Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday! Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Fifteen, in which I review five books in fifteen words or less. Since today marks the start of the 2012 Olympics, here’s a special UK-themed edition:

1. The Boggart by Susan Cooper
Charming MG novel mixing mythical creatures and modernity. Boggarts were cool before Harry Potter.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sisters, snobs, and misunderstandings. Austen’s characters deal with issues we tackle today. See also LBD.

3. Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake
The Decemberists could probably make a great album out of these poems.

4. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sara Crewe keeps calm and carries on.

5. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Sometimes it’s worth risking death to score some tasty veg.

75 thoughts on “Friday Fifteen

  1. Interesting – it won’t let me like this post but I can comment. What a wonderful literary exercise! We should all practice the “15 words or less” approach. It really sorts out the point of it all, doesn’t it?

  2. Great Post!
    I love Jane Austen! And I am a Pride and Prejudice addict. I am that person who has watched the movie(keira knightly version–haven’t seen any others) a million times and has memorized the funniest lines like “she is the biggest flirt that ever made her family ridiculous”.

    I am a big fan of European (greek, british, etc) literature, and I have tried to tackle it a little bit. Come visit my blog (thescribblerarchive) and see if you can stomach my attempts. 🙂

    Congrats on being freshly pressed! 🙂

  3. Congrats on being freshly pressed. I love Beatrix Potter and my kids do too. Jane Austen is just a brilliant writer isn’t she? – don’t think anyone does humor better, well maybe with the exception of Bernard Shaw. I have not read numbers 1 and 3, will definitely do.

  4. One of the best reasons for a list like this — and hopefully part of your motivation — is the sharing / discovery of writers / works previously unknown to your visitors. So I am off to explore Boggarts!

  5. Awesome selection and great descriptions (esp Peter Rabbit.) I love Susan Cooper, but I haven’t read that one, so I’ll have to go hunt it down now. 🙂

  6. Congrats. on Freshly Pressed status!–you definitely fill a niche in the reviewing community. I write much longer reviews myself, but I’m alive to the issue of how little time people–especially young adults–sometimes have as the globe seems to shink and expand at the same time, and time available to read with it. For those too rushed to read longer excerpts and reviews, you supply a felt need for a quick means of choosing amongst what books to read next.

    • For your reader who found Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice really boring, it’s helpful to imagine yourself shipped off for the day to your maiden aunt’s, by your parents, who never take you anywhere; you’re anticipating a dull and embarrassing visit, but after serving you tea, your maiden aunt gets a little chirpier, and starts relating family scandals you haven’t been privy to previously, not excluding ones about (even) your parents and grandparents. And when your parents are there to take you home, apparently relieved that you aren’t ready to slay them in their tracks for leaving you with a previously distant aunt for the day, the last you see of your aunt’s face is when she gives you a wry little smile and a wink, letting you know that if you aren’t going to tell your parents about the two of you “letting your hair down together,” as the saying goes, then she certainly isn’t going to be so tactless either. This is Jane Austen’s voice, wry, ironic, even sometimes a little scathing, and if you miss HOW she tells the stories in her novels, the WHAT can seem, I realize, a little tedious. I hope this helps. If it really doesn’t, then she may just not be for you. But I hope you’ll give her another chance, anyway.

  7. Pingback: Fifteen Words or Less « Keri Peardon, Once and Future Author

  8. This is such an awesome idea, I’m so glad I came across your blog on “Freshly Pressed” (congratulations). I write book reviews on my blog and they tend to be a lengthy — I should take a page out of your book and shoot for fifteen words or less! After all, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” right?

  9. Do you do this all the time or was this just a whim? I think it would be awesome for like every book in the universe. It is often done with Movie tag lines that go in the TV guide function on modern televisions.

  10. Beatrice Potter infused my imagination that much more as a child. A must for all children! My Mom has the whole lot of her books! congrats by the way 🙂

  11. Pingback: Dienstags Fünfzehn | Pascal Wiederkehr

  12. Pingback: Freshly Pressed’s Best Of July 2012 — Blog — WordPress.com

  13. It’s quite an art, reviewing books in so few words. I thought I used to do well when I had a regular magazine column and did them in 50: I bow to your awesome abilities.

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