Emma

Emma by Jane Austen
☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2017

Genre: Classic/Fiction 

A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.

I read this one because I came across a scholarship that basically posed a question in regards to Emma and how does it compare to today’s time. 

For an Austen book, I read this one fairly quick. Of the 3 I have managed to get through (incl: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility), this one has to be my least favorite. (As I can’t remember anything from S&S). 

Emma Woodhouse is a privileged massive pain in the ass. She feels like she’s better than those around her and takes it upon herself to take another young woman under her wing and make her into something that fits societies standards. All the while looking down on those around her. Of course things fall apart and she finds herself more humbled by the end of the book. 

Mr. Knightly didn’t deserve her. 

If your an Austen fan, yay! I find her dry and almost unreadable. It gets me to sleep faster. But I do like the look into a different era of women.

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On reading, life, etc…

So my blog turned a year old a few weeks ago. I got the email and kinda forgot about it. Ooops? And it’s crazy what a year can do to a person. 

I fell out of love, removed myself from a toxic situation that spanned 7 years. I moved in with friends so I could get back on my feet, which basically translates to not opening my mail, drinking too much, and letting all my debt go to collections. (This was not a fun time.)

And then I met the love of my life. Long term friends, we went on an akward date, realized we liked each other a whole lot and gave it a go. Turns out we are a perect match and head over heels for each other. He’s also the reason I’ve only finished 7 books so far this year and we’re coming up pretty quick on the month of April. XD Oooops. 

Along with car troubles, trying to get into school, moving at the end of April, and trying to figure out this adulting thing, things are pretty good at the moment. I still volunteer at my local library. My cats are healthy and happy. And I am content with life right now. I had to learn its okay to not be okay. And that’s okay. 

Happy reading, folks. I’m currently making my way through Emma by Jane Austen. 

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How to be a Heroine 

How to be a Heroine: Or what I’ve learned from reading too much By Samantha Ellis
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Memior

Yet I feel that more heroines now are Scarlets than Melanies. Melanie’s quieter virtues have gone a bit lost, and many heroines now seemed defined mainly by their strength…They’re Warriors not Worriers.

Though I’m begining to think all readings are provisional, and that maybe we read heroines for what we need from them at the time.

This is a memior where an author looks back on her favorite books where a Heroine was a standout. And how it shaped her growing up and what she took from them. And she rereads these books to see how they may have changed over the decades. 

The author herself is muslim/Jewish and is raised in England. It plays alot on how she goes  through things and how she defines herself and what she wants from life outside of tradition. She explores Anne Shirley, Charlotte and Emily Brönte, Pride and Prejudice, Sylvia Plath (etc) and talks about what makes the MC’S heroines. 
This book was fascinating and very well written. Alot of her heroines are ones that I myself have turned to in times of need. Her adventures are relatable and it makes her very human. I didn’t agree with all of her opinions but it did make me think of what I may have pulled from my own reading to define my sense of self.

I recommend this to the ladies and pose a question: who’s your favorite literature based heroine and why?

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Just Jane

Just Jane by Nancy Moser
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction 

When I read a novel, I am not here- I am transported to far off places, my eyes unseen of the words on the page, busy with a sense of being played out in my minds eye, with my ears engaged, hearing the voices carry from the pen to the present. What a lovely place to be- not here.

This book is the second in a a series called Women in History, but reads very much like a stand alone. 

Not much is known of Jane Austen. She lived a quiet life, unmarried and did not seek to be famous from her written works. Alot of her life is not known, but presumptions can be made from the remaining letters that were written to her sister Catherine and what is generally public knowledge. 

This tale is a first hand account (via Jane’s voice) of her life. What she went through after being rebuffed by a man named Thomas Lefroy and how close she was to her sister, whose fiance had died overseas on a mission. You follow in Janes footsteps as she moves from the countryside to Bath, and onward, and get a sense of the feeling behind her work as she worked on her most famous pieces. 

I honestly loves this book. One of my favorite movies is Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway. It reminded me alot of that, except on a more personal level. Many books like this exsist and many more are likely to be written as we continue to speculate about the wonder that is Jane Austen. 

If your a fan, go read this. It’s rich with fact and infused with beautiful fiction.

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The Makings of a Good Book

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Every reader reads things differently. Just as there are different types of books, people gain different perspectives from the books they read. It’s as they say, nobody ever reads the same book.

But what makes a book TRULY great? Is it the timeless classics such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens? Or the mass market paperbacks found at the grocery store checkout? To each their own, but there are some qualities that I use to determine if a book is beyond amazing or simply mediocre. (Sorry folks, I hate John Green.)

Tone: how it is written is usually the first thing that traps me. A good book will paint a picture for me. A bad book will sound ridiculous.

Launguage: how they use launguage. I dislike “purple prose” immensely unless it is fluffy enough to contain a meaning that I can personally glean something from. It should flow like water. Not be choppy or disconnected.

Relatable Characters: This is another big one for me. I love internal conflict. I love being able to draw characteristics from the characters in a story and relate to it. I love humanized characters.

Plot: Must flow evenly. A beginning, middle, climax and end. Even if that ending is a cliffhanger.

This is a small list compared to all the things I determine to make or break a novel but it’s the important ones. I’m sure, given time, I could come up with 100 reasons I prefer Twilight to The Fault in Our Stars (which are both badly written) but alas, I can elaborate later if need be.

I am of the opinion that there is nothing like a truly terrible book. Even 50 Shades of Grey. Oh yes. I hated it. It was one of the most awful reads ever. But somebody out there likes it and it did get non-readers reading. (Seriously, a reviewer on Amazon said Tess of D’Ubervilles should have been written in more modern time….) I think cotton candy reads (such as Twilight) are great. They take very little brain work to read.

I like to believe I am a well rounded reader. I’ve read everything from Juvenile Fiction to erotica (though unwillingly with the later.) I can’t STAND Dickens and have only read Pride and Prejudice by Austen. Chick Lit and Historical Fiction are my guilty pleasure reads.

Readers shouldn’t hate on the fact that people read certain things. I think it’s GREAT that they’re reading. Even if it’s something I myself didn’t enjoy. That being said, to each their own. I usually try to read something to get an opinion about it vs outright hating it. 🙂

I’m still making my way through IQ84 which is slow going thanks to my work week. It’s pretty intense and intricate. Happy Reading folks!

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