Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’ve (Shamelessly & Proudly) Written In

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share our unpopular bookish opinions. However, I thought I would hone in on one unpopular bookish opinion and share ten examples of it instead. Perhaps one of my most controversial book habits is that I often annotate and highlight my books. *Gasp!* I know this is an atrocious act to some bookworms, but I view it as the actual purpose of books. To me, books are meant to be experienced, meaning that they are not meant for just sitting prettily on a shelf (with the exception of some expensive editions). I want to get the most out of a book as I possibly can, and if that means underlining or highlighting quotes that resonate with me or writing little notes in the margins, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Plus, I think it’s fun to reread a book that I’ve annotated and see what I was thinking about the last time I read it. For me, it’s a way by which I think more deeply about what I’m reading. I don’t do it all the time, but when I do I really enjoy the process.

Now that I’ve explained a bit about this unpopular bookish opinion of mine, here are ten examples of books from my shelves that I’ve annotated or highlighted:

 

What are your thoughts on highlighting or writing in books? What’s your most controversial bookish habit or opinion? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Halloween Creatures Book Tag

BOOO! Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day of spooky celebrations and plenty of candy corn to go around. Today I’d like to celebrate with this Halloween Creatures Book Tag. Thanks so much to Theresa @ The Calico Books for tagging me!

Witch: A magical character or book.

How could I not mention one of my favorite books? The Hobbit is magical in so many senses of the word, from setting and characters to the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives me whenever I return to its faded pages.

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte has always struck me as the ideal book to read under the covers on a dark, stormy night. Is it the eerie setting? Cruel Heathcliff? Bronte’s lyrical writing? Or a combination of them all?

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you.

The existence of this book shocked me. I had no idea that my favorite movie and Michael Crichton’s brilliant book Jurassic Park was inspired by The Lost World, a 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, until I found it in a bookstore one day in Oxford.

The Devil: A dark, evil character.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is filled with complicated, ambiguous, surprising characters who may be considered a hero one minute and evil the next. I love a great character twist!

Grim Reaper: A character that should never have died.

I think Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling goes without explanation for this prompt. So sad!

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was the book that made me eager to read more classic literature. What would I be reading nowadays if not for my favorite genre?

Gargoyle: A character that you would protect at all costs.

I’m going to say Jim Burden from My Ántonia by Willa Cather, one of my favorite novels. Ántonia could definitely hold her own, but I’m not so sure about poor Jim…

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you.

I really enjoyed reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but it took a long, long time. A few summers ago I read about a section a week for two months or so–splitting it up over the course of a summer definitely helped!

Ghost: A book that still haunts you.

Beloved by Toni Morrison is one of the most striking, unsettling, powerful, haunting books I have ever read. It’s a novel that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Demon: A book that really scared you.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is hilarious and witty while simultaneously terrifying. What if society goes in this direction? What does our future look like? Huxley offers a frightening example.

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with.

Emma by Jane Austen was such a tedious book to read because I found so many of the characters annoying. I think it might be worth rereading someday, but for now I’m fine just watching Clueless. 

Mummy: A book you would preserve through time.

I have a strange attachment to Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis. I read it for an essay in my AP United States History class during my junior year of high school and I adored it.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at.

Even the spine of The Shining by Stephen King is creepy. I remember finishing this book while staying overnight in a lodge on a mountain in January… definitely fit the mood of the book!

YOU! Since Halloween is today, I’m not quite sure if anyone will want to do this tag. But if you’d like to, definitely go for it! Happy Halloween!!

What are your answers to these prompts? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Quotes

QUOTE: Toni Morrison

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”  ~ Beloved by Toni Morrison

This quote is just one of the many gems sprinkled throughout Toni Morrison’s haunting novel Beloved. If you enjoy historical fiction, ghost stories, or compelling books in general then I highly recommend it!

What quotes have you discovered recently? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books, Read for English Class

Book Review: BELOVED

beloved coverAuthor: Toni Morrison

Number of Pages: 324

Publisher: Vintage

Release Date: 1987

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.”

– Goodreads.com

Slavery in American history has always been a subject that has fascinated me. How could we have done something so dreadfully horrific for so long? How did these slave-holding Americans live with themselves knowing that they were essentially treating other human beings like animals? When I was given the choice to choose an independent novel in my AP English course, I knew that I wanted to further explore this subject. Luckily, Beloved was the perfect novel for this scenario. Not only did I delve deeper into the terrible past of slavery, but I also was exposed to some spooky, incredibly well-written supernatural elements.

I wouldn’t say this novel is confusing per say, but it definitely is mysterious. This works to its advantage because I was on the edge of my seat the entire time waiting to see what would happen next. The writing is a blend of many different personalities, which makes the story even more engaging. Sometimes it’s lyrical and florid, other times it’s sporadic and wild like Sethe herself. But make no mistake, every single word is absolutely beautiful. The emotions, desires, sorrows, and dreams of the characters are so raw and human that I could connect with many of them even though my position in life is vastly different from theirs. The themes of this novel transcend time periods and cultures, something that takes an extremely skilled writer and storyteller to successfully accomplish.

The whole atmosphere of this novel was spooky, haunting, and utterly suspenseful. It’s a unique mix of historical fiction and ghost stories, and it is executed excellently. The characters experience major growth and development throughout the book, so much so that my opinions of many of them changed drastically from beginning to end. The character I felt the most for was Denver, Sethe’s daughter. She is caught in the whirlwind that is the house at 124 without any say in the matter and to no fault of her own. I think that out of all the characters in the book she definitely draws the shortest straw and gets dealt the worst hand out of the deck. It was difficult at times to feel sympathy for Sethe because she became so selfish, but I had not trouble at all feeling sorry for Denver and wishing the best for her.

One startlingly moving aspect of this novel was when Morrison discussed slavery. Seeing how being a slave impacted the characters and what it eventually drove them to do simply broke my heart, to say the least. The abyss between whites and African Americans was enormous during this time in American history, and the disdain of the other side from each group was clearly apparent in the opinions of the characters. I applaud Morrison for handling such an important and challenging topic with such brilliance and thoughtfulness.

Overall, I loved Beloved. I could go on for pages and pages about how I much I love this book, but I’ll just leave it at that. It’s a complicated and very detailed story filled with flashbacks to the past, dreams of the future, and heartbreaking descriptions of the present. Toni Morrison is an amazingly talented writer, and I cannot wait to read more of her work. I am so happy I picked this to read in my AP English class!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes!!!

Have you ever read this book? What did you think of it? What other books by Toni Morrison would you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays: October 8th

WWW WednesdaysWWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading that asks three questions:

What are you currently reading???

Right now I’m reading Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

What did you recently finish reading???

This past week I finished reading Beloved by Toni Morrison for my AP English class and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Both books were amazing! Reviews are on their way!

What do you think you’ll read next???

Hopefully The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I need to read it before the third book in the series comes out this month!

What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays: September 24th

WWW WednesdaysWWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading that asks three questions:

What are you currently reading???

I’m reading Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins for fun and Beloved by Toni Morrison for my AP English class.

What did you recently finish reading???

The only book I finished this past week was How to Read Literature Like A Professor by Thomas C. Foster. This was assigned reading for my AP English class, and it was an okay book. It wasn’t too exciting, but it was very informative and the writing itself was excellent.

What do you think you’ll read next???

Probably something from my Fall TBR List– I have to get started on this soon!

What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY