Letter 2 to Benj
I finally found my Zap book where I’d started writing my latest book review letter! It starts with “I’m on a roll - reading wise!” which was true at the time but then grinded to a halt because I didn’t finish the letter and didn’t want to get too many books under my belt before telling you all about them.
Prison Journals During the French Revolution by the Duchesse de Duras is a fascinating and difficult read. Difficult? Well, it mirrors today’s political parties’ treatment of the working class men and women. It’s a little scary - when you see Macron prancing around Versailles exactly like Louis and his cronies did all the way back when. Here we are now, in a pandemic and dependant on all those essential workers that have been getting screwed over by the government for years now. However, that’s a big political can of fish that I’m going to place over in the corner and now turn to the book.
I found it difficult to sympathise with the noble classes - as this is the PoV of the book. I understood the hardship was indeed hard for them - coming as they did from hoity-toitiness to sleeping all crowded together etc. I just couldn’t sympathise with them. Empathy, yes.
That’s all I wrote in that letter - everything else has to be dredged up from memory.
Reading the book has sparked my interest in the French Revolution. I want to learn as much as I can about this fascinating period in France’s history.
J.R.R. Tolkien: A life from Beginning to End by Hourly History - unfortunately, I can’t remember much from this book. I think I read it in a day or day and a half. I think the family lived in Africa first, then the mother moved himself and his brother back to England. She eventually dies and a priest ends up looking after them. He marries his childhood sweetheart but always kept his private and university/professional life separate. A lot of his closest friends didn’t even know his wife. That stuck with me.
I’ve read Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and I love them both but I’ve never been able to read any of his other books. I’ve attempted them several times but I find them too heavy, too much world building not enough plot. Can’t do it. Have you read any of his books?
Incidents in the Life of a Slave girl by Harriet Jacobs a.k.a Linda Brent. Read this book. I cannot recommend it enough. It is an incredible story. Heartbreaking, stomach-wrenching, gut-boiling story. The only thing that kept me going is the fact that she sat down to write the story - therefore she must be okay. She must have survived. Children are the strongest people ever. This story shows a woman’s strength in the face of a sadistic white man. Powerful stuff, stop everything. Go read it.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. My favourite book and tv series is Pride and Prejudice - the one with Colin Firth. Since my rule of 2020 is to not read a book I’ve already read. I couldn’t read P&P. So, I picked up S&S. It was a nice contrast after Slave girl. Similar vein as P&P but different enough to keep me guessing and reading on. Jane Austen, in my opinion, is the best romance author.
I’m currently reading One Piece by Eiichiro Oda. Smockymok has 59 of the graphic novels. My goal is to read them all - then I’ll see about continuing reading the others. There’s a whole heap of books. I’m reading them in French which means I am ticking off that goal of mine too.
And that is it! Whew! How are you? Read any decent books lately? Or crappy ones?