Top Ten Tuesday: Summer 2018 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! More importantly: HAPPY SUMMER! I’m officially back from Oxford for the next eight weeks, which means it’s time to share the books I’m most looking forward to reading this summer. This is a conglomeration of books that friends have recommended to me, that remind me of Oxford, and that I’ve been meaning to read for ages. Hopefully I’ll be able to get through all of them, but no promises!

What are you looking forward to reading this summer? What are your thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned here? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Glad I Didn’t DNF

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is supposed to be about books we’re glad we didn’t DNF too quickly. However, I’ve decided to switch up the topic yet again because I very rarely DNF books so there wouldn’t be much of a list with that theme. Instead, I’ll be sharing ten books I’m glad I didn’t DNF part way through. Sometimes it pays to stick with a book until the very end!

Which books are you glad you decided to keep reading? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is the Top Ten Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In. Something tells me that there are plenty of unpleasant bookish settings to choose from and that most of these are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s jump right in!

What bookish worlds would you never want to live in? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names {For Plants}

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is supposed to be Best Character Names; however, as per usual I’ve decided to put my own spin on it. A few years ago I made a Top Ten Tuesday list of Characters I’d Name My Plants After, which was a blast. Today I’d like to do a similar list along those lines, so I’ll be sharing ten character names for plants. {Shout out to my plants back at home in the States– hope you’re still alive on my window sill!}

What are some of your favorite character names (for plants or otherwise)? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Appreciated, Not Enjoyed

Happy Tuesday!! As per usual, I’ve decided to switch up this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme a bit (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl). The theme is supposed to be Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read; however, I often find it hard to list many books that I really dislike because I tend to like most of the books I read. I say this all the time, but it might be more accurate to say that I end up either enjoying or appreciating most of the books I read. For me, there’s a big difference between genuinely finding pleasure in reading a book and appreciating it for various historical/cultural/textual reasons. I might appreciate a book’s writing style or historical significance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I had a great time reading it. Today I’m going to share ten books that I appreciated but didn’t enjoy reading. 

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This novel is always a go-to answer for me when it comes to this dichotomy. I’ve read this book twice (once on my own, once for a college course) and I just really can’t get past Hemingway’s choppy, dull writing style. However, I do appreciate this novel for being interesting to study (what would we do without all of that bull symbolism?!).

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I’ve never properly studied Moby Dick in a classroom setting, but reading it on my own one summer was enough for me. While I appreciate it as an important work of literature, there’s just far too much information about whaling in this novel for me to genuinely enjoy reading it.

Basically anything by William Shakespeare

I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with Shakespeare many times before on this blog, so I feel like this one goes without explanation. (Although if you want more clarification, you can read this post that I published a while back).

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

While I appreciate the historical significance of this novel in light of the Civil War and race relations in the United States, I couldn’t get past the stereotypical caricatures of slaves that this text promulgates. It might have been a step in the right direction back in the nineteenth century, but it certainly is a step in the wrong direction now. This is a case when historical context is definitely a huge factor when thinking about the work as a whole.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

In general, I am a big fan of Charles Dickens. His novel Great Expectations is one of the books that initially made me fall in love with reading classics and I love his witty, dramatic, creative writing style. While I appreciate Oliver Twist as a work by Dickens, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by how dark and sad this novel is. I’ll be the first to admit that this is entirely a personal preference– I just don’t enjoy reading really sad books!

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

There’s no denying that On the Road is an iconic text with an important literary influence in terms of the Beat and counterculture movements of postwar America. However, it’s frustrating to read something that seems to go on and on and on forever with little structure or direction. I understand that’s the point of the novel… but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it!

Dracula by Bram Stoker

While I admit that this novel is really fun to study and write about, reading it always feels like such a chore. Once you get past the initial iconic scenes in the creepy castle, the rest of the novel moves much too slowly for my taste. I feel like a good portion of the middle could definitely be cut out.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

To be fair, I don’t actually remember anything about this novel from when I read it many years ago. All I know is that in 2012 I rated it one out of five stars on Goodreads and all I wrote in my review is: “This was probably one of the worst books I have ever read.” Holly of the past was HARSH.

Basically anything by Stephen King

While I appreciate Stephen King for being a prolific writer of numerous creative, unique, meticulously crafted books, I just can’t get past his choppy, terse writing style. (Similar to how I feel about Hemingway… can you tell this is a trend?)

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I feel as though I would really enjoy this book if I studied it in the proper historical/political context; however, when I read it a few years ago I couldn’t help but feel as though much of the satire and historical significance went right over my head.

What books have you appreciated but not necessarily enjoyed reading? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Solid Colors, Solid Covers

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is supposed to be books with our favorite color on the cover or in the title. I initially wanted to make a list of books with yellow covers because that’s my favorite color, but alas! Why are there so few yellow cover designs out there?! Instead, I’ve decided to share ten books that have solid color backgrounds on their covers, since that’s a design I’m always drawn to when perusing bookshop shelves. (Great typography is also appreciated!)

What’s your favorite color (on books or otherwise)? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Need ASAP

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is technically Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early. However, as per usual I’ve decided to switch things up a bit and share the top ten books I need ASAP… of titles that I’ve created myself! (I made a similar post a few months ago with books I’d like Santa to bring me!)

What books do you need ASAP? What do you think of the titles I’ve listed here? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Named Novels

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is Frequently Used Words in (Genre) Titles. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time then you’ve probably noticed that I adore classic literature. In typical Holly fashion, today I’ll be sharing ten classic novels with names as their titles. This might sound like a rather narrow, niche topic, but you’d be surprised how many of them there actually are!

What are your thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? What other novels have names as their titles? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Love My Polaroid Camera

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is a freebie which means we can share a list about any topic. I thought it might be nice to take a break from books for a bit and talk about something else that I love: my polaroid camera. If you’re ever around me on a day-to-day basis (especially while abroad) you’ll quickly learn that I carry my polaroid camera with me almost everywhere I go, except to lectures and tutorials. I’ve had my polaroid camera (a Fujifilm instax mini) for quite some time now, and at this point it’s basically become an additional limb. Here are ten reasons why I love my polaroid camera:

1. Convenient. I’ve always been a fan of having physical, printed out photos. Before getting a polaroid camera I would sift through all of the photos on my phone or computer and get them printed out at the store. Having photos print out instantly from this camera is so much more convenient!  

2. Easily transportable. Having a camera that is easily transportable is important, especially when you’re traveling abroad and want to pack as minimally as possible. I love how small and surprisingly durable this camera is– mine has definitely seen better days, but it’s still going strong!

3. Easy to use. This camera is quite easy to use because it tells you exactly what setting to take each photo at according to how much light there is. An easy-to-use camera comes in handy if you tend to ask other people to take photos for you.

4. CUTE. Okay, let’s be honest: isn’t this camera adorable? And aren’t the tiny photos it prints out so cute? (I’m also a sucker for anything in this pastel yellow color, so that might have something to do with it…)

5. Exciting. When you take a photo with a polaroid camera you never really know how well it will come out. Some of my photos are definitely better than others, but the excitement of waiting to see how it develops is worth it. The results can be hilarious!

6. Artsy photos. Polaroid photos are simply begging to be photographed. I love taking pictures of polaroids against a beautiful background. They come out so much better than against my desk or wall!

7. Decorating. A main reason I love taking photos with this camera is that they make the best decorations, especially in a dull dorm room. I love looking at my bulletin board and being reminded of all of my friends and family back home. It instantly makes my room feel more cozy and welcoming.

8. Creating your own souvenirs. This point is particularly relevant when you’re studying abroad or traveling in general. Polaroid cameras are certainly not the cheapest way of taking photos, but it can balance out if you use them to create your own souvenirs from places your visit instead of buying random touristy keychains, postcards, etc.

9. They make great gifts. I first fell in love with polaroid cameras when one of my friends gave me a photo of us for my birthday one year. Giving people photos is always so fun!

10. Tangible memories. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always loved printing out photos because it’s an easy way to keep physical records of fun, exciting, and beautiful moments. Polaroid cameras are so ideal for this!

Do you have a polaroid camera? What’s your favorite kind of way to take photos? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love But Have Never Reread

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is supposed to be books I’ve loved but will never reread, but I’ve decided to scratch that and add a bit of a twist to it. Because I ADORE rereading books, there’s a likelihood that I’ll reread almost any book that I love. Instead, today I’ll be sharing ten books I love but for some reason have never gotten around to rereading. Fingers crossed that I’ll find time to reread them soon!

What favorite books have you never reread? Do you like rereading books in general? What are your thoughts on the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY