Reading the Classics: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s great to read a novel whose villains are society snobs. Today I finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for the first time. Why did I wait so long to read it? The story is excellent and stands the test of time very well. It’s a story about family, class, connections and civility. The story centers around the Bennett family – a family of five girls with no male heirs to inherit the property and so it’s entailed to a male distant cousin of the father. This situation creates negative feelings towards the cousin and creates an urgency for the girls to marry quickly. Only men can inherit property and this is the cloud that hangs over the family. With that said, Mrs. Bennet uses every opportunity to see that her girls find a suitable match and much of the book is about that one thing. Her character at times is rather hysterical and provides some comical and ironic turns in the story. There’s plenty of emphasis on civility and manners – the lack of any found for Mr. Darcy, who’s seen as a stiff, arrogant and prideful man. Yet he’s the catch of the town. Continue reading

Rediscovering Manga: The Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku, 神の雫) Vol. 01

This is no whodunit, locked room mystery or a serial killer on the loose looking for victims. I wanted something different to dive into and rediscovered my manga collection. I have one bookcase devoted to manga/graphic novels. I don’t know what made me give them another look but I bought The Drops of God, vol.1 because of all the raves online at the time. And Amazon has digitized the entire series so you can read it on your Kindle Fire tablet or iPad mini and, btw, it looks great. Aside from that,there’s a comixology app that Amazon bought that inconvenienced the heck out of all of us who were using the app on our iOS devices to read our graphic novels at the time.  After Amazon’s purchase of comixology app, you could no longer make purchases on the app because of Apple’s 30% cut of all in-app purchases. So, from then on you had to leave the app, go to the website to make purchases then come back and read it. I think that’s around the time I quit reading graphic novels. Continue reading

Review of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was one of the most prolific writers of mysteries. She introduced styles and techniques copied still today. She doesn’t need an introduction. Currently in movie theatre’s Kenneth Branagh decided to film another version of this book starring himself in the title role of Hercule Poirot, the brilliant Belgian detective. I read somewhere that the 2017 movie is a vanity project. As the movie stands, it’s at 59% on the tomatometer. Back to the book, I read it over the course of several months. Bought it back in July 2015. I kept reading it on/off and in between other books this year. I realize that Murder on the Orient Express is a reader favorite. However, it’s not mine. I can appreciate the writing and the level of sophistication that it took to write this kind of plot but the ending left me unsatisfied. My rating is a 3/5. Sure, it’s a fun read but that ending was terrible. So, shocker! Not my favorite book. Continue reading