Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Extreme Mini Reviews for Books Long Ago Read

Under normal circumstances, I think I'd be writing and posting a review today, but since reading two 1000 page books at the same time makes for very abnormal circumstances, I'm left wondering what to post about today.

So I had a thought. Why not do some blurbs or extreme mini reviews on a top ten favorite list from a pre-blog year (but a post book journal/notebook year of course!) Yes... why not?

So here's my top ten favorites from the year 2002, the first year I wrote down everything I read that year from which I picked my favorite ten. 

Pope Joan by Dona Wolfolk Cross: A young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to save her life and to get an education. Soon, she ends up rubbing shoulders with the pope himself. I loved this fascinating story and had to look up to see if history confirms this premise!

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens: One of Dickens' best coming of age stories. While at this point, I don't remember the details of this book, I do remember flying through it and being glued to the pages.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: This must have been a re-read for me that year, since I remember trying to read this book when I was a kid. Let's just say, I got much much more out of it the second time around! A classic for sure.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I think I read this with an online Yahoo group at the time, and had never heard of it till then. It was delicious story. I mean, who would NOT want to live in a castle!

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: Another re-read this particular year, I think because my son was reading it at the time, and I needed to remember it so we could talk. It's a harsh story, and the ending didn't fail to blow me away even though I knew what was coming.

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot: What a tragic story! And I loved every minute of it!

The Red Tent by Anita Diamont: Fascinating tale of Dinah, the sister of the 12 sons of Jacob. Brilliant look into the culture and times of the Bible. I couldn't believe some of the stuff I was reading and wondered "that can't REALLY be in the Bible can it?" So I looked it up and sure enough, it was.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet: This book defines the word epic. About a family over the course of several years, and the building of a massive cathedral in England. Loved it for sure.

Emma by Jane Austen: Whoa, yet another re-read finds itself on my list this year! I read it the first time in college and didn't really warm to it. But this second go around, I find it much more fun and enjoyable. Emma, matchmaker extraordinaire!

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein: About this time the movies were coming out. In fact, I had watched the first Lord of the Rings and thought, hello... why have I not read these books. So I fixed that immediately and soon caught up and flew past the movies. When I got to the ending of this one, I couldn't believe the cliff hanger I had just read! No way! Good thing I had the next book right on hand and could keep reading! (It was interesting to me that The Two Towers movie choose not to end at the same spot.)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park: I probably read this one in preparation for book fair that year. I knew nothing about it and went into it a little disinterested. Then I was blown away by the warmth of the relationship of this little Korean boy and his master, and the things they learn together. It's an amazing story that left me in tears.

What books from this list have you read and loved? Which ones do you think you'll try some day? Should I do extreme mini reviews again for the other books on my pre-blog list?  


  1. Pope Joan - as a Catholic I certainly hope people don't take this as true history!

    David Copperfield - Loved it

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - read it as a kid but can't remember a thing about it

    Ender's Game - a classic

    Emma - yuck. I do not like Jane Austen and yet for some strange reason I have read most of her books.

    The Two Towers - classic, classic, classic!!!!!

    A Single Shard - completely boring

    The ones I haven't read but would like to try are:

    The Mill on the Floss ( I loved Silas Marner) and I Capture the Castle

    I'd love more extreme mini review from pre-blogging days. I'm afraid to try it; I might not remember a thing about the books. That's why I started blogging in the first place!

  2. I might steal this idea sometime too (though, I'm still posting reviews from June, so not for a while).

    These made me want to reread some favorites of mine - Lord of the Rings (oh, how the movie slaughtered one of my favorite characters).

  3. I think that's probably around the same time I read and loved I Capture the Castle and The Red Tent!

  4. We seem to have very similar taste in books (except for ENDER'S GAME, of course). I loved I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, EMMA and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. Wasn't wild about THE RED TENT, though. I haven't read the others ...

    Enjoyed the mini-mini reviews :)

  5. we are trying to hunt down a copy of Ender's Game, the first publishing--the novella, for the daughter. she is at that perfect age for it, but the husband is very particular that it should be an earlier version. going to have to buy it, i think.

    the mini-mini was a good idea!


  6. I like the idea of extreme mini reviews but find myself wanting to know more about what you thought! :)

    Isn't Emma a fun character? Loved her!

    You've read some HUGE books--Pillars of the Earth (loved), David Copperfield (intimidated), The Two Towers!

    I might have to do an extreme mini review post for some books I've read over the past year that I've failed to review (and have mostly forgotten).

  7. Great post idea! Definitely do it again - and I might try it myself.

    I read - and loved - both Pope Joan and Ender's Game with my book club prior to starting my book blog. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 2007 (my review is here), and I read I Capture the Castle (my review is here just this summer.

  8. cool - I love many of these and most of the read on my tbr. I hadn't heard of A Single Shard but *think* I may have heard of the author? However, I had to DNF Pillars of the Earth. it just got away from me - TOO LONG. :)



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