Books To Help Win Your Reading Challenge

The year is fast approaching and if you are like me, you probably noticed that you have only a couple of weeks to reach your 2017 Reading Challenge Goal (I am 26 books behind of my 100 books reading goal). Whether you are using Goodreads Reading Challenge or a challenge you set for yourself, don’t worry fellow bookworms! Victory is only in arms reach and can be fully achieved. I have a variety of books that will help you achieve your goal. And the best thing? They are short and so good that you will finish them in a day! Continue reading “Books To Help Win Your Reading Challenge”

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Books to Add To Your List1

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s post is:

Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read (topic originally done 4/14) Some variations: top ten unique sounding books on my TBR, top ten most unique books I’ve read in X genre, etc

All books are unique but there are a couple that stand out from the rest. Whether it is a cookbook or a guidebook, these ten unique books are a definite must to add to your TBR list.

For the book lover and bibliophile:

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Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley and Audrey Niffenegger

If you would like to read my review of this book, you can find it here.

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Book Review: A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin

24874356Format:  Paperback

Pages: 56 pages

Published: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories, Classics

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A short story by Kate Chopin. The story takes place in an unnamed city–a city large enough to have a department store, a fashionable restaurant, a theater, and a cable car–probably in the early 1890s.

Kate Chopin was a great writer and never given the respect she deserved during her lifetime. Besides her popular novel, The Awakening, Chopin explores taboo issues such as what is it like to be a woman in society or the race identity. Like her popular novel, The Awakening, Chopin was never afraid to talk about issues and takes on the challenges that everyone else is afraid to touch.

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Book Review: Matilda by Mary Shelley

29437563Format:  Paperback

Pages: 110 pages

Published: March 3, 2016 (first published 1819)

Publisher: Penguin Little Black Classics

Genre: Classics, Fiction

Synopsis:

Mary Shelley’s dark story of a bereaved man’s disturbing passion for his daughter was suppressed by her own father, and not published for over a century.

The only book I read from Mary Shelley was Frankenstein. So when I saw this novella, a story that her own father suppressed, I was very intrigued. Frankenstein  is one of my all-time favorite books so I wanted to see what other books Mary Shelley wrote.

Matilda is somewhat like Frankenstein, dealing along the same theme of the parent-child relationship. Shelley does a great job of having the reader identify with Matilda’s abandonment and loneliness issues. As the reader, you get the dive in her complicated relationship with not only with a mother she never got to meet but a father who abandoned her. Intensity of these relationships was clearly felt and Shelley did a great job portrayal for the first half of her tale.

The subject of incest, disgusting as it is, was one of the things that interested me in reading in this story. However, Shelley barely approach the subject, only a mere declaration from Matilda’s father. When this occurs, you get the overly dramatic and emotional telling of both Matilda and her father’s feelings, a perfect example of living in the Romantic Era. This when it got a little repetitive and at times straining to read. I was going to completely write this story off until I realized that I needed to do some more historical research to understand a little more of Mary Shelley’s intention of writing this story.

RothwellMaryShelley.jpg
Mary Shelley

To understand Matilda, you need to know learn the background of the author. Mary Shelley is the daughter of feminist philosopher and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft contracted an infection from the birth and died ten days after Shelley was born. William Goodwin left Mary in the care of a family member for a time while he traveled around Ireland.Although there is no evidence to the contrary, you might consider this novella a little bit of an autobiographical account of Mary Shelley’s life. So finding more about Goodwin’s and Shelley’s relationship, I saw that this was a perfect example of the parent-child relationship.

Then I discovered the reason why Shelley wrote this Matilda. Shelley and her husband, Percy Shelley, lost two of their children and writing this novella distracted Mary from her grief. Mary became emotionally and sexually distant from Percy so maybe writing this story helped her put her feelings in words. That could be the reason why it was so overly dramatic and at times all over the place. The story may have been a downer and have a depressing ending but it was how Mary felt at the time and the only way she can put her feelings into words. It gave her chance to look back at her life and examine her present and somehow combined the two to create a story, no matter how controversial it may be.

So be prepared. If you would like to read this story (and I highly suggest that you would), try to keep an open mind. Don’t look at as another Frankenstein because it is not. Knowing more about Mary’s history actually gave me a better understanding of Matilda and this novella gives us a rare look into this great novelist’s life.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Get It At: Amazon |Barnes & Noble|Book Depository | Your local library

Book Review: The Night is Darkening Around Me by Emily Bronte

wp-1477534062038.jpgFormat:  Paperback

Pages: 55 pages

Published: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Little Black Classics

Genre: Poetry

When I first heard that Penguin was releasing Little Black Classics, I was disappointed they would not be available. So when I made my trip across the pond and saw them in a bookstore, I grabbed the opportunity to grab as many little black books that I could. One of them was Emily Bronte’s The Night is Darkening Round Me.

The only thing I read by Emily Bronte was Wuthering Heights.  I know most of her writings were poems and I never got a chance to read them until now and I am glad I did. These poems were great! You can feel the brutal honesty and see the vivid imagery while reading these poems. Bronte gives a variety of things you may be looking for in a poem: death, love, nature…it is all here. Some of the poems were haunting but yet so beautiful. They are not so many poems that leave me so captivated. I knew she was a great writer but never how great at poetry she truly was! And reading ties in perfectly with Halloween, so if you are looking for a Halloween gothic read, you are looking at the right book.

Just to show you what I mean, I will end this review with one of the great poems in this book:

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