October 14, 2003
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: while I have always heard about this book, I had never actually read it. So, when a bookring was started for it at BookCrossing, I jumped at the chance to read this classic children’s novel that chronicles the adventures of Rat, Mole, Frog, and Badger as they live their lives by the river near Wild Wood.

At the start of the book, Mr. Mole is doing a bit of spring cleaning when he suddenly decides that he must be out in the lovely day. He begins to wander when he finds himself near the river. Never having seen such a thing as a river, he becomes immediately entranced and soon makes a friend of Mr. Rat, a water rat living right on the bank. Mr. Mole is soon introduced to Mr. Toad and, eventually, to Mr. Badger, the other key characters in this delightful book.

I very much enjoyed reading The Wind in the Willows and only wish I would have come upon it when I was younger. For some reason, the concept of the animals having things like motor-cars bugged me since I could not see how a toad could fit behind the wheel of a car to drive. I could readily ignore that, however, since the book itself was so charming. I particularly loved the relationships between all of the friends and how much they cared for one another.

Recommended for children of all ages, especially the younger ones who would probably most enjoy the concept of a toad driving a car.

July 17, 2003
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: I was excited when I was able to borrow this book from a fellow Book Crossing member. I kept thinking, “Tragic, gothic romance. Should be right up my alley!” Unfortunately, I found it not to be.

I know that I’ve liked other books from this time period (Jane Eyre and (Madame Bovary for example), but I found Wuthering Heights to be extremely difficult to get into. I also had a rough time keeping track of the characters and their relationships to one another as well.

To me, I think the biggest problem was that I didn’t really like any of the characters. By having no particular character to root for, it became a laborious task to continue with the book. However, around page 200 or so, I finally found a character that I could sympathize with and like and I felt that the book picked up and managed to draw me in since I did want to see how it ended. I don’t know, though, if slogging through the first part of the novel made it worthwhile.