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, Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Tuesday!! It’s one of my favorite times of the year: THANKSGIVING! Even though I won’t be in the States for Thanksgiving this year (shout out to my college at Oxford for having a dinner for the American students!) it’s still fun to get into the festive spirit. Today I’ll be sharing ten books that I’m thankful for (besides Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings because I feel like those are a given for me).

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I distinctly remember my fourth and fifth grade teacher reading this book aloud to us on multiple occasions and I simply adored it. Dahl’s creative, whimsical, witty stories are one of the things that made me fall in love with reading from a young age.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read this novel several summers ago and it is one of the books that made me realize how fun and rewarding reading classics can be. It also expanded my horizons of romantic classics beyond the usual Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

THIS. BOOK. I read this book in on of my freshman year literature classes in college and I’m convinced that it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with literary criticism and now want to be a professor. It’s amazing how one book can change everything!

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I read this in the very first college literature class I ever took and it completely changed the way I think about narrative, form, and linguistic expression. In many ways it’s the text I keep coming back to over and over again what it is that I really love about literature.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Not only did this collection spark me to read and write more poetry recently, but it also made me think about myself and the world from a different perspective. Rupi Kaur’s words have gotten me through many rough days, for which I am incredibly grateful.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

I couldn’t be more thankful for this essay collection’s wit, humor, and important message: absolutely no one is perfect. Reading this book also launched me into the world of Watsky’s music, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!

1984 by George Orwell

I’m so grateful for this novel’s ability to spark and continue important conversations about where today’s society is headed tomorrow. The parallels between our modern world and the fictional society in this novel are terrifying and uncanny and real.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me laugh, think, and realize that I wasn’t the only one experiencing frustrating high school drama. John Green is amazing at making you feel less alone.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This book is a hilarious reminder that success doesn’t come easy, not even for those who you admire or who seem like they have everything figured out. (Besides, Mindy always makes me smile!)

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me smile, laugh, think, and look back on my own childhood nearly every summer for over a decade now.

Which books are you thankful for? What do you think about the ones I’ve mentioned? Do you have any fun Thanksgiving traditions or plans? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

I Visited Willa Cather’s Grave

One day while reading a short bio of Willa Cather I stumbled upon the fact that she’s buried in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, only an hour and a half from where I live.

As you can imagine, I was ecstatic.

I was shocked when I learned she’s buried in NH because I knew she was born in Virginia and raised in Nebraska. Though she died in Manhattan, she asked to be buried in Jeffrey because apparently it was where she wrote a lot of her novels. She’s buried there with Edith Lewis, the woman she lived with for decades.

The sign on the Meeting House in Jaffrey, NH.

Recently my mom and I made the trek to Jaffrey to see the grave in person. She’s buried in the Old Burial Ground behind the Meeting House, which is a really beautiful old building in and of itself. When we pulled into the dirt parking lot on that rainy Friday morning we weren’t quite sure where we were headed, but fortunately we easily found her grave site because it’s in a corner near a stone wall (which we had to hop). The burial ground itself was actually kind of beautiful, even though that might sound weird. There were so many old, weathered headstones in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Part of me wanted to just stroll through it row by row and take it all in, but the rain encouraged us to be quick to avoid getting completely soaked. I was almost glad it was raining because it made the day feel cozy, peaceful, and even sort of eerie.

When we finally arrived at her headstone I couldn’t help but gasp. There she was. There’s a great quote from My Ántonia on Cather’s headstone, which made me so happy because I love that book immensely. There were also a bunch of rocks and pennies on her grave, most likely from others who admire her work as well.

I was definitely the happiest person in this burial graveyard (and the only person besides my mom).

Standing in front of Willa Cather’s grave was surreal. Too often it can feel as though authors are these untouchable, legendary figures who live on forever through the pages of their work. While visiting a grave like this it’s impossible to not feel a wave of realization wash over you: this woman was human, with hopes and dreams and flaws and desires just like the rest of us. Though I sometimes like to believe that the books I love hold a sort of elevated notion of truth and meaning that emanates from their spines, it’s important to remember that these texts were written by people just like us. Writers exist beyond their work, which is easy to forget when you’re engrossed in their stories and captivated by their words. Visiting Cather’s grave made everything feel much more real, tangible, and within reach.

Needless to say, I want to read everything that Willa Cather has ever written now, even more so than I did before. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to visit such an interesting piece of literary history— it’s definitely a place I would visit again in the future!

Have you ever visited the grave sites of your favorite authors? (Also, how weird is that question out of context?!) Do you have a favorite novel or short story by Willa Cather? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

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

Bookish

My Personal Canon | 2017

Recently Jillian @ To Begin with I Read Jane Eyre created a post about her own personal literary canon and requested that I do the same. The goal is to compose a list of books that have greatly influenced your life, that you consider to be your favorite books, etc. I think this is a really interesting idea because there are so many different variables involved. On what criteria do you decide which books to include? Do you focus solely on books that have had a positive influence on your life? How long should your list be? Canon formation in general is really fascinating, but that’s a topic for another day.

For now, here is what I consider to be my personal canon. Some of these books I’ve read more times than I can count, while others I’ve only had the pleasure of experiencing once. Some have shaped who I’ve grown to be since childhood, while others have influenced my much more recently. Nevertheless, all of these books are ones that I love wholeheartedly, that I would read again and highly recommend to others. You’ll likely recognize these as ones I talk a lot about on this blog! In no particular order, they are:

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I don’t think this one needs much of an explanation. I first started this series when I was in second grade and in a way I don’t think I’ll ever be truly done with it completely. Even though I’ve certainly “finished” the series in the sense that I’ve read all seven books, I know that I’ll keep rereading it well into the future.

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Again, this one doesn’t require much of an explanation. I’ve reread these books more times than I can possibly count and they played a huge role in shaping my reading tastes and interests in middle school. They’re books I return to again and again for comfort, reassurance, and entertainment alike.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I vividly remember buying my first and only copy of this book at a Scholastic book fair when I was in third grade. (Did anyone else LOVE those things?!?!) Since then I’ve reread it nearly every summer and each time I discover something new. What was at first a simple summer camp story in my ten-year-old eyes has transformed into a story of family, history, creativity, and resilience. (And THIS is why rereading is both important and awesome!)

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I’m sure it is absolutely no surprise to anyone in the slightest that this book has a spot in my personal canon. Words cannot express how much I LOVE this book. It’s the one book I always bring with me to college each semester and that I talk about incessantly on this blog. For the millionth time, PLEASE read this fantastic novel. ❤

Gone by Michael Grant

Interestingly, this book’s influence comes from the context in which I first read it: a lunchtime book club in seventh grade. Through avidly reading and following this series’ six books I met one of my best friends, actually met Michael Grant in person at a book-signing, and realized how social reading could be.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

In reality, this is more of a placeholder for all of John Green’s books, though Looking for Alaska is probably my favorite. As with Gone, the context surrounding these books has been just as influential in my life (if not more so) than the content of the books themselves. John and Hank Green have shaped my life in countless ways at a time when I needed it most (I’m looking at you, tumultuous middle school years).

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reading this classic novel in my high school American literature class opened my eyes to the depth and breadth that symbolism could add to books. Though this symbolism is pretty obvious (colors, the green light, East and West Egg, the eyes, etc.) it nevertheless made me realize how interesting and fun analyzing literature with a critical eye could be.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Ah, Jane Eyre. I adore this novel not for the romance, writing, or plot (though all aspects of this book are fantastic) but primarily for the character of Jane herself. She is strong, independent, witty, kind, determined, and resilient– everything that I aspire to be. I’ve only read this novel once; however, it has lingered in my mind with more clarity than most other books I’ve read since then. I can’t wait to read it again soon!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

I ADORED this book when I was assigned to read it for my AP English class senior year of high school (much to the annoyance of the majority of my peers, who didn’t share my enthusiasm). I love watching Pip grow over time and overcome all of the obstacles he has to face. Dickens’ writing is witty and captivating, and the plot twist at the end had me gasping in surprise. This is another one that I definitely have to reread in the near future!

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Since reading this autobiography in my Intro to Literature class during my first semester of college I have written at least three papers about it and researched the critical reception of Douglass’ works in general. Something about Douglass’ life and use of language to transform himself in American society fascinates me like nothing else.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

I read this for my Cultural Diversity in American Literature class during my second semester of college and have not been able to stop thinking about it since (I’m only slightly exaggerating here). The narrative is constructed brilliantly and I think it’s fascinating how we only ever see Ántonia through the lens of Jim’s narration. Since then I’ve read two of Cather’s other novels and am eagerly looking forward to reading more!

There are so many books that I could have included, but I think this is a solid look into the books that have had the greatest influence on me thus far. Thanks so much to Jillian for asking me to make a personal canon! I had such a great time forming this list and thinking about all of the amazing books I’ve had the pleasure of reading over the years.

