Agnes Grey by Ann Bronte

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The main character of the book, Agnes Grey, works as a governess for two wealthy families.

The first family never discipled the children and even encouraged cruel behavior toward animals.  I found it difficult to read through this section, as it broke my heart.

The second family was better; however, they had no regard for the feelings of others.  They were snobbish, selfish, and viewed money as more important than character.

Agnes Grey was a religious woman and tried to teach moral values to the children she was instructing.  At one point of the book she said, “The end of Religion is not to teach us how to die, but how to live; and the earlier you become wise and good, the more happiness you secure.”

The book does have a happy ending and is worth reading.

 

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury’s book The Illustrated Man was published in 1951, and it is considered a classic.

The book is about a man whose body is covered in magical tattoos.  The tattoos move and  play out stores of various people living in the future.

Each chapter of the book contains a science-fiction story, in which technology has a massive impact on human behavior.  The characters for each story relatable, even if you end up hating them.

The stories often have surprise endings that may leave you feeling baffled or dejected.  Despite the dismal endings and the pessimistic feelings aroused by the stories, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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After finishing The Zombie Survival Guide, I decided to read Pilgrim’s Progress.  What can I say?  I have strange reading habits.

John Bunyan wrote this book in the 1600’s.  The story is a classic, because the lessons found in this book are applicable even to this day.

The main character is Christian.  He felt convicted by the Word of God, so Christian leaves his hometown, family, friends, and everything he owns behind to find peace, forgiveness, and release from his burdens.  He begins his journey to the Celestial City on Mount Zion.

While traveling, Christian meets other pilgrims.  He finds some of them to be helpful and encouraging.  However, he also encounters people that try to discourage him from his journey.

Christian also faces various attacks, trials, and tribulations.  He struggles to pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and the Slough of Despond.

At times, Christian stumbles and wanders off of the path to the Celestial City.  In spite of all that happens to him and in spite of his own mistakes, Christian is determined.  He never surrenders.

In the end, Christian completes his journey and arrives at the Celestial City.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

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Professor Hardwigg discovered an old Icelandic parchment that contained a map to the center of the earth.  The professor was determined to follow the map with his nephew and a guide from Iceland as traveling companions.

Their journey was perilous and at several points almost ended in death, yet they succeeded and reached their destination.

They found the center of the earth contained a unique ecosystem, complete with vegetation, water, massive creatures, and even what appeared to be giant humans.

There were some interesting parts in the book.  However, it seemed a bit far fetched and I found it difficult to get into the story.