Narrative poem set in the Trossachs region of Scotland. Composed of six cantos, each of which concerns the action of a single day. The poem has three main plots: the contest among three men, Roderick Dhu, James Fitz-James, and Malcolm Graeme, to win the love of Ellen Douglas; the feud and reconciliation of King James V of Scotland and James Douglas; and a war between the lowland Scots (led by James V) and the highland clans (led by Roderick Dhu of Clan Alpine). The poem was tremendously influential in the nineteenth century, and inspired the Highland Revival.
I'm not entirely sure if I like rhymed poetry but there are some beautiful parts and Scotland is always appreciated.
17. The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook - Alice B. Toklas (1954) 3 / 5
Toklas's rich mixture of menus and memories of meals shared with such famous friends as Wilder, Picasso, and Hemingway.
A bit disappointed in the writing, it wasn't as insightful as I thought it would be, but fun and interesting anecdotes nevertheless. It almost got me interested in cooking which is quite an achievement in itself.
18. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - Stephen King (1982) 2 / 5
Based on a a novella from Different Seasons, this unabridged tale focuses on a man convicted of murder, who finds himself in a prison ruled by a sadistic warden and secretly operated by a clever convict.
Liked the movie and the story was alright but it's not the best work of King in my opinion, a tad overrated.
19. Hard Times - Charles Dickens (1854) 4 / 5
Championing the mind-numbing materialism of the period is Thomas Gradgrind, one of Dickens’s most vivid characters. He opens the novel by arguing that boys and girls should be taught “nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.” Forbidding the development of imagination, Gradgrind is ultimately forced to confront the results of his philosophy—his own daughter’s terrible unhappiness.
20. Chopin: Prince of the Romantics - Adam Zamoyski (1979) 4 / 5
[ summaries from Barnes & Noble and Wikipedia ]