MATILDA as a Feminist Text | Discussion

While reading Matilda for the first time ever recently (gasp!), I loved how Roald Dahl places such an emphasis on gender equality in the story. If we consider feminism to be defined as equality between all genders, I would argue that this lovely children’s book is a strong example of a feminist text. Here are 5 quotes that help illustrate this point:

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

This quote depicts girls as active agents in their own lives rather than the passive, conforming subjects that they are often portrayed as in literature.

“A girl should think about making herself look attractive so she can get a good husband later on. Looks is more important than books, Miss Hunky…”
“The name is Honey,” Miss Honey said.
“Now look at me,” Mrs Wormwood said. “Then look at you. You chose books. I chose looks.”

Here Roald Dahl takes a feminist stance by making Matilda’s awful mother possess a misogynistic mindset. This obviously shines a negative light on such prejudice against women by showing how ridiculous it sounds, especially coming from Mrs. Wormwood. By this point in the story, the reader knows that Miss Honey is a kind, smart, lovely individual who is both beautiful and intelligent. In other words, there’s no such thing as having to choose between “looks” and “books”!!

“I’m afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl.”

I think the message is pretty clear with this one: men are not the only clever ones!

“Being very small and very young, the only power Matilda had over anyone in her family was brain-power.”

Probably my favorite thing about Matilda as a character is that she is a role model for everyone who feels ostracized by a desire to learn and be smart. Here Roald Dahl asserts that intelligence is power– just because one is disadvantaged in other ways doesn’t mean you can’t fight back with words and ideas and wit. Taken even further, one could argue that this also applies to feminism: just because someone is viewed as inferior for being a woman doesn’t mean they can’t challenge this adversity with brain-power. 

“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life they had never seen.”

This might be my favorite quote of the entire book. When I came across it while reading I literally stopped and reread the same line five or six times because I think it perfectly encapsulates one of the most important values of reading. Reading teaches us empathy, something imperative to understanding and accepting everyone around us. If more people read and had empathy, then perhaps feminism would be embodied by everyone.

The fact that this children’s book has such a strong, smart, independent female protagonist is so important for all readers, but especially younger ones. Characters like bookish Hermione Granger and clever Nancy Drew had such a huge impact on me when I was younger and I know that Matilda would have done the same if I had read this book as child. This is just one of the many reasons why Matilda is truly an incredible book!

Would you consider Matilda to be a feminist text? What are your thoughts on what constitutes a “feminist text” in general? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is already half way over??? I’m still not used to how far along we are in the twenty-first century. Every time someone mentions the 90s my first thought is “Ah, yes, that decade ten years ago.” But that is NOT THE CASE and it’s kind of scary… Anyways, thanks so much to Inside My Library Mind for tagging me in this Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

Must we start with the most difficult question ever??? I’ve read so many great books this year that choosing just one is really hard, so I’m going to go with two: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky and Sartoris by William Faulkner. (Could you get two more opposite books??)

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

I actually don’t think I’ve read any sequels this year!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

When I heard that John Green was releasing a new book this fall I literally squealed in delight, surprise, and excitement. ANOTHER JOHN GREEN BOOK, PEOPLE. From what he’s shared about the basic premise of Turtles All the Way Down it promises to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, and story about adolescence, mental illness, and life. October can’t come soon enough!!!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’m honestly not very up to date with new releases for the second half of 2017, so I don’t think I have an answer to this question.

5. Biggest disappointment.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This was the first book I read (listened to, actually) in 2017 and I was so disappointed by it. I disagreed with many of her points and was frustrated by her tendency to focus on problems that were fairly tedious and insignificant compared with the more serious issues that some women have to deal with on a regular basis. The potential was there for this to be a great book, but in the end I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sartoris by William Faulkner. Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite Faulkner novel that I’ve read thus far. I had never heard of it before taking a closer look at the Faulkner section of my local library because usually people stick with his most well-known texts (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, etc.). Sartoris is under-rated, under-appreciated, and certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

E.M. Forster. I read his novel A Room with a View earlier this year and was absolutely enthralled by it. Not only is his writing beautiful, but the novel was incredibly thought-provoking and captivating. I look forward to reading more of his writing!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Vincent from On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Not only is Vincent incredibly musically gifted, but he’s also sweet, thoughtful, loyal, caring… what more could you want? This entire book is adorable and romantic in general– I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something really sweet, captivating, and heartwarming .

