Lily’s Literature #1

I’ve been waiting to use that alliteration for way too long now. I’ve started reading a lot more these days. I think I’ve been out of school long enough to want to read again. Reviewing three books at a time seems to work for me, but that also means that there will be lag time between my literature posts because it takes me a long time to read. My last literature post was HERE.

Sometimes I like to be brave and trust reviews about books that I’ve never heard anything about otherwise. Usually if my mom has read a book and liked it, I know that I’ll like it too. Whenever I branch out from her suggestions, I always regret it. That’s what happened to me with this book, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht.

This book has tons of accolades and best sellers written all over it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Also, the author seems so young from her picture that I couldn’t really believe that she wrote any of it. The story takes place in a made up country somewhere in Eastern Europe it seemed to me. The main character was a girl in her mid twenties who was a young doctor. Her grandfather with whom she grew up, recently died and she wanted to find out more about his life.

The story cuts in and out of her life and her grandpa’s memories and stories. Some of the stories were mildly interesting, but I just didn’t become attached to the characters at all. I could care less about them. They weren’t very developed. However, the writing was beautiful. The stories were detailed and flowed nicely, but I just couldn’t find myself caring. It’s unfortunate because I really wanted to like this one.

I’m uber happy that I picked up my next book though. I knew I had to make up for not liking The Tiger’s Wife, so I had to pick something good. Almost too good. I choose East of Eden by John Steinbeck. And oh my lord did it make up for it. The writing was like butta. It just flowed and oozed greatness. If you ever want to feel like you’re a crappy writer and accomplished nothing in life, read East of Eden4406

The story is about a man named Adam Trask and his complete life story. Like, literally his complete life. I felt like I knew Adam Trask personally. The story ebbs and flows throughout the trails and tribulations that Adam has to endure, the people he meets, the lovers he has, and the places he lives. This piece of work shows how well Steinbeck knew man kind.

What the most surprising part of this book is, in my opinion, that John Steinbeck is one of the characters–it’s semi-autobiographical. He’s not a big character, but he’s part of a family that intertwines with Adam’s family. Most of the characters though, mimic those of the well-known biblical stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel.

What I’m trying to say is, that if you only get the chance to read one book in your life, you should read East of Eden. Plus it’s really chunky so it will look impressive on your shelf.

And the most recent book that I finished is Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk CrossThis is the beautiful tale about a girl defying the odds and achieving above and beyond what anyone told her she could. Joan was born into a poor household in Frankland in the 9th Century AD. She had a peculiar parental arrangement in that her mother was a saxon “heathen” that her father, a missionary priest, converted to his Christian ways. Joan’s mother was anything but converted and taught Joan about her Norse gods and goddesses. pope-joan

Joan yearned for knowledge and was told she would accomplish nothing because she was born a female. Not only did she prove them wrong, she eventually ruled over them all. I suggest this book if you’re into girl power and love a good underdog story. And a bit of history as well.


41 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #1

    • I don’t know about that. Maybe just a woman who wastes her time. The other two are amazing, for sure. My next Lily’s Literature should prove interesting because it will have at least one humor based book. I like to mix it up a bit!

  1. I can’t keep track of all the books with possessive titles: The Tiger’s Wife, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Alchemist’s Daughter, The Pilot’s Wife. If I ever write a novel, I’m just going to call it The Person’s Noun.
    Glad to see Steinbeck still being read.

    • Ooo I’ll have to check that out. I love short stories. I think I wrote a post about my favorites. No, I’m sure I did. Haha you never know, you might like The Tiger’s Wife! It just wasn’t for me. Anytime!

  2. You say “if you can only read one book in your life” that it should be East of Eden. Now I’m imagining kindergartners learning to read based off that book then giving up because it’s too difficult. I don’t even know how people learn about books or music or other more obscure things like independent movies. Especially before the Internet you always had to really take a risk.

    • You bring up a good point. Okay maybe if you only read 10 books in your life, East of Eden should be one of them. You would like it Tim, I promise you. But yeah I guess taking risks never really works out for me. I just have to trust that people know what I like and go off of their recommendations.

  3. I need to venture into the classics. I’m putting East of Eden on my list. I’m reading a wonderful book by a local Colorado author called “Dog Stars” by Peter Heller. It’s a post-apocalyptic story that is somehow uplifting (so far). This from a person who couldn’t get more than a chapter into “The Road”.

    • Sounds groovy! I always want to read all the classics but I find them boring at times. I hate The Scarlet Letter and I almost fell asleep during Pride and Prejudice. I don’t know–some are great and some are boring. But that’s just my opinion.

      But yeah, definitely check out East of Eden! I’ll check out Dog Stars!

      • Don’t bother with “Ethan Frome” if you are on a classics kick. You will never be able to look at a sledding hill the same way. I hear it is snowy over there in Canada, eh? Lots of sledding I imagine. Why ruin it for yourself.

      • Lol luckily I live above Seattle where it doesn’t snow too much (Vancouver Island) otherwise it sounds like I would be traumatized. I’ll take your advice Viv!

  4. I would like your take on: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean. I just finished it and I would be interested in how you would review it. HF

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    Impressive post Lily. You and your mom are like the Thursday Titans of WP–Too much brain power in one family :0) Anything about books, I just love! I cannot write reviews at all– I get flummoxed and word tied. (Even worse at work when I have to actually talk)

    • Aww thanks doll face. Lol my mom has the brain power. I just have a brain…I don’t think it’s that powerful…! I bet you could write awesome reviews. Or write reviews in the form of poems! You’re amazing at writing poems. DO IT. I always get tongue tied when I have to talk (especially if I’m trying to prove a point or debating someone..!).

  6. I don’t even know if I read three books the entire of last year, I probably did actually.. mebbes like five? I spent £50 on a case for my Kindle that has a built in light and I still barely use it! In any case, if I was around when Joan was, she’d be in the kitchen where she bloody well deserves!

    • See, I like holding actual books so I don’t know if I’m ever going to invest in a Kindle, but they do look cool. Haha you would be a total slave driver to poor Joan, I know you would. I usually don’t read this much, and I’m a really slow reader, but I’m trying my best!

      • Holding real books is annoying, it’s an argument that everyone uses when they don’t want to buy one but I buy a book for the stuff inside it not how it feels haha. I havent once been sorry I bought one, plus I still buy real books from time to time, it’s not either/or 🙂

    • Usually pretty good? Guapo playin’ it cool. Hah that’s what i usually do–wait for the movies to come out. And then if someone asks me if I’ve read the book, I’ll just say yes. Heh

  7. Pingback: Lily’s Literature | Lily In Canada

  8. Pingback: Lily’s Literature | Lily In Canada

  9. Steinbeck, really? REALLY? Did you read the Grapes of Wrath and feel the joy sucked out of life? How about a Little Mice and Men, that was short but depressing as all hell. Ack…..

    • Dude, I’ve never read Grapes of Wrath! On my list though. Loved East of Eden, loved Of Mice and Men. Seriously though, East of Eden is beautiful. Also, you should read Pope Joan! It’s so good too.

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