8.16.2015

Making a Dent in My Summer Reading List....

     A bit of an off-topic post here (haha forgive me 😜), but literature is indeed another passion of mine, and is just as close to my heart, so it's inevitable that I'll be including bits and bobs here on this blog of books I've read, books I'm currently reading, or books I've even just perused. As much of a hectic summer it's been, a reading list just had to be placed somewhere on the schedule. I chose a few classic novels for this season, two of them I have started, which are Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I also chose a biography on the Russian imperial family, which was a pretty random choice, but I must say I'm really enjoying it! These are going to be quite brief, watered-down comments on each book, as I haven't finished any of them yet. I don't know if writing future book reviews will really be my forte, but I will certainly try my hand at it, and, upon receiving feedback, ultimately see if it helps anyone!


 The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. I picked this up on a whim at my library a couple weeks ago, and I'll admit that I picked it up immediately after I noticed the haunting cover photo of the four grand duchesses. I'm now a quarter of the way through this wonderful read, and I'll say that even though it is a biography, it is in essence, a deeper, very intimate story of the grand duchesses and their family: the Tsar and Tsarina, and the girls' youngest sibling, their brother Alexey. The dialogue throughout paints a more vivid, presentable picture of what the family really lived through, how they lived, and how events, the Revolution and the war affected the royal family's personal well-being and health. I now understand how the influences of Russian nobility and Alexandra's deliberate avoidance of the aristocracy affected Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, and Marie, and how these factors determined and were the precursors of their overall sheltered lives away from the foreign press. All sisters were portrayed in this book as individuals, rather than a group of sisters, as they usually are. After perusing reviews, I was relieved to discover that the author, Helen Rappaport, and her exquisite research that went into this novel is (in what I've read as overwhelmingly vast majority) very much approved in accuracy by book critics and professional historians specializing in Russian history and Russian nobility.

      Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Another classic with which I've seen the movie plenty of times, but oddly, had never read the book. Being categorized under gothic fiction, it's only natural that the majority of the characters are surly, hateful, presumably void of any peace in their lives, and the catastrophic love story is enough to make the reader feel like they're being repeatedly shoved into a wall, and yet....the story's film adaptation yields as being one of my favorite classical films of all time, and I don't think the book will be any different (I'm about a third of the way through it). The sheer magnitude of Cathy's ambivalent nature and indecisiveness is one of the many concepts that keeps the pages turning. It's crazy, maddening, and beautifully poetic.

     Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one I will probably have to wait to continue reading once I've finished the others. This is simply because the writing style takes on a life of its own, and honestly, and it takes a bit of reader's fortitude for me in some parts to really get a grasp of what's going on in certain scenes. I've always loved the characters of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from the film adaptations, and can't wait to sink my teeth into this novel at a later time.
     Little things (which add up to the story quickly) such as the beautiful lighthearted nature of most of the characters, the humor and witty side notes, all which touch throughout the pages, are things I just don't want to pass up. In that regard, I feel like this is a novel that is best when savored in its own time. 

Tell me: What's on YOUR summer reading list? 

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