9. Newest favorite character.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

10. Book that made you cry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Though I didn’t physically cry while reading this poetry collection, I did feel emotional and sense tears welling up in my eyes at times. Rupi Kaur’s poetry is raw, honest, and beautiful. I highly recommend this collection!

11. Book that made you happy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I never read this book when I was a kid (are we sensing a trend here?) but I definitely wish I had because it’s SO FUN. I couldn’t help but smile all the way through this creative, hilarious, adorable book. Roald Dahl is the best! Also, now I really want to watch the movie adaptation directed by Wes Anderson. I’ve heard really great things about it!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky. I love everything about this cover design– the color, the simple design of handwriting on a solid background, and the way it’s messy but not overwhelmingly so. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve photographed this book (although looking at my bookstagram will give you a pretty good idea). This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, so I would highly recommend it!!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY. A novel I’m hoping to read by the end of the summer is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

Ahhh, there are so many!!! I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart ❤ For the sake of this tag, I’m going to give a shoutout to:

  • Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read. Not only do Shar and Shanti post thought-provoking, creative content on they’re blog, but they’re also both incredibly kind individuals. They leave the most thoughtful comments that always make me happy. If you haven’t checked out their blog, definitely do so!! ❤
  • Ariel Bissett. Ariel has been my favorite booktuber for YEARS. A smile immediately lights up my face every time I see that she has posted a new video because they always manage to brighten my day. I love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality and knack for creating content that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, creative, and entertaining.
  • Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel). I love her book blog, but I especially look forward to the photos she posts on bookstagram. They’re beautifully shot and always contain the most gorgeous editions of books. ❤

How was your reading in the month of #may? Time for a #wrapup. – – 5⭐️ : The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (love the lyrical prose and choice of words) 5⭐️ : Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (loved minute observations of life in Russia & character sketches) 4.5⭐️ : The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (made me feel fortunate for medical advancements. Written in a stream of consciousness style) 4⭐️ : First Love by Gwendine Riley (imperfect lives and flawed characters told in minimal words) 4⭐️ : Lord Edgware dies by Agatha Christie (kept me on toes guessing the killer) 4⭐️ : The Muse by Jessie Burton ( moderate pace, predictable but enjoyable) 3.5⭐️ : Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (beautifully written story of a marriage between a young wife and older husband) 3.5⭐️ : Mr Tibbit's Catholic school (charming boarding school stories and nuances of headmasters) : : What was your favourite book of the month? : : #bookworm#maywrapup #thebooksatchelwrapup #coffee #booksbooksbooks #books

A post shared by Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel) on

I hope you’ve had a great first half of 2017 and that the second half is even better! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? How has your 2017 been so far? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

MATILDA by Roald Dahl | Review

Up until very recently, I have spent the entirety of my twenty-year existence with no knowledge of the wonderful brilliance that is Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Though I had been recommended it countless times by enthusiastic readers and had seen the charming advertisements for the movie adaptation, I had never managed to actually sit down and read the book itself. Last summer I made several valiant efforts to check it out of my local library, but to no avail; other patrons (presumably much younger than I) always beat me to it. Determined to beat the summer reading rushed, I hurried over to the children’s room of the library early on in my summer break this year to finally check it out once and for all.

After literal decades of waiting, I read Matilda in a single sitting.

loved it.

Now I understand why so many people eagerly recommended this lovely little book to me, why it continues to be read by adult readers who have long since outgrown the tiny chairs in the children’s rooms of libraries. Though Matilda has an established position in the genre of children’s literature, it almost seems as if Roald Dahl wrote this book with an adult audience in mind as well. Matilda is so wise beyond her years that it sometimes feels like she is an adult—especially when faced with the temperamental, ignorant, cruel Miss Trunchbull. The four-year-old girl offers helpful advice to Miss Honey, has intellectual capabilities that surpass those of most adults, and possesses enough resilience in the face of adversity to last her a lifetime. Ultimately, this book argues for the idea of immaturity v. maturity rather than the conflict between children v. adults. In other words, Roald Dahl would likely not view the word “childish” as a synonym for being immature. Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they possess a certain degree of maturity, empathy, or common sense (as many recent events in our own world have certainly proven true).

While reading this book I was taken aback by how many references there are to classic literature. I don’t think I’ve ever read a children’s book that talks so much about literature that one would normally read in high school, college, or beyond. Matilda reads Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells—the list goes on and on! (New goal: read all of the novels mentioned in Matilda.) One of my favorite moments in the book is when it describes little Matilda balancing a huge tome on her lap while reading in the library. I think that image really helps illustrate how brilliant and ahead of her age Matilda is (not to mention the fact that the illustrations in this book are adorable). The numerous references to classic literature in this book also work to break down genre barriers between what is considered literature for children versus that of adults.

Arguably one of the most important, interesting, and exciting aspects of Matilda is the way it emphasizes the importance of reading, learning, and education. Miss Honey is an incredible proponent of education, as shown when she provides Matilda with extra textbooks to read in class so she doesn’t have to sit through learning material she already knows. Matilda and Miss Honey stand up to Matilda’s frustratingly terrible parents who don’t understand why anyone would ever want to read a book when you could just watch the television instead. I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

What can I say? Matilda is wonderful, Roald Dahl is a brilliant writer, and I’m completely in love with this book. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and check it out—you definitely won’t regret it!

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely!! I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, no matter your age.

What are your thoughts on Matilda? Do you have a favorite Roald Dahl book? Which Roald Dahl book should I read next? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

JUNE 2017 | Wrap-Up

Hello, hello!! Summer is now well underway and it’s time to say farewell to June. So much has happened these past few weeks that it seems like June was YEARS long. As per usual, here is what I was up to last month:

thank-you-14

In June I read a total of 9 books:

  1. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  3. Emma by Jane Austen
  4. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  5. Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner
  6. Richard III by William Shakespeare
  7. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
  8. Timeline by Michael Crichton
  9. Big Woods by William Faulkner

It’s so hard to pick just one favorite from this list! Matilda was the most fun book to read, Timeline was the most suspenseful, and Go Down, Moses was the most thought-provoking. It was unbelievably nice to spend as much time reading as I did in June after months of only having time to read what was assigned for my courses. Recently I received one of my summer reading lists in preparation for Oxford, and it’s safe to say that my reading will have to be much more focused for the rest of the summer!

thank-you-15

June was a blur of working, reading, hanging with friends, and trying get my plans all squared away for studying abroad this upcoming academic year. A few weeks ago I published this post announcing that I’ll be studying at Oxford University in England for the entire next academic year and I was overwhelmed by all of the lovely comments I received. You’re all so sweet and I appreciate your well wishes, advice, and congratulations so much!! ❤ This month I finally booked my flight for September and it’s so nice to finally have a date set for when I’ll be leaving… the whole thing seems so much more real now!

Earlier this month my brother graduated high school, which made me feel SO OLD. (How has it already been two whole years since I graduated? How am I already HALF WAY through college?) Thankfully the weather cooperated and we had beautiful sunny weather for both the ceremony and our party afterwards. It was such a great day!

June was also a great month for TV and movies. I finally finished watching Twin Peaks, which I absolutely loved (though the last episode was AWFUL). Recently I started watching Freaks and Geeks and I’m already so invested. Not only is it hilarious, but the characters are also so easy to relate with. I was definitely a geek in high school, though thankfully I was never bullied to the degree that Sam, Neal, and Bill are in the show. There’s only one season of the show (*sobs*) so I should be able to finish it pretty soon. The best movies I watched in June were The Last Five Years, La La Land, and Wonder Woman (if you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should!).

thank-you-16

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

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month (there are so many!!):

How was your month of June? 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

Sunshine Blogger Award | 3

Hello, hello! I know I’ve been posting a lot of awards and tags lately, but they’re so fun that I can’t help myself. Thanks so much to Beth @ Reading Every Night for nominating me in this Sunshine Blog Award!!

  1. Would you rather witness the beginning of the earth or the ending of the earth and why?

    I would probably prefer to see the beginning of the earth because it sounds like it would be a lot more hopeful than seeing the ending. (Besides, there would be more chances of eventually seeing dinosaurs!)

  2. Why did you call your blog what you did?

    I’m severely allergic to nuts and a proud nerd; hence, the blog name Nut Free Nerd was born.

  3. What social cause do you feel the strongest about (e.g. LGBTQ+ rights, animal rights, etc.)?

    For the past two summers I have worked at a local Child Advocacy Center where they conduct forensic interviews of children who have allegedly been abused. Because of this work I’m constantly reminded of the severity of the child abuse problem and how our society likes to brush it under the rug because it’s difficult to talk about. Fortunately, organizations like Child Advocacy Centers are working to spread awareness about this important issue.

  4. Give five amazing bloggers a shout-out, share the love.

    I’d love to give a shout-out to Emma @ Emma the Book Lover, Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books, Sydney @ Sydney’s Shelves, Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read, and May @ Forever and Everly. These bloggers are so lovely and always leave the most thoughtful comments on posts. Definitely check out their blogs if you haven’t already! ❤

  5. Post a picture of a beautiful book cover.

    I absolutely love the simple cover design of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. It suits the raw honesty of the poetry and lets the words speak for themselves. 

  6. Pick your two favorite characters of all time. Now sacrifice one! (The universe is at stake)

    Oh, this is so difficult! The first two that come to mind are Jane from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda. (The fact that they both are named in the titles was completely unplanned!) Matilda is a new favorite of mine because I just read this children’s classic for the first time recently. Both of these characters are strong, intelligent, witty, independent females who I admire greatly. If I absolutely had to sacrifice one it would probably be Jane because the thought of sacrificing little Matilda is just too horrible to endure.

  7. If the apocalypse was coming and you had to evacuate Earth, what are three things you would take with you (both bookish and non-bookish items accepted)?

    A book for when I need to escape, a notebook and pencil (those count as one item, right?!) to record my thoughts and ideas, and a photo album to remember those that I love.

  8. What would you do if you won the lottery?

    Pay off my college loans, pay off all of my parents loans and bills, go traveling, and donate to a bunch of charities (and my local library!).

  9. Share one of your favorite quotes!

    I discovered one of my absolute favorite quotes years ago while reading John Green’s debut novel Looking for Alaska. In it he quotes Francois Rabelais, who once said: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” I love how this quote can be interpreted in so many different ways. I think we all have our own unique “Great Perhaps” that we’re trying to find, and this quote is a reminder to keep your ultimate goal in the back of your mind when you need inspiration or motivation.

  10. Tell us about the last book you read; what did you love/hate about it?

    The last book I read was Big Woods by William Faulkner, which I really enjoyed. I love how all of the stories are interconnected through characters, themes, and settings. There really wasn’t anything I disliked about it, besides the fact that his writing can be confusing at times.

  11. Share one song that you feel would be a perfect fit for your favourite book character.

    Jay Gatsby isn’t my favorite book character, but I can’t help but pair him with Lorde’s song “Green Light.” (Is this cliché? Yes. Do I regret it? NOPE.)

Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books

Gee @ The Bibliomaniac Book Blog 

Chelsea @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

Sarah @ Sarah Withers Blogs

Heather @ Book & Words

Thanks again to Beth for nominating me! I hope you all have a lovely day ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? 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

Top Ten Tuesday: Writers I Would Love to Meet

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is one that I could talk about forever. After all, who doesn’t want to meet all of their favorite authors? As per usual, I’ve done the difficult job of narrowing it down to just ten writers. In no particular order, they are:

