Apr
19
2014

Pro Tip: Do NOT read Stephen King short stories about the-boogeyman-in-the-closet while babysitting. Chances are the child will wake up with unrelated nightmares and you will scare yourself with visions of slimy things lurking in the closet. 

Apr
16
2014

I just finished reading A Great and Terrible Beauty, so I decided to get a jump on the review before I let months pass! A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first book of the trilogy by Libba Bray. The story centers around Gemma Doyle, a young lady who is entering a time of her life when she must figure out how she will fit into the world. But this normal transition is interrupted by a strange accident that results in her mother’s death. Magic, secret societies and the classic struggle of good versus evil abound in this novel.
While this book tended to fall into the formula of the-chosen-one-who-can-unite-us-all-and-save-the-world, it was still a fun read. I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but the first book was good enough that I want to pursue the rest of the trilogy. Gemma is a sympathetic character, in that I remember being 16 and being irrationally irritated with everyone. There are themes of women banding together and turning away from the competition of finding a husband or being the prettiest in the room. I like that! Those are really great themes to have in YA novels and it doesn’t feel overly forced in Beauty. 
The book did take a little while to pick up speed for my tastes and I am sure I’ll have to sit through a “Here’s What Happened Last Episode” in the next installment, but it isn’t slow enough to deter reading.Beauty is a solid start to this trilogy. 

I just finished reading A Great and Terrible Beauty, so I decided to get a jump on the review before I let months pass! A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first book of the trilogy by Libba Bray. The story centers around Gemma Doyle, a young lady who is entering a time of her life when she must figure out how she will fit into the world. But this normal transition is interrupted by a strange accident that results in her mother’s death. Magic, secret societies and the classic struggle of good versus evil abound in this novel.

While this book tended to fall into the formula of the-chosen-one-who-can-unite-us-all-and-save-the-world, it was still a fun read. I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but the first book was good enough that I want to pursue the rest of the trilogy. Gemma is a sympathetic character, in that I remember being 16 and being irrationally irritated with everyone. There are themes of women banding together and turning away from the competition of finding a husband or being the prettiest in the room. I like that! Those are really great themes to have in YA novels and it doesn’t feel overly forced in Beauty. 

The book did take a little while to pick up speed for my tastes and I am sure I’ll have to sit through a “Here’s What Happened Last Episode” in the next installment, but it isn’t slow enough to deter reading.Beauty is a solid start to this trilogy. 

Apr
14
2014

The Bluest Eye is one of Toni Morrison’s earliest work. On the surface, it is the story of a young black girl who wishes she had blue eyes, because she thinks blue eyes are the pinnacle of beauty. But really, the book is about black women from all walks of life trying to establish their identities and their relationships within racially charged America.
This book will hurt your heart. There are several parts in the book where the girls talk about how they realize they are ugly because they don’t look like china dolls. One of the male characters learns to hate women because of how some white men treated him when they caught him in the bushes with a girl.
This book is raw and honest. For that reason, it is a tough read. But it is a good read. It gave me insight into the lives of black women and how beauty standards can be made even harsher by adding racial tensions to the mix. The Bluest Eye definitely furthered my love for Morrison’s style and themes. 

The Bluest Eye is one of Toni Morrison’s earliest work. On the surface, it is the story of a young black girl who wishes she had blue eyes, because she thinks blue eyes are the pinnacle of beauty. But really, the book is about black women from all walks of life trying to establish their identities and their relationships within racially charged America.

This book will hurt your heart. There are several parts in the book where the girls talk about how they realize they are ugly because they don’t look like china dolls. One of the male characters learns to hate women because of how some white men treated him when they caught him in the bushes with a girl.

This book is raw and honest. For that reason, it is a tough read. But it is a good read. It gave me insight into the lives of black women and how beauty standards can be made even harsher by adding racial tensions to the mix. The Bluest Eye definitely furthered my love for Morrison’s style and themes. 

