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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Books

WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Brontë | Review

I’ll admit that when I first read Wuthering Heights a few years ago I wasn’t very impressed. The characters were ridiculously melodramatic, the names were confusing, and there seemed to be no point to this dark, tumultuous novel. However, recently reading it again for one of my courses has made me question my initial impressions. They say that some things get better with age; for me, Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights certainly falls into that category.

First, I am fascinated by the layered narration through which Emily tells her story within a story. Initially the reader is led to believe that Mr. Lockwood, Mr. Heathcliff’s most recent tenant, will be narrating the novel; however, one soon realizes that we are told the story by Nelly Dean through the ears of Mr. Lockwood. This layered narration adds depth and context to the story of Cathy and Heathcliff. Reading Wuthering Heights almost feels as though you are being read an unsettling bedtime story that will surely give you nightmares nights to come.

Since I had already read this book once before, I now had the luxury of reading it again without having to worry about understanding the basic plot. (Also, pro tip: creating character maps beforehand is a life saver!) Instead, I could now focus on the characters themselves and the motivations behind their behavior. Rather than be frustrated by their melodramatic tendencies, I started to admire how Emily had crafted such memorable characters that reflected and interacted with their surroundings in such interesting ways. Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange seemed almost more like characters than locations, influencing what occurred within their formidable walls.

Heathcliff caught my attention in particular; as I’m sure he does for many readers. I began to notice that most descriptions of his appearance, demeanor, and actions portray him more as an animal than a man. He is wild, savage, ruthless, and lacks any semblance of tact, courtesy, and empathy. Yet why is it that I still felt bad for this cruel “creature”? Emily’s ability to foster a connection between the reader and Heathcliff is one of the many brilliant aspects of this novel. Heathcliff may be rude and violent and unpredictable, but he is still human. The image of Heathcliff as a maltreated young orphan never quite goes away.

I wouldn’t say that Wuthering Heights is an enjoyable novel to read; rather, it is endlessly fascinating, engaging, and thought-provoking. I appreciate this text for challenging me as a reader and making me think about connections between characters, settings, and language more deeply; however, it’s not something I would choose to pick up on a whim or bring along with me for a relaxing day at the beach. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this novel again and I can even see myself picking it up for a third time in the future.

What are your thoughts on Wuthering Heights? Do your opinions of novels change when you reread them? Have any recommendations of what I should read next? Let me know in the comment section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Quotes

QUOTE: Emily Bronte

emily bronte pic
Emily Bronte, with an excellent sassy face going there.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same…”  ~ page 87 of Emily Bronte’s classic novel Wuthering Heights

This little gem of a quote comes from Emily Bronte’s Withering Heights. I love this quote because I think it’s just so beautiful, and it really puts into words what it feels like to find someone you simply click with. Perfect for this Valentine’s Day season! ❤

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

Book Review: WUTHERING HEIGHTS

wuthering heights coverAuthor: Emily Bronte

Number of Pages: 384

Publisher: Penguin Books

Release Date: 1847

“Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.”

– Goodreads.com

Let me just start by getting this out of the way: THIS NOVEL IS NOT A ROMANTIC LOVE STORY. I’ve read so any reviews and heard so many people gushing about the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff that I honestly thought this book would be adorable. Wuthering Heights is anything but adorable.

This novel is dark, unsettling, dramatic, tumultuous- it reminded me of a storm, wild and intense. The drama of it all was very entertaining, and I felt like I was reading a strange, ridiculous soap opera. Nearly all of the relationships in this story- and certainly the one between Catherine and Heathcliff- are toxic because they don’t like each other for the right reasons. Or, rather, they seem to hardly like each other at all. Why would you want to be with someone that you hate more than half the time? I found myself wondering this throughout the entire novel because it really just didn’t make sense to me. The only character I actually liked in this novel was Nelly, who narrated the majority of the story. She was sort of just a bystander in the whole fiasco so I suppose she can be blamed for not stopping a lot of what happened, but she was pretty much the only one with any sort of common sense. The other characters are ones that you just love to hate, you know? You can’t stand them, but at the same time they’re so entertaining that you don’t really mind reading about them. (Umbridge comes to mind here. If you haven’t known the joy of disliking Umbridge, then you really haven’t lived at all.)

umbridge
Dolores Umbridge… AKA, a horrible pink monster.

I really liked the ghost elements incorporated into the story, although I do wish that they would have been focused on more. Also, I thought it was very clever how the setting (Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange) and the changing weather played such an important role. Moreover, the way that Emily Bronte experimented with multiple generations of the same family was really interesting. It was neat to see how young Catherine was so much like her mother with her short temper and self-righteous attitude. One thing that disappointed me was the ending- I thought it was rather anticlimactic, especially since there’s such a build-up to it. It happens so suddenly and nonchalantly that I almost couldn’t believe it was the actual ending.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience reading my first Bronte novel. Although Wuthering Heights was quite different from what I initially thought it would be like, I nevertheless thought it was entertaining and extremely well written. One thing is for certain, though: I certainly won’t be shipping Catherine and Heathcliff anytime soon!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes! This is a great classic to read even if you’re just getting into the genre. It’s entertaining, really well written, and is a relatively quick read.

What did you think of this book? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays: January 21st

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

great expectations coverWhat are you currently reading???

I’m about a fourth of the way through Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, which I’m currently reading with my AP English class. And oh my goodness, I adore this novel!!! I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I am. Pip is such a great narrator, and I love the way Dickens writes in this novel.

I’m also still reading Harry Potter y la cámara secreta by J.K. Rowling (the Spanish translation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).

wuthering heights coverWhat did you recently finish reading???

The other day I finished reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This is such a dramatic, strange novel and I was entertained the entire time I was reading it! It was really different from what I initially thought it would be like, but in a good way. Review coming soon!

What do you think you’ll read next???

catcher in the rye coverLike I said in last week’s WWW Wednesday post, I’m hoping to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger as part of a project that I’m doing with one of my friends. We’re going back and reading the books that we read in our freshmen English class, which should be really interesting!

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

Yours,

HOLLY

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays: August 13th

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

What are you currently reading???

Right now I am reading Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. I love his Ender’s Game series, so I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

What did you recently finish reading???

So I sort of veered off course from my TBR pile- surprise, surprise! This past week I read We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I enjoyed the former, but I absolutely LOVED the latter, as I knew I would. I think this was my third or fourth time reading it, and I’m pretty sure now that it’s my favorite book of all time!! It’s that good!

What do you think you’ll read next???

I honestly have no idea. There are so many books that I haven’t gotten to yet that I’ll probably just end up picking something based on my mood. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

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

Yours,

HOLLY

P.S. If any of you would like to know how I am doing in the Dusting Off the Shelf Read-A-Thon feel free to follow me on Twitter @peanutfreeisme as that is where I am posting all my updates!!!