Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My December Book List: A Christmas List

Much of this month will be spent enjoying the holidays with family and traveling. But I'm also looking for those cozy moments of candlelight, cookies, and hot chocolate that just usher in the need to read a holiday classic. With
this being December, it will also be the last month of my 2016 new year's resolution, which was to read a set of new books each month. But I'm not quite ready to let go of books being a priority, so next year I'll probably continue, but with a list I'll mention at the beginning of each season. To bring a close to this year, I've included two holiday classics, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.


1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I've only watched the movie, but never read this children's book about four sisters, who are very different from each other. As their father has gone off to serve in the Civil War and the family is left in poverty, the four sisters and their mom are faced with the task of providing for their family. Along the way, they face various situations and trials as they grow into adulthood.

2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ebeneezer Scrooge, a miser, and cold-hearted man, is met by four ghosts, Marley, his old business partner, as well as, Christmas past, present, and future. His meeting with each ghosts unfolds pieces of his heart and character, creating awareness, and leaving the reader with the hope he might change.


1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

As this book followed the lives and growth of two individuals, a young French girl with blindness and an orphan boy recruited as part of Hitler's youth, the author unfolds images of World War II and the loss and emotional toll it brought. Sympathy is felt for the two characters as the girl copes with the changes the war has brought, and the boy wrestles with right and wrong.

2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf

The way this book is written is very different than what I am used to reading. There are no chapters, just one continues narrative that spans the course of one day. Although there is dialogue that takes place between characters, there is a great focus on the myriad of thoughts, reflections, and critiques the characters have about their personal self and each other. Post-war life and its effect on emotions can be seen, along with questions concerning life, age, happiness, dreams, love, meaning, loneliness, mental illness, and death.

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This is the second novel I've read by Dickens, and I really admire the way he connects the characters in his book. Although this story surrounds an orphan boy, named Pip, who was initially raised "up by hand" by his somewhat merciless sister (Mrs. Gargery) and her kind, blacksmith husband (Joe Gargery), you are forced to also pay attention to the other colorful characters, even those who seem unimportant. In this story, Pip is raised out of poverty by an unknown benefactor, which causes him to move and take on a new lifestyle as a gentleman. But as secrets come to light, conflict ensues, and tension unfolds, Pip's character develops, outcomes shift, and relationships change. But in the end, good supersedes evil with the characteristics of humility, compassion, forgiveness, and love.

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