Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Jen's Book Club, part deaux.

I haven't been able to get into Buck's The Good Earth yet (granted, I only gave it about 3 sentences, but hey, I'm merciless like that). I DID read her Portrait of a Marriage and I thought it was great. Very mid-century Nicholas Sparks (I know that some people will cringe at the comparison, though).

I plan to move onto Orwell next, probably 1984.

34 comments:

Anna said...

Oooo!!! LOVED 1984! It's been too long- I should re-read that.
Books along the same lines that I liked are Brave New World and Animal Farm.
Can you give more info on Portrait of a Marriage? Would I like it?

Fred said...

Ditto what Anna said. I loved 1984.

Sadly, I'm not reading anything other than blogs right now.

Hi Mom!!

LocuTus of Borg said...

I don't know those first books Jen. 1984, Brave New World, and Animal Farm are excellent readings. I am reading "Awareness" by Anthony de Mello .. should read it, very deep but interesting.

Jen said...

Here's a description from Amazon:

William & Ruth came from two different worlds. He was a sensitive, proud artist, son of a rich and often selfish family. She was the unlettered daughter of an earthy Pennsylvania farmer. Yet, from the moment William saw Ruth, he knew he must have her. And with a stubborn intensity that shattered his family's objection, William went after this soft-spoken but provocative woman who knew nothing of art and elegance, but who was all-wise in the ways of love.... Written by Pearl S. Buck, PORTRAIT OF A MARRIAGE remains a haunting reading experience - one of the finest novels by one of America's greatest novelists.

Jen said...

Yes, I think you would, Anna.

Jen said...

And here's a review:

It's a bit romantic; a rich Philadelphia youth takes a trip to the countryside to paint, and he stops at a farmhouse in the Pennsylvania countryside to beg a lunch when he sees a pretty farm girl ring the supper bell. The farmer's daughter is indeed pretty and he paints her in the rustic 1800's farmhouse kitchen. From there, William is smitten, and despite the disappointment of his railroad tycoon father, he marries Ruth.

Ruth and William couldn't be more different; he is sophisticated and educated. She is a peasant and is uncomfortable away from the land. But their marriage is bound by a rich physical love that sustains them through their Golden anniversary. And through tragedy.

This is a simply-told tale, in the way Buck had of telling the story of people as people, almost divorced from their times. It is not as profound as "The Good Earth" but it has that elemental style that makes for great films and great stories. While this is not Buck at her best, it is a fine tale.

keesh said...

what is the book 1984 about? I don't ever read. I need to read more.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

1984 is wonderful! I wonder if it holds up now that it's 2005?

I should read it again...still have a copy of it somewhere.

Renee said...

UGH! They sound BORING! I guess I'd have to give them a try, but it's not the stuff I tend to gravitate towards... like psychological thrillers, if you will.

I'm currently reading The Summer of Us, about three 20-something strangers, all women, decide to rent a beach house together for the summer. It's good, I guess... I haven't lost interest in it, but it's not one of those ones you stay up til 3am cuz you just gotta know what happens next...

Jen said...

I've read that one, I think.

Maybe I'm thinking of Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume, one of those "grown up" books.

keesh said...

Jen - you can still be mad at me, but if you are, get over it :). You are ignoring a direct question.

Nik said...

Yeah Jen, Kish asked you a question!!!
I'm still trying to pull my way through "The Silmarillions" by Tolkien. I keep getting lost and have to re-read so many parts. He should have just given his characters one name, instead of calling them by their various names throughout the story. *Grrr*

Jen said...

I didn't know you were asking ME directly, Kish...I didn't answer cuz I don't really KNOW what it's about. I was hoping someone else would jump in.

It was written 50 or so years ago, as a look into the future at what they thought 1984 would be like. Or something.

Anna said...

Nik- Way to go on the Silmarillian! Tolkein isn't easy but is so worth it!

Kish & Jen- 1984 is about a futuristic world ruled by a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors everyone’s behavior, even their thoughts. It's a social commentary, a love story and a fascinating warning.

LocuTus of Borg said...

Wow Nik - reading that? cool - it is a little hard to get through but it is good reading. Tolkein is such a superb writer.

Good synposis Anna. And yes Tan Lucy .. it still holds up today, even not more than ever!

Anna said...

Amen LoB & Tan Lucy!!!

Renee said...

OMG, it still sounds painfully boring :-)

Kish, are you reading Tuesdays With Morrie?

The one I'm reading right now, that Summer of Us, is getting really good, and after just saying how it's not the kind that will keep me up all night cuz I can't put it down, that very thing happened last night. And the chapters are really short, so I've been reading one here and there all day today. I'll send it to ya when I'm done, if ya want. At least it's not boring historical shit ;-)

Jen said...

LOL Renee. I usually don't like "historical shit" either, but I really liked Portrait of a Marriage.

Some other books were waiting for me at the library, so I haven't started 1984 yet...I'll let you know. (The one I'm reading now is about an 8 year old boy whose father was lost in the Towers during 9-11. He found a key in his father's belonging, and it has become incredibly important to him to find out what the key is for. It's really good so far.)

Renee said...

Okay, now THAT one sounds good. What's the title?

Jen said...

It's called "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (I haven't figured out the title yet) by Foer.

Renee said...

Thanks, I'll have to check my library!

keesh said...

Nee - Don't be mad, I haven't started yet :(. Things have been so hectic with the 4th and Mason's birthday, but I sure will try soon!

Renee said...

LOL! I'm not mad, Kish! I'm in no hurry to get the book back; I'm not the type to read a book more than once, unless there are many years between readings. Plus I know you don't LOVE to read anyway. But I promise you will like that book!

keesh said...

Nee - I finally started it last night and if my sister in law hadn't called I would have read more! I read like 15 pages and I was instantly drawn in!! It is good already. thanks!

Anna said...

I got The Good Earth. I'm not really feeling it yet so I hope it gets better.

Jen said...

Ditto, Anna.

Renee said...

Yay, Kish!! The Five People is the same way-- for me, anyway. Important for those who aren't book junkies :-)

I'm currently reading one called Chocolate Quake. It's one of those mystery novels with recipes. It was only a matter of time before I picked one of these up, ya know :-) Just started it over the weekend, so it's hard to tell yet, but I think it's gonna be really good.

Nik said...

I love Tolkien's work, but it's so damn complicated trying to keep all the people straight, considering all the differnt names each person has dependent on which race of people is referring to them. Thank God The Silmarillion has the cheat sheets at the back of the book, otherwise I'd be so lost!
Jen, where'd you find the book about the boy w/ the key? That one I must read. Still gotta read the Albom books too..........

Anna said...

I got into the Good Earth last night. I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about it so I had to get up and read some more.

My question for anyone who has read it is Does it end sad or happy? Don't tell me what happens, just tell me if it ends sad or happy.

Renee said...

I think she found it at the library, Nik.

Since Kish is reading Tuesdays With Morrie, I can send you The Five People You Meet in Heaven, if you're interested. I'm pretty sure I have your address...

Nik said...

Anna, I'm not gonna say anything at all. You'll just have to see how it ends on your own. hehehehe

Renee, that would be cool, but I couldn't tell you when you'd get it back. It takes me a bit to get through a book. I'm only half way through "the Silmarrilion" right now. I love to read, but don't have a whole lot of time to do it.
On another note, are you stalking me or something? How the heck would you have my address, or why even? lol

Renee said...

Yes, I'm stalking you. That was my heavy breathing on the phone the other night :-)

No, Deb gave me your address cuz I was gonna send you and Missy a new Home & Garden Party catalog. I just got my new ones in, so I will be sending one.

The only reason I would even NEED the book back is so Kish can read it, too. I very seldom read a book more than once. Or if you want, you can let me know when you're done with that Tolkien one and I can send it then.

Nik said...

Ooooh, a new catalog? Hook me up.
I'll let ya know when I'm done with the book I'm on too.

Renee said...

Sounds good!