Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

March 18

Comments: 4

BTT: Shakespeare or Hemingway?

by Ann-Kat

TIR Books

booking through thursday It’s Thursday and you know what that means…another edition of Booking Through Thursday is here.

This week’s question is: Which do you prefer? Lurid, fruity prose, awash in imagery and sensuous textures and colors? Or straight-forward, clean, simple prose?

Florid or unadorned prose? It’s a difficult decision to make if you enjoy both. But, my preference often depends upon mood and whether said florid prose shifts into the realm of purple and whether the unadorned prose is so sparse as to remove all color.

Two good examples to illustrate my point are The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (review) and I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder (review). (Bet you thought I was going to say Shakespeare and Hemmingway, didn’t you?) I enjoyed both of these books although the former was especially florid:

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.

While the latter was spare in its language:

I pull out the bikini.
The one Jackson bought me.
The one I wore that day.

I can’t wear it.
I won’t wear it.
Never
ever
again.

I should throw it away.
But Jackson gave it to me.
It’s the last thing he gave me.
So I’ll keep it.
But I won’t wear it.

To me, it all boils down to deftness of the writer and whether I’m in the mood to savor a book or devour it.

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February 19

Comments: 6

Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

by Ann-Kat

The Last Unicorn Cover

Back Cover of The Last Unicorn

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone…

…so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of the despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction.

Three Quick Points About The Last Unicorn

  • Point 1: Nature plays a large role. The textures, the aromas, and the sounds all center around the things that grow and thrive in nature; shifting from air to sea to fire to earth to metal, and sometimes intermingling.
  • Point 2: The unicorn is rather vain, but in such a way that her vanity seems justified. Throughout the text we’re reminded that the unicorn is the most beautiful creature, much of which is her own musing, and when she’s turned human, she’s incredibly distraught because she’s mortal and dying, and therefore no longer beautiful.
  • Point 3: This book is a musical without the sheet music. If anyone had any doubts that Mr. Beagle enjoys writing lyrics, hand them this book. Just about everyone sings something at some point, ranging from the silly and nonsensical to the melancholy.

Continue reading »

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October 30

Comments: 5

Reconnecting with Childhood

by Ann-Kat

The Last Unicorn by the moon

Childhood, it’s a place we’ve all been at one time or another, where anything is possible and there’s usually that one (or possibly two or three) story that is its cornerstone.

Yesterday, I went on a mini-adventure as I was perusing the aisles of Amazon. I went through the usual adult fare, plucking out titles and covers I thought sounded or looked interesting. My shopping list grew, as usual. But before I clicked on the purchase button, I did something unexpected…I typed in the word unicorns. Continue reading »

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