Quick Lit // June 2015

It’s time once again for Quick Lit, a recap of what I’ve been reading this past month. Here we go . . .

InnocenceThe Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton ★★★★☆– a collection of mysteries solved by a Catholic priest with a flair for detective work (the book jacket explains it this way: Father Brown has a “highly developed understanding of the criminal mind, derived from the hours he has spent listening to the penitent confessing their sins”). Engaging, enjoyable and so articulate – like Evelyn Waugh, Chesterton has a remarkable ability to find exactly the right word to use!

MillThe Mill on the Floss by George Eliot ★★★★★ – this book is a feast for the mind and the heart, the sort you mull over and contemplate for weeks. At its heart, it’s the story of a brother and sister growing up – Tom, with his rigid sense of justice and desire to set aright his father’s failures, and Maggie, with her brilliant mind and passionate, love-hungry soul. George Eliot excels in understanding human nature, appreciating beauty and reading the human heart. The best book I’ve read this year!

Ocean_at_the_End_of_the_Lane_US_CoverThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman ★★½☆☆– a brief story of a middle-aged man fleetingly remembering the nightmarish events of his childhood. The protagonist’s forgetfulness and the nightmare both left me feeling helpless and I can’t stand feeling that way when reading a book! Easy to read and highly creepy, if you like that sort of thing, but frustratingly lacking a satisfying resolution.

what-matters-in-jane-austen-john-mullan-2013-x-2001What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan ★★★★☆– author John Mullan examines all sorts of interesting tidbits in Jane Austen’s novels, such as what makes characters blush, what characters read, why her plots rely on blunders and the right and wrong ways to propose marriage. Fascinating and illuminating, it’s the sort of book that makes you realize afresh the literary prowess of Jane Austen. It was wonderful to read right after finishing Northanger Abbey last month.

RebeccaRebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin ★★★☆☆– an enjoyable coming-of-age story with an endearing heroine, Rebecca, whose heart is moved by beauty and stirred by poetry. Very Anne of Green Gables-esque with its classroom dramas and small-town spectacles. The multiple Mill on the Floss references were an unexpected bonus. 🙂 I wish the story had had a few more chapters, though; the novel concludes with an unfinished air that leaves one looking for a sequel (there isn’t one, just a companion novel that fills in some more details about Rebecca’s childhood).

I’m linking up with Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy again today; head on over to her blog for more brief book reviews!


8 thoughts on “Quick Lit // June 2015

  1. Krysta says:

    I love Fr. Brown! Though I admit to loving Sherlock Holmes a tad bit more.

    As for Rebecca–I was so excited when I found the second book because I hoped that it would solve the Adam Ladd question, but the companion book just made that relationship even more confusing!

  2. Jeannie says:

    I really enjoyed What Matters in Jane Austen too — it made me appreciate Austen’s books even more than I already had.

    When I saw The Ocean at the End of the Lane I thought “Oh, I’m reading that too!” — then I thought “No, wait, I’m reading The Light Between Oceans!” (oops) Have you ever read the latter, by the way?

    The Mill on the Floss is a great book, isn’t it? Very sad but so well written, and Maggie is such a lovely character.

    • arenda says:

      I haven’t read “The Light Between Oceans”, though I’ve heard a fair bit about it. From what I gather, it’s a fairly emotionally heavy read. Did you enjoy it?

  3. Anne says:

    What a lovely review of the George Eliot book. I’ve only read Middlemarch, and it was assigned reading in high school. I always respect when people seek out classics on their own. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? says:

    The Mill on the Floss is sitting in my Audible queue waiting to be listened to (I had a $10 credit and I always use those to pick up classics for a few dollars). I may have to listen to that one soon!
    I can’t believe I haven’t heard of What Matters in Jane Austen! It sounds like a fascinating book. Going on my TBR list right now because my hold list for the library is totally full!

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