Two short reviews

In the past, I have written these in groups of four, but today I only have two books to review.  They each get 4 out of 5 stars, so perhaps there is still uniformity to this, after all? 

Atticus and Tom Robinson in court
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

It would seem I should have more to say about this book, but what can I say?  You probably know the entire synopsis with or without having read it before.  I enjoyed it, more than I expected.  The writing was more vivid than the plot, painting a complex examination of prejudice and tension that even the (excellent) movie could not evoke.  Atticus and Scout were deep characters.  The ending felt somehow disappointing after the intricate buildup, hence four stars.  But the journey, rather than the end, certainly makes it a worthy classic, so if you have procrastinated as I did, procrastinate no longer.

Joseph Conrad, Fotografie von George Charles Beresford, 1904
Notes on Life and Letters
Joseph Conrad

I was reading this book for the longest time, I don’t remember when I started it.  Goodreads says February.  Well, it isn’t nearly as gripping as The Mirror of the Sea or A Personal Record, but it was worth it in the long run.  These “notes” were put together into one volume by Conrad himself.  Part I is a compilation of Conrad’s opinions on other literary figures, which apart from Turgenev and Stephen Crane went mostly over my head.  Part II was much more interesting – the main topics being WWI, Poland, Conrad’s first (and only?) flight, and his analysis of the sinking of the Titanic.  If you’re geeky enough to love Conrad memoirs (as I do), and/or you are interested in a primary source for these topics, I recommend at least giving this book a try.

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