The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle BooksThe Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

I’m sure we all know The Jungle Book, which Disney has made so popular with it’s rendition (although it does not follow the book, but the basics are there), but…there is more in this book than what Disney portrays.

The Jungle Books does include the story of Mowgli and his eventual return to mankind, but it also includes the tale of Kotick, the white seal, Rikki-tikki-tavi, the mongoose, Little Toomai of the Elephants, and the animals of the Amir’s parade.

Each is interesting in their own way and Rudyard Kipling does indeed know how to tell a tale which makes them all the more enjoyable.

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Beowulf by Unknown

BeowulfBeowulf by Unknown

I made the mistake of watching the newest Beowulf movie (the CGI one) before reading the epic poem that is Beowulf. First, Beolwulf was originally written in Old English, which reads much different from Modern English.

Therefore, one has to read between the lines to fully comprehend the action and adventure of this story. And it does not follow the movie exactly.

There will be spoilers, so stop reading here if you wish.

One: Beowulf comes across the sea to defeat Grendal.
Two: He defeats Grendal, the kingdom celebrates, stories are told, and gifts are lavished upon Beowulf.
Three: Grendal’s Mother wreaks havoc because her offspring is murdered.
Four: Beowulf again becomes the hero, but loses the sword Hrunting in the cave.
Five: Again there is much rejoicing, storytelling and gifting.
Six: Beowulf returns home, and eventually becomes the heir to his home kingdom.
Seven: A random peasant robs a dragon of a gold cup, dragon wreaks havoc on Beowulf’s kingdom.
Eight: Beowulf dies slaying the dragon and leaves Wilfgar in charge.
Nine: Beowfulf is burned on a funeral pyre and is praised and celebrated.

Much different from the movie, basically an ode to great Beowulf, not really a story, but still good if you like that kind of thing. Definitely a classic old tale.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another one of Shakespeare’s works I read back in high school. This one I already knew the premise of, and another romantic comedy. The second time around I understood much more of it. I knew why the characters were acting as they were (though I’m still not fond of Oberon for tricking Titania that way).

Anyway. I do think it ran on a little bit, but I don’t know how one would go about making it any better than Shakespeare did. The chaos surrounding the lovers (which is the main story) ends before the play does. Which is something that bothers me about stories and books, the main plot ends but there still is more story!

At any rate, Shakespeare still had to tie up all the loose ends, and he did so very well.

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As You Like It by Shakespeare

As You Like It As You Like It by William Shakespeare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Shakespeare is difficult to read, and I’m still not very skilled at it. But I do believe I am better at it now, than I was in high school when I first read his plays. As You Like It is a fairly short read (though I imagine it is a fairly standard length play). Which made it easier on me reading it.

I began reading Shakespeare again to march out my English skills and dust them off. This little play did just that. I will, however, admit that I could not understand everything that came out of Touchstone’s mouth. He is meant to be the fool at court, yet half of what he says is very wise, and the other half just seems like foolery and for me it was difficult to decipher which was which.

I may have to read this play again in the future.

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What I’m Reading Next: The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey was something that was introduced to me in high school. It was read and discussed in class and then I promptly forgot it.

A few years ago (about 4) I dug up my interest in Greek Mythology and found numerous references to Homer’s Odyssey. Amazon has it as a free Kindle classic and so it found it’s way into my Goodread’s To-Read list. It is now the oldest unread ebook/book in my To-Read list.

That Must Change.

 

Keep reading little book worms!

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The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton

The Man Who Knew Too MuchThe Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Kindle Classic, and therefore free, ebook from Amazon. I’ve been working my way through the backlog of classics on my ereader and this is only the latest one I’ve been reading.

This is not actually a novel, but a series of short stories involving Horne Fisher, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and his closest friend, Harold March. In the first story we read how Mr. March came upon Mr. Fisher and the beginnings of their somewhat odd friendship.

The few stories in the middle develop this relationship, with the last story ending their relationship.

This is not a life-story genre book by any means. This is a detective novel. Mr. Fisher rubs elbows with policemen and politicians, while Mr. March is a journalist. Throughout all the stories there is a crime to solve and Horne Fisher always figures out the who, why, and where, but as you will see if you dare to read this classic, he doesn’t always get his man.

I do read modern crime novels and there is quite a bit of difference between those and this classic tale, mostly due to the modern invention of forensics. These tales focus on the legwork, going around talking to others and actually taking inventory and asking all the right questions.

In conclusion I did like this Kindle Classic and will be reading many more of them in future.

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