Book reviews

Reading Along with Friends

At the Ambleside Online Forum, there are several groups that read together. I knew about this recently, at the time when they decided to read together the first Waverly novel. I did not manage to participate in that occasion, but I joined in November and December, when we read Alcott’s short Thanksgiving story, Aunt Jo Thanksgiving, and a short fairy tale by Dickens called The Cricket in the Hearth.
The vision is to read some books that are in the Ambleside Online list for higher years, -but it is not limited to those-, and most specially, to tackle books that would be difficult reads if done alone.
Our current book conversation and read is The Iliad, by Homer. As I always say, classics are usually quite different when you read them than the image, -whether positive or not so much-, we have of them. If I were not reading with friends, I don’t know if I would have persisted with this book. Now we are in chapter -or book- eleven, and I am finally getting used to Homer.


For the next discussion, several shorter readings were on the plate. We are in the mood for something lighter, yet with substance. Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog, by Jerome K. Jerome, was in the list. I have read this book which is in our AO list for the students in Jr. High, I believe. My dear friend Heather was reading it, and I finally decided to do the same last year. It is considered a Victorian novel. It is short, and hilarious.


Connie Willis, inspired by this book, wrote To Say Nothing of the Dog, a historic science fiction novel which I am now reading, and which is also very funny and entertaining.

It all indicates we are also interested in a book discussion of Frankenstein. There is yet another book we all want to discuss, that is The Deadliest Monster : A Christian Introduction to Worldview.

I brought these three titles from Spain. In my twenties, there was something called “El Círculo de Lectores”. There was a seller per area that came every month selling books door to door. I was a member of the club, and the only condition was to make at least one purchase a month. I always made several… unless I was broke and had to limit myself to just one book.
Most of the books I bought, I read. But I never read any of these three until some years ago when I felt for reading something in Spanish and I said, why not Dracula? Ever since, Dracula is one of my favorite psychological suspense book. It has nothing immodest, as some of the Dracula movies have. Definitely not gore, but yes, scary. The characters are unforgettable.
So it seems that 8 weeks or so from now, we will be laughing first, and then we will read Frankenstein, another classic that I am sure has much more substance than the movies made based on it.

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