Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Miss Kate’s CBRV review #4: Lorna Doone: A Romance Of Exmoor, by R.D. Blackmore

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I read Lorna Doone as part of my effort to read more of the classics, and I’m glad I did. This is the late 17th century in England, a time of political and religious strife. Charles II has just reclaimed the throne after years of exile.

Told in the first person, it is the story of John Ridd, a simple farmer living in Exmoor with his mother and sisters. Nearby live the outlaw clan the Doones. The Doones had once been wealthy nobles, but had lost their title and lands due to a lawsuit, and have since taken up banditry. John is a young boy when his father is murdered by them during a highway robbery. The Doones live in a heavily guarded valley and are pretty much untouchable.

One day, while out hunting, young John meets Lorna Doone. (She was kidnapped as a little girl and raised as a Doone.) Over the years they meet in secret, and fall in love. Eventually she tells John that she is slated to marry Carver Doone, the son of the Doone leader and a pretty bad guy. The Doones will then take her inheritance. As their romance matures, John becomes determined to save Lorna from her wicked family.

The story starts off slow, but builds and becomes exciting in parts. There is love, loss, battle scenes. Lorna Doone has never been out of print, and it’s easy to see why. The writing is extremely Victorian – Blackmore suffers in some parts from excessive wordiness, and his female characters are a bit one-note. Frankly, I found Lorna herself to be somewhat of a simpering bore. But as a modern kid of girl, I can’t expect a 19th century male author to share my sensibilities!

Where Blackmore’s writing shines, though, is in his descriptions of country life. Taking into account the upheaval in England during the Industrial Revolution, the author’s love of nature and the older ways of doing things are evident on every page. (Now I want to re-read Middlemarch.) Lorna Doone is not a quick beach read, but it’s a good one!

Read more reviews at Miss Kate Says: http://misskatesays.com/2014/01/03/lorna-doone-a-romance-of-exmoor-by-r-d-blackmore/

The Numbers are In!

Ending of Desk Set, 1957.

Ending of Desk Set, 1957.

Cannonball Read IV has been sliced, diced, and wrapped up in a tidy little package for your perusal. If I’ve got anything wrong, drop me a line.

We Did It!

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Wilma Rudolph crosses the finish line to win one of her three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics.

We’ve made it to the finish line of Cannonball Read IV! No further reviews should be posted at this point. I’ll be tallying up the numbers and writing a recap post this week. Look for it on Pajiba on Friday.

Whether you wrote one post or one hundred and four, congratulations to you. I hope you enjoyed the year.

 

 

So I manged to read 43 books total and review 26 on time. I’ll finish the other reviews in the next couple of weeks and post them to my blog at http://competitivenonfiction.tumblr.com.

Book 25 of 2102 – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Looking forward to CBR V next year!

 

loopyker’s #CBR4 Review #22: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

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I’m sure I’m not the only one whose only previous experience with H.G. Wells was the 2005 War of the Worlds movie starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning and the character on Warehouse 13 . While the movie was entertaining, it had the usual Hollywood dramatic scenes with the hero fighting to protect their family, where everything is frantic and full special effects.

With that in mind, I found the audiobook refreshing. It has a much slower start than the movie. The aliens don’t just pop up out of the ground. Strange objects, apparently from Mars, land on the earth and are later reveled to contain aliens – Martians. We don’t know at first if they are friendly or malicious. They construct their tripod killing machines while people watch and wonder.

When the machines are operable, their destruction of humanity and civilization begins. Of course, this is a time before cars, so people are fleeing by foot and horse and buggy and they don’t have access to instant news or telephones like we do which makes for even more confusion. Everyone is on their own.

See the rest of the review at Loopy Ker’s Life

Jen K’s #CBR IV Wrap Up

Here is a list of all the books I read this year and didn’t get around to reviewing. Some where better than others, but I did make sure to write about all the ones I truly disliked – they’re just so inspiring sometimes. This is the first time in four years that I didn’t read over 100 books – I wonder if I should blame my iPhone.

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #52: Graceling

Just under the wire. Picked this one up based on some recommendations from Pajibans/other Cannonballers. I’m surprised by how much quality literature is being churned out in the YA section of the book store. Although it helps when I’m only picking up novels after reading lots of raving reviews from intelligent adults with discerning tastes.

Jen K’s #CBR IV Review #51: To End All Wars

Nonfiction about the antiwar/pacifist movement in England during World War I. Worth the read for a perspective that isn’t usually discussed.

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #50: Furious Love

This is a rather detailed book about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s marriage. I mostly liked it, though it got a bit repetitive/went on too long. I’m sure if I’d actually seen any of their movies I would have enjoyed it even more.

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #49: Girls in White Dresses

A series of interrelated vignettes about relationships and work after college. Not action packed, but felt relatable to me.

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