Review of A Farewell to Arms Novel

So Then I Read This Book and That Book

It’s fair to say I like to read a lot. It’s fair also to say it might be an addiction. OK, there’s worse things, right? I recently met my 2016 Reading Challenge at Goodreads of 25 books (woohoo!) and wanted to share a few of the books I’ve delved into recently. Here are my reflections on three of these novels.

The Viking and the Courtesan

Historical Romance Book Review

The Viking and the Courtesan by Shehanne Moore

When I read The Viking and The Courtesan by Scottish author Shehanne Moore, I knew I was heading into new territory as I do not typically read historical romance books. Well this was quite the read to get my feet wet!

The main character Lady Malice Mallender was quite the character, a woman who felt she was not quite good enough to get the attention of her husband (who never had so much as kissed her before!).

Malice is in the business of breaking up marriages and doing quite well at it (depending what angle you take) until she finds herself traveling back in time to 898 AD in Viking, Norway, and meets Sin Gudrunsson, who is a Viking. Wowa and she may just be falling for him, only there are a few big questions, including how he feels about her and what is causing her to travel in time?

The book is fast-paced, and the characters are both witty and animated. I almost felt Malice blush a few times, and know I did, as I read it, given some of the steamy love scenes. While I wasn’t so in love with the phrase “bed slave,” I realize the author used it to create authenticity in language for the time back then in Norway. On a side note, if you adore shoes then you will enjoy Malice’s penchant for buying high heels.

A Farewell to Arms

Review of A Farewell to Arms Novel

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms,  I knew little about it aside from the fairly well-known attribute that the ending is sudden and seemingly unfair. I won’t write spoilers here, but it’s fair to say that’s correct! The book is set during World War I and focuses on the Italian campaign of one soldier, an American named Frederic Henry, who is a Lieutenant in the Italian army.

A large chunk of the book could be called a love story between Frederic and a nurse named Catherine Barkley. The story is told through Frederic’s eyes, and he certainly has the upper hand in the relationship. While that was the way back then (male dominance in a relationship), I can’t say I was happy when Catherine always wanted to do as Frederic wanted, rather than expressing her own opinions.

In reading the book, I learned more about what it might have been like to live during WWI, including the way many men turned to alcohol to get through tough days and forget memories from the battlefield. It is obvious, at least to me, from reading A Farewell to Arms that Ernest Hemingway was cynical about war. I got this sense from conversations between characters.

As for Hemingway’s writing style, it took some adjusting to it at first. His sentences are long and very detailed. However, I think the detail is important to the plot as it shows how things change during war, both in terms of the physical landscape and the hearts of the characters in the book.

Masterworks (The Painterly #4)

Masterworks Book Review

The Painterly Book #4: Masterworks, Written by James Johnson

Masterworks is the fourth book in “The Painterly” series and does not disappoint. I’ve read the short books by James Johnson in sequence; they take only about a half hour to read, and this fourth one is just 11 pages. I consider this one the best in the series!

The primary characters John and Lana continue their adventures, having survived the tragic event at Kina. As authoritative (and increasingly mean) Jesla tells them, their survival was not an accident. Now John and Lana learn that there is a replacement bot all set up for Lana and “it” is not emotional or caring in the least.

When this bot focuses its sights on John and removing him from existence, John takes a leap of face – literally – that is more dangerous than anything he has likely done before.

I like the way author James Johnson mixes action sequences with creative passages in Masterworks. As for the whole concept of the gallery (you’ll have to read it to know what that is), it is very cool. For that ingenious idea alone, I applaud Johnson.

Current Reads and a Few Questions

OK, there you have it, some of the books I’ve read recently. Right now I’m reading Ancient Ways: The Roots of Religion by Diane Mulberger Olsen and Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network by Dane Cobain.

What are you reading? Also, have you ever read Ernest Hemingway?