Apr
12
2014

Reblogged from ifyougaveagirlabook :

ifyougaveagirlabook:

dennishopper:

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, “a postmodern” children’s book by Jon Sciezka, illustrations by Lane Smith

Anyone else remember this??!!

This book made me weird.

Apr
9
2014

Reblogged from outofprintclothing :

outofprintclothing:

"You rely on a sentence to say more than the denotation and the connotation; you revel in the smoke that the words send up."

Toni Morrison is this week’s #womancrushwednesday

Check out our Toni Morrison collection here: http://outofprintclothing.com/shop/shop-by-title/song-of-solomon/

Apr
6
2014

"Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. We are wrong, of course, but it doesn’t matter. It’s too late. At least on the edge of my town, among the garbage and the sunflowers of my town, it’s much, much, much too late."

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Apr
4
2014

Reblogged from literarynerd :

Literature Meme: (2/10) Prose
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood

Set in the near future, in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid’s Tale explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency.

The story is presented from the point of view of a woman called Offred (literally Of-Fred).

The character is one of a class of individuals kept as concubines (“handmaids”) for reproductive purposes by the ruling class in an era of declining births due to sterility from pollution and sexually transmitted diseases.(x)

Apr
3
2014

Reblogged from outofprintclothing :

outofprintclothing:

Listen to Juan Felipe Herrera read his poem “Five Directions to My House” on our blog.
http://outofprintclothing.com/2014/04/five-directions-to-my-house-by-juan-felipe-herrera/

outofprintclothing:

Listen to Juan Felipe Herrera read his poem “Five Directions to My House” on our blog.

http://outofprintclothing.com/2014/04/five-directions-to-my-house-by-juan-felipe-herrera/

Mar
31
2014

There is nothing more satisfying then writing a paper under a vague prompt and getting incredibly positive feedback. 

Mar
30
2014

One of Neil Gaiman’s earlier works, American Gods is an attempt to describe the effects that America’s melting pot has on mythology. Our hero, Shadow, unwittingly signs up to join the “battle” between the old and the new gods. The old gods include Norse, Hindu, German and Chinese mythical creatures. The new ones are the gods that Americans inadvertently created by worshipping their televisions, the internet and other technologies. As Shadow tries to aid Mr. Wednesday (Odin) in his schemes, he must come to terms with his past, his present and the future of the world.
I really enjoyed this book. While I would have like to learn more about Shadow’s past and some of the different gods, I still enjoyed the book as a whole. It is an inventive concept that explores how difficult it can be to get different cultures to co-exist. The ending is satisfying, wrapping up a few loose ends that I was afraid were going to go by unaddressed. This book is a great read, particularly for people who are fond of mythology of any kind. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Gaiman’s work. 

One of Neil Gaiman’s earlier works, American Gods is an attempt to describe the effects that America’s melting pot has on mythology. Our hero, Shadow, unwittingly signs up to join the “battle” between the old and the new gods. The old gods include Norse, Hindu, German and Chinese mythical creatures. The new ones are the gods that Americans inadvertently created by worshipping their televisions, the internet and other technologies. As Shadow tries to aid Mr. Wednesday (Odin) in his schemes, he must come to terms with his past, his present and the future of the world.

I really enjoyed this book. While I would have like to learn more about Shadow’s past and some of the different gods, I still enjoyed the book as a whole. It is an inventive concept that explores how difficult it can be to get different cultures to co-exist. The ending is satisfying, wrapping up a few loose ends that I was afraid were going to go by unaddressed. This book is a great read, particularly for people who are fond of mythology of any kind. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Gaiman’s work. 

