My Top Ten Favorite Books…Four Years Later

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business-3240766_1920I can’t believe it’s been already four years since I begun blogging! Time has gone by so fast! Four years ago, I wrote a blog post called My Top Ten Favorite Books. Recently, I decided to reread some of my old posts. When I looked over my list, I was so surprised by my taste in books four years ago. Although I chose some excellent books (Jane Eyre is still at the top of my list), my taste in books has expanded as I got older. Four years Continue reading

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On Heathcliff from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

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Whenever I think of the word “antihero,” I automatically think of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He’s romantic and passionate, but also vengeful, and cruel. One word I would never use to describe Heathcliff is “mellow.” Heathcliff is never mellow. Never. His emotions are all to the extreme. One moment he is blissfully in love with Catherine, the next moment, well, he’s ready to sacrifice his sanity to get revenge.

It’s as if he has a new emotion for every day of the week.

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You’ll have to excuse my poor drawing skills.

And as usual with these “on reading…” posts, there are a ton of spoilers ahead. So, if you haven’t read Wuthering Heights, please stop here and come back later. (Or check out my other “on reading…” posts.) Why should you take my advice? It’s an amazing book (it’s in my top ten). Continue reading

On Reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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There is something so devastating about The Great Gatsby that seems to ring true to this age as well as it did in the roaring 20s. We live in a society where we are encouraged to want greater and brighter things. We are presented with images of wealth and luxury as a way to goad us into going after these things to no end. Whether it’s a shiny new car or a huge house, the desires of the consumer are infinite. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby was published in 1925, in the heart of a great cultural shift in North America.

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After writing quite a few book reviews on this blog, I decided that it is time to try something new. When I write reviews, my goal is usually to tell you why or why not a certain book is worth reading. I decided that I wanted to go in-depth into the books I enjoyed reading, instead of giving you a summary, or a “yes, read this book now,” or “no way, don’t waste your time.”
Oh, and be warned, this article contains a ton of spoilers. [Spoiler alert!] So, if you haven’t read The Great Gatsby, leave now before I ruin the book for you. And, if you say, “Nah, that’s okay, ruin it for me,” you really don’t know what you’re missing. Go read it now if you haven’t! Continue reading

Book Review: The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by: Stuart Turton

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Can’t you see, these masks we wear betray us. They reveal us” – The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by: Stuart Turton

Initial Thoughts: It was definitely the title that drew me in. It rolls off the tongue nicely and it is very memorable. I ended up reading a version of the book called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but the internet assures me that it is the same book as The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. 

Summary

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…” – Goodreads

The Review

It has been a week since I finished this book, and I held off reviewing for a week to gather my thoughts. I could summarize my entire thoughts by just one word, wow. I was expecting a fun murder mystery type of novel with some twists and turns, but I didn’t even begin to imagine the intricacies of the plot and the depth of the characters. There are very few books like these, and they need to be treated as gems of genius.

The novel starts out with a man waking up in the forest grounds of Blackheath mansion. He does not know who he is or why he is there. There is only one word upon his lips. A name. Anna.  Continue reading

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Borrows

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Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true” – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Borrows

Initial Thoughts: I had found The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by chance while I was browsing through Walmart.  It was the title – the super long and strange title – that drew me in. As I found out later while reading, I wasn’t the only one who was curious about what a potato peel pie was made of. I’ll give you a hint… potatoes.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Summary

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. ” – Goodreads

The Review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society was an absolute delight to read. My only regret, why didn’t I come across this book sooner!

It’s January 1946, and the war is finally over. Now, London is slowly beginning to rebuild itself. In the mix of everything is writer Juliet Ashton, whose book Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War, is the best work she has ever written (to her great dismay). While trying to find a new subject to write on, Juliet receives a letter from the island of Guernsey. The letter is from a man named Dawsey Adams who bought Juliet’s previously owned copy of the poetry of Charles Lamb. In his letter, he reveals that he and his friends created a literary society by accident during the German occupation called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Enraptured by this letter, Juliet begins a correspondence with Dawsey and the members of the society. As Juliet learns more and more about the German occupation of Guernsey, Juliet rediscovers her passion for books and for telling stories. Continue reading