SARTORIS by William Faulkner | Review

It’s difficult to know what direction to turn in when one makes the vague goal of “reading more Faulkner.” Once you’ve read the ones that everyone talks about (The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, in my case) where do you go next? Short stories? Random other novels? In an effort to forge a clearer path I decided to start with what was offered in my local public library. This ultimately led me to choose Faulkner’s Sartoris as my next step. Though I’ve read that this isn’t often considered to be one of Faulkner’s best works, it is nevertheless an important one because it lays the foundation for his later novels and stories. Though the events of this novel take place in the early twentieth century, “the thematic action of Sartoris takes place not over a period of months but in a time span covering four generations, flanked by the Civil and First World Wars and by the two John Sartorises” (Vickery).

What has always stood out to me the most about Faulkner’s novels is how character driven they are in every sense. The plot seems almost secondary, as though all that really matters are the thoughts within and relationships between the characters. (And sometimes this is all we are ever given!) In some ways it feels like more happens in texts that are steered by characters rather than plot because we are always learning more about characters’ changing beliefs, values, and attitudes as the story progresses. It’s also really fascinating to look at what certain characters may represent in the big picture of a text. For instance, one could possibly argue that Old Bayard and Young Bayard are reincarnations of Colonel John Sartoris to a certain extent (at least, that’s what crossed my mind while reading this novel). They both present different sides of their risk-taking, stubborn ancestor yet ultimately end up facing similar ends. Here we see the creation of a sort of myth surrounding the Sartoris family, a dark and twisted tale that casts a shadow over future Johns and Bayards. Put simply, “the Sartorises chose to act in terms of legend instead of history” (Vickery).

Much to my chagrin, Faulkner is rather fond of giving multiple characters the same name. When I first started reading Sartoris I was so confused by the many Johns and Bayards that I actually created a character web or family tree of sorts in an attempt to keep them all straight in my mind. However, I thought this would be a much larger hindrance than it ended up being in the long run because the characters became more defined as I became more invested in the story. In fact, the links between the characters– both linguistically with names and in terms of their relationships and personalities– soon became my favorite aspect of this novel. Faulkner uses the Sartoris family to ask a fascinating question: Are these events caused by the fate of the family or a logical cause-and-effect reaction? In other words, are these people responsible for their actions or have they already been destined (or doomed)?

One of the most surprising aspects of this novel for me is Faulkner’s focus on the female characters. Though the novel mainly focuses on the male line of the Sartoris family as a subject, we often view these men through the eyes of the women in their lives. For instance, we learn a lot about Young Bayard through his interactions with Narcissa Benbow, who reads to him when he is bedridden. Arguably the most prominent character in this novel is Aunt Jenny, the younger sister of Colonel John Sartoris. She is headstrong, opinionated, and bold; one can see how she would have been quite a match with Sartoris when he was alive. These two women act almost as foils to one another, representing two very different generations of women. Perhaps Aunt Jenny’s mental decline towards the end of the novel and Narcissa’s creation of life through her newborn son indicates that the old traditional way of life for Southern women is being replaced by a new one. In some ways, it seems to me as though these women could be considered the true protagonists of the novel.

Overall, Sartoris might possibly be my new favorite Faulkner novel. I’ll stop this review here before I start rambling on and on about how much I loved this novelthere are just so many interesting aspects to discuss! It’s safe to say that I’ll definitely be rereading this at some point in the near future.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! This will surely be near the top of my Faulkner recommendation list from now on.

What are your thoughts on Sartoris? What other works by Faulkner would you recommend? What is your favorite Faulkner novel or short story? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Non-fiction

Happy Tuesday!! This week the wonderful bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish are focusing on books that we’ve recently discovered in specific genres. Today I’ll be sharing my list of ten non-fiction books that I recently added to my TBR list. I’m hoping to read quite a bit of non-fiction this summer, so this seems like a good starting place!

What non-fiction books have you recently added to your TBR list? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Are Book Hauls “Meaningless” Content? | Discussion

When I saw that Ariel Bissett made a video titled “Why Do Booktubers Make Book Hauls?” I was immediately intrigued. To tell you the truth, I had been asking myself the same question for quite some time. Book hauls have sort of been a controversial topic in the online bookish community as of late. Some people claim that they are “meaningless” content because the person talking about the books likely hasn’t even read them yet– what could they possibly have to say about it that is substantial or thought-provoking? Another common argument against book hauls is that they are “filler” content  solely used to generate large numbers of views, since these kinds of videos and posts tend to be really popular. There’s also the idea that book hauls are just a way for bloggers and booktubers to boast about how many books they accumulate on a regular basis, which can lead to the notion that in order to be successful in the online bookish community one has to have the privilege of being able to purchase and own all of the books you read.

