Life & Times

One Book I Loved, One Book I Didn’t

Day 7 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge

Discuss One Book You Loved, and One You Didn’t

The book I love the most is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. If you haven’t read it, finish reading this blog, share it, and then go out and get that book. It has pirates, sword fights, romance, conspiracies, prison breaks, masquerade parties and it even has Napoleon. What more could you literally want from a story??

cmc-book-cover

Part 1 follows closely with the 2002 Jim Caviezel movie (or vice versa to be accurate) so reading that I kept thinking “This is good, but I’ve seen this before.” Part 2, however, blew me away. The characters are so rich, the writing is incredibly vivid and exciting and Dantes’ method of getting his revenge is brilliantly subtle.

My absolute favorite quote comes from the last line on the very last page of the book: “All human wisdom is contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.”

Swoon.

Seriously, though, go read it.

Now for a book I didn’t love…I’m not exaggerating when I say it took me no less than half an hour to think of a book I didn’t like. I had to go all the way back to Junior English class to come up with one.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

scarlett-leter-book-cover

Before you close out of your browser and stop taking me seriously as a writer, let me explain. I wholeheartedly appreciate the work as art and I agree that it’s one of the most important pieces of American literature ever. I respect Hawthorne and I think it is rightfully listed as required reading in high school.

I just didn’t dig it. The language is complex, the sentences go on and on for pages without a period, and Hawthorne spends so much time describing the leaves and the lighting of the forest that several times I forgot what I was even reading about. The characters were extremely frustrating too, but they were supposed to be; so I’ll let that slide. All in all, it was hard work to get through that book and I have no desire to go back and read it again.

From a historical perspective, though…fascinating! Hawthorne’s family were real life Puritans, and he hated that. He hated everything the Puritans stood for. The Scarlet Letter was his way of showing them as the cruel hypocrites they were and announcing his disdain in the most public way possible.

Fun fact: One of his forefathers, John Hathorne, served as a judge during the Salem Witch Trials. Nathaniel was so disgusted by this that he added a “w” to his name to distance himself from the association.

Knowledge, son.

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