What books would be in your personal canon? What are you thoughts on any of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Discussion

Is there a RIGHT time to read a book? | Discussion

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Have you ever started reading a book you’re really excited about, only to find after a few pages that it’s just not really… clicking with you?

I think that the time in your life when you read a book can definitely impact your opinion of the work. For example, I primarily read Young Adult books all throughout high school. I loved the feeling of being able to directly relate to what the characters were experiencing. From awkward first relationships and hallway drama to prom nights and eventually graduation, I felt as though I understood where they were coming from. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that my love for these stories would wane a bit if I reread them today. With age comes perspective, something that can change the way you view your world. Issues that seemed grandiose and life-altering back in high school– the latest gossip, who was dating who, etc.– now seem quite petty in retrospect.

My AntoniaSimilarly, there are many books I’ve read recently that I love that I don’t believe I would have enjoyed had I read them when I was younger. One example that I talk about all the time on this blog is My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Published in 1918, this classic tells the story of Jim Burden’s experience with immigrant life on the rural plains of Nebraska. My Ántonia is definitely not something I would have picked up and read on my own before college, but after discussing it in class and learning more about Cather it is now one of my favorite books. I’ve noticed that over the years I’ve gained a greater appreciation for novels and stories that are driven by characters rather than plot. When I was younger, fast-paced and exciting plots were the most important aspects of books for me, whereas now I would much prefer to read about a well-developed character.

Apart from ways in which greater perspective can influence your opinions at different times, I think it’s safe to say that personal experiences can also have a significant impact on your perception of a book. For example, a few months ago I finally got around to reading Stacy London’s The Truth About Style. I read this at the perfect time because I could really relate to some of the issues she discusses. Another example I always think about is when I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a few years ago around Christmastime. This ethereal, mysterious, almost fantastical story fit the mood of the holiday season flawlessly. It was just enough magic and mystery for those cold winter nights!

In my experience, I’ve definitely noticed that timing is an important factor in forming my opinion of a book. What do you think? Do you think there’s a RIGHT time to read a book? Have you had any specific experiences like this? Are there any books that you wish you had read at a different time in your life? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2016

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Happy Tuesday!! Can you believe that 2016 has almost come to a close? It feels like it was New Year’s Day just yesterday, yet here we are as 2017 fast approaches. I’ve been fortunate to have read a plethora of fantastic books this past year, so narrowing down a list of my Top Ten Best Books of 2016 was no easy feat. Nevertheless, here are the best books I’ve read in 2016 in the order that I read them:

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What are some of the best books that you read in 2016? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

The Jingle Bell Tag

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If I had to name my favorite genre of music, it would probably be Christmas music. Not only is there a song for every mood and situation and level of festivity you’re feeling, but holiday tunes also never fail to make me smile. (Except for “Christmas Shoes.” That song is the definition of SAD.) As you can imagine, I was so excited when I discovered that I had been tagged in the Jingle Bell Tag, created by Richard @ The Humpo Show. Thanks so much to Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for tagging me!

Now, on with the merry festivities!

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

I actually didn’t ask for any books for Christmas this year (*gasp* I know, I’m trying to show some self-control). Honestly, if Santa could buy me my textbooks for next semester that would be superb…

My Antonia“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

Oooh, what a tough question! I don’t think I’ll be able to choose just one because I’ve read a bunch of fantastic books in 2016, so I’ll go with three that come to mind: My Ántonia by Willa Cather, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl is always my go-to answer for this kind of question. It was my favorite book when I was in elementary school and after rereading it recently I can say that it’s still one of my favorite stories. Not only is it adorable, but it’s incredibly clever, witty, and well-written. If you’re not convinced, here are my top 8 reasons why you should read this lovely little gem (but believe me, there are way more than just eight!).

my true love gave to me cover“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has the most festive look to it?

Definitely My True Love Gave to Me! This collection of holiday stories edited by Stephanie Perkins is perfect for this festive time of year. I love the variety of authors as well as the many different holidays that are represented within the twelve stories. There’s bound to be something for every reader to enjoy, no matter what holiday you celebrate or what kind of festive mood you’re in!

Vicious by V.E. SchwabThe Grinch | Your favourite villain…

Again, here’s another go-to answer of mine: Victor and Eli from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. These villains are dark and twisted, but there’s also a sense of morality and ambiguity to them. This is particularly true with Victor, who might be considered more of an anti-hero than an actual villain. Regardless, these characters have stuck in my mind ever since their first wild adventure.

jane eyre coverThe Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…

One: Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (as if I haven’t talked about this adorable duo enough on this blog…). Two: Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Even though they’re not actually a couple for the majority of the novel, I think the way they come together at the end is really beautiful. They’re certainly not perfect, but they show that love doesn’t have to be.

