Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

61i7djavpnlThe book is set in a time when TV dominates society, and books are seen as irrelevant and are burned to ashes by the firemen. Guy Montag is one of the firemen, but during one book burning, he ends up taking a book. Reading it ends up changing Montag’s life. He becomes a fugitive that the government wants to track down after attempting to infiltrate the fire station with the help of a man he meets because of his interest books.

I would recommend this book to people who love classic novels with strong meanings woven in the writing. This book has amazing description and literary devices that enhance the story and often require rereadings of some sections. As an added bonus, the book is relatively short and a quick read for those lazy readers.

This reviewer ratesĀ Fahrenheit 451 5/5.

Tags: dystopian, science fiction, censorship, intellectual freedom



Isha’s review of The Scarlet Pimpernel by the Baroness Emma Orczy

51-bt9jwyqlThe novel begins in a very Tale-Of-Two-Cities-esque manner, as this book is set during the French Revolution, and the writing feels similar. It also dances around the ideas of conforming to societal norms prevalent during the Reign of Terror, in a very Tolstoy-way.

Soon, however, the story concentrates on the strained relationship between a man and a woman, and the increasing interest in France and England regarding an anonymous and controversial man, known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who dresses in a mask and saves French Aristocrats from the guillotine. Another major part of the plot regards the apparent danger the woman’s brother is in (for helping the Pimpernel), and the woman’s internal conflict regarding whether to save her brother at the expensive of the safety and life of the anonymous hero.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more classic, formal writing (as it might be frustrating to those who do not enjoy that sort of diction). As mentioned previously, it also reminded me of Tolstoy’s writing due to the sheer number of characters and their complicated web of relationships, as well as the descriptions of how high class society functions (similar to The Age of Innocence, as well).

I also recommend this to readers who enjoy mystery novels. While this book is not necessarily of mystery genre, the suspense regarding the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel is equally thrilling.

This book would also be enjoyable to those who are fans of superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman! This book was particularly fascinating because I read elsewhere that many superhero stories such as Batman and Spiderman are all loosely based off of this novel, which was written and published in the early 1900s! While I am not necessarily an avid fan of superhero movies and comics, I am aware of the stories and watch the movies. Thus, it was fun to pick out aspects of the novel reflected in modern culture! (Hint: You can find many parallels between the symbols Batman leaves behind, and the ones the Scarlet Pimpernel utilizes, and similarities between the public opinion of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Spiderman!)

Happy Reading!

Isha rates this book 5/5

Tags: adventure, classic, French history, light romance, mystery, suspense

Joyce’s review of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

03bgPablo Neruda’s collection of poems in his book, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, contains twenty love poems originally written by Neruda in Spanish and translated into English by W.S. Merwin. The book also includes illustrations by Jan Thompson Dicks. Neruda’s creativity, authenticity, and passion are evident in each love poem. His expressions of sensuality display his prowess in literature. In The Song of Despair, Neruda writes, “The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.”

I would recommend this book to poetry readers because Neruda’s work is classic, yet fresh and exciting. Readers can annotate his poems and practice their poetry analysis skills. For people who have never read poetry, Neruda’s poems are not overly difficult to understand, so this book would also work for them. However, the illustrations depict the female body, which may feel awkward to some people.

Joyce rates this collection 5/5

Joyce’s review of The Classic Hundred Poems

512vywixxul-_sy344_bo1204203200_The Classic Hundred Poems is a compilation of classic poems, including works of Shakespeare, Dickinson, Y.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, and many others. It includes a glossary of technical terms, as well as a summary and brief analysis of each poem. These informative notes are tremendously helpful for amateur readers of poetry. In some instances, the editor, Harmon, also provides an introduction which adds insight into the poets’ lives and how their life experiences may have influenced their work. The poems are arranged in chronological order, starting from those published in the 1500s, ending with those published in the 1900s.

I would strongly recommend this book for readers who are already familiar with poetry. For beginners, this book would prove too difficult, for although notes are provided, full annotations are not included. The poems included are evocative and rich, but what fascinates me the most is their ability to transcend time. To me, the greatest art is immortal. The poems in this book are masterpieces to be savored by the careful reader.

Joyce rates this anthology 5/5 stars.

Book Reviews: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

An old Cuban fisherman named Santiago has gone 84 days without catching a fish. His loyal apprentice, a young boy, is forbidden by his parents to work with Santiago because Santiago has not caught any fish for so long. So, on the 85th day, Santiago ventures into the Gulf Stream all by himself, far away from shore, determined to break his unlucky streak. Santiago soon finds himself in an epic battle against a gigantic, majestic marlin, straining the limits of his endurance and skill.

The Old Man and the Sea is a must-read for everyone, and not just because the book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The Old Man and the Sea has memorable characters, heart wrenching moments, and an unforgettable plot. The interaction between the old man and the young boy is heartwarming and both the physical and mental strain Santiago suffers from during the struggle against the marlin are meticulously detailed.

Book review written by Andrew S.