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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11 Things You Never Realized About Your Favorite Books That Show Them In A Whole New Light

11 Things You Never Realized About Your Favorite Books That Show Them In A Whole New Light

 

Which of these did you already know, or not know? What surprises you the most?

New Harry Potter Edition

Some illustrations were released a few weeks ago for the new edition of Harry Potter and they’re absolutely stunning. So far it’s only the first one but I’m hoping they will be doing all of them! (My wallet may not be happy).

New Edition of Harry Potter

30 Day Book Challenge

2013 10-09 PM

Here is the 30 Day Challenge. I’m not sure if I’m going to do every one since some of my answers would be the same and I don’t want to bore you. But, I will try my best. I will continue to edit this over the days 🙂

Day 1: Best book you read last year?

Already I’m stumped. Last year I was in college so most of my reading was for academic purposes and I didn’t get to choose them. However, last spring I took a Contemporary World Lit class and we read a lot of great short stories, novels, plays, poems, and memoirs. One that stuck with me was Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones. It is about a Haitian servant, Amabelle, living in Dominican Republic when a genocide breaks out and the wealthy Dominicans start murdering the Haitians. The book is raw, gritty, and has beautiful prose. I read it a long time ago but it’s one of the few from school that really stuck with me. In that class we also read an Irish play called Cripple of Inishmaan. It is just absolutely hilarious. Don’t read if you’re easily offended. The main character is known as “cripple Billy” and it’s full of dark Irish humor and profanities.

Day 2: A book that you’ve read more than three times?

There aren’t many books that I’ve re-read besides Harry Potter, mainly because I always have so much on my reading list! I think if anything I would say fairytales. When I was a kid I loved fairytales (and I still do). My favorite was and is Beauty and the Beast. I have this really old movie version book of Beauty and the Beast and it is falling apart at the seams but I refuse to throw it away. I think it might have been my sister’s before mine. I also have this book of fairytales that has silver pages on the side that I’ve had since I was a kid that I love.

Day 3: Your Favorite Series?

I feel like this shouldn’t even be a question. Of course it’s Harry Potter. This is probably the most influential book of our time. I recently read a study about how children that read Harry Potter tended to be more caring and make better decisions based off of ethics. Here’s the link: Can Harry Potter Change the World? Some of my most vivid memories as a child was me reading Harry Potter next to my cat and being so excited when the new one came out. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way about a book since.

Day 4: Favorite Book of your Favorite Series?

When I was little my favorite Potter was The Goblet of Fire (the fourth one) but now that I’m older it may be The Half-Blood Prince but I just started re-reading them and that one is next so it may change. But, I find Voldemort and Snape’s individual backstory’s really interesting. I also love Dumbledore’s backstory but I don’t remember which one that is in. I’m also kind of realizing more how whiny Harry Potter is haha, but I think it’s perfect because he’s a moody 15 year old and JK Rowling does such a good job capturing that. Also, people won’t stop telling him his parents died and how much he looks like them…that’s gotta be annoying.

Day 5: A book that makes you happy?

I’m going to have to say fairytales. I grew up reading them and they’re always something to turn to on a gloomy day.

Day 6: A book that makes you sad?

Well, I recently read Night by Elie Wiesel. And like any other Holocaust writing, I think to myself: “How did the world let this happen and go on for so long?” I don’t know if sad is an adequate word for these books. They are harrowing and devastating.

Day 7: A book that makes you laugh?

Hmm. I like books that are really character driven so although the book isn’t meant to be funny one I’m going to say is The Help (by Kathryn Stockett). I mean those ladies go through so much adversary and they still have this amazing sense of humor. Especially when she puts the poop in Hildy’s pie…hehe. Also Owen Meany from A Prayer for Owen Meany (by John Irving) cracks me up. Again, not a completely humorous book but he is one of the most well-developed characters I have ever come across and for that reason he’s one of my favorites. He’s meant to be this tiny guy and every time he talks it’s in all caps because it’s supposedly so high-pitched and squeaky. I love that.

Day 8: Most overrated book?

This is so easy and automatically comes to mind: Looking for Alaska by John Greene. Now, I’m sorry to offend all of you die-hard John Greene fans (my friends included) but this book was so overrated to me. In publishing school they called it “manic-dreaming-pixie-girl” which perfectly describes it for me. Here’s ANOTHER story about some whirlwind of a force girl with issues and a nerdy, shy boy that has a huge crush on her and has been friend-zoned. This story line is so over done and so trite. After I read it I just couldn’t figure out what everyone was raving about.

Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving?

Praaaahbably Twilight. When it first came out I tried to hate it and be hipster about it. But, last summer I watched all the movies and fell in love then I had to read all of the books too. I just think Stephanie Meyer’s life is such a great example of the American Dream. She was a stay-at-home mom and had no professional writing experience then one night she had a dream (literally) and just started writing. She had no experience with the publishing industry and no agent and she just had the courage to send the book to publishers and look at her now. I love it.

Day 10: A book that reminds you of home?

Gosh I love this question. I’m from a small town in CT (very Gilmore Girls) then moved to Cape Cod when I was 14. Being born and raised in New England, I’m a sucker for books set in New England that capture the spirit. Beautiful nature, somewhat snooty, anxious , fast-paced, yet highly intelligent people. I’d say that John Irving is a big one for this.

Day 11: A book you hated?

We read a Toni Morrsion book in high school and I loathed it! I can’t even remember which one.

Can Harry Potter Change the World?

I recently read a really interesting study about how children that read Harry Potter tended to be more caring and make better decisions based off of ethics. They showed more tolerance and empathy. Here’s the link: Can Harry Potter Change the World? I know when I have children Harry Potter will be required reading 🙂

“But Vezzali’s work supports earlier research suggesting that reading novels as a child — implying literary engagement with life’s social, cultural and psychological complexities — can have a positive impact on personality development and social skills.”

The Book Challenge

I got tagged to do this on Facebook and I thought it would fit well here too. The challenge is to name 10 books that have influenced or resonated with you in some way. They don’t have to be “great works of literature” and don’t think about it too hard. I invite all of my followers and anyone reading this to do it as well and shout back to me in the comments so I can see 🙂

A lot of what I chose are books that influenced and inspired my love of reading as a child (this list is in no particular order).
1. Paint it Black or White Oleander by Janet Fitch (I know this is cheating but I couldn’t chose which one from her!)
2. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
3. HARRY POTTER, all of them.
4. Holes by Louis Sachar
5. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
8. True Colors by Kristin Hannah
9. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
10. Fairytale Collections (any of them will do 🙂