Jane Austen’s Emma

Overview: Emma Woodhouse would seem to be a very modern woman, complete with the disinclination towards marriage. The thing is, this book is just about two hundred years old. But hey, does that really matter? Emma just wants to play matchmaker. Besides, her former governess has just married, and moved out of Hartfield. But, there’s this pretty, young woman living at Mrs. Goddard’s. She might be fun for an experiment.

Story Telling: We have a classical love story. And one of the first coming-of-age novels that ever existed.

Dislikes: Emma isn’t really a bad person, even at the beginning of the story, but her starting personality just rubbed me the wrong way. Both Mr. and Mrs. Elton were just wrong. No matter how influential, or wealthy, you are, you don’t get to over-run another’s get-together. Plus, if you make the mistake of who is returning your affections, you own up to it. Belittling the innocent is petty at the best, and cruel at the worst. But, what makes Mr. Elton so bad is that he is a preacher. What a hypocrite.

Frank Churchill was pretty sneaky with it came to his aunt.

Likes: George Knightley is one of the best parts of this novel. More on him later.

Robert Martin was tenacious when it came to Harriet Smith.

Jane held a firm personality, and she’s pretty well described as an introvert.

Isabella doesn’t have much screen-time, so to speak, though with her similarities to Mr. Woodhouse, this is a good thing. She was willing to help her sister out of a big mistake.

Favorite Character: George Knightley always tried to bring out the best that Emma could be. It appeared to be a thankless job at times, especially considering how Emma was raised.

Favorite Quote: When Mr. Woodhouse is lamenting on whether the boys will have to go home, Mr. Knightley has the best answer. ““No,” cried Mr. Knightley, “that need not be the consequence. Let them be sent to Donwell. I shall certainly be at leisure.””

Favorite Scene: It’s when Emma tries to make amends to Jane.

Conclusion: This is a great coming of age story. Emma had a lot of growing up to do, and it shows how hard she worked at it.

Melody Carlson’s Hidden History-Tales from Grace Chapel Inn 4

Overview: Meet the sisters who run Grace Chapel Inn. We have Louise–an elderly widow pining for grandchildren–, Alice–an elderly nurse, well part-time anyway–, and then we have Jane, a fifty-something with artistic flair. So what happens when Alice finds a journal of the late Pastor Daniel Howard? And what’s wrong with one of her old friends?

Story Telling: This is considered to be inspirational fiction. One could also call it Christian Fiction.

Dislikes: Grandfather Howard was given a raw deal in this book, even from his own son. Though, Daniel was understandable, as his journal was dated from when he was in high school. But, his daughters didn’t have much consideration for the fact that their Grandfather had lost so many in such a short time. Prohibition was between the two World Wars. One could easily get hooked on booze at the first lost. Besides, God doesn’t forbid booze. He just advises us not to be drunkards.

Both the small town citizens, as well as the former pastor’s family, were shown to be rather close-minded. Oh, sure they both seemed to care about those they saw on a day-to-day basis. But, if the person was an atheist, or having a bad day, then they didn’t show much compassion at all. It used to be that Christians sought out these types of people.

Likes: Creativity wasn’t treated like trouble waiting to happen.

And Grandpa Howard did try to encourage his children. Before you bring up the fact that he wanted Daniel to take up the farm, consider this: he was looking at losing his farm. Many men want their children to follow in their footsteps. As much as he groused about his son wanting to continue school, he did not force Daniel to quit.

Favorite Character: It’s Mark.

Conclusion: It may have been the fact that I don’t really care for Christian fiction, or I may have started with the wrong book, but this story isn’t for me. Maybe you’ll have better luck. Just keep a Bible with you when you read this one.

Rush Limbaugh’s The Way Things Ought To Be

Overview: Rush Limbaugh is better known as one of America’s premier talk radio hosts. Of course, he also happens to be rather conservative in his beliefs. Unabashedly conservative, even, so people either love or hate him. Want to see how Mr. Limbaugh thinks life should be working? It might be a fun trip.

Story Telling: This is a combination of a political commentary and a memoir.

Likes: For the most part, Mr. Limbaugh gives common sense solutions to many of the problems facing mainstream America. Let’s face it, whenever you throw money at a problem, the problem seems to grow bigger. It doesn’t seem like that’s the optimal solution.

Favorite Quote: This is something that we all need to chase away the negativity that life can throw at us. “ This country has not run out of opportunity. Your children can live in an America that is better, safer, more moral, and more prosperous.”

Conclusion: It appears as if Mr. Limbaugh is a controversial figure simply because he does not beat the drum for the DNC. Last time I checked, we should be able to judge all things for ourselves. The true question is: why would anyone be threatened by an opposing view?