It’s been a while since I last wrote one of these posts, hasn’t it? And I certainly have been reading some good books. We’ll start with….Dickens.
For a while now, I’ve really wanted to read Our Mutual Friend. Which is why I put it on my September goals to purchase. I didn’t have to wait long because my friend Ali Raye actually sent it to me for my birthday! Because of other books I need to read this September, I’m only about 100 pages into it, but so far it’s been very interesting. Here’s what’s on the back of the book.
“Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance – Old Harmon’s profitable dust heaps – and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr. Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneerings; and the uunscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. Dickens’s last completed novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and of the corrupting power of money.”
I can’t wait to finish reading it. I just love Dickens’s writing style. Dark, twisted, and mysterious.
Next we have The Lion of St. Mark by G.A. Henty, another favorite author. I’ll admit, my first Henty (The Cat of Bubastes) I never finished and I was a bit intimidated by his works. But after reading The Dragon and the Raven and several others (discussed here) I realized that hmmm….I might just start loving his novels. Which is true now, and no surprise there, as they’re historical fiction (I love history!), well-written, and quite interesting, if I may add. The Lion of St. Mark is set in Venice in the fourteenth century. It centers on an English-born, Venice-raised lad. It’s full of pirates, saving damsels in distress, spying, and all in all, a very fast-paced, energetic book. It was so good!
Moving on to…The Faith of America’s Presidents by Daniel Mount. Okay guys, funny story here – we actually used to go to church with the author of this book and had him over for Sunday dinner once! Isn’t that cool? I actually didn’t even read (or purchase) his book until last month. I decided that since I’m learning American History this fall, it’d be a good idea to get some of the background on the presidents of our nation. The book was so well written and very thorough, starting with any influences on the beliefs of the different presidents from birth. I learned quite a bit and although it didn’t read as a story, I did actually enjoy reading it! (I’ll admit here I enjoyed reading my American History textbook….so…yeah.)
Last but not least, I have Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More – Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (by Karen Swallow Prior). I had seen this book on a blog, and then as I was browsing around Amazon one day, I saw it again! It looked really good so I picked it up. (or rather, shipped it) I’d never heard of Hannah More except in Amazing Grace – there’re a couple scenes with her in it. It was a really well done biography; not story form, however, which was a bit disappointing, but very factual and interesting. It was very inspirational. I’m amazed about how much she is forgotten when she really worked so hard to abolish the slave trade.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed all these books and would definitely recommend them!