There are clearly a lot of issues that need to be unpacked, here; fortunately, Ariel does a lot of that unpacking in her video. She counters many of these negative arguments by emphasizing that book hauls essentially do what most bloggers and booktubers endeavor to achieve with their posts and videos: spread a love of books and have FUN. Ariel also points out that book hauls allow us to keep up to date with what people are really excited about reading in general compared to the smaller number of books that they may actually be able to read in a given year. I highly recommend watching her video for a more accurate and detailed explanation of why book hauls can be really valuable and important.

Personally, I agree with a lot of Ariel’s arguments in support of books hauls. Yet I think an important point is missing: people find “meaning” in all kinds of content. Just because a book haul might not be discussing literature from a critical perspective in terms of having already read the books does not mean that it cannot offer interesting ideas for a thought-provoking discussion. Readers of posts and watchers of videos add their own meaning to the original content of the blogger or booktuber by sharing thoughts and opinions in the comments. A similar argument could be made regarding memes, tags, etc.; in other words, a book review or discussion is not the only kind of “meaningful” content. 

I think the most interesting aspect of this controversy over book hauls is the question it raises about bookish content in general: Who is to say what kind of content bloggers and booktubers should be sharing? My answer: NO ONE besides the bloggers and booktubers themselves. Create what makes you happy, what gets your message across, what shares the ideas and opinions and feelings that you want to express.

I haven’t posted a book haul in a while, mostly because I’ve been trying to buy fewer books and read the ones I already own. However, recently I’ve been thinking about maybe posting one in the near future.

Scratch that. I will post one in the near future.

What are your thoughts on Ariel’s video and book hauls in general? Do you post book hauls? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

MAY 2017 | Wrap-Up

What a whirlwind May has been! From final exams and moving back home at the end of the semester to starting work again, it feels as though things have been in a constant state of change. Now that May is over and done I feel like everything is finally settling down into a regular routine again, which is such a relief.

thank-you-14

In May I read a total of 8 books:

  1. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 4 by Ryan North & Erica Henderson
  2. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  4. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  5. Sartoris by William Faulkner
  6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  7. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  8. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

Whoa… May is the best reading month I’ve had in a long time. (The end of the semester works wonders for extra free time!) Because I read so many fantastic books actually going to pick two favorite books of the month: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather and Sartoris by William Faulkner. I love them both for different reasons, but they both gave me a similar feeling of OH MY GOODNESS I MUST TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. (Sorry, mom, for rambling about the brilliance of Cather and Faulkner for far too long.)

It feels so great to be back reading and reviewing again!

thank-you-15

May was a huge transition month for me. Not only did I move off of my college campus to go back home for the summer, but I also started working and realized that I’m now halfway through college. (Eeek!) It feels strange to know that I have nearly four months of summer break ahead of me before school starts again in September. Such a long expanse of time seems like it will stretch on forever right now, but I have a feeling that it will fly by in no time.

Now that I’m back home I’ve been taking advantage of my newfound free time to read and blog as much as possible. I’ve also had more time to take #bookstagram photos with my new camera, which is really exciting.

On a different note, lately I’ve been watching the original Twin Peaks TV show and I’m obsessed. I only have around ten episodes left until I finish the series, which I’m hoping to do in the next week or so. You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to avoid spoilers online– I hate having endings ruined accidentally!

thank-you-16

Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of May? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

THE SONG OF THE LARK by Willa Cather | Review

I’m back with a review of yet another novel by Willa Cather, this being the fourth book I’ve read by her. Set primarily in a small Colorado town, The Song of the Lark is the story of a girl’s journey to stardom as she endeavors to leave her local life behind in pursuit of music. Protagonist Thea Kronberg soon finds herself swept up in a life of auditions, travel, and performances. Though she may move far from her Colorado home, the roots of her past remain persistently visible in the present.

