Breadcrumbs - Erin Mcguire, Anne Ursu Jack and Hazel are best friends, even though Hazel’s loser status at school suggests that Jack doesn’t stand up for her very often. Hazel’s loyalty to him runs deep; when Jack mysteriously disappears, she runs off into a mythical realm to save him. Hazel is very likeable as a hero, and her isolation in school makes her pitiable. However, Ursu spent so much time explaining all of this that I expected some resolution with Hazel’s classmates and her teacher. Instead, the story ends without addressing either problem. I have to say, the story should have been longer, and I don’t just mean in an entertaining sense. The tension in the story mounted so quickly—and so thoroughly, with one threat after another—that I expected more difficulty once Hazel crossed into Snow Queen Territory. Hazel and the Snow Queen don’t even face off; they have a mild conversation and then peacefully part ways. It was, yes, a surprise but it was also anticlimactic. Some of the characters seemed half-sketched: the huntsman, who seems so important in his first appearance, barely affects Hazel’s journey at all; the girls who fell victim to the dancing shoes; the Little Match-Girl seemed one-dimensional and seemed to exist purely to hinder Hazel’s quest; and the wolves, whose unknown allegiances made them confusing figures in this mythical land. In fact, for all of Hazel’s woeful complaining about how terrible this world is, she shows no interest in trying to make it better. She has the strength to change everything—she is the only one who escapes from the magical adoptive-parents, charges alone to the Snow Queen’s palace, and escapes from the swan-seeking witch. Frankly, I expected more of a hero; when I didn’t get it— and specifically when Hazel actively refused to lend assistance, like when she didn’t try to save the other flower-girls or when she didn’t try to rescue the dancing girl—I felt like it was because the author had to no time to write it. Since Hazel’s difficulties in school were emphasized so much, I expected something to come out of all of that page-space: Tyler and her to team up, the Snow Queen to take over the real world, wolves to appear in the streets, etc. I feel like so much time was spent describing Hazel’s real-world troubles that, when she finally gets to the mythical world, it feels rushed.

Breakfast at Tiffany's - A Short Novel and Three Stories

Breakfast at Tiffany's - A Short Novel and Three Stories - Breakfast at Tiffany's2 starsThis is a very strange story to review. For one, the surface story really isn't what the story is about; the action in Breakfast at Tiffany's isn't the real story. The real story is that the narrator, a hopelessly lost man himself, falls in love with an equally-lost women; and, because of their detachment, they never connect. The dialogue worked really well here. Their personalities eek out in their quotes: Just like the narrator is a needy, romantic milquetoast, Holly is a needy, lost, and self-absorbed dramaqueen. But she is likeable. Mostly I felt sorry for her. I thought that Holly was a familiar character: someone who is so confused about who she is that she creates different, equally-charming personas to live in instead.House of Flowers4 starsThe writing here was beautiful. I was impressed with how well Capote depicted Port-au-Prince elegantly, and it had a lot of unexpected sensory detail. Character-wise, Ottilie was a great personality. I didn't particularly "like" her, but she had a great innocence about her. I thought that the imagined "curse" of Royal's grandmother reflected the ending. Royal was a little bit typical, and I failed to see what made Royal such a catch. But... maybe that was the intention.The Diamond Guitar2 starsI have to admit that this story didn't illicit much of an emotional reaction from me. Tico Feo didn't seem that fantastic, so Mr. Schaeffer's obsession with him became a little forced.A Christmas Memory4 starsI loved that this story was about an unconventional friendship--and it was NEVER commented-on how unconventional they were. This story is about a repetitive Christmas ritual but, really, this is about friendship. This was about an aging, slightly spinsterish woman and a seven-year-old boy who are so close that they understand each other better than anyone else. They are their best friends, and their adventures are heartwarming. I'm a dork and I love friendship stories.