16130What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Oh, so many amazing books to choose from! I think that I’ll have to go with Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. This hefty biography is incredibly well-written and Hamilton’s life is so interesting and unbelievable that it almost reads like fiction. It’s also really fun to read it with songs from the Hamilton musical playing in the background– so much US history at once!!

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I also tag YOU, lovely reader!!

What are your answers to these prompts? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Most importantly, what’s your favorite Christmas song? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Cliches Book Tag

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Clichés are the best and worst things: though they can help you express your feelings quickly and easily, no one wants to hear the same old clichés over and over again. Luckily, the Clichés Book Tag puts a fresh twist on ancient sayings. Thanks so much to Ugne @ My Passion is Happiness for tagging me!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky“Actions speak loud”: A book that wasn’t or couldn’t be better than the film.

This question is really difficult for me to answer because I’m usually a big proponent of books over their movie adaptations. However, I must admit that I think the movie adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is just as good as the book, if not better. Although I really enjoyed the book, I have such fond memories of going to see the movie in a theater with my friends in high school. I love everything about it: the cast, the soundtrack, and the climactic tunnel scene. For me, it’s the exception to the rule!

Great Expectations“The grass is always greener on the other side”: rags to riches, or a riches to rags, story.

How could I not mention my beloved Great Expectations by Charles Dickens? Not only is this a lovely bildungsroman, but it’s also the ultimate story of inadvertently climbing the socioeconomic ladder. The journey is certainly a winding, twisting road, but fortunately it all works out for poor Pip in the end.

the raven boys“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”: A parent-child relationship you loved

No parent-child relationship is perfect, even in fiction. Still, I loved the relationship between Blue and her mother Maura in The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This series has a strong family presence not often found in the Young Adult genre. Even more rare is that the family Blue lives with is all women– talk about female representation!

city of bones cover“You can’t judge a book by its cover”: A great book that NEEDS a better cover

Though I love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series dearly, I have to be honest: I really dislike these cover designs! Models on covers are probably my least favorite design a book could have, and I think in this case it makes the covers look overdramatic and over the top. When it comes to cover designs, I believe that simple is always better!

My Antonia“You can’t please everyone”: A book you hated/loved that everyone else loves/hates

Last semester I was assigned to read My Ántonia by Willa Cather for my literature class and I immediately fell in love with it… the rest of my class, not so much. I loved the writing style, the almost ethereal ambience, the fascinating questions about nationality and gender performance that it raises.

16145154“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”: book you are better person for having read

Reading Seth Holmes’ ethnography Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States last semester for my Introduction to Anthropology class made me realize the horrors, struggles, and hardships behind the fresh fruit on my kitchen table. This book has opened my eyes to the maltreatment of migrant farmworkers and the long road we have ahead of us towards changing this horrid, unjust system.

All the Light We Cannot See“Love is blind”: book with disabled character or actual “blind love”

Yes! Another excuse to mention my love for Anthony Doerr’s amazing historical fiction novel All the Light We Cannot See. Featuring Marie-Laure, a blind French girl living in Paris during World War II, this heart-wrenching story will captivate you from the very first page and not let you go until you’ve turned the very last one.

29069989“Ignorance is bliss”: A book you know is bad you don’t want to admit it, or a book you don’t want to read in case it’s bad

Even though I’ve already read it and I strongly dislike it, I’m still going to mention Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. I went back and forth about reading this play for the longest time before finally giving in because I wanted to form my own educated opinion. I don’t necessarily regret my decision to read it, but I definitely could have lived my life without doing so. It’s safe to say that “disappointing” is definitely an understatement.

Jellicoe-Road-by-Melina-Marchetta_thumb“There is no time like the present”: Your favorite contemporary book

I’m going to go with my old standby favorite: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I’ve discussed this book countless times on my blog at this point, but that hasn’t stopped me from talking about it even more. If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP!

a game of thrones cover“Better safe than sorry”: A book you don’t want to read in case it’s bad or vice versa

I’ve been contemplating reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin for what seems like ages, but I’m afraid that it’s going to be too graphic or unsettling for me. I’ve heard these things about the TV show and I can’t help but fear that it all stems from the original book series. If you’ve read this series, please let me know what your thoughts on it are!

What books do these clichés remind you of? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY