Thursday, June 25, 2009

14. Candide

Candide Voltaire
June 2009

Another attempt to step out of my comfort zone, but also a friend's favorite. It was a very short but dense read. Whenever I read books like this, I try to pick up the Barnes and Noble's Classics versions. It gives you a great background on the history during the time that the book was written and of the author.

If you are unfamiliar with Candide, its essentially a satire about the idea that "everything happens for a reason," or as they say that "we live in the best of all possible worlds." The message that I took away from it, was: you can have all the misfortunes in the world or all the pleasures in the world, but what really matters is having a purpose and a drive to succeed and fulfill your life.

Some deep stuff there! But regardless, like I said, its a very short and easy read and there's no reason why anyone shouldn't pick it up and finish it in an afternoon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

13. To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
June 2009

I know, I know. How is it even possible that I haven't read it? I have no answer. But what I can say, that seems entirely cliche, is... I Loved It! haha! It was great.

I don't really see the need for anything more than that!

Monday, June 15, 2009

12. Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
June 2009

Another one of my friend's favorites. He's been trying to get me to read a Vonnegut book forever and now I understand why. I'm not sure if it was jumping straight from Stevenson or Vonnegut, but this book was so easy to read. I flew through it.

The story was essentially a simple one, however the message was much more complex. I think I only understood what the story was actually about once I was finished and stopped to think about it. Vonnegut has a way of shoving greater themes about humanity into a relatively simple novel. His characters aren't entirely that complex. Its more about the message at the end, than the development of characters along the way.

I definitely want to fit in another Vonnegut book soon. Probably Slaughter House Five, since that seems to be the obvious next choice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

11. The Master of Ballanatrae

The Master of Ballantrae Robert Louis Stevenson
June 2009

Another "classic" as I like to call them. A strange read for me in the sense that I felt like I struggled through it, though I was never lost and completely aware of the story line the entire time. Stevenson's style of writing is obviously something that I am not exposed to everyday, so it was nice to submerge myself in something different for a change.

The only other Stevenson book that I have read is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and even that was some 8 years ago. I may have to revisit it again!