Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Off-Topic "Book Review"

I'm on a literary roll.  Before I read "War and Peace," I read "Anna Karenina," also by Tolstoy.  It, too, is a great book.  It's a dark book for the most part but talks a lot, too, about the life of both gentry and peasant Russian people in the 1800's.  In addition to a great, but tragic for some characters, story line, it discusses the class system in effect in the 1800's, how the lives of the various classes differed, how farms were managed, and generally about life and the different ways people choose to live it. 

Again, as with War and Peace, I highly recommend this book.  Don't let the length of these books stop you; I promise you that you will want them to be even longer than they are once you are reading them.

Another great, great (but oh-so-depressing) author I can recommend very, very highly is Emile Zola, an amazing French author who wrote mostly of the lives of ordinary - or even "sub-ordinary" - people in the late 1800's.  Every single book I've read by him - and I've read many, many - has been great.  But I might add that my family would always ask me when I was down if I was reading yet another Zola book.  Some of my favorites have been:  L'Assomoir, L'Oeuvre, Germinal, Nana, La Bete Humaine, just to name a few.  Although I read them in French, I'm sure there are English translations easily available. 

Okay, that's it for now!  I'm currently reading (or sometimes re-reading) a whole stack of Charles Dickens novels.  The first in this list is "Bleak House."  I'll give reports later.  Comments?

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