Sunday, December 26, 2010

100 Books Every Woman Should Read - A Girl of the Limberlost****

"This coming-of-age novel is engaging on several levels. The naturalist's love of the Limberlost, the tormented mother-daughter relationship and the final realization of perspective and truth all work together in a truly delightful story."

This book is phenomenal! I don't even know where to begin with singing its praises! Well I suppose the best place to begin is with the exceptional main character, Elnora Comstock. She is an incredibly strong and beautiful woman and a fantastic role model for girls. She has a strength that is rooted in herself which gets her through every trial and tribulation which she must endure. Nearly everything that this book teaches flows from Elnora. Perhaps the greatest lesson that Elnora embodies is a control over emotion which allows her to make clear-headed decisions and retain her composure even in the most stressful situations.

In addition, this book is fantastic for highlighting the mother-daughter relationship; showing the effects both of a bad relationship and a good one. It clearly demonstrates the effect that a mother has on her child, how she influences his or her entire life both by the way she raises her child and the way she conducts herself.
Since I am studying to be a teacher I was very excited to find some great advice for teachers in this book:
"You have an hour to put an idea into our heads that will stick for a lifetime and grow for good. That's the way I look at your job. Now, what are you going to give us? We don't want any old silly stuff that has been hashed over and over, we want a big new idea to plant in our hearts."
Another fantastic quote:
"The world is full of happy people but no one ever hears of them."
I wish I could say more about this book, it's so fantastic, but I'm afraid I'll give the whole thing away! So I'll just say that it is an absolute must read!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

100 Books Every Woman Should Read - The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius**

"The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are a fascinating insight into Stoic philosophy and while we don't advocate Stoicism, we do appreciate that he tells you how to get up in the morning when your pillow doesn't want to let you go."

Meditations is basically a book of advice. In virtue of this, it is rather tedious and hard to get through, despite being a fairly small book. It's not a bad book but I wouldn't say it's a necessary read. Marcus Aurelius gets some things right and some things wrong in his meditations. The things that he gets right you can find in the Bible and the things he gets wrong aren't worth reading. It's actually rather frustrating how he comes so close to the truth at some points and then veers rapidly in the other direction.