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133 thoughts on “So Then I Read This Book and That Book

  1. Billybuc

    It’s a rare time for me in that I’m not reading at the moment. I’m too busy writing my own novels, and by the end of the day I’m burned out on words. I’m sure that will change soon but for now, with deadlines looming, it is what it is. 🙂

    Hugs from Olympia

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  2. shehannemoore

    Christy, my darling. I finally got here, having been minding the grandbaby all day and not being very well either. BUT you have so cheered me I am happy dancing and feeling so-oh much better. You are the kindest, sweetest lady and I am offski to blast this out there. Thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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      1. shehannemoore

        My darling, I am so thrilled you did this and were kind enough to read the book. I will love you forever for it. (PS Remind me to blog their bed slave concept some time. I even read how these poor women who had no rights were generally burned with the rest of their belongings when an owner died. Just awful. You would have had a field day! )

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        1. Christy B Post author

          YES you really should blog about some of the history you uncovered while doing research for the book. I’m sure I would be fascinated (and happy to not have lived back then). Massive hugs xx

          Liked by 1 person

        2. shehannemoore

          Yeah. Believe me, you would not have want4ed to have lived back then, I think I will blog it cos in some ways the Viking attitude was a massive contradiction in terms and I was just thinking the other day when I did all the promo for that book re blogs etc, I never actually blogged that. Might be my next post! Big hugs my darling xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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        3. Christy B Post author

          Oh Shey, I look forward to the blog post! No need to rush, when you have time.. in the meantime, enjoy the weekend! I love how Malice is creating such wonderful conversation in the comments section of this post 😉 I wonder if she is out buying a new pair of shoes as I type this?

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  3. Teagan Geneviene

    It seems you had quite an extraordinary reading list, Christy — and that you enjoyed it, which is the important thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with those of us who don’t always have time or energy to look for things on our own. 🙂 Mega hugs.

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  4. jbcowgill

    The Viking story looks very cool to me. I know that you got your feet wet, but I hope that you were barefoot at the time. Hate to see your socks and shoes wet. Really. I love those historic stories. Thanks for making me want to get it.

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  5. D. Wallace Peach

    I like Hemingway, Christy, but it is a style that takes some getting used to. It’s so interesting to me how writing styles change with the times. The Moore book sounds like a hoot. I don’t read romances, but this sounds like quite a wild one. 🙂

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  6. Marc Philippe Babineau

    Aye! I do love me a John Grisham mind twister, but Stephen King is really who turned me into a book reader, then, while looking around libraries, turned to the masters like Joyce, Capote, Hemingway,et al, but then I found Gonzo “journalism” via Hunter S. Thompson and the road weary tales of Jack Kerouac… Which all led me to JRR Tolkien (yes, I admit it!)…

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  7. Sageleaf

    What AWESOME reads! I, too, blush during those steamy romance scenes. *giggle* And Hemingway. Sigh. I really want to read more of his stuff. He lived in Spain and I went to a restaurant where he used to get ideas and write when I was over there for a summer once. You’re a voracious reader! I think I’ll go read some now, too! ❤

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  8. Georgeta R. M.

    I have read and appreciated, Farewell to Arms, which although appears as a beautiful love story against the gray background of the war, is a vigorous prose, rough, tough. Thanks for these interesting stories. Sending all my best wishes. G.

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  9. Rajagopal

    I am not into reading fiction, Christy; nonetheless, I have read quite a number of the old classics, specially of Dickens, Scott, Swift, Hardy, Jane Austen, Tolstoy, Sholokov, Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Gabriel Marquez, Steinbeck and few others. i read The Farewell to Arms during my undergraduate days in the mid 1970s (pretty young I am, is n’t it?). The tragic love story appears to have an autobiographical element in the characterisation of Frederic, depicting Hemingway’s disillusionment with war. The title symbolises a farewell on two counts, farewell to arms, in the sense of ammunition, and farewell to arms of love.

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  10. melouisef

    Long ago read Hemingway very much a man’s man. No ways could I read a romance sorry, very very sorry. Busy with the Sherlockian, still trying to get into it. The author’s latest book The Last Days of Night was 5 stars.

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  11. Annika Perry

    An eclectic mix of books, Christy. After a few bloggers mentioned Hemingway I’ve promised myself to read some of his books next year. Currently reading ‘The Museum of You’ from NetGalley. It’s good but not as striking as Carys Bray’s first book ‘A Song for Issy Bradley’.

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  12. vivachange77

    I read A Farewell to Arms a long time ago and liked it. I just finished reading Anne Patchett’s new book Commonwealth. Splendid! I’ve been following her since her first book, Bel Canto.

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  13. dgkaye

    Those are some pretty fantastic reviews! I can’t wait to sink my eyes into some of Shehanne’s books waiting so patiently on my reader, lol.
    I’m currently reading Christoph Fischer’s – The Gambler, and Norah Ephron’s – Crazy Salad. ❤

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    1. shehannemoore

      OOH shoes….. Well, she kind of has found such solace in them she does an awful lot to have them, including spending marriage wrecking money……… ..OKay cards on the table here….she will wreck a marriage to have them ( if they are nice enough) x

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  14. L. T. Garvin, Author

    I like the idea of a story with Vikings and time travel. I have read A Farewell to Arms, but it has been so long ago that I may have to take that one off the shelf again. I don’t get to read as many books as I like, I either have to choose to read or write with what bit of time I have. Great reviews!

