WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—August 10, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Sena Jeter Naslund’s [amazon_link id=”0061579289″ target=”_blank” ]Adam & Eve[/amazon_link] for a TLC Book Tour. I am about halfway through. I have to say that so far, it’s not bad. I wouldn’t have chosen the book if I had not been asked whether or not I wanted to participate in the tour, but I have read a lot of reviews that pan the book, and it’s averaging three stars on Amazon and less than that on Goodreads, so perhaps it spins out somewhere in the second half. I’m keeping an open mind.

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”0451531388″ target=”_blank” ]A Room With a View[/amazon_link] by E.M. Forster (review), which I truly enjoyed. Great read!

I have a large TBR pile, and I plan to pull one of the following books next:

  • [amazon_link id=”0451202503″ target=”_blank” ]The Songcatcher[/amazon_link] by Sharyn McCrumb
  • [amazon_link id=”0451197399″ target=”_blank” ]The Ballad of Frankie Silver[/amazon_link] by Sharyn McCrumb
  • [amazon_link id=”0679781587″ target=”_blank” ]Memoirs of a Geisha[/amazon_link] by Arthur Golden
  • [amazon_link id=”0152053107″ target=”_blank” ]A Northern Light[/amazon_link] by Jennifer Donnelly
  • [amazon_link id=”0312304358″ target=”_blank” ]Moloka’i[/amazon_link] by Alan Brennert
  • [amazon_link id=”0060791586″ target=”_blank” ]The Widow’s War[/amazon_link] by Sally Gunning
  • [amazon_link id=”0452289076″ target=”_blank” ]Burning Bright[/amazon_link] by Tracy Chevalier

I’m leaning to the Sharyn McCrumbs just because her ideas about using old Appalachian murder ballads and stories appeals to me. I come from old Appalachian hill folks on my dad’s side, and something about Appalachians has always spoken to me.

A Room with a View, E. M. Forster

[amazon_image id=”0451531388″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]A Room With a View[/amazon_image]E. M. Forster’s classic novel [amazon_link id=”0451531388″ target=”_blank” ]A Room With a View[/amazon_link] has a whisper-thin plot: Lucy Honeychurch travels to to Florence, Italy, with her cousin Miss Bartlett. While she is staying in the Pensione Bertolini, she meets a father and his son, the Emersons, whom everyone else at the pension thinks are coarse and crude. Desiring some independence and frustrated with her companions, Lucy goes out on her own and witnesses a murder in the street. George Emerson, the son, is there to assist her. Emerson falls in love with Lucy and kisses her. The next morning, her cousin, feeling she has failed Lucy and her mother as a guardian, whisks Lucy away to Rome. When they return to England, Lucy becomes engaged to Cecil Vyse, a man whose previous two proposals she has rejected. Cecil does not much like Lucy’s family, but he sees her as something of a project, a sort of Galatea to his Pygmalion. Meanwhile, the Emersons become the Honeychurches’ neighbors when they let a cottage nearby, and Lucy must determine how she feels about George Emerson and Cecil Vyse.

A Room with a View is actually interesting as a character study. In a short book without a tremendous amount of action, Forster manages to capture human nature very well. I found myself surprised at how easily I could picture everything Forster described, and it was not as though he labored over the descriptions. Instead, he captured characters so deftly in their dialogue and in their bodily movements that not much description was needed in order to convey the scenes perfectly. I especially liked Miss Bartlett’s character—I didn’t like her personality, but as a character, she was well-drawn and so believable. Some of the things she said and did made me think of Dame Maggie Smith, so I began picturing Smith in the role. Finally, I checked IMDb, and I discovered Maggie Smith had indeed played the role of Miss Bartlett in the 1985 production (which has an outstanding cast—I plan to see it as soon as I can). Certainly doesn’t surprise me that the book was made into a film—it read almost like a film. The book also contains some humorous instances of fourth-wall breaking and gorgeous observations about humanity. For this fan of [amazon_link id=”B0047H7QD6″ target=”_blank” ]Downton Abbey[/amazon_link], it was a treat to read, and I will definitely read more of Forster’s books.

Update, 8/7/11: I never do this, but I decided to change my star-rating after thinking about it some more. I watched the film today on Netflix, and the casting was perfect. Once again, I was amazed at how well characterized the novel was and how easily, therefore, it translated to the screen. Perhaps the film was an influence, but now I can’t see why it shouldn’t have a full five stars rather than 4½. I cannot imagine a better cast for the film. The clothing and sets were gorgeous. I highly recommend watching the film to anyone who has read the book.

 

[rating:5/5]

I used the What Should I Read Next tool to decide on this book (I had already had it on my [amazon_link id=”B002FQJT3Q” target=”_blank” ]Kindle[/amazon_link] for ages), mainly so I could complete Challenge 7: What Should I Read Next Pick for the Take a Chance Challenge. I picked A Room with a View from the list of books that appeared when I searched for the last book I read (and reviewed), [amazon_link id=”B0058M62OS” target=”_blank” ]The Winter Sea[/amazon_link] by Susanna Kearsley.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—August 3, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading [amazon_link id=”0451531388″ target=”_blank” ]A Room With a View[/amazon_link] by E. M. Forster. It’s not much like anything I’ve ever read before. The characters are perhaps the most realistic characters of any books I’ve read recently. I’m liking it.

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”1402241372″ target=”_blank” ]The Winter Sea[/amazon_link] by Susanna Kearsley (review). I enjoyed it. A nice book to finish my summer on. Our new school year starts on the 15th, but I came in this week to prepare some technology training materials for faculty. I expect my reading will slow down, now.

The next book I will probably read is [amazon_link id=”0061579289″ target=”_blank” ]Adam & Eve[/amazon_link] by Sena Jeter Naslund. I have to admit I’m nervous about it. I agreed to read it for a book blog tour, but it has pretty low ratings, and most of the reviews read something along the lines of “What was she thinking?” and “I loved [amazon_link id=”B000FC10KC” target=”_blank” ]Ahab’s Wife[/amazon_link], but what is this?” I actually really loved Ahab’s Wife (review). We’ll see.