Passport Not Required: U.S. Volunteers in the Royal Navy, 1939-1941

Passport Not Required: U.S. Volunteers in the Royal Navy, 1939-1941 - Eric Dietrich-Berryman, Charlotte Hammond, R. E. White This is about the twenty-two volunteers who, during the isolationist period in the United States, broke the law and joined the British Navy to help fight the Axis powers. This story is very interesting to read, as it shows how determined some US civilians were to join the British fight. Most of them had to escape to Canada and sign themselves up there, and others had to flee to Britain, because, even though Roosevelt secretly wanted to end the isolationism in America, he couldn’t outwardly support the US volunteers. Dietrich-Berryman painstakingly shows the convoluted nature of volunteering for the war, of bopping from one country to the next, assimilating into either Canada, France, or England, and training there. Many of the volunteers had no military background, some of them were old and well past the median age of enlisting. My favorite aspect of the story was when they depicted the hardened soldiers who stayed on-board ships. Some of the Americans were considered idealistic for their informal behavior in front of their superiors, and for rescuing torpedoed Germans (as is custom war civility). Homans dived into the Irish Sea to rescue some German officers, but his fellow officers were not pleased with his display of heroism. Likewise, Cherry (another American volunteer) had to deal with the lack of resolve in some of his fellow British officers. The Allies were fighting what seemed to be a hopeless war, and they were worn out from fighting so long, that it makes sense that their hope would occasionally flag in the face of more fighting. Additionally, an officer named Kauffman was responsible for deactivating and securing the unexploded, dropped bombs during the Blitz. In this field, nobody was an expert and the soldiers themselves were unsure of how each bomb would be secured. Kauffman once spent four hours securing a bomb in total darkness, because the bomb itself was sensitive to light. This story also shows the resilience of the Allies. There were many letters and interviews done with survivors of the Blitz, a consistent bombing campaign done on London that killed over 20,000 people and injured even more. However, these interviews also a dirty limerick about the ball-lessness of German officers, jokes about the gruesome wounds received during the bombings, and the squeamish British children who were afraid of the mice infesting the barracks (80-81). The story is very interesting, but the writing is very strained. Obviously, it is difficult to keep twenty-two main characters straight, in addition to their superiors and their job descriptions, but the a chronological timeline may have made reading it easier. As it is, the story opens with the deaths of a few of the volunteers, and then it repeatedly jumps back and moves forward, then jumps back again, it becomes increasingly harder to focus on each character and not confuse them with the others.

Sanditon: Completed by Another Lady

Sanditon: Jane Austen's Last Novel Completed - Marie Dobbs, Anne Telscombe, Jane Austen Considering who wrote this story, this review might ramble. This story is about Charlotte Heywood, though you wouldn’t be able to tell that right away by reading it. Austen spends the first five chapters dwelling on the Parkers and their obsession with the beach town Sanditon. Additionally, Charlotte’s introduction into the story was very subtle and, strangely, there is never a detailed depiction of Charlotte’s character. All of her qualities are expressed through the dialogue of other characters, who repeatedly cite her good sense and lack of ethereal beauty. All of the interactions between Charlotte and her paramour are expressed through dialogue, and they lack the slow-building tension that is featured in all of the other Austen novels. In the school of “show, don’t tell,” this is a forceful way to showcase character development, and I’m not sure it’s effective. Also, unlike in the other stories, this story occasionally branches out into the perspectives of other characters. “And despite all protests, he firmly directed the party across the bridge, leaving a disconsolate Sir Edward standing by the toll-gate, vaguely aware that he had just encountered someone a great deal more expert in getting his own way than he was himself” (123). Since Sir Edward doesn’t become a central character, this was also a little confusing. I was really excited to get read a Jane Austen novel for the first time again. I was, however, also skeptical. I always figured that authors, no matter how well-researched, can never successfully imitate another author. Unfortunately, I found that to be true here. Jane Austen only got eleven chapters in—and they were exposition chapters—before the secondary author took over. To be fair, the secondary author made a fairly seamless transition into the piece: the language remains eloquent and witty, and the surprises in characters reflect the surprises in plot. It reads very much like Jane Austen—that is, until the final fourth of the book. For whatever reason, around chapter twenty-four, the language slackens and the plot becomes increasingly romanticized. The final few plot twists were a little ridiculous, too: Charlotte assists in an elopement, something that makes little to no sense for the time period it was written in. Also, she is kidnapped—in a very satirical passage in which the damsel simply gets out and walks away rather than fall into hysterics. The kidnapping, while funny and in Austen’s style of anticlimactic gothic themes, felt a little too absurd for the story. This isn’t a rant. Expecting someone to finish an Austen novel, complete with Jane Austen’s voice and character development, is unfair. In fact, anyone who manages to give readers another book by Austen deserves acclaim. I just think that while likeable at parts, the final fourth part of the story got a little too sentimental and sounded a little too modern.

