August 17, 2010

three-bullet book review

A long, long time ago in a classroom far, far away, my 17th-century literature professor suggested a study strategy: for each of the (many) poets we had studied during the course, identify three significant points and three important poems If you could list three important things about each poet and name three of his/her poems, you'd be able to get through the final exam. Make flash cards, he said, with the poet's name on one side and your three points and three poems on the other. This sounded reasonable until I tried it. It would be even harder now: after (many) years in English departments, I have become rather longwinded.

You knew that already, though, right?

Despite the aforementioned (many) years in English departments, I still love books. The blogtacular kingdom of Kelly in Beantown will thus include occasional posts on stuff I'm reading. In the interest of that whole brevity thing, book reviews will be three bullet points long. Unless I cheat.

Three-Bullet Book Review: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
  • requires a large grain of salt for all the blatant racism
  • considering the American Civil War from the perspective of displaced Confederate gentry: an interesting mental exercise that I would never have come to on my own
  • fantastic characters, particularly (obviously) Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, who I can only picture as Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable

Yes, if you like big juicy page-turners and have a saltshaker close at hand.


  1. I like this feature a lot--so efficient and informative!

  2. I'm with Dorky. This is awesome.

    Also, did you seriously read this? I only ever think of it as a movie (that I've not seen, but can quote from at length).

  3. Let's see how long I can stick to three bullets!

    @A-Dubs: yes, I seriously read this. It was my Big Gluttonous Summer Read this year. F is reading it now. Also, you should totally watch the movie.

  4. Gone with the Wind is one of my favorites. I've read it several times. I don't like the movie too much; I think it comes from a really different perspective. It's kind of strange to me that most people think of Gone with the Wind and think of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable rather than the book.

  5. Gone With the Wind was my first ever used bookstore purchase. I was 12. I read it in about 3 sittings, hanging out in my aunt's lab. I was visiting her at grad school, and she could not take too much time off, so her boyfriend took me shopping. As they were 24, they had no sense of reading levels or appropriate material, and he bought it for me. I loved it.

  6. @gina: I want to watch the movie again now that I've read it, and I'm intrigued by the difference in perspective you mention. Also, thanks for stopping by!

    @AFtK: that's a great story. A splendid introduction to used bookstores and Scarlett O'Hara, all in one go.

  7. It really was--it was a neat trip. I was skipping school to be there, as my parents thought that a week following my aunt around the University would make me more pro-school than a week in junior high. My aunt and uncle took me to a couple of cool undergrad classes, where they were TAs, my aunt taught me how to identify fossilized pollen, my uncle taught me how to slice granite with a diamond edged rotary saw, and my aunt's advisor caught the entire lab dutifully doing the science experiments that I was missing in my 7th grade science class that wee. (Marshmallows and bell jars.) And used bookstores and tandem bikes.

  8. @AFrK: that sounds like an amazing trip, and I love that your parents took you out of school for it. The image of an entire lab doing 7th grade science makes me smile.