Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Short Stories that Exceed Tall Expectations

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share our favorite short story collections. While I usually prefer reading novels over short stories, I have enjoyed several fantastic collections. Here are a few of my favorites!

Apparently I haven’t read enough short story collections to fill this entire list.. but the ones I have read are excellent!

What are your favorite short story collections? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned here? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Advertisements
Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors of Short Stories

Happy Tuesday!! Since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is one that I’ve already done recently, I decided to go with a bit of different twist. Today I’ll be sharing ten of my favorite authors who have written excellent short stories. I don’t read short stories very often– mostly just when I’m assigned to read them for courses– but some short stories and collections in particular have really stuck out to me over time. In no particular order, here are ten authors whose short stories are definitely worth reading:

What authors are your favorite short story writers? What are some of your favorite short stories? What do you think of the authors on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Keep You Up At Night

foodie-facts-about-me-4

BOO!!! Are you scared yet? If not, you’re about to be pretty soon! Halloween is right around the corner, which means that it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday Halloween freebie theme. This week I’m sharing my Top Ten Books to Keep You Up At Night. Grab the nearest cozy blanket and switch on your flashlight, because you’re going to need it!

stiletto

stiletto-3

stiletto-4

stiletto-5

stiletto-6

stiletto-7

stiletto-8

stiletto-9

stiletto-10

stiletto-11

What scary books would you recommend for this spooky season? What do you think of the books on my list? What are you being for Halloween??? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Really Want to Meet (But Can’t)

Top Ten Tuesday ~ The Broke and theWhen I first saw that the theme for this week would be the Top Ten Authors I Really Want to Meet, I was a little stumped. I always to try make my Top Ten Tuesday posts as unique as possible with my choices, but I felt like my answers would be the same as many other people. I mean, a lot of us want to meet J.K. Rowling and John Green, right? So instead I decided to mix it up a little and only focus on the authors I will never ever be able to meet- those that have sadly passed away. So, in no particular order, these are the Top Ten Authors I Really Want to Meet (That Aren’t Alive): 

J.R.R. Tolkien

1. J.R.R. Tolkien

Jane Austen

2. Jane Austen

Mark Twain

3. Mark Twain

George-orwell-BBC

4. George Orwell

Charles Dickens

5. Charles Dickens

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

edgar allan poe

7. Edgar Allan Poe

F Scott Fitzgerald

8. F. Scott Fitzgerald

William Shakespeare

9. William Shakespeare

emily bronte pic

10. Emily Bronte

Although this topic is slightly morbid, it definitely is food for thought! Which deceased authors would you meet if you were given time machine? (the TARDIS or otherwise!) What do you think about the authors on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

saying goodbye to Poevember.

Alas! It is once again that time of year when we must say farewell to our friend Poevember. I had so much fun reading and reviewing EdgarAllan Poe’s work, and I hope it sparked a bit of interest for Poe’s writing in you all.edgar allan bro

It’s hard to pick a favorite piece of writing, so I’ll just list the ones I really loved:

Goodbye, Poevember! See you next year!

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

Poevember: THE RAVEN

the raven cover“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

So begins one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous works, “The Raven.” This poem tells the tale of a man who is visited by a talking raven, who only speaks one unsettling word again and again. As the narrator gradually descends into insanity, the reader is filled with a sense that this raven is a symbol for something larger than life itself.

THIS POEM IS FANTASTIC.

The structure of the poem itself was just amazing. The rhyme scheme was absolutely brilliant, and the lines flowed seamlessly from one to the next. It was a poetry lover’s paradise.

This poem has so much potential for symbolism, metaphors, and analysis that I could probably spend days rambling on about what it all really means. There is a feeling of despair, of loss of control, of the inevitability of heartache and sorrow. The cryptic message that the raven ceaselessly repeats- NEVERMORE- can be interpreted in a number of ways, which is one of the things I love about this poem. I think everyone can connect to it in some way because we have all felt a sense of longing and being lost before.

OH, IT’S SO GOOD.

This dark, unsettling, beautifully written poem will leave you wanting to read it again and again and again. It was an incredible way to end my Poevember reading, and I am so glad that I saved this one for last. I highly, highly, highly recommend it!

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

Poevember: THE GOLD-BUG

the gold bug cover“Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand.”

