Book List Update #4, 17-21

I have to say, I’m fairly proud of myself for completing another five books so quickly. However, having three books from A Series of Unfortunate Events makes that accomplishment slightly less impressive. Either way, here are my thoughts on my recent reading.

The Secret Garden

17. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

I vaguely remember this story from my childhood, but I was glad to read it again. I think there are parts that are a bit long, but The Secret Garden is still undoubtedly a children’s classic. This is a sweet story full of magic and wonder that can be appreciated at any age.

The Miserable Mill

18. The Miserable Mill, Lemony Snicket

This is not my favorite of the Series of Unfortunate Events, but it still has lots of the humor of the others in the series. As a reader, I think the most frustrating thing about this installment is the lack of allies for the Baudelaire orphans, and it’s also safe to say that this is a transitional book in the series as we move from some of the lighter plot lines into the greater mystery of the series.

The Austere Academy

19. The Austere Academy, Lemony Snicket

I do enjoy The Austere Academy more than The Miserable Mill, but I  still hate that the orphans don’t have any supportive or friendly adults in their lives. The best part of this book: meeting the Quagmire Triplets, two orphans who have suffered a fate similar to the Baudelaires’. This novel also serves to spark the mystery of the series that I mentioned earlier, and provides new and intriguing plot lines to follow.

The Ersatz Elevator

20. The Ersatz Elevator, Lemony Snicket

I’m almost positive that The Ersatz Elevator was the last of the series that I read as a child, so I’m excited to move into the part of the series I’ve never read before. It really seems that the Baudelaires are moving closer to finding out the connection between Count Olaf and their dead parents, a mystery I’m excited to solve. Stay tuned for my reactions to the others in the series!

The Bell Jar

21. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

This was a bit of a dramatic departure from my recent reads, but also a classic I’m glad I finally read. I was surprised to see how much I related to Esther at the beginning of the novel; Esther is exactly the same age as I am, trying to figure her life out as she prepares for her final year of college. But pretty quickly I lost my feelings of connection to Esther as she enters Crazy Town. The only problem I had with the book was the rather dramatic shift from “normal Esther” to “crazy Esther.” I understand that her condition is unstable, but I wished that the transition had been more gradual. The best thing I got from this book is an interest to read more Sylvia Plath.

Now onto my next project: The Vile Village. Stay tuned!

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