Mini Reviews! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Graveyard Book, & Anne of Green Gables

Posted December 24, 2019 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

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Time for another round of mini reviews!  The following three books are all books I’ve read before and have reviewed before on the blog, but they’re still good books and deserve a little time in the spotlight. These reviews are short and sweet, with a handful thoughts and impressions but nothing too deep.

So, these are a little more spread out than the last time I did a mini review bundle.  Both The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Graveyard Book were actually read in October.  I’ve been putting the bits about the books I’m reading in this post as I read them, so, yup!

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving

Publisher: Self-Published on October 1, 1820
Genre: Classics, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Short Stories
Target Age Group: Adult, Childrens, Middle Grade, New Adult, Young Adult

Rating: ★★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads

Tom Mison, star of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, narrates the classic Washington Irving short story.

In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball during the Revolutionary War.

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is an annual tradition for me in October.  The audiobook is only an hour and a half long, so it’s a nice distraction for a day’s drive to and from the office.  With the mornings dark and rainy, the atmosphere this year was perfect for Sleepy Hollow.

Unfortunately, the biggest things that stood out for me this year was the way the black characters were treated… they’re gross stereotypes.  It’s not what I should be taking out of the book, but I have a difficult time setting it aside.  I remember noticing it last year, but it seemed more defined this year for some reason.  Definitely dampened the experience.  I understand this book is old, published 45 years before emancipation in America, but yuck.

Tom Mison’s voice is velvety perfection, though… so I enjoyed that!

For more details, I’ll point you to my review from 2017.

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Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★ 1/2
Writing: ★★★
Pacing: ★ 1/2
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2
Total: ★★★ 1/2

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The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

Publisher: HarperCollins on September 30, 2008
Genre: Fantasy, Ghost Story, Horror, Paranormal
Target Age Group: Adult, Childrens, Middle Grade, New Adult, Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family.

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times best-selling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

 

I have been just dying to listen to The Graveyard Book again this year – I’ve been thinking about Bod and his friends for a couple months.  So, I figured, why not October?

I just still love love love this book.  I think it’s got to be my favorite Gaiman novel.  Bod is so likable and watching him grow up is heartwarming.  I love how all the little “anecdotes” ultimately work together at the end to tie up the story.  And I love the side characters – Liza Hempstock is a favorite, and I like the Sleer.  I very much want Liza’s full story.

The end is so heartbreaking though.  I don’t know if I’ve quite digested it before, but Bod’s goodbyes just make me sad… how horrible to be able to go home, but it’s only a place and not home.  For a simple little book this is so appealing to all ages, and I cannot recommend it enough – really, it’s quite high on my list of favorites.

For more details and a lot of squeeing, you can check out my original review here.

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Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★
Total: ★★★★★

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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

by L. M. Mongomery

Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Publisher: L.C. Page & Co. on June 1, 1908
Genre: Bildungsroman, Classics, Historical Fiction
Target Age Group: Childrens

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

"She'll have to go back." Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead - a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.

 

Anne of Green Gables is one of my absolute favorite books of all time.  No mater how many time I revisit Anne Shirley – whether by physical book, audiobook, or adaptation – I find myself always enchanted by by Anne and the language L.M. Montgomery uses in describing her.  It’s not a complicated, surprising, or action-packed book… but Anne of Green Gables is heartwarming to the max.

It’s amazing that a book about an orphan girl who lived about a century ago and had no astounding adventures can stay so close to the heart of so many people.  And yet, Anne Shirley is timeless.  I still find myself loving Marilla and Rachel’s friendship nearly as much as Anne and Diana’s – I find myself longing for a bosom friend such as Diana – and my heart absolutely breaking when Matthew passes.

But most of all – Anne and Gilbert’s very slow and sweet romance wraps me up and I adore this couple more than any other. I’ve read this every couple of years since my first read (although the story itself has been with me since childhood) and I imagine I will be drawn back to it again and again and again.

You can read the original review here.

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Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★
Total: ★★★★★

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While all these books are ones and have (or would) read time and again, I love having this little opportunity share them all with you!  I am a voracious re-reader of books and all three of these stories are ones I revisit and have characters and events that stay with me even long after I’ve finished reading them.  While not all my rereads are seasonal and/or cherished favorites, that was the luck of the draw this time around!

I don’t know if I’ll be rereading any other books particularly soon, but I imagine we’ll have another collection of these mini reviews by summer of next year. 😉

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What books do you reread and why?  At the moment, classics pull me to rereading them more than anything, but I suppose that’s why they are classics!  Beautiful language and timeless stories and characters draw me… but what about you?  Holler about the books you could read over and over in the comments!

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2 responses to “Mini Reviews! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Graveyard Book, & Anne of Green Gables

  1. I love ‘ The Graveyard Book’ when I read it and I think it’s a great book although that does not make me want to read Gaiman’s other book, but I did read ‘Stardust’ which is pretty good but the movie is better.

    Anne of Green Gables is one of favorite books. I have read the other eight books in the series and I adore them all but Anne of Green Gables is definitely the best of the bunch.

    Have a lovely day.

    • Amber

      Neil Gaiman’s books are so hit or miss for me! I love some, but others are such a drag. I keep trying them, but they aren’t all winners for me, so I definitely get where you’re coming from with him.

      I’m slowly working my way through all the Anne books… but there just something particularly magical about the first book, isn’t there? 🙂