Little Women

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott This is really lovely story about family. I found the sister dynamic to be heartfelt and realistic. I know that some people think that the sisters' fights were a little intense, but in my opinion that is how families fight. Sometimes you can say worse things to your siblings than you can say to your enemies, because they Jo was my favorite character. She was tremendously flawed--bad-tempered, impatient, and caustic when provoked--but she was also the least rigid in her beliefs. Her witticisms with Laurie were welcome comic relief to a story that focused so much on tragedy and religious devotion. While I'm sure this wasn't her intention, Alcott also defied a few clichés of fiction. For one, she squashed the idea that all boy-girl friendships end up romanced. Laurie and Jo are best friends, but not lovers and I appreciated that she showed that friendships can be twice as meaningful as any romantic relationship. In addition, I also liked that Alcott didn't make Beth a victim. Oftentimes the quiet characters are written off as weak because they are shy and defenseless when they're nice. Beth is sweet and soft-spoken, but she is also, emotionally, the strongest character in the story. She is the one who wins over their cantankerous neighbor, who bravely continues to conquer her fear of social interactions, and who inspires Jo to write again. One issue I had with the story, and it's something I've heard other readers mention, is the very old-fashioned notion that women can only be happy if they are married with children. My favorite passage of this story is when the March sisters and Laurie dream of their "castles in the sky," and they pick independent dreams. However in the same chapter it is insisted (for the umpteenth time) that women can only find true joy in that "of wife and mother." While Alcott insists on finding sympathy for old maids, she also pities them. Obviously, times have changed and back then women were expected to marry and have babies, but it popped up so often that it irritated me. I still really connected with the story, but this is why it's getting a 4-star rating instead of 5.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell This book got me out of my reading slump. I know that I'm not spoiling it for anyone when I say that this is about a relationship. I know that the title sounds cutesy but this book wasn't nearly as sentimental as I thought it would be. For one thing, it took place in the 1980's, so there was a lot of Walkman references and Avon make-up mentioned. (Not that those things aren't still cool and exist today, but it sounded newer in the story.) For another, the backstories of these characters--particularly Eleanor--is gritty. Gritty backstories in YA novels gets me worried sometimes; in some books I've read the Big Bad Experience gets plopped down mid-plot, and it only exists to make the main character cry. These Big Bad Experiences usually include abruptly-cruel parenting. While, yes, there are bad parents in the world and there are bad parents in fiction, if the parents are going to play a major role I feel that they have to be realistic and dynamic for the novel. And, if not, there are more eloquent, and less violent, ways of showing character vulnerability. (Rant over.) That said, Rowell handles this situation well. Both Park and Eleanor's parents are flawed and interesting, and while there is grit, it feels true to their characters. I liked the detailed progress of Eleanor and Park's relationship. There was a lot of humor put into their interactions, which makes up for the dramatic antics of high school love. Park and Eleanor are insecure, lost teenagers who are trying to be adults, and despite their bumbling I rooted for them the whole book.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain This book was therapeutic to read. Susan Cain delves into the science behind extroversion and introversion. While this may sound stiff and boring, I assure you it's not. Cain did do painstaking research, from observations in fifth-grade classrooms to Harvard's MBA program to thirty-year-old case studies, but she translates all of the DNA coding and statistics into compelling laymen's terms. This book validated a lot of quirky personality traits that either I myself possess or I recognize in other people. I've always felt that I have to justify my quiet time, and get criticized by some of my friends for running off to read rather than socialize. But as Cain explains, some people are just wired that way; some people get so exhausted by social interactions that by the end of the day, they have to recharge in solitude. She points out that socializing is good, and that shyness shouldn't be an excuse to hide from others, but that everyone has their comfort levels and that each should be respected. She covered everything in this book: extrovert-introvert marriages, extroverted parents dealing with introverted children, introverts working in extroverted careers, extrovert-focused education in America (versus other countries), and the positive impact introverts can make through quiet power. Disclaimer: This is a book for everyone. I promise, Cain isn't ragging on extroverts. But she does show that everybody has their own personalities, people who like to take the stage and those who prefer to work behind the scenes, and that both qualities have their merit.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez This book was about the Garcia family and their journey from the Dominican Republic to the United States, and the assimilation there. This is told through swapping perspectives--sometime it is told through third-person limited, through Yolanda's first-person description, or Fifi's first person description, or from the POV of the Garcia's maid back in the Dominican Republic. It is also told out of order, which is fun to read. In brackets and in pieces, I got to figure out how the Garcia's fit in New York, why they left, how they left, and the cultural differences between countries. This story also reminded me a little of The Namesake, in the way that settling in a new country is described. There are prejudices, language barriers--colloquial language, too--and a sense of unease that Alvarez carries throughout the novel. The writing here was beautiful, and even though some of the narration is confusing to follow at first, it was elegant story-telling.

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness Inexplicable Emotional Attachment. That’s what I have for this book. Sure, it may not be pristine: the illustrations are jagged and messy, the storyline is tragic and dark, and it involves the cancer subplot that so many young adult novels use. And yet this just made my Top Books Ever Read list. Because I don’t just love this book, I’m reading it again before the twenty-four hour time period is up. I want to buy another copy, in the off chance something happens to the copy I already have. Yep, all because I have Inexplicable Emotional Attachment: the illustrations are achingly beautiful and speak directly to the turmoil going on inside Conor; the monster, assumed to be boring, is my favorite character. I went into this book with high expectations, and usually that leads to an annoyed reader, but this exceeded what I anticipated. This isn’t a story about cancer, though there is a hospital element. This isn’t a story about what a bummer tragic loss is either, though tragedy is the bedrock of this story. This book has more heart than anything I’ve read all year, and it rang true on every page. This is a book about stories: stories people tell you to make you feel better, stories that are so true they never get told, and stories of life that have no sentimental lesson. I also am here in defense of the monster. Many an award-winning novel are bereft of terrifying monsters. Here Ness amends that oversight. Quote of the book: “Stories are wild creatures. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?” This is one of those books I’d hand out to strangers.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Rating: 3.5Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a fun, intelligent story about Clay, a unassuming clerk who takes a job as a bookstore clerk. I enjoyed the cultish aspects of this story and, not to give anything away, but it was a trippy way to look at books and what they mean. As far as characters go, Sloan has a set of eccentric customers who milled in and out of the bookstore. But in an ironic twist by the end of the novel, compared with the cults and the Googlers, they appeared very normal. However, I wish the book had gotten more into Neel's relationship with Clay, because I find friendships really interesting in novels, but the story was to-the-point and ended succinctly. Now to explain the 3.5 rating: On Goodreads, three stars means that I liked it. Some people think three is insulting, but here I gave it 3.5 because I liked the book. True, I have heard nothing but positive things about this book, so I went in with high expectations. But I wasn't disappointed at all. This book WAS good, and I DID like it. But... that was it. I got the glow you get when you read a good book, but it didn't stay with me. In other words, it didn't make me run outside and brag about the book to strangers. I do consider this a recommendable book, though; this is a fun adventure story, with many unexpected turns and memorable characters.

Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin of the Rock  - Melina Marchetta I was really disappointed by this. I had heard great things about the Lumatere Chronicles, and I enjoyed Jellicoe Road—a contemporary novel written by the same author. While the storyline is decent, and I do like many of the characters, I have issues with the plot, the romance, and Evanjalin. Let’s start with plot. I saw the major plot twist coming on page five, so the big reveal fell flat. The perspective stays mostly with Finnikin—which I am grateful for, because he is the only dynamic character in the novel. His character goes through the most intensive change, whereas the rest of the characters barely adjust at all. Even the soldiers in the Guard, as much as I like them, remain static figures. The first issue I have with the novel is the romance. (A) There is a primary love story in this novel, and while I am oversensitive to InstaRomance, when I was reading it struck me as underdeveloped. I found no emotional connection between the two paramours, and after rereading certain “romantic” passages, their passion seems forced. When the main plot picks up, their relationship barely holds my interest. (B) On a positive note, it is the side-character romance that catches my attention. Trevanion and Beatriss are the couple I can get invested in. Their relationship is told primarily through flashbacks and Beatriss has such an emotional impact that just saying her gave pushes Trevanion into a volatile outburst. Throughout the book, I kept hoping that it would take the Relationship Centerstage, but it kept getting pushed off to the end of the book. The biggest problem I have with the novel is Evanjalin: I can’t like her. Now, I know that not all characters have to be likeable, but while reading I keep getting the impression that I am supposed to like her. The other characters all worship her, even a character that viciously attacks her within the first few chapters. She is seen as beautiful, strong, independent, honest, and the perfect leader—and she is depicted as a goddess by everyone. Since this is told to me rather than shown through her actions, this kind of description feels a lot like authorial pressure. In addition, I cannot stress this enough: she is NOT a leader. She may be a spy, maybe even a warrior, but she has horrendous leadership skills. For one, she is hardly independent; she makes other people take risks for her cause, and she only endangers herself when other people depend on her survival. Twice she abandons her party of friends, and both times her presence is crucial to the mission. Additionally, both times she takes off because of personal issues rather than the good of others. She also gets into pointless arguments with Finnikin, usually insulting him with caustic guilt-trips, whenever he does something she doesn’t like. Again, I’m not saying that she has to be a perfect character. With more fitting descriptors, she would be a fine character. But in this context, her attributes do not match her praise. I’m not sure if I am going to read the rest of the series, in case it gets better further along.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home - This novel broke my heart. It did. The narrator is so incredibly honest, and guides this story so effortlessly. It's safe to say that character development is what made the book for me. No character was simple, or create sentimentally, the struggles that happen in this story were real. June is a lonely, jealous, and grief-stricken protagonist and the effects of that are deeply felt. The writing was also amazing. Even though this is fiction, Brunt makes this book feel like a personal story, and June narrates like someone confessing. In fact, this story was so beautiful that when the ending came, I was really surprised to be jolted from the story. The pacing ramped up way too quickly, and suddenly everything came to a head and ended. I felt like I was dumped out of the story twenty pages before the end. Toby's storyline dropped off and didn't come back until the very end, and even then it seemed a little too sugary-sweet and predictable. The writing became surprisingly impersonal, and I had trouble connecting with June again. Maybe this is just my issue. Apart from the ending, this was an INCREDIBLE novel.

East of Eden

East of Eden (Steinbeck Centennial Edition) - John Steinbeck I have such strong feelings about this novel that I have to divide it into sections to show all of its greatness. The only thing I knew about this book was that it was a Biblical tale involving the Hamilton family and the Trask family. Since I knew neither family going in, I had the freedom to be surprised by what happened. Respecting that, I will make this review as spoiler-free as possible. First of all, if anyone feels irked by the religious undertones of the story, I assure you that the story unfolds like any other and there is no ulterior weight to the story; I never felt, while reading, that I was being beaten over the head with Scripture. I became so invested in the characters that I never recognized any religious themes until after I had finished the novel, and even then they only resonated with me because I was told they were there. On its own, I might not have noticed. As far as plot goes, this story spans quite a few generations, all of which share the inexplicable, messed-up nature of family life. Steinbeck manages to articulate the difficult nature of blood ties, and digs into how each character's background affects their perspective. Okay, now for the gushing... I fell completely in love with the Hamilton family, and their patriarch Samuel. I felt that Samuel was the heart of the novel, and while there were plenty of pages featuring him, there were never enough for me. In the same way, Lee became the soul of the book. His ruminations and his way of seeing through other people, even if it was not to their detriment, provided so much emotional leeway that I cannot imagine the story without him. There is one passage at the end involving him that reduced me to almost-tears. (I don't cry when I read books, generally.) And the Trask clan, with their almighty baggage, gave the story most of its friction and left me feeling tense all the way up to the end. While this story is long, I never got irritated with the pacing. I also felt that the local color was beautifully rendered and believable. While I have never seen Salinas myself, I feel like I've been painted a perfect image of how life back then must have been. And as my gushing insinuates, I haven't come this close to crying while reading a book in a very long time. This goes without saying but, yes, I recommend it!

UnWholly (Unwind, #2)

UnWholly - Neal Shusterman To say this book is suspenseful is an understatement. Just like Unwind, it is a nerve-wracking, emotionally-charged dystopia. The narrators from the previous novel--Connor, Rise, and Lev-- all return, and each end up going on their own journeys in a world of unwinding. The plot is relatively strong. There are a lot of pieces on the proverbial chessboard here, and Shusterman somehow manages to not only keep everyone straight, but give an emotional core to each of them. The characters are fully-developed and are passionate people, and it's interesting to see the jarring ideals of each narrator: some of them are in favor of tithing, others find it a repulsive practice; some are dispassionate about the cause and are only looking out for those they care about, whereas others are trying (and sometimes failing) to be heroes for everyone. Like I mentioned, there are a few more narrators in this story... and maybe that is a few too many. We get further inside Nelson's mind (Nelson, the police officer who tried to capture Lev, Risa, and Connor in the first book); we also see new sides of the Juvies, and of the people in the Graveyard. While that is interesting, it is also a lot of people to keep track of. Some of the names began blurring together, particularly when we hopped not only POVs but also general landscapes. (Some of the characters are in different states.) While the story itself was made more interesting by these changes, I occasionally got confused. I thought the writing was pretty good. Shusterman keeps a balancing act of suspense and comic relief. This story has a great pace, and the energy never lets up. However, there were a few clichés that stood out and, because the material is so original, it was a little disappointing to see. For example, at one point in the story two characters emotionally connect over what is "right," and then coo over how they now "see" the light. This kind of forced dialogue happened VERY few times; but when it came up, since this is such a dark story, it struck me as a little strange.


Villette - Charlotte Brontë,  Susan Fromberg Schaffer Disclaimer: this is not a ranting review. In fact, I enjoy parts of the story a great deal and I find Lucy Snowe to be a complex and introspective narrator. I also really appreciate the brave journey she went on, leaving her home and settling somewhere new. That kind of adventure is not often portrayed in novels during the time period this was written in. I understand that Villette was a brave, feminist piece when it was first published, because it showed a likeable Christian woman breaking away from the traditional role of wife and mother. Lucy Snowe is indeed likeable, and this perspective makes me appreciate the book even more. But, when I was reading it, I was also disappointed with the ending. I was hoping that this independent woman would… stay independent. I was hoping that, following her success at the French school, she would continue traveling and see the world. I was hoping that, after reading all of her books and referencing all of these exotic places, she would take the initiative and try to go there herself. I also have some issues with the Gothic elements of the story. I understand that Charlotte Bronte is a Gothic writer by nature, but her story had so much realism in it that I found some of the stray Gothic themes a little distracting. For one thing, she faints a few times—from loneliness—and is incapacitated for months on end. This interferes with her schoolwork and makes her appear delicate to the men in the story, which is a pet peeve for me. Why do women always have to appear delicate for men to like them? I was hoping that, since Bronte took great pains to show Lucy’s strength, Lucy would have more backbone than that. As far as character development goes, I thought that Lucy—for all of her faults—is a very well-rounded character. In addition, Graham goes through a very profound transformation, though he too has a penchant for delicate women. However, some of the side characters lack depth; the schoolchildren are always portrayed as tittering, difficult idiots who Lucy is doomed to teach. I am a little unnerved at this concept, because it implies that none of the women in this story—save Lucy— have any intellectual ambition; this hinders the story, because it seems that while all the men walking around are bright and adventurous, the women are put there to be charming. And the only impulse of power the school girls take, acting in the play, is described by Lucy as a nefarious affair. I assume that Bronte herself had to deal with the stereotype of the silly female plaything, and I would have thought that she would have gone to greater lengths to show the diversity of women, and the dissatisfaction some female students had with their schooling back then. I’m still going to explore more of the Bronte sisters’ work, but Villette was a bit of a disappointment.

Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems

Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems - Alfred Lord Tennyson,  Glenn Everett (Introduction) I found Tennyson's Idylls of the King to be very readable. Tennyson has a very clear verse that is both eloquent and easy to follow. He writes several stories from the Arthurian canon. My personal favorite is "Gareth and Lynette." It's an unconventional adventure story, and it's one of the few times that the women in Camelot are shown taking action. And, as proven in "Lancelot an Elaine," Tennyson manages to bring sympathy to some unlikeable Camelot characters. This version also includes poetry outside of Camelot lore. "The Lady of Shalot" is probably his more famous poem, but "The Kraken" is also really interesting.

Currently reading

Doctor Zhivago (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation)
Progress: 157/653 pages
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude
Progress: 212/735 pages