2008 Booklist Update

2008 Booklist Update:
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1. Dante - Inferno (6/10)
2. Dante - Purgatorio (6/10)
3. Dante - Paradiso (2/10)
4. Milton - Paradise Lost (the January required reading - 6.5/10)
5. Matthew Pearl - The Dante Club (8/10)

6. Machiavelli - The Prince (the February required reading - 8.5/10)
7. Allan Folsom - The Machiavelli Covenant (8.5/10)
8. Sarah Dunant - The Birth of Venus (7.5/10)
9. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro - The Palace (8/10)


10. Victor Hugo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the March required reading – 7/10)
11. Claudio Angelini – The Mystery of Simonetta (9/10)
12. Sarah Dunant - In the Company of the Courtesan (7.5/10)
13. Robin Maxwell - To the Tower Born (8.5/10)

April current:
14. Mark Twain – The Prince and the Pauper (the April required reading – 8.5/10)
15. Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland (current)
16. Lewis Carroll – Through the Looking Glass (next)

TBD for the remainder of the month:
Ki Longfellow – The Secret Magdalene
Gina Buonaguro & Janice Kirk – The Sidewalk Artist
Sophie Brunham - The Treasure of Montsegur
Eric Van Lustbader – The Testament
Gregg Loomis – The Julian Secret

Well, here it is...the beginning of April...and I have finished my required April read = The Prince and the Pauper. Of the required reads to date, this one has been my favourite...likely because it reminded me of a cross between The Man in the Iron Mask and A Knight's Tale. I completely fell in love with the characters of Edward Tudor (if only the really Edward Tudor was that charming...*sigh*) and his 'savior' Miles Hendon and adored the climactic moments when both were vindicated for the abuses thrust upon them. I really do enjoy Mark Twain's style - it is straightforward with just the right amount of anecdotes and exposition to help visualize the scene and set the mood. I can't wait till December when I plan on re-reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Having finished the April must read, that leaves me the rest of the month free. Next up will be the Lewis Caroll Wonderland tales which are quite brief and should both be completed by the end of the weekend if not sooner. After that will be a choice from some long-awaited historical fiction novels and religio-mystery thrillers. I'm so eager to read this lot I may have them all completed by month's end.

p6 - And when he awoke in the morning and looked upon the wretchedness about him, his dream had had its usual effect - it had intensified the sordidness of his surroundings a thousand-fold. Then came the bitterness, and heartbreak, and tears.

p8 - The soldiers presented arms with their halberds, opened the gates, and presented again as the little Prince of Poverty passed in, in his fluttering rags, to join hands with the Prince of Limitless Plenty.

p129 - An empty and foolish title is mine, and yet it is something to have deserved it, for I think it is more honor to be held worthy to be a specter-knight in his Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows than to be held base enough to be an earl in some of the real kingdoms of the world.

p157 - Who saves his prince from wounds and possible death - and this he did for me - performs high service; but it is little - it is nothing! - oh, less than nothing! - when 'tis weighed against the act of him who saves his prince from SHAME!

p157 - (this excerpt is from one of my fav sections of the novel - where Miles accepts physical punishment on behalf of the 'king':

The king came softly to Hendon's side, and whispered in his ear: "Kings cannot enoble thee, thou good, great soul, for One who is higher than kings hath done that for thee; but a king can confirm nobility to men." He picked up the scourge from the ground, touched Hendon's bleeding shoulders lightly with it, and whispered, "Edward of England dubs thee earl!"

Hendon was touched. The water welled to his eyes, yet at the same time the grisly humor of the situation and circumstances so undermined his gravity that it was all he could do to keep some sign of his inward mirth from showing outside. To be suddenly hoisted, naked and gory, from the common stocks to the Alpine altitude and splendor of an earldom, seemed to him the last possibility in the line of grotesque. He said to himself, "Now am I finely tinseled, indeed! The specter-knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows is become a specter-earl! - a dizzy flight for a callow wing! An this go on, I shall presently be hung like a very Maypole with fantastic gauds and make-believe honors. But I shall value them, all valueless as they are, for the love that doth bestow them. Better these poor mock dignities of mine, that come unasked from a clean hand and a right spirit, than real ones bought by servility from grudging and interested power."

p170 - Within the seat of the throne is inclosed a rough flat rock - the stone of Scone - which many generations of Scottish kings sat on to be crowned, and so it in time became holy enough to answer a like purpose for English monarchs.

p185 - Lo, the lord of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows on his throne!
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