I was enthralled by this novel. Everything about it captivated me from the very first sentence to the very last word. In fact, I was enjoying it so much that I marked all of my favorite passages with sticky notes, only to realize halfway through that I would have to take them all out when I was finished (it was a library book). Notable aspects of this novel include:

+ The Bildungsroman quality. One of the things that makes this novel so memorable is that it follows Thea from when she is a young child being treated by Doctor Archie to when she is an independent adult living away from her childhood home. In some ways Thea changes drastically– in her confidence, musical abilities, attitude towards her family, etc.– while in other ways she remains the same. It’s interesting to note how each setting influences Thea, as though the landscape itself asserts itself as a character rather than a backdrop for the story. Thus, the Thea of Colorado is much different from the Theas of Chicago, Panther Cañon, and so on. Here we are presented with many different versions or iterations of Thea, yet the common thread of her past in the small town of Moonstone runs through them all.

+ Character development. The physical and emotional growth of Thea is but one example of the masterfully crafted character development Cather fosters throughout this novel. Each character experiences some sort of change over the course of the story, even ones we meet later on. My favorite character is Doctor Archie for precisely this reason: he matures subtly, almost realistically, as he responds to the many unexpected events that occur around him. Despite the captivating and intriguing plot, I would still consider The Song of a Lark to be a character-driven novel.

+ The similarities with My Ántonia. This novel simply felt more like My Ántonia while I was reading it; however, it wasn’t until I finished that I realized just how many parallels exist between these two novels. For instance, both novels include female characters who move from rural to more populated areas. More importantly, both novels address a confrontation with the past after emotional and physical distance from one’s childhood home. These novels are obviously vastly different from one another in a myriad of ways, which makes the abundance of parallels even more fascinating.

+ The focus on music. Thea’s growing passion for piano and later singing provides an avenue through which Cather delves deep into the life of a burgeoning artist during this time period. We follow alongside the ups and downs of Thea’s tumultuous life with all of its twists and turns. It’s clear that Cather was either musical herself or did a lot of research before writing this novel. She includes many details about musical techniques, pieces, composers, and performers that add depth and a sense of reality to the text.

+ An exploration of different cultures. Another really interesting component of the novel is Cather’s focus on the relationships between people of different backgrounds and cultures. For instance, Thea’s friendship with a man referred to as Spanish Johnny and her Swedish family’s consequential backlash reveals the sort of social hierarchy and tension that existed between various groups of people during this time period.

+ Cather’s writing style. As always with reviews of Cather’s novels, I must t least briefly mention her beautiful, brilliant, lyrical writing style. I believe this is best understood by simply reading the writing itself, so here is only of my favorite passages from the novel:

“It came over him now that the unexpected favors of fortune, no matter how dazzling, do not mean very much to us. They may exercise or divert us for a time, but when we look back, the only things we cherish are those which in some way met our original want; the desire which formed in us in early youth, undirected, and of its own accord.” 

Overall, The Song of the Lark rekindled the same love for Willa Cather’s work that was initially sparked by My Ántonia over a year ago. Though I wouldn’t say this has definitively dethroned My Ántonia as my favorite Cather novel, it has come much closer to doing so than I ever initially expected.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! I even think this would be a great place to start with Willa Cather if you’ve never read any of her work before because the story is incredibly engaging and well-developed.

What are your thoughts on this novel? What other works by Willa Cather would you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: General Excitement

Happy Tuesday!! The lovely bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish have decided that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme involves our most anticipated upcoming 2017 releases. However, as I sat down to make my list I realized that I don’t actually know any books being released soon. It’s not that books aren’t being released in the next six months or so; rather, I’ve been stuck so deep in the hole that is college course work that I haven’t been paying much attention to bookish happenings lately.

In short: I’m literally not anticipating any upcoming releases.

Now you understand my current dilemma. What does one do when you’re unable to even begin making a Top Ten Tuesday list on the appropriate theme? *gasp* THE HORROR.

Instead, I’m going to talk about Ten Things That I’m Generally Excited About. Sound like a good compromise? (I’m going through with it regardless, so here we go!)

I’m really looking forward to relaxing and reading a lot this summer (and working, but that can be fun, right?). For me, summer also means spending a lot of time with family, which is something I haven’t gotten to do a lot recently because of school.

I’m determined to visit some of my friends from college this summer. It’s difficult because we all live in different states, but I know that we can make it work somehow! I miss them too much not to see them for such a long time. ❤

You might be asking yourself: Why on Earth is this girl excited about cleaning her bedroom? The answer to this is that moving back home after living away at college means that you accumulate a lot of extra stuff that suddenly all has to fit in one space instead of two. It’s taken me quite a while, but I’ve finally managed to clear out a lot of my old stuff and organize everything so I can actually see the floor, work at my desk, and open my closet door without causing an avalanche.

I’ve been journaling pretty consistently since around March and I’ve loved keeping a regular record of what’s been happening in my life. I even purchased some colorful highlighters, pens, and washi tape (my new love) to spice things up. {If you have any recommendations for good places to buy washi tape, definitely let me know!}

It’s almost been an entire year since I first started my bookstagram account (@nutfreenerd) and I’m having so much fun with it. I can’t wait to take some summery pictures outside now that the weather is finally nice!

Contributing to my excitement about bookstagram is the fact that my brother was recently kind enough to gift me his old camera since he purchased a new one not too long ago. I’ve never had a *fancy* camera before, so I’m really excited to start taking more photos!!

I’m currently in the middle of watching the original Twin Peaks series (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!!) and I love it so much. I’m trying to finish it ASAP because I MUST know who killed Laura Palmer!!

I have an hour commute back and forth from work every day in the summer, which translates to A LOT of time to listen to music. Lately I’ve been loving bird.bird, Watsky, the Dear Evan Hansen cast recording, and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 soundtrack (what is my music taste?!?!?!).

I’ve been home for about two weeks and it’s amazing how much reading I’ve been able to do!! I can’t even express how great it feels to have time to read outside of class again. I miss it so much when I’m at school!

Similarly, I’ve also had a lot more time to blog since I’ve been home. During the semester I’m able to squeak in just enough blogging time to keep my blog updated, but not enough to write longer posts, in-depth reviews, post more frequently, or read and comment on other blogs. But now I’m BACK and ready to blog!! ❤

What are you generally excited for at the moment? Also, PLEASE tell me what books you’re anticipating for the rest of 2017 because I definitely need to be updated!

Yours,

HOLLY

Why I’m No Longer Rating Books | Discussion

A book blogger who doesn’t rate books? *gasp!* What is this madness? Allow me to explain.

Lately rating books has felt more and more difficult. I’ve always used the usual 5-star (or smiley, in my case) system, with 1 being horrible and 5 being fantastic. In the past, this has generally been a reflection of my emotional response to a book. Did I like the characters? Did I agree with the characters’ decisions? Was I happy with the ending? Interestingly enough, these questions don’t feel as important to me as they used to. Of course, it’s always nice to have a story end in the way you would like it to end in an ideal world; however, I now feel as though there are more important things to consider when reading. Maybe this is a reflection of my growth as a reader or the fact that studying English literature in college has made me accustomed to thinking about literature more critically. Whatever the case may be, I no longer prioritize my emotional reaction to a book when I form an opinion about it. The emotional response is certainly still a component of that opinion, but it doesn’t solely make up the entire opinion.

At this point, rating books seems rather arbitrary to me. Trying to assign a number that accurately conveys my thoughts on a book has begun to feel like trying to paint a landscape with a single color. So much more influences my opinion of a book besides whether or not I simply enjoyed it. What does enjoying a book really even mean? There are plenty of books that I’ve “enjoyed” that are terribly sad or unsettling or creepy– that doesn’t mean I like feeling those emotions, but I appreciate the fact that the writing was able to evoke those emotions in me. So should we use the word appreciate instead of enjoy? 

(Sorry. I went on a bit of a tangent there.)

In short, I would much rather my book reviews be a sort of discussion of a book rather than a mere justification of why I settled on a certain number rating. I’ll probably still rate some books on Goodreads, but not necessarily if it doesn’t feel like I can easily do so.

I made this post not as a sort of announcement or declaration of this change, but rather as a way to spark discussion about this topic. So please, comment away!! How do you feel about rating books? Is there a certain rating system that you’ve found works best for you? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Sunshine Blogger Award | 2

Happy Friday!! I hope you’re all having a fantastic day. Today I’m going to veer off from my usual bookish path to answer some fun questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks so much to Loraine @ Wholesome Valour for nominating me!!

If you were to pick a cooking spice to describe your personality, what would you choose and why?

