The Time Machine - H.G. Wells

I was familiar with this concept from the movie that they made from the book. But as usual, the movie was pretty pathetic when compared to the book. While a book written nearly 120 years ago won't keep up with the science very well, the human side of the story is very telling. The short story explores a human's social needs as well as the survival instinct. An overarching theme is the desire to explore and learn. The main character loses his time machine in the future, and when he finally gets it back, instead of fleeing into his own time, he continues further into the future to see the end of the world. All in all a good quick read.


Dracula - Bram Stoker

I thought when I started this book, being somewhat familiar with the vampire myths, that there would be little to surprise me. I was wrong. It was a very enjoyable read once you get past the old time feel to the writing. Dracula instead of being a major character in the book is instead mostly a motivation for the characters to do what they do. After the first part of the book, he has maybe three lines. It is written as a compilation of various peoples' diaries and correspondence, and unlike most of the time when an author attempts this, there is mostly a different style and feel to each person's writing style. A word of warning however; by the standards of today it is a fairly sexist book. If a male author tried to use some of the lines from this book as his own, he would be eviscerated.


The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

This book was really hard to get into. It is about 300 pages (at least the volume I read) and for the first 200 I really struggled. The last 100 were much more fun to read. the end was OK, but seemed to be trying too hard to be poignant.

It is the story of two star crossed lovers in New York "Society" whose love is doomed by the social norms of the day combined with their desire no to hurt their families. The characters end up not being who you thought they were for the whole book. The man is the most complex. It appears at the beginning that he is in love with love, then he is in love with a woman, then he becomes rooted in habit and ends up not loving anything. The woman is flighty and while you think she loves the man, I am not totally sure she did. The man's wife appears to be a simpleton, but ends up being quite shrewd.

Worth reading once, but I dont think I will ever read it again.