Throwback Thursday Reviews 1.11.18
Back again with my Throwback Thursday Mini-Reviews. In 2017, I read around 50 books before I started A Novel Look. So I wanted to do a series of posts with a mini-recap of a couple of the books I read before the blog. And today, I’m talking Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope, and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.
Anne of Green Gables is a classic by L.M. Montgomery that I had never read. To say that I loved this is an understatement. Anne Shirley is an eleven year old orphan who is brought to Avonlea to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who were expecting a young boy to help out on their farm, Green Gables. Well it turns out that Anne worms her way into both Matthew and Marilla’s hearts, as well as the reader’s. She’s precocious, a dreamer, and just a delight. She sometimes gets her head lost in the clouds, but that’s what makes her wonderful. I wish I could go back to my 11-year old self and force this book into her hands. I read the Puffin Limited paperback edition, but loved the book so much, that I immediately bought the entire series. I cannot wait to read more of Anne this year and see how she and Gilbert grow up. Is anyone up for a field trip to Prince Edward Island?
Sense & Sensibility is the first book in the Austen Project, where six contemporary authors write a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s books. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld is Book #4 of the Austen Project (let’s see how many posts I can mention Eligible!). Joanna Trollope's version takes place in modern-day England. Elinor is an aspiring architect, while Marianne is an art student. This one followed the original plotline pretty closely, but it was a little hard to make the characters, especially Marianne, seem relatable in the 21st century. I understand Marianne loved Willoughby, but my god, Marianne, pull yourself together. This was not my favorite Austen retelling, but that could also be because Sense & Sensibility ranks in the middle of Austen’s originals for me. Still a fun read, and I love the concept of the Austen Project. All I need now is the Persuasion retelling to hit the shelves!
I was first introduced to Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, because Gawande wrote the introduction to Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. First, talk about two books that make you feel all the feels. I was a little hesitant to start reading Being Mortal because I was worried about it being too technical or science-focused. Oh was I wrong. Gawande supported his ideas with real and compelling stories. The whole premise is rectifying modern medicine with people’s wishes. Because we can prolong life does not always mean we should. Reading about the original intentions of nursing homes and assisted living facilities was fascinating. I remember his piece on hospice vividly; hospice may be expensive, but it usually is the best and most dignified option. I have recommended this book to so many people, and I think it should be required reading for every doctor.
In 2017, I read so many great books, including these three. I was glad to finally read Anne of Green Gables and look forward to reading more of the Anne series. I don't know if I will read the Austen Project retellings of Northanger Abbey and Emma; Northanger Abbey is probably my least favorite Austen, so I may just hold out for Persuasion and Mansfield Park. I am definitely going to be on the lookout for books like Being Mortal. If you have any suggestions for books like Being Mortal, please let me know.
Let me know what you think about these books!