Thank YOU for joining me for Recycled Reads 2017!
I selected 12 books I’ve had on my shelf and not read. Reading through tomes sitting untouched on my shelf feeds directly into My year of CLean – deciding whether or not to keep the books may be a tougher decision!
The Last of the Mohicans was a book I picked up from my parents house. Since this wasn’t a book I read in High School, it must have been from my brothers required reading list. Interestingly, it’s also on my boys Mensa Reading List so we’d be reading it anyway in the coming years.
In the beginning, the book was really difficult to get into. Although the books’ introduction by A.B. Guthrie, Jr. articulates James Fenimore Cooper’s writing style as being ‘Latinized’. Quite literally relying on his love of Latin, studied in his short stint at Yale, and love of English literature, Cooper’s style is easily acquired after a few chapters.
Written in 1826, and part of his famous Leatherstocking Tales, the overall theme is one of strong white men, ‘red men’, and the fraility of women. Had the introduction not been placed prior to the book beginning, I may have been offended. However, understanding Cooper’s standing as the first American Novelist, as well as his standing as an aristocrat at the time, allowed me to further delve into the content of the book. As Guthrie states in the introduction, the story is well told and portrays the ‘red man’ as equal to the European ‘whites’ residing in America. Guthrie continues to tell how this book followed Cooper into society for which his detractors argued against him, which Cooper then sued them for libel.
I found the beginning of the story a bit slow, but then once the phrasing and vocabulary came more easily, began to enjoy it immensely. Living off the land, sticking to one’s convictions, fighting for the collective good — these were storylines I could follow. I enjoyed the great detail with which Cooper described the land, the people, and the country at the time. The imagery was sharp in my mind. Having not been to this part of the United States, I could envision the scenes from traveling and hiking in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains. The portraits he painted with his words were bigger than life.
While it’s difficult for me to understand in 2017 why men in war would risk their lives for two aristocratic women, let alone entire Native American tribes, I must say I loved this book. I look forward to reading it again with my children. Once we read it together, I’ll likely look up the movie by the same name – though I’ve not seen it yet.
I always prefer to read the book prior to seeing the movie.
What helped me with this book was actually my bibliophile son — he recently finished the Wordly Wise Book 9 which covered many vocabulary words I may not have known or would have had to stop and look up. Since I prefer reading real books, I don’t have the built-in vocabulary assistance of an e reader – like my son’s Kindle – to research vocabulary as I’m reading. If you are using this, you may find this feature helpful.
Let me know if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts are!! I’ll definitely be adding the rest of the Leatherstocking Tales to my life-time reading list!
What is your latest read? How did you like this book? Is it on your 2017 Reading List?
What is ‘Recylced Reads’ 2017?
The gist: Read what you have on your shelf. If you’ve read it all, then swap books with friends, enjoy a trip to the library to find a dozen you’d like to read, or classics you may have missed along the way, and read away.
The rules: There really are no rules — it’s all about giving yourself the grace and space to take the time for you. I enjoy reading, so naturally, this is a challenge I could embrace.
My dozen are books for 2017:
- The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck
- The Sword and the Stone by T.H.White
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- King Arthur and his Knights complied and arranged by Elizabeth Lodor Merchant
- The Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- Homegrown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path by Ben Hewitt
- Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
- Rising Strong by Brene Brown