna

 

Title: Pollyanna
Author: Eleanor H. Porter
Date Started:
May 25, 2014

Other Works by Author:
Pollyanna Grows up

Genres: Children’s

My Rating: 5

 

Summary: Pollyanna, a young orphan girl loves to play ‘The Glad Game’, a game introduced to her by her father where you look for something in every situation to be glad about.
She is taken in by her stern aunt Polly, and begins to tell everyone in the town that she comes in contact with about the game. Overcoming her own difficulties and making everyone’s lives better.

 

My Thoughts: A sweet story and a good reminder to us to follow the verse in Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.’

 

Fun Facts: The actor who plays Reverend Ford in the 2003 Movie Version (NOT Hallie Mills) also plays Mr. Collins in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

 

My Favorite Quote: “Goosey! Why, just be glad because you don’t-need-’em!” exulted Pollyanna, triumphantly. “You see it’s just as easy-when you know how!”

“Well, of all the queer doin’s!” breathed Nancy, regarding Pollyanna with almost fearful eyes.

“Oh, but it isn’t queer-it’s lovely,” maintained Pollyanna enthusiastically. “And we’ve played it ever since. And the harder ‘tis, the more fun ‘tis to get ‘em out;…”

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox free audiobook

Book Review – Teddy’s Button

 

Title: Teddy’s Button
Author: Amy Le Feuvre
Date Started: May 5, 2014

Other Works by Author:
Bulbs and Blossums
Probable Sons
Jill’s Red Bag
The Carved Cupboard
For a more complete list see this page on Paperback swap here.

Genres: Children

My Rating: 4

 

Summary: Teddy is a lively boy who tends to be the center of any mischief. His favorite thing to do is tell the story of his father’s button, the only button left on his coat when he died in battle saving his colors. But one day Nancy shows up and declares that the story isn’t true and the button is silly, she and Teddy have several fights about it. When one of their fights occurs in church Teddy is called to the pastors house for tea where he learns what it means to be a soldier in God’s army. From then on he struggles to defeat the enemy inside himself which he calls Ipse, and hold up the banner of love to everyone.

 

My Thoughts: The story is very sweet and has many good lessons. The struggle with our sin nature is a very real battle that everyone has.
The story leans more toward decision salvation instead of election but It’s a worthy read.

 

My Favorite Quotes:
There was a pause, then Teddy said eagerly, ‘Please, sir, you said you would show me one of the enemies I have got to fight.’
‘Ah! did I? One of the many–which one, I wonder?’
‘”A real live one,” you said.’
‘Yes, I remember. Come this way.’
He led the child into his drawing-room in front of a large mirror reaching down to the ground, and told him to find his enemy there.
‘Why, it’s only myself!’ Teddy said in a disappointed tone, though there was wonder in his eyes.
‘That’s it–yourself—small Teddy Platt is your worst enemy, and the older you live the more you will discover what a very formidable and mighty enemy he is.’
Teddy – I think I shall sometimes let Ipse have his way. Will that be deserting to the enemy?
Mr. Upton – It will be sure and certain defeat.
Teddy – But then, of course, my Captain won’t let me be beaten, if I stick close to Him.

 

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Lamplighter