31 December 2009

12. H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian

I stormed through this third book of the Aubrey series on my honeymoon, and I don't have it in me to write the review right now. But I'll get on it asap. And I'm into Book 4 already...

11. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

This Dickens guy is alright.

The Noble Evremonde brothers are bad. But Dr. Manette good, tries to help. But he feels bad. So he writes to the cops. The bad boy Evremondes block it and send him to jail. 18 long years go by.

His old assistant Defarge gets him released. Jarvis Lorry comes and gets him. Lucie, the Doctor's daughter, and Lorry bring him back to England. And they meet a young Charles Darnay on the ship. So helpful. So kind. So cute. It's LOVE! Darnay goes on trial. But is acquitted because this guy Carton looks JUST LIKE HIM!

The wine flows in the street like blood.

The end:
The strands of the web get tighter and tighter.

The Epilogue:
It IS a far, far better thing that he did.

10. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Another reading! And I'm'na have yet another in 2010 when I teach it (though I have not been counting books I have read, say, to teach year after year. Like, homw many times can I count To Kill a Mockinbird, or Macbeth, books I have taught every year for ten years. I practically have them memorized.).

But this time I read it for a grad class on HM. What a difference reading the book with a professor is. I see a lot more than I have ever seen, but there's still more to discover. Like seeing a whale, I guess, for just the fourth time.

9. Typee by Herman Melville

A travel narrative in the style of authors like Jonathan Swift and books like Utopia. Satirical. Critical of the Western worldview as saviors of the savage natives.

Tommo abandons his whaling ship when it lands at the remote Marquesa Islands. He lives among the natives, with the Typee tribe, for a few months and then escapes/leaves.

Recommended if you have someone else to talk to about the book, like me, say. But if you are going to read it in a vacuum of companionship, pick something else.