What writers would you love to meet? What authors have you met? What do you think of the authors on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Pictures Worth Ten Thousand Words

foodie-facts-about-me-19

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is one that I don’t talk about often on this blog: pictures and visuals in books. Though I haven’t read very many graphic novels or comic books, I have come across some memorable illustrations and creative uses of images in many of the books I’ve read. Here are ten books whose illustrations, images, and design I’ve thoroughly enjoyed:

top-ten-tuesday_-32

top-ten-tuesday_-33

top-ten-tuesday_-34

top-ten-tuesday_-35

top-ten-tuesday_-36

top-ten-tuesday_-37

top-ten-tuesday_-38

top-ten-tuesday_-39

top-ten-tuesday_-40

top-ten-tuesday_-41

What are your favorite books with pictures? Any specific illustrators you like? Have any recommendations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

The Jingle Bell Tag

book-courtship-4

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!!

suspense-28

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Buy for the College Student in Your Life

copy-of-foodie-facts-about-me

Happy Tuesday! The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it’s time for The Broke and the Bookish’s holiday gift guide freebie week! Since I’m currently a college student, I thought I would share some of my expertise about this terrifying, tumultuous, and exciting time of life in the form of the Top Ten Books to Buy for the College Student in Your Life. Let the festive spirit commence!

is everyone hanging out without me coverIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

I feel like I have included this book on countless Top Ten Tuesday lists, but I just can’t help but mention it once more. When I read this collection of personal essays I was inspired by Kaling’s wit, wisdom, and perseverance in the face of numerous obstacles throughout her life. Besides, it’s a hilarious book that’s perfect for getting you to laugh in the midst of stressful final exams!

17802957A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland

What can I say? I’m an English major and a sucker for any book that discusses how literature evolves over time. This book is a concise, well-written, and fascinating read for anyone interested in how the literature we read today came to be. It also helps with adding books to your TBR list (which is both a good and bad thing at the rate that mine is currently growing!).

3109The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Let’s face it: us college students are not always the healthiest of eaters. Not only is this book often discussed in college classes (I’ve talked about it in three of mine so far, and it wasn’t even assigned for the class!), but is also contains really interesting and eye-opening information about where our food comes from. It might not make you change what you eat completely, but it will definitely make you think twice about some of the food on your plate!

438353-2The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Though living with friends on campus and being able to study what you’re passionate about is an amazing experience, college can also be an incredibly stressful and scary time. We all could use a good laugh now and then, and The Princess Bride is the perfect medicine! Plus, you can also watch the movie adaptation after you read the book for double to hilarity.

The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)The BFG by Roald Dahl

I don’t know about other college students out there, but I’m often hit with waves of homesickness and nostalgia while living away from my family back home. Any childhood favorite would fit on this list, but The BFG is my personal go-to pick-me-up whenever I’m feeling down. I mean, just look at that Big Friendly Giant’s adorable ears! They never fail to make me smile.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger converThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Sometimes we just need to know that someone else understands what it feels like to be a frustrated teenager. Look no further than Holden Caulfield, folks! Though some people think he is unbearably irritating, I’ve had a soft spot for him ever since first reading this novel in English during my freshman year of high school. If nothing else, it will certainly cause those high school memories to come rushing back!

the opposite of loneliness coverThe Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Written by a college student who died in a tragic accident, this collection of short stories and essays will make you think, laugh, and want to pick up a pen and write some of your own. I felt a connection with Marina while reading this book, as though she understood what it felt like to be young and confused but determined to push onward.

1984 cover1984 by George Orwell

There’s nothing like this terrifying, disturbing, unsettling dystopia novel to open your eyes to what the future could look like if we let it– and perhaps what the present is already beginning to resemble in some ways. 1984 is perhaps one of the best fictional wake-up calls or warnings that could possibly be delivered. (Orwell’s Animal Farm would also work for this!)

fangirl coverFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

If you’ve read Fangirl, then it’s pretty obvious why it’s the perfect addition to this list. Cath and Wren’s experiences as freshmen in college did wonders to ease my fears about what college would be like. I think it would be so fun to reread this since I’m now a sophomore in college! Oh, how times have changed…

the hobbit coverThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve read this book so many times that I honestly cannot give a specific number. Besides being a captivating and entertaining story, The Hobbit carries an important lesson that college students (and everyone else, really)  can benefit from reading: Though the road is long and there’s an uphill climb at the end, eventually it will all be worth it. Don’t give up!

What books would you buy for a college student? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY