The Art of War by Sun Tzu

What to do when you have a toddler sleeping on you at midnight?  Read on your iPhone, naturally.  Thanks to a toddler tummy ache, I finished The Art of War by Sun Tzu around 1 A.M.  I can honestly say I was impressed with this book, even if it took me a while to finish it.  Granted, anything I read on my phone is going to take me a while in general, as it is my backup time filler reading (i.e. between  appointments, when my iPad is dead, etc.), so that is no slight on the book.

First and foremost, I feel I should tell you history isn’t my thing.  I should care, and I do, but honestly most just doesn’t sink in long-term.  My brain tends to automatically go to la-la land when people start discussing history.  It just isn’t something I get excited about, which is odd since this is a history book of sorts.  Nonetheless, I thought it was one of those books I should have read at some point so I did.

Secondly, I should admit I remembered some of the names/people from a video game, one of the Dynasty Warrior games for the PlayStation.  I think that makes me part Geek.  As sad as it is, it helped me visualize what was going on in the examples more clearly.

Because my brain was making however weird connections between the game and book already, it made further connections to other points in history I’ve lived through: presidential campaigns, U.S. turmoil, wars, etc.  I found myself even applying it to every day drama, which was interesting.

As my final point, I should tell you I hate trying to make connections in books and decipher meaning.  That’s why I’m not an English major.  I think some stretch it a little TOO far (OMG, why is he wearing maroon instead of teal?  What’s the meaning of maroon in the book?  Is it is theme?  blah blah blah).  I like to just read and enjoy the book as it.  If I think about it further, most excellent.  Thus, if I start making connections and thinking about it to find more connections and implications, that is a major feat accomplished.

So read it.

 

I saved a few quotes for myself.  I’ll end with my two favorites here.

All warfare is based on deception.”

[The meaning is: If two enemies will help each other in a time of common peril, how much more should two parts of the same army, bound together as they are by every tie of interest and fellow-feeling. Yet it is notorious that many a campaign has been ruined through lack of cooperation, especially in the case of allied armies.]”

Life’s little echoes

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble…”

-L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


Could truer words be spoken?  The story might be fictional, but the words are true.

After the catastrophe of Dracula, I needed more mental fun fluff.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, that I had already downloads several more books in the series when I found them for free.  Anne of Avonlea is the second book in the series.  It is a delightfully written as the first.

It’s an easy read.  Some stuff is predictable, other stuff leaves you wondering what is going to happen next.  It’s interesting to see Anne growing up, still getting into some mischief, but also witnessing Davy getting into his own.  She understands but doesn’t.  Her eyes are slowly opening to adulthood, but she is still a child, whimiscal and fun.  You see love developing through Anne’s eyes, though her mind isn’t consciously aware of romance for herself yet.

I love this book.  I kept this on my iPad mini to reread when the mood strikes.  It’s fun, lighthearted, entertaining.  I hope my children discover this series while they are young instead of in their 30s such as myself.  This is on my favorites shelf permanently.


Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

(Book 2 of Anne of Green Gables series)

Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/anne-of-avonlea?store=allproducts&keyword=anne+of+avonlea

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77390.Anne_of_Avonlea

This book bit the dust

“The world seems full of good men, even if there are monsters in it.”

-Bram Stoker, Dracula


Let me be up front about my reasoning in choosing this book.  I LOVE the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  By love, I mean I watch it EVERY TIME I find it on tv, I have it recorded on DVR so I can watch it any time I want, and I own the DVD that I have been known to play over and over.  My husband and children groan over it now.  Yes, I am well aware it is cheesy, but I love it.  It makes me happy to relax and just watch this movie.  I completely zone out and typically pick up on new things I hadn’t noticed before.

I decided I wanted to understand more of the characters’ backgrounds to get more out of the movie because apparently I’m insane.  I came across a free iBook copy of Dracula and since it is the Halloween season, I thought it was appropriate to start with it and learn more of Mina Harker’s background.

As with any book/movie relation, I knew there would be some differences. I expected more than usual since the movie wasn’t based on this particular book alone.  I did expect there to be more in common than Mina.

Let me just say I was ticked off when I finished the book.  I was bored the first 300 pages.  I get why they had to occur, but good grief we could have summarized.  I was interested somewhat for about 100 pages, and then even that died to the point I was at the last chapter and had to push myself through it.

Only to get mad at the ending.  SERIOUSLY?

It is a classic and from that perspective, I am glad I read it.  It did give me Mina’s background story, but the ending doesn’t match with the movie in the least, which I didn’t expect.  I’d suffered through the whole book looking for a connection that just didn’t exist.

This book will not land among my favorites and I highly doubt I’ll ever read it again, but I am proud that I read it.  It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but I am glad to delete it off my reader.


Dracula by Bram Stoker

Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dracula-bram-stoker/1116610564?ean=9781593081140