Audiobook Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith #HSReadingRedo

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5 disco balls

Published: August 12, 2005 by HarperAudio (book first published 1943)
Narrator: Kate Burton
Length: 14 hours 55 minutes
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Coming of Age

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was Book 7 out of 8 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. As we approach the new month, I am proud to report I did most of my homework and only need to read the Cliff Notes or watch the movie of one unread book (The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck). 😉

Set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, we fall in love with the Nolan family; whom are poverty stricken but resourceful. Francie Nolan became one of my favorite literary characters.

Goodreads Synopsis: 4.25 average rating
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo

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2 disco balls

First published: September 17, 1954 by Faber & Faber
Category: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult

Lord of the Flies was Book 6 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. All I know is that after this one I am reading a book for leisure before I pick up another book from my “homework” reading list. I need a classics break!

The following 28 second video will tell you all you need to know about Lord of the Flies. Thank you, Running Out of Pages for reminding me of this scene, it perfectly summed up my reading experience.

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Book Review: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller #HSReadingRedo

2.5

2.5 disco balls

First published: February 10, 1949 by Viking Press
Category: Classics, Play, Theatre
Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1949), New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play (1949)

Death of a Salesman was Book 5 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I can say I’ve done my homework but that’s about all. Reading it certainly felt like homework. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee #HSReadingRedo

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5 disco balls

First published: July 11, 1960 by J. B. Lippincott Co.
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Coming of age
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1961), Audie Award for Classic (2007), National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (1961), Alabama Author Award for Fiction (1961)

To Kill a Mockingbird was Book 4 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I’ve reached the 50% mark!

How does one even review a book of this notoriety? In my honest opinion, you can’t: or I certainly can’t. All I can say is that I waited way too long to read this book. I think I took the easy way out in high school and watched the movie or read the Cliff Notes, but never dove right into this gem. Well, I can finally mark this Great American Read off my list! Phew.

Goodreads synopsis: 4.27 average rating
A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. 

Instead of reviewing, I thought I would share some TKAM fun facts and the like. Read More »

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier #HSReadingRedo

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edition published in 2006 by HarperCollins

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4 disco balls

First published August 1938 by Doubleday Doran
Category: Classics, Mystery, Romantic Suspense, Gothic

Rebecca was Book 1 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; one down, seven to go. This one took me much longer to read, clocking in at 8 days! I could have read two books in that time. Well no use crying about it now.

Let’s discuss why it took so long:Read More »

Reading Challenge: High School Reading Redo

September is right around the corner and can be known as Back to School Month. The start of school can vary based on location, but typically by September students are parked at their desks counting down the days until their next summer vacation. Well at least that was what I was doing. I certainly didn’t have the time to focus on required reading and often resorted to Cliff Notes. I needed my time to…I actually don’t remember but I just know my free time was not spent reading.

The adult me doesn’t even know that person: you can’t pry a book out of my hands nowadays. To rid myself of the guilt of not doing my homework I am going to spend the month of September reading the books I was supposed to read back in school (over twenty years ago). I only hope this makes my former English teachers – or English teachers everywhere – proud! If only I had my teachers emails, I would finally submit proper book “reports.”

Join or follow my progress through the hashtag #HSReadingRedo. Read from my list below or create your own. I would love to hear of your participation so come back an drop a comment below with your book “report” links!

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