Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NOVEL GLIMPSES (5)--THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, AUTHENTICITY ACCELERATOR

Novel Glimpses is my feature for mini-reviews...really just a fancy name for them! The only difference than with my traditional mini-reviews is that I will include my Goodreads rating, something I do not do with my regular reviews. Feel free to participate...just credit me and link back if you do. (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon).


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The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber


My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  Crimson Petal is a magnificent portrayal of life in Victorian England.  The book is so visual that the reader almost feels present in the action.  And the characters! Sugar is not your typical prostitute with a heart of gold.  Yes, she aspires to be good and she is good to a certain extent.  Only the history of her upbringing interferes with her ever achieving true goodness.  In the end, she does seem to receive some redemption, but we never really know for sure.  William is a man born to privilege, but with no desire to work to keep that privilege...until he meets Sugar.  An excellent display of a man who starts achieving due to the yearnings of his nether regions.  This, in and of itself, gives us a true idea of the kind of person William is.  And he really is not a likable person.  As with most men of this nature, when your usefulness is gone, he no longer needs you.  This holds true with his wife, Agnes, and with his concubine, Sugar.  In all, Crimson Petal gives us an excellent overview of the class structures in Victorian times and the subjugation of women that was so prevalent.  A truly excellent book that I highly recommend, with one warning.  There are some explicit sex scenes so if you are easily offended, you may wish to skip this one.

Challenges:
Alphabet Challenge
Monthly Mix-Up Mania 
Historical Fiction 2011
Chunkster
Outdo Yourself


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  What can I say about this wonderful book which I knew would be wonderful before I even read it! I'm really not going to say too much, because haven't we all read it anyway?  Oh, you haven't?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Jane Austen had such a knack with her characters and settings.  Even as much as I love the films based on the books, the book really is a literary masterpiece.  These people and their stories never get old because, although set in a different era, they are just like us.  They hurt, love, hate, jest, and experience joy in every day things, just as we do.  Such simple stories really, but how can we not identify with them when they could very well be happening to us.  This is why I think Jane endures.  Not just for her beautiful settings and her pretty and sometimes funny characters, but for her true insight into the workings of the human heart.  Well done, Jane!

Challenges:
Classics 2011
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Chunkster
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation
1001 Books you must read before you die
Outdo Yourself


Authenticity Accelerator: How to Live an Authentic Life in Ten Words by Robert Rabbin

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
The glimpse:  There are two reasons I like this book.  1) It's short and to the point and 2) it make sense.  I much prefer self-help/empowerment books that are not too long.  I mean, you're trying to help yourself.  Who wants it to take five years to read a book, right?  And I want said book to make sense.  I don't know how many times I've read a book like this and ended up scratching my head wondering what the hell it is the author is talking about.  Robert succeeds in making sense by talking about ten words (or five principles) to finding your authentic self.  After he describes the process, he then goes on to apply them to certain questions people have about aspects of their lives, such as:  fear, regret, right and wrong, self, success, and others.  What he says about the past is to learn from it and let it go.  You are not the person you were so move on.  Pretty simple, huh?  Sometimes we have to be told it or read it again and again for it to sink in.  And what does he say about success (and this is my favorite new quote)?  "Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing.  How can you succeed or fail at that?"  My new mantra! I really liked this book.  If you're looking for some authenticity in your life, I recommend you check it out.

Challenges:
Monthly Mix-Up Mania 
The Dewey Decimal Challenge
Outdo Yourself

7 comments:

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  1. I must re-read The Crimson Petal and the White, I think. I could not get into it the first time I read it.

    I LOVE Pride and Prejudice. I was 12 the first time I read it and since then I have read it again and again.

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  2. Yes, you should give Crimson Petal another chance...definitely!

    P & P rules! =O)

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  3. I liked Crimson Petal and the White a lot; glad u did as well.

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  4. Great mini-reviews, Michelle. I am really looking forward to Faber's new book so we can have some more insight into the characters from The Crimson Petal. I need to know what happened to everyone! Hahaha!

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  5. I know everyone thinks I'm strange for not liking Jane Austen but I don't. Maybe I'll retry one of her books some day and I'll think different. I won't hold my breath though :-)

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  6. I have GOT to dig The Crimson Petal and The White out from where ever it is buried and read it yet this year!

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  7. Thanks so much for the Pride & Prejudice review for the Classics Challenge. Like most..it is one of my favorites too!

    Courtney
    Stiletto Storytime

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