Book Reviews · Challenge · Reading

Mini Reviews: Books 80 – 71

Starting a challenge of 100 books, following a set list, no matter how long or boring the book is, seems daunting. I can’t believe I finished 30 of the books in total! Below is an overview and mini reviews of books 80-71 on the list.

(You can find the mini reviews of books 90-81 here and 100-91 here.)

#80: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

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Grade: F
Favorite Quote:

“To know you will be lonely is not the same as being alone.”

Mini Review:

Tough novel to get through. Very confusing and I did not feel any connections to the characters whatsoever.

For a full review click here.

#79: Wide Saragasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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Grade: B
Favorite Quote:

“Unhappily children do hurt flies.”

Mini Review:

I really enjoyed this book that set out to humanize Bronte’s mad ghost, Bertha .. and truly achieved it.

For the full review click here.

#78: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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Grade: D
Favorite Quote:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a great deal on where you want to get to, said that cat.”

Mini Review:

I had high expectations of this classic but was very disappointed. To me, it was too crazy, too whimsical, to scattered, didn’t make much sense, and plain annoying.

For a full review click here.

#77: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Grade: C
Favorite Quote:

“You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.”

Mini Review:

I could not stand this book for the first 100 pages and could not fathom how I will possibly finish it. Later on in the book I really like Yossarian and his logic, and really hoped he found his happy ending.

For a full review click here.

#76: The Trial by Franz Kafka

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Grade: F
Favorite Quote:

n/a

Mini Review:

**Closing the book** What in the world happened? Throwing it clear across that room wishing I can get back the time wasted on this book.

For a full review click here.

#75: Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

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Grade: F
Favorite Quote:

n/a

Mini Review:

A 200 page story with almost nothing happening .. and the “almost” was an attempted rape of a disabled girl. Enough said.

For a full review click here.

#74: Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan

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Grade: B
Favorite Quote:

“Human beings have done impossible things to other human beings.”

Mini Review:

I really enjoyed this read. It was entertaining and taught me a number of things about India’s history and shed some light on Ghandi’s teaching. A recommended read from me.

For a full review click here.

#73: All Quiet on the Western Front

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Grade: B
Favorite Quote:

“The war swept us away. For the others, the older men, it is but an interruption. They are able to think beyond it. We, however, have been gripped by it and do not know what the end may be.”

Mini Review:

It clearly states on the cover of the book that this is “the greatest war novel of all time.” I agree 100%.

For a full review click here.

#72: Dinner at the Homesick Restaraunt

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Grade: B
Favorite Quote:

“When you have children, you’re obligated to live.”

Mini Review:

I really enjoyed this book. Her writing is comfortable to read and flows beautifully. This is the most “real” book I read so far in this list. Another recommendation from me.

For a full review click here.

#71: Dream of the Red Chamber by Tsao Hsueh-Chin

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Grade: D
Favorite Quote:

“When the unreal is taken for the real, then the real becomes unreal.”

Mini Review:

This is like an 18th century reality show.. keeping up with the Chia’s. A book full of gossip and scandal, and supposedly revolves around true love.

For the full review click here.

 

And there you have it. The mini reviews of the previous 10 books I read from the greatest book list. There were some memorable books but nothing that wowed me. The bad though was really bad.

Here’s to hoping for a much nicer and more exciting next 10 reads.

Till next time. Happy reading!

Book Reviews · Reading

Dream of the Red Chamber Book Review

Book: Dream of the Red Chamber by Tsao Hsueh Chin

Grade: D

#71 on the Telegraph’s 100 books everyone should read.

What is the book about?

The book is mainly about the Chia mansions and the people who live in them. They are divided into 2 households: the Ningkuofu and the Yungkuofu. The story revolves around almost all the people living there and mostly Pao-yu and all their love stories.

Verdict:

To me this is very like a reality show .. keeping up with the Chia’s. It’s mostly just scandal and gossip of their everyday lives. This is the only reason I gave it a D and not an F. It was not a boring read.

But I had trouble most of the time keeping up with who’s who. Some of the characters names are: Chia Chiang, Chia Gen, Chia Jui, Chia Chung. Most of the time I found myself guessing who they meant. For a person who is not familiar with the Chinese culture it might be confusing.

Also this book is described as a Chinese Romeo and Juliet, between Pao-yu and his cousin Black Jade. Black Jade did really die from grief when she knew Pao-yu will marry another. But how about Pao-yu? He got sick at first wanting to see his love, but he snapped out of it quick when his new wife told him that she passed away. He became better very quick and lived his life normally after that.

Also there are alot of things that don’t make sense. Maybe it’s because this is an abridged version, like the brick that wanted a taste of the “red chamber” (the mortal world) and came to the world as a jade around Pao-yu’s neck. What happened to it? Because it was introduced for quite a bit in the beginning, thought there will be something about it in the end (maybe with some lesson of his experience in the red chamber) or something. Also whats the deal with the Pao-yu look alike?

Anyways it wasn’t a tough read but I won’t really recommend this to anyone.. maybe the full longer version is better?

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Next read:

I usually like to read the books following the list in descending order. But due to the Corona virus and everything shutting down and not delivering, i will stick to the ones i have and might jump around the list and not go by order.

So next read is #66 on the list: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky