2017 52: A Farewell to Arms

By Ernest Hemingway

Rating:  1 out of 5

I’m sorry Literature professors, Hemingway fans, and classics fans, I think this is a terrible book with a terrible ending.  I think it was poorly written.  I can only assume the available books at the time of publication were seriously lacking for this to become a popular book.

From the flap:  “Lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I….”  Must have been no or very poor novels emerging from WWI.

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2017 9. The Woman in Cabin 10

By Ruth Ware

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

I haven’t quite finished this, so the rating might change.  Most of the book is kind of slow and average for me, but the portions about what’s going on back home keep it moving and exciting.  The excitement picks up in the last quarter of the book as well.

Really the bits between each part of the book, make the book.  It has a satisfactory ending as well.

2017 7. I Capture the Castle

By Dodie Smith

Rating 4.5 out of 5

I love this book!  This is our book club selection this month.  It has wit and romance and castles and suspense. Who IS Cassandra going to end up with, and what is Montmain doing at the British Museum?!

The author also wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

The descriptions of poverty are casual and eye-opening.

I love how the book names tell the story of their improving fortunes.

The word “bogus” is used twice in the book, and that amuses me in a book written in 1948.

I have to print several quotes from the book.

“…ham with mustard is a meal of glory.”

“The desire for solitude often overcomes her at house-cleaning times.”

“And I quite understood:  when things mean a very great deal to you, exciting anticipation just isn’t safe.”

“I am not so sure I should like the facts of life, but I have got over the bitter disappointment I felt when I first heard about them, and one obviously has to try them sooner or later.”

“Another great luxury is letting myself cry – I always feel marvelously peaceful after that.  But it is difficult to arrange times for it, as my face takes so long to recover; it isn’t safe in the mornings if I am to look normal when I meet father for lunch, and the afternoon are no better, as Thomas is home by five.  It would be all right in bed at night but such a waste as that is my happiest time.  Days when father goes over to read in the Scoatney library are good crying-days.”  p 232

“And what I though about most was luxury.  I had never realized before that it is more than just having things; it makes the very air feel different, and I felt different, breathing that air:  relaxed, lazy, still sad but with the edge taken off the sadness.  Perhaps the effect wears off in time, or perhaps you don’t notice it if you are born to it, but it does seem to me that the climate of richness must always be a little dulling to the sense.  Perhaps it takes the edge off joy as well as off sorrow.

And though I cannot honestly say I would ever turn my back on any luxury I could come by, I do feel there is something a bit wrong in it.  Perhaps that makes it all the more enjoyable.” P 266