Mar
29
2014

The Orphan Master’s Son is a tale of a young man, raised in an orphanage, who must maneuver through the complex political landscape of North Korea. He experiences the thrill of being Kim Jong Il’s favorite, the anonymity of prison work camps and the danger of working as a kidnapper for the state. Jun Do (which is the equivalent of John Doe) and his journey encompasses all the hypocrisies and complexities of North Korea. 
This book was very emotional and very long. Clocking in at 443 pages, Adam Johnson’s epic tale of an orphan-turned-tunnel-master-turned-fisherman-turned-spy reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha. Both Johnson and Golden are American novelists who tell the stories of Asian citizens in an almost epic poem format. Both novels include plots that follow the protagonists from a young age up until death. And both novels pit their characters against tremendous tragedy and glorious victory. However, I do like The Orphan Master’s Son more than Memoirs. Johnson’s novel is deeply dark yet uplifting. His characters are an attempt to show the vast individuality that thrives in North Korea, despite the propaganda that convinces the citizens and the world otherwise. 
I would definitely recommend this book. While there are some graphic scenes, the focus isn’t on the atrocities committed by the Dear Leader’s regime. The focus in on how people figure out how to survive (or fail to do so), no matter how many curveballs their country throws at them. It is beautifully written and well-researched. Johnson definitely deserved the awards he won with this epic of a novel. 

The Orphan Master’s Son is a tale of a young man, raised in an orphanage, who must maneuver through the complex political landscape of North Korea. He experiences the thrill of being Kim Jong Il’s favorite, the anonymity of prison work camps and the danger of working as a kidnapper for the state. Jun Do (which is the equivalent of John Doe) and his journey encompasses all the hypocrisies and complexities of North Korea. 

This book was very emotional and very long. Clocking in at 443 pages, Adam Johnson’s epic tale of an orphan-turned-tunnel-master-turned-fisherman-turned-spy reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha. Both Johnson and Golden are American novelists who tell the stories of Asian citizens in an almost epic poem format. Both novels include plots that follow the protagonists from a young age up until death. And both novels pit their characters against tremendous tragedy and glorious victory. However, I do like The Orphan Master’s Son more than Memoirs. Johnson’s novel is deeply dark yet uplifting. His characters are an attempt to show the vast individuality that thrives in North Korea, despite the propaganda that convinces the citizens and the world otherwise. 

I would definitely recommend this book. While there are some graphic scenes, the focus isn’t on the atrocities committed by the Dear Leader’s regime. The focus in on how people figure out how to survive (or fail to do so), no matter how many curveballs their country throws at them. It is beautifully written and well-researched. Johnson definitely deserved the awards he won with this epic of a novel. 

Mar
26
2014

"I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison"


T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Mar
25
2014

"A week ago the rains began in Los Angeles, slicking the streets into road accidents, crumbling the mud from the hillsides and toppling houses into canyons, washing the world from the gutters and storm drains, drowning the bums and the homeless camped down in the concrete channel of the river. When the rains come in Los Angeles they always take people by surprise."

Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Mar
17
2014

Reblogged from outofprintclothing :

outofprintclothing:

Book Madness: Hero vs. Villain!
In our fourth year, we are mixing it up by letting you vote for your favorite heroes and villains from literature. Just like college basketball’s March Madness, we give you the opportunity to fill out your own bracket and compete against fellow bookworms.
Submit your bracket for a chance to win a $500 Out of Print gift card and other legendary prizes!
FIll out your own bracket: http://outofprintclothing.com/book-madness/

I’ve got IT vs Lisbeth Salander.

outofprintclothing:

Book Madness: Hero vs. Villain!

In our fourth year, we are mixing it up by letting you vote for your favorite heroes and villains from literature. Just like college basketball’s March Madness, we give you the opportunity to fill out your own bracket and compete against fellow bookworms.

Submit your bracket for a chance to win a $500 Out of Print gift card and other legendary prizes!

FIll out your own bracket: http://outofprintclothing.com/book-madness/

I’ve got IT vs Lisbeth Salander.

Mar
16
2014

I did it! I wrote a 10 page research paper in under 8 hours. Let the spring break begin!

Theme by Lauren Ashpole