Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Review #1177
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I did not like this novel. It was used for one of my writing classes and I just couldn't get into the novel. I wasn't impressed with the writing style or the main character...actually, I didn't like any of the characters, for that matter. I know some people who absolutely adore Woolf's writing style, but I'm not one of them. It was interesting to hear my classmates discuss the imagery and descriptions throughout the novel, but I just didn't like it. Nope, definitely not a fan.

Book Review #1176
Western Civilization: Images, Sources, and Interpretations, Volume 2 by Dennis Sherman
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This volume was pretty much the same as Volume I and served as a companion to our primary textbook. This book covered the next period of history and featured sources from ancient history as well as images/paintings and scholar opinions.

Book Review #1175
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Rating: one star (out of four)

Read this for one of my writing classes. And I'm sorry to say that I didn't like it at all. I didn't care for the overall sense of the characters and plot. I just wasn't sucked into the story and I didn't feel like the portrayal and feelings of the characters was engaging or relevant. There were several people in my class who loved this book, but I couldn't understand why. I was disappointed, especially because it won the Pulitzer. I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #1174
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Rating: two stars (out of four)

It was cool to read this with my American Literature class and really dive into the history and analogy of the story. I thought the descriptions and character interaction was well done and the story accurately showed the brutalities of war. I liked hearing my professor's analyzation of the novel and my peer's interpretation of the text. It was an interesting facet of history, but it wasn't my favorite book. I appreciated having it with the other readings for the literature class though.

Book Review #1173
The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume 2 by Nina Baym
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I definitely like American Literature more than British Literature and this volume featured a lot of authors I hadn't even HEARD of before. It offered a fairly broad overview of the literature at the time, although, as my professor pointed out, it still could have featured more women writers/native american authors/other minorities, but it highlighted some of the best known authors and their work. I really enjoyed the class because my teacher made the material interesting and as a class we looked at each text and discussed that time period and the different styles of writing.

Book Review #1172
Western Civilization: Sources, Images, and Interpretations, Volume 1 by Dennis Sherman
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This featured essays and art pieces we read as an accompanying manuscript to the fat history book. It was interesting to look at the two different perspectives: the people writing from their time period, and then the scholars evaluating the time period. It was a pretty good companion textbook.

Book Review #1171
Western Civilizations by Judith G. Coffin and Robert C. Stacey
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This did a pretty good job of summarizing and explaining western civilizations, (though my professor pointed out dryly that it went far too fast in certain chapters and often skipped centuries of knowledge) and it had interesting pictures and relevant fact tables/charts. The chapters felt long, but that's probably because I wasn't enamoured with this subject. I did enjoy the class though because my teacher had the wickedest sense of humor and would say hilarious things in class that most people missed because they were dozing off.

Book Review #1170
The Virginia Woolf Writers Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing by Danell Jones
Rating: two stars (out of four)

We used this book for one of my writing classes. I liked the writing exercises because they offered interesting perspectives and approaches, but the general feel of the book didn't appeal to me. Maybe it's because I don't think Virginia Woolf is the absolutely BEST writer in the world. So that's why the author's voice seemed presumptuous and slightly annoying. I felt that Virginia Woolf was elevated too much. But for fans of Woolf I can see how this might be a good writing companion.