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      1. the dune mouse

        let me know! The tv series was very sexy though a bit over the top at times. ( just my own opinion of course). I’m a tad old fashioned in my tastes and like everything to be very true-ish lol.

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        1. Christy B Post author

          I am going in with the knowledge that it may be over the top so stay tuned.. I may just read book 1 and decide I’m done with it or be hooked and go to book 2 right away ~ ah the fun of reading! Happy weekend to you 🙂

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  15. inesephoto

    What a wonderful choice of books, Christy! I grew up with Hemingway’s books, and I think every teenager has to read them. And Malice! I love this girl, and I have read the book between the lines too 😉
    Thank you for sharing these books. Have a happy weekend!

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  16. Copper Cranes

    Hi Christy, lovely post and wonderful reviews. I’m a Hemingway fan, he’s not for everyone, and a little Hemingway can go a long way, but I love all aspects of his character/personality and his writing. I cried for days when I finished, “A Farewell to Arms”. Enjoy the rest of your day, take care. ~ Mia

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    1. Christy B Post author

      How nice to see you here! Oh yes, Shehanne’s creative soul is shining in this book 🙂 As for your comment on Hemingway, I think manly people read him in school. Sometimes it’s fun to reread books and get new insights into them. Have a nice weekend!

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  17. Resa

    Christy, you are awesome.
    I wish I was as addicted to reading books as you are. I used to be. I think career, street art, Art Gowns, blogging & even vid games, have gotten in my time’s way.
    I love that you are an equal opportunity reader.
    I have read Hemingway. However, I became confused about what I’d read and what I’d viewed.
    So I went to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002133/ and became even more confused.
    I thought he wrote “Of Human Bondage”. Not! W. Somerset Maugham wrote that one.
    Love and hugs!!!

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Ohhh it’s easy to mix up authors, and I’ve done it too, Resa. I’m glad it was figured out in the end. I love reading and admit it sometimes consumes me when I have other things to do.. I love that you want to make time for reading but I hear you about not having enough time… yesterday I was so tired that I went to bed without reading and that’s very unlike me. Maybe it also has to do with these dark, rainy days.. HUGS and lots of LOVE

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  18. Letizia

    What a wonderfully diverse list! I’m not a big fan of Hemingway’s work, but the one book I do like a lot is his memoir of living in Paris, A Moveable Feast. It’s interesting to hear about all the other writers living there at the time and I just prefer his nonfiction style, I suppose.

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    1. Christy B Post author

      I haven’t read A Moveable Feast so that’s on the to-read pile (which gets bigger by the day). He’s not for everyone but at least you like his nonfiction work. I think it’s amazing that he tackled both fiction and non-fiction. Thanks for stopping by, L!!

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  19. Sheila

    I agree with Letizia – I’m not a huge Hemingway fan either (mostly because of the way he shows women) but I did like A Moveable Feast. The descriptions of coziness are perfect for this time of year.

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Thanks Sheila for taking time here and for the nice words you wrote in your other comment about my poetic writing. You are so kind! I wish you a great week, including some reading 🙂

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  20. Daal

    I’m impressed by the range of types of books you like to read. I looove Hemmingway – his short stories especially. Old Man & the Sea is a must read! The Bogie movie of it was fab too 🙂

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  21. Silver Screenings

    The only Hemingway books I’ve read are “The Old Man and the Sea” (read when I was a kid and thought it was sooo boring) and, more recently, “A Moveable Feast” which I liked for style and observations, but wasn’t sure I’d like Hemingway himself if I knew him.

    Thanks for the other reading recommendations! A historical romance with Vikings sounds really intriguing.

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  22. Sarah Potter Writes

    I’ve reached my challenge, but Goodreads doesn’t know it yet, as I’m behind with reviewing the last three books I have read, plus finishing reading your wonderful poetry book and review that, too! I’ve had a slight delay, as someone asked me to beta-read their novel and I had the feeling they would like it done sooner rather than later, but it’s a brilliant novel, which helps.

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Ah yes, beta-reading is a fulfilling activity but really can take time (to do it thoroughly, that is). Congrats at on reaching your reading goal too, and Goodreads will be thrilled too when you get over there 😉 Thanks in advance for the offer to review my book and I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the read!

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