Happy International Women’s Day!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

I realized that the majority of my shelves are filled with female authors 🙂 Who are some of your favorite female authors?

(Not pictured: Amy Poehler’s book, which I read her narration of, and Frankenstein which I forgot! Boo.)

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10 Best Novels by Poets

10 Best Novels by Poets

How many of these have you read? I know that The Bell Jar has been on my list for quite some time. That’s what makes Janet Fitch one of my favorite authors, her lyrical prose. Poets make amazing fiction writers (except every now and then when they go overboard with the flowery language and metaphors…we’ve all seen ’em).

Liebster Award Nomination!

I was nominated by bodaciousbookbabe, thank you so much for nominating my blog!

Before I start I wanted to say that since posting my piece on Respect as a Blogger on Twitter I had over 500 views in the past two days alone from all different countries. Including places like Kenya, Germany, UK, Russia, US, Australia and more. This has been awesome. Thanks guys. I hope you enjoy!

The Rules:

Link and thank the blogger that nominated you

Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you

Tag other bloggers who have 200 followers or less

Ask the 11 nominated bloggers 11 questions and tell them you’ve nominated them

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1. What was the last book that made you cry?

Night by Eli Wiesel.

2. What is a really underrated book that you would love to see on the big screen? Why?

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier is an absolutely beautiful YA fantasy-fairytale that is very well-written and would look so cool on the big screen.

3. What is something in a book that has to be well-done for you to like it? (For me, it’s characterization.) Is it plot, setting, characters, etc?

Definitely definitely characters. As you’ve seen on my blog nothing pisses me off more than weak characters. A mark of a strong writer, for me, is well developed characters. They don’t have to be lovable, but they have to seem real. Plot takes a back seat for me.

4. Is there a book that you consider your guilty pleasure? If so, why?

TWILIGHT! ahahahahah. So, me trying to be a hipster kid I refused to read Twilight and made fun of it with everyone else. (I did the same with Harry Potter until I saw the first movie and saw how awesome it was. I know, it’s bad). Then, one summer I watched every single Twilight movie and I loved it. I then bought the book set. I can still hold on to my hipster mentality by legitimately loving vampires “before they were cool”. Have you ever read Carmilla? Lesbian-vampire story written in the 1800s? Yes.
To wrap this up, I know it isn’t well written but it’s captivating. And I fell in love with Alice and Carlisle. I also totally love that Stephanie Meyer wasn’t a writer, had little to no experience, had to write while raising kids, and made herself a sensation. It’s a true American Dream and I love that.

5. What is your favorite book setting? (Stuff like this -> Fantasy AU, Boarding School, Hollywood, New York, Foreign Countries, etc.)

I read more fantasy when I was younger and I loved it but I haven’t read much lately. If anyone has any suggestions please tell me! But, I love old school vampire stories and medieval times. For the most part I just read contemporary fiction set in America. I absolutely love a book that captures the spirit of some section of America. Each region has so much personality. For example New Orleans in A Streetcar Named Desire, 1920s NYC in Gatsby, and LA in Janet Fitch’s Paint it Black. 

6. What is a book that you want to read purely for the cover?

Poisoned Apples: Poems for you, my Pretty by Christine Hepperman.

7. Is there a book that you’ve tried to read innumerable times but have never been able to finish? What is it?

The Invisible Man. It’s such a classic and my professor told me it’s his favorite book but I just can’t get into it.

8. What is your OTP (One True Pairing)?

Sadly, no one from Harry Potter. Maybe because I don’t see it as a romance story. I like Alice and Jasper from Twilight.

9. Why and when did you start your book blog?

I started in August. I had just finished publishing school and I’m really into  the book industry. Of course, I love books. I was also an English and writing major in undergrad so it all just came together.

 10. If you estimate, what is most books you’ve ever checked out from your library?

I never took out many at a time. But, when I was a kid we lived right next to the library and I used to walk there all the time. I loved it.

11. What is your favorite type of post to write for your blog?

I like doing reviews. I read online that a successful book-reviewing blog has at least one review a week but it’s so hard to keep up with that! Especially with work and everything. But, I enjoy it. Also don’t be surprised if I slow down a bit this month. My goal for my last semester at college was to re-read HP and I only got through 5 so I just started reading 6. And no one needs a Harry Potter review haha.

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My Questions:

Answer the ones above 🙂 I made a mistake and did that but I think it works out.

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People I’m Tagging: ( I had a lot of trouble finding any people I am following under 200 so I did 500 or less)

writingandrewriting

wrappedupinbooks

fallingdownthebookhole

ChrissiReads

Books for Thought

The Glass House

The Quirky Reader

 

First Review!

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Rating 4/5

I wanted to have one of my favorite books on here first, which would either be Paint it Black or White Oleander by Janet Fitch, but it’s been years since I’ve read them so I won’t review until I’ve reread them! This is my gorgeous copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde which I purchased for an excellent price at Barnes and Noble. B+N are still doing these collectible editions, they have this regal spine and come with a  bookmarker ribbon, as you can tell the calligraphy is amazing. Here is the link to them (although I recommend going into the store because you can see them all in person and sometimes they go on sale…and who doesn’t love going into a bookstore) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/collectible-editions-sale/379003976/

So, onto the book itself. For those of you that haven’t read it, The Picture of Dorian Gray takes place in 19th century England amid the Victorian Era (think petticoats, dinner parties, and carriages). Oscar Wilde paints a beautiful juxtaposition of the gorgeous high society against the dark foggy streets of London and the horrors inside Dorian Gray’s mind. This book definitely has elements of the Gothic in it. In a Faustian parallel Dorian Gray makes a deal that he would trade his soul for a painting of him, created by his friend Basil Hallward, to age while he retains his beauty and youth. To his horror, this comes true. This novel deals with hedonism (devotion to pleasure as a way of life), the power of influence, homosexuality (not blatant, but underlying), and the power of youth and beauty.

My main issue with this novel is something that happens in many classics: there are continuous pages without dialogue which leads to slow pacing that is hard to get through. It is description heavy. But, there is a reason as to why it’s a classic: Oscar Wilde is able to make astute observations on humanity in single sentences. Here is a passage that sticks out to me: “There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution”. The novel is chock full of these little insights that make you stop and think.

Overall, I think you should read it. As much as I love contemporary fiction there is something to be said about the craft of classics. I wouldn’t read too many in a row, because it gets heavy. But, this is one of those books everyone has to read at some point in their lives.

Any thoughts?