Monday, April 3, 2017

100 Best Novels Roundup, Vol. 2

Last month, I did a one post roundup of all the 100 Best Novels I read in February. It worked so well that I am doing it again. Here are mini reviews of the three novels from the list which I read in March:
Appointment in Samarra

Title: Appointment in Samarra
Author: John O'Hara
Publication Date: 1933
Pages: 251
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 3/3/17

What I Thought: I have been long anticipating this novel. Will Schwalbe talked about it fairly extensively in his book The End of Your Life Book Club, which I really enjoyed. He wrote:
"[Appointment in Samarra is] a book about setting things in motion and then being too proud and stubborn to apologize and to change course. It's about thinking that being raised a certain way gives you the right to behave badly."
He's got it exactly right. I definitely enjoyed this book more than others on the list, though it would not rank in my top five or anything. The story felt more accessible than many others on the list, somehow. It wasn't perfect for me; there were several points where my interest waned. Overall, though, I enjoyed it.

Quote I Loved: "In the hands of a woman the strongest man in the world is weak."

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Maybe

A Farewell to Arms
Title: A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Publication Date: 1929
Pages: 293
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 3/14/17

What I Thought: I read my first Hemingway just a few months ago for this challenge. I was thrilled, though not surprised, to discover I like his writing. I liked A Farewell to Arms even more. How I made it this far without ever reading Hemingway...I'm still baffled by that fact. This is the last Hemingway on the list, but I hope to read more of his work after finishing the challenge.

Quote I Loved: "Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates."

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Maybe

I, Claudius
Title: I, Claudius
Author: Robert Graves
Publication Date: 1934
Pages: 468
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 3/23/17

What I Thought: This was a total departure from the other books on the list, a fact I greatly appreciate. Although, maybe it's not so different than all those melodramatic British novels; it just has a very different setting. I liked Graves style and the story was interesting. If you like history from the Roman era, then this will appeal to you.

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Maybe

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