When the narrator hears that his friend William Legrand has been bitten by a mysterious gold bug, he is eager to know more. However, he soon realizes that this bug is driving Legrand to the point of obsessive insanity, as he attempts to find the hidden treasure he is convinced corresponds with this strange bug. Filled with secret messages, codes, and crazy schemes, this mystery is sure to keep you guessing.

This story was really unique, especially when compared to Poe’s other stories. It is set in South Carolina and is the first time that an African American has played a primary role in the story. Legrand’s servant, Jupiter, speaks in a southern dialect and his often humorous language implies that Poe did not think highly of African Americans. Was Poe being racist, or was that how he really interpreted their behavior? As someone who is not very educated on Edgar Allan Poe’s life, it’s hard to say. Nevertheless, it was quite an interesting aspect of life to read about.

Cryptography is a large part of this story, and it was fascinating to see how Legrand decoded secret messages. It made me realize just how intelligent Poe was, to be able to construct such brilliant and creative codes. It’s a different angle of the mystery genre than Poe usually writes about, but I think he executed it very well. There is also an old-fashioned buried treasure side of this short story, which was enjoyable to read as well.

Overall, this story was yet again a great one. It’s not one of my absolute favorite Poe stories, but it is still quite good and well worth reading.

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

Poevember: THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE

the murders in the rue morgue cover“The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis.”

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is an intriguing short story about a brilliant detective and an unsettling mystery. When two women are horrifically murdered, the authorities immediately begin to investigate the case. Several witnesses offer accounts of their experiences at the scene of the crime, but few of them line up. Enter Dupin, a Parisian man with a knack for critical thinking. In no time at all he has the solution- and what a story it turns out to be!

This story is a quirky balance of disturbing and charming. The latter quality applies to the murders themselves, which are gruesome and explained in too much detail at times. These terrible scenes are countered by the entertaining friendship between the narrator and Dupin, the clever detective. It’s clear that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was influenced by the dynamics of these characters because his own creations, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, also fall into the pattern of the brilliant detective with a more average, practical friend. Perhaps it is my love of BBC’s Sherlock shining through, but I really enjoyed reading about an earlier version of this captivating duo.

The mystery itself adds to the greatness of this short story because it is fascinating and remarkably unique. I did guess the outcome of the mystery before the ending, but judging from the way the story was written it seems as though Poe wanted that to happen. The most interesting part was learning how all of the intricate details played out, right down to why all of the witness accounts conflicted with each other. I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything, so suffice it to say that Poe has definitely crafted an excellent mystery in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”.

Overall, I highly recommend this short story, especially for fans of Sherlock Holmes!

Yours,

HOLLY

Quotes

QUOTE: Edgar Allan Poe

“It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream.”  ~ Edgar Allan Poe

This week is the final week of Poevember 2014! My, how fast it has come and gone! I’ll be doing an official wrap-up post at the end of the month, But I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone for their support and enthusiasm during this month-long event. You guys are the best!

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Poevember

Poevember: THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

12703.i.43, opposite 248“The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country.”

The Red Death, a brutal disease that refuses to stop spreading, does not stop the rich from having a good time. In the midst of the chaos of fighting this plague, Prince Prospero decides to host an enormous party for his wealthy noble friends. After all, don’t they deserve to celebrate after having avoided the Red Death for so long? This extravagant event is a grand experience- that is, until one mysterious guest causes everything to go horribly, terribly wrong.

This short story is really interesting to read when one considers the recent media coverage that the Ebola outbreak has been receiving. To me, western countries today resemble the partying nobles in the story- ignorant, unappreciative, forever in denial that there are serious issues in the world that need to be confronted. As an American, I do often feel as though I should be doing more to help those living in undesirable circumstances. It just goes to show that Poe’s work is still incredibly relevant and important in modern-day society.

As for the story itself, I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The set up of the different colored rooms in the house is executed perfectly, and you really get a feel for how ignorant and foolish the nobles are. Throughout the entire story I sensed that something bad was going to happen, but I had no idea how it would manifest itself. The suspense builds up all the way until the very end until the epic conclusion. I sat there for a few moments after I finished it going OH. MY. GOODNESS.

The Masque of the Red Death definitely gets two thumbs up from me!

Yours,

HOLLY