New Year, New Books

2014For me, 2013 ended with a whirlwind of reading.  In the past two weeks, I’ve read The Phantom of the Opera, The Dark is Rising, The Humans, and Mansfield Park  (And a good deal of picture books, due to the fact that I’ve had the job of entertaining little cousins for the past week).

I read Phantom simply because it’s a classic, and I hadn’t read it before.  As I read more and more classics, I have come to understand that classics are classics for a reason.  If thousands (even millions) of people have liked a book before me, then chances are, there’s some merit to that book.  And in this case, all of those that came before me were right.  I loved reading Phantom of the Opera.  I had (of course) seen the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum, but that was basically as far as my knowledge had led me.  The book astounded me and enlightened me.  So much was revealed behind the character of the Phantom.  The story had a great deal of unexpected humor (mainly in the form of the two opera house managers), and in general, it was a great read to close my first semester of junior year with.

The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper, is  a slightly less well-known book.  It is the second novel in a sequence of five, the first being Over Sea, Under Stone.  I got the boxed set as a Christmas gift back when I was in elementary school, and ever since then, I have reread The Dark is Rising every Christmas.  It is the tale of my favorite kind, involving magic, history, and of course, highly relatable characters.  A coming of age story, The Dark is Rising has long been on my list of simply good books.

Right after Christmas, I started on The Humans by Matt Haig.  I had originally heard of it from the blog, Blogging for a Good Book (Right here on WordPress!).  Read their review of The Humans here.  I was shocked at how much I loved The Humans.  I read it in a single day, simply due to the fact that I couldn’t put it down.  I enjoyed every single moment of The Humans.  Indeed, I knew I was going to like it when I read the quote, “I have just got a new theory of eternity” by Albert Einstein, and, as anyone that knows me would know, Einstein is one of my heroes.  Overall though, the book was just filled with quotable material and interesting information.  There was great humor, grave importance, and much more.   The Humans has most definitely earned a place among my favorite books.

Lastly, on those last days of 2013, I read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  Austen has been one of my favorite authors since I first read Pride and Predjudice in fourth grade, and I am assuming that I have read Mansfield Park before, because it seems vaguely familiar, and I wouldn’t have intentionally missed reading one of Austen’s novels, however, I didn’t really recall it at all, so I decided to read (reread?) it.  Mansfield Park was wonderful, as expected, though never quite as good as Pride and Predjudice.  

Now, on to the new year.  I have a stack of books that I have both purchased and checked out from the library that I am getting ready to read.  This stack includes (but is not limited to), Misery by Stephen King, Other People We Married by Emma Straub, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Ten Days by Janet Gilsdorf, and many, many more than I cannot remember at this point in time.

As I'm traveling, I only brought a small stack of books with me to read on my trip.  I bought Tell the Wolves I'm Home while I was here, in South Dakota, with family.

As I’m traveling, I only brought a small stack of books with me to read on my trip. I bought Tell the Wolves I’m Home while I was here, in South Dakota, with family.

I am excited to read all of my new books!  The used bookstore here in town is calling my name, but as I’ve already blown a bit too much money on this trip, I am trying to resist.

What are you all reading in this new year?

Claire Marie

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