Hmm…. I think I’m going to go with nutmeg. Cinnamon and pepper are too bold, but nutmeg seems just right.

What song would you pick as the soundtrack to your life?

Little Slice by Watsky because it’s upbeat, makes me want to dance, and always reminds me of summer.

What is your Myer’s-Briggs personality type?

ISFJ. However, my middle two letters are pretty close to the center on the chart the test gives you, which means that my S could shift to an N and my F could switch to a T. According to this website, being an ISFJ makes me a “Defender.” I guess this sounds accurate???

What is one thing you like others to know about you?

The first thing I usually tell people is that I’m allergic to nuts… maybe a little boring, but definitely practical!

What is the best advice you have ever received? How did it help you?

TRY YOUR BEST. This is pretty cliché but so true. If you try your best than you really can’t regret not working hard enough or not giving it your all.

Do you think that we are bodies or do you that think we have bodies?

Hmmm…. this is tough! I’m going to say that we have bodies because I think it’s easier to think about the mind and body being separate… if that makes any sense?

When do you feel most confident?

When I’m wearing an outfit that I really love, or even just awesome shoes (a good pair of shoes can work wonders).

How old are you? Do you think your actual age is an accurate representation of your mental / emotional / spiritual age?

People have always told me that I’m an “old soul,” so I guess that means I’m older inside than outside? Interesting…

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Decide to go study abroad for a year when I have never left the country before. (Eeeek!!!)

Where do you like to escape to when life becomes chaotic?

Between the pages of a book.

What is something you are looking forward to in the coming weeks?

My brother’s high school graduation, hopefully meeting up with some friends from college, and READING!

This was definitely a strange (but fun!) post. Thanks again to Loraine for tagging me!

What are your answers to these questions? Most importantly, what spice would you be? (I think that’s such a cool question!) Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather | Review

Over a full year after reading (and loving) My Ántonia, I have finally picked up another book by Willa Cather. Set in 1851 primarily in New Mexico, Death Comes for the Archbishop is a story of religion, a clash of cultures, the deceiving concept of the American identity, and living in the present by embracing the past. When Father Jean Marie Latour leaves Europe to become the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico, he hardly expects to be swept up in the tangled knot of history between the whites, Mexicans, and Native Americans. As he continues to serve his religious duties in the following decades we see him become more and more a part of the red hills surrounding what is to ultimately be his final resting place.

For me, the experience of reading  Cather novel is like coming home after months of being away: it’s familiar, refreshing, comforting, and sweetly nostalgic. In particular, I greatly enjoyed the following aspects:

+ The focus on identity. The idea of one’s cultural, national, and personal identity seems to be an important common thread running between many of Cather’s works. Here Cather explores the tension between whites, Mexicans, and Native Americans during this time period. She plays with the question of whether or not land defines one’s identity, simultaneously linking back to the landscape’s past and rejecting the notion that living on what is considered to be “American” soil automatically makes one an “American.”

+ An emphasis on living through the past. Cather showcases and embraces the rich history of New Mexico by presenting these people as developed characters rather than one-dimensional representations. In this way she subverts white superiority, acknowledging the political and social power they had at this time while emphasizing the strength, intelligence, and humanity of the Mexicans and Native Americans. Father Latour embraces these people as the complex individuals that they are. At one point, Cather states:

“Observing them thus in repose, in the act of reflection, Father Latour was thinking how each of these men not only had a story, but seemed to have become his story.” 

Through Father Latour’s eyes Cather shows us the importance and value of remembering the past.

+ The use of Spanish. As someone currently studying Spanish in college, I was intrigued by the way Cather incorporates another language into this novel. Did Cather speak Spanish? Why did she decide to use it in the places that she did? This is likely something that I’ll research further in the future because I think it’s fascinating to learn about.

+ The portrayal of the landscape. Cather describes the landscape of New Mexico in a way that seems to take on the culture of the people living there. For instance, when she first describes the red hills of New Mexico, she writes:

“They were so exactly like one another that he seemed to be wandering in some geometrical nightmare; flattened cones, they were, more the shape of Mexican ovens than haycocks– yes, exactly the shape of Mexican ovens, red as brick-dust, and naked of vegetation except for small juniper trees. And the junipers, too, were the shape of Mexican ovens.” 

Is this a suggestion that whites viewed Mexicans as a sort of homogeneous group of people, similar to how Father Latour viewed the red hills as identical copies of one another? Perhaps. It could also be a way for Cather to demonstrate how the landscape can represent and reflect culture, like the way the hills apparently looked similar to Mexican ovens. (This is why Cather’s writing is SO INTERESTING.) Regardless, I want to emphasize that I believe Cather was attempting to expose the unjust treatment and dehumanization of these people, not promote, support, or justify it in any way. 

+ The incredible writing. I couldn’t write a review of this book without praising Cather’s remarkable way with words. I’m a big believer in writing in my books and I cannot even begin to tell you how many passages I underlined, starred, and made notes next to throughout this novel. For now, I’ll simply share with you one of my favorite quotes:

“If hereafter we have stars in our crowns, yours will be a constellation.” 

Overall, reading Death Comes for the Archbishop has reaffirmed Cather as one of my favorite authors. Was this as good as My Ántonia? Yes and no. More importantly, it has inspired me to pick up even more of Cather’s work. Certainly this must be a sure sign of a successful novel!

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely!! Especially if they have an interest in American history, the Spanish language, or Mexican or Native American culture during this time period.

What are your thoughts on this novel? Would you recommend any of Willa Cather’s other works? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer 2017 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! June is almost here, meaning that summer is right around the corner! (In my mind it’s been summer for a few weeks now because my semester ended a while ago, but I guess if we’re talking seasons then we still have a bit to go…) Anyways, today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish is anything having to do with summertime, so I’ve decided to share the top ten books on my summer TBR list. My next term of classes doesn’t start until late September, so I have nearly four months to read whatever I please. (Can you feel how excited I am?!?!) In no particular order, here is my summer TBR:

The Heroic Slave by Frederick Douglass

Recently for one of my final papers I did a study of the critical reception of Douglass’ works. I knew that he had written three different autobiographies, but I had no idea that he also published a novel. I’m really intrigued to see what Douglass’ only piece of fiction is like, especially since I now know all about the historical, social, and critical context of his writing.

More plays by Shakespeare

Every summer I try to read a few plays by Shakespeare to knock them off my TBR list. They are referenced so often in literature that I feel as though it’s beneficial for me to spend some time on them (even though I’m not a super huge fan of the Bard as of now….). So far I’ve read Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. If you have any recommendations for which plays I should read next, let me know!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This novel has been recommended to me countless times, both online and in real life. I can’t wait to see how she tackles fascinating and interesting topics such as race, cultural identity, nationhood, and love for people and places alike. I feel as though summer will be the perfect time to dive into what promises to be an incredibly eye-opening read.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read since high school but just haven’t gotten around to doing so. (To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t had to read it for a class…) Considering the enormous reputation it has in American history, I’m really looking forward to finally understanding the controversy surrounding this novel.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

I’ve been in the middle of reading this book for MONTHS. It was a great book to keep on my nightstand in college because I could quickly read a story or two before bed if I couldn’t fall asleep. Of course, the downside to this method is that it’s taking me forever to get through. Hopefully I can read the rest of these hilarious, witty stories this summer!

An Unreliable Guide to London by too many authors to list

Rumor has it that a certain bookworm will be traveling to a certain European county in the near future, meaning that this quirky collection of short stories would be the perfect book to read alongside many travel guides this summer.

More by William Faulkner

Next term I’ll hopefully be taking an entire course about William Faulkner (fingers crossed!) so I’m planning on reading a lot of his work this summer. Besides rereading The Sound and the Fury again, I’d also like to read Absalom, Absalom!, The Hamlet, Go Down, Moses, and several of his short stories. If you have any recommendations for more of Faulkner’s writing, please let me know!

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing me praise Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road in every single post, so I think it’s high time that I branch out and read more of her work. I’ve been meaning to read this book ever since I read Jellicoe Road for the first time!

The Quartet : Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789

I absolutely love learning about these formative years in the history of the United States. After reading and adoring Ellis’ book Founding Brothers several years ago I’ve been eagerly anticipating this next read. (It’s also been glaring at me from my bookshelf for quite some time.)

Matilda by Roald Dahl

I thought I would end this TBR list on a really fun read that I’ve been meaning to get to for AGES. I feel like I’m the only twenty-year-old bookworm who has yet to read this charming little book! Every time I go to my local library it has already been checked out, but fingers crossed that I can finally snag it this summer.

What books are you hoping to read this summer? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY