Friday, November 25, 2011

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I have been reading using natural light for about a while now.  So, that meant I have most of my reading time in the afternoon when the sunlight is strong.

So, recently, when we have been having grey and gloomy days, I decided to use the computer so that I can read even if the lights are low.

Image copied here
I turned to Google Books to find an e-Book that I could start reading and I figured that I would not search or try to choose from a million books.  I'll just start reading the first book that I could lay my cursor into.  And this is what I found.

The first sentence:
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do:  once or twice she peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book, " thought Alice, "without the pictures or conversations."
For some, this was a reading requirement maybe in grade school, or a bedtime story that their parent(s) read to them.  But since I went into a public school here in our country, reading a novel was never a requirement - even if it was a book by a local writer.  So, part of my quest was to read these classical books that inspire children to read and write.  My parents never read to us during bedtime.  But it was never a problem for me.

It's a good thing that I got myself into reading even if it wasn't a requirement in school.  I guess it was my dad's persistence that I read his collection of Reader's Digest - a collection which he kept so that we, his children could have something to read on.


Since it's an eBook, I don't have an image that I took of myself.  This is the image cover that I took from the site where I downloaded the book itself.

Here's what's on page 68 of the book:
"He must have imitated somebody else's hand," said the King.  (The jury all brightened up again.) 
"Please, your Majesty," said the Knave, "I didn't write it, and they can't prove that I did: there's no name signed at the end." 
"If you didn't sign it," said the King, "that only makes the matter worse.  You must have meant some mishief, or else you'd have signed your name like an honest man."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

The first sentence:
A screaming comes across the sky.
I bought this book back in 2009, when I was still in Dubai.  I read about the book from a high school classmate who is also into reading classic novels.  Somewhere in his journals, I read that he was already somewhere in the pages of the book and still couldn't understand a lot of things.  I'm afraid this is happening to me now.  I'm already a few pages on, and still, I couldn't seem to dig the author.

Apart from the many characters of the book, there are a lot of (what I call) insertions that distracts me from the plot of the story.  At least that's what it is to me.  I am close to putting it off and not finishing it when I decided to read the comments of the readers of the book from  One of them gave several advises and one of the advises was to have a little patience, at least until you reach the second part.

I am still a long way from the second part (I am only on page 64 of 902 pages), and I am trying to gather all the patience I have in putting it off and not finishing it at all.  At these point, a lot of characters are being introduced and the only one I can remember was the psychologist (whose name I need to remember).  There's a guy named Mexico who at first I thought was the country.  And there's a girl in a relationship with one of the characters.  Again, I need to remember her name.

Still, one of the advises said that it would be better to read the V book first.  But I don't think I'd go through that.  I am in this reading quest where I am to read one classic book from one author and that's it.  I just need to experience the author, his style, the way he makes the story, and how the world looked like at the time he wrote the story.  That's just about it.  Now, if Thomas Pynchon wrote about the future, then I may have a little problem with that.  Because one of the reasons why I am reading classical novels is to read about the past.

I guess I may have bought the wrong book for my quest.  But I still have the patience to read it right now.

I don't know how further more my patience will take me.  But I do hope that it's all worth it.

What's on page 68:
Mind to mind, tonight up late at the window while he sleeps, lighting another precious cigarette from the coal of the last, filling it with a need to cry because she can see so plainly her limits, knows she can never protect him as much as she must - from what may come out of the sky, from what he couldn't confess that day (creaking snow lanes, arcades of the ice-bearded and bowing trees... the wind shook down crystals of snow:  purple and orange creatures blooming on her long lashes), and from, Mr. Pointsman, and from Pointman's... his... bleakness whenever she meets him.  Scientist-neutrality.  Hands that - she shivers.  There are many chances now for every shapes out of the snow and stillness.  She drops the blackout curtain.
* Please note that on this page 68-quote, I double-checked my typing and there are no errors.  It's just the author's style of writing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Each of us has our own nemesis

This will be my last post for this book.  

I finished it in a day, since it was only a few pages(123 pages to be exact) and the font is big, like that of a children's book and with several full-page illustrations.  

And this post is long overdue.  If you visit my account, you'll see that I've started with another book already. It's really hard for me to sit down and write these days.  Most of the time, I just read and I get a little pre-occupied with computer games every now and then.  But now I figured I really have to since I'm lagging behind the books that I've started reading since this one.

Dr. Jekyll is a good person.  And I believe that many of us are, too.  But like anyone of us, he has his own weakness.  

One of the illustrations in the book
The only thing different about Dr. Jekyll was he was too bright to think of a way to go on and deal with his weakness and not get caught.  Like many of us, we do things and not get caught. But I think Dr. Jekyll wanted to always take his nemesis one step higher.  And that's the reason why he had to find a way to conceal his weakness.

I wouldn't say that he is such a lucky guy for being wise.  Because his intelligence took him too far.  

We, the normal people, can only do so much.  We deal with our temptations once in a while but we do not let it rule us.  We try hard to overcome it, we try hard to resist it.  

But Dr. Jekyll was  the other type.  Rather than resisting it, he tried to think of a way to cater to his weaknesses.

If this were for real and many of us could think like Dr. Jekyll, how many of us will end up like him? 

The last sentence of the book:
I am now about to end the unhappy life of Dr. Henry Jekyll.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The first sentence:
Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a stern and serious-looking man who seldom smiled.
This is the first time that I ever tried to read an illustrated classic.  And this will probably be the last.  It's not that it's no good.  It's just that it felt like it's a condensed version although I am not really sure.  The best thing to do to prove this wrong is to probably read it again and this time not the illustrated version.  That is aside from the fact that I felt like it's actually catered for children.

But anyway, the main reason why I tried the illustrated version is because of the price.  The second is that I just wanted to have an idea of the story.  When I bought this book, I was thinking that if I like this one, I'd probably  buy other titles on illustrated. But honestly, I did not enjoy it at all.  I have nothing against the edition.  I guess it's just probably me.

What's on page 68?
"Thank you, Sir." Poole said before quietly leading away the lawyer from the locked door.  He asked Mr. Utterson if the voice they heard belonged to Dr. Jekyll.   
"If it was, it changed a lot," Mr. Utterson said. 
But Poole was certain it was not his master's voice.  "I have been working twenty years for my master," Poole said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What he really wanted

This will be my last post for this book.

What he really wanted is something that we don't know.  Well, when his sister asked him, he didn't know, too. It was hard for him to answer.

Holden was lucky enough to have the chance to a good education.  But unfortunately, he wasn't lucky enough to not know what he really wanted.  He doesn't know how to deal with his room mates, his classmates, his friends. After several schools, he still couldn't figure out what he really wanted.

If this is indeed one of the reading requirements in schools in the U.S., I don't know how this could really affect the students.  He could be a bad example and a bad influence to them not to follow.  But on the other hand, he could become some students' role model in dealing with life.  Some students might thought that he was having a good life drinking night and day.  I guess it would just be a matter of how the reader would take it.

I want to know what kind of childhood did he have.  But as what was the first sentence of the book, he didn't talk about it.  I want to know what kind of parents does he have.  But one thing I'm sure of, they are not as bad as I think they are for having Holden as their kid, because D.B., his brother, is very different from him.

I guess it's just him and his confusion.

In the end, I ask: Would he change?

I could only wonder.

The last sentence of the book:
If you do, you start missing everybody.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

First sentence:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you really want to know the truth.

This post is long overdue.  I was done with this book a few weeks ago already.  I got out of my writing mood and couldn't go back.  I couldn't even update my personal blog, let alone this book blog.

I started this book while I was at the hospital.  I brought the book just in case.  It was already my sixth cycle and I never brought one since the first.  But I guess I got a little more interested and started reading it instead of watching t.v.  I found out months back that this is one of the most controversial books in the U.S. although I've been looking for it since I was in Dubai.  It is my quest to explore classical authors that made me want to find the book.  It's actually the same with my previously-read book, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

What are the first five sentences on page 68?
She's all right.  You'd like her.  The only trouble is, she's a little too affectionate sometimes.  She's very emotional, for a child.  She really is.

Popular Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...