One day a few months ago, my friend Danielle told me the local library was having a book sale. I went, knowing I'd like to see if I could find any good classics to add to the summer reading list. One I found was:I later found the news to be reporting that the author, a past prisoner of the Gulag in Russia, had died. This book was his expose of the gulag. It was fictional, but based on his life and was incredibly personal and intimately revealing of character and substance stripped away by time in such a place. Fascinating and gripping, this book revealed to me the more modern aspects of Russia, very unlike the earlier Russia of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
"My Antonia" by Willa Cather, a Pulitzer prize winner, is a wistful and lovely book I had never read until this summer. It is no mere romance as I feared, but rather a character study of a woman forged by the harshness of the pioneering days and by the culture of those who rose above it. It rises above sentimentality into strength of purpose. I found myself hoping for the ending which I received; one of real love and purpose over the easy romance. I am glad this one jumped off the library sale shelves and into my shopping bag.
Oh, and I finally finished War and Peace. I loved it. People are right, it is impossible to really keep the people straight, but I was forewarned and was able to figure it out well enough.
So many great yarns out there. More to come.