It’s only taken me to literally till the last day of March to finish my 30 day challenge as I got distracted by numerous picture posts and other such things which I ended up posting instead- oops! Anyways, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and as I’ve left you hanging on the books I’ve actually been reading for my challenge, the next few days will be dedicated to the books I’ve been reading whilst babbling about books from my past! The Challenge is going well, and you can view my progress on the Goodreads widgets on the side. Something about giving up television suddenly frees up one’s reading schedule. Thanks again to wantoncreation for giving me the idea for the challenge, and don’t forget to donate for World Horse Welfare.
When I first went to university I was constantly told that it was where I would find ‘like minds’- people who would become my closest friends for the rest of my life. What I actually found was many people with similar interests, but not that many like minds. Blogging, on the other hand, has opened the world to a whole plethera of like minds, of people who genuinely make my day just that little bit happier- possibly because you only actually visit or comment on a blog if you’re interested in what that person has to say, interested in the way that they see the world. So it was a burst of sunshine (yes, cheesy pun) in my day to find that I had been nominated for an award by fellow blogger wantoncreation. The Sunshine Award is given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who brighten up their day! Which makes me incredibly happy!
As with other awards, this one requires that I post the award picture in my post and link back to the person who nominated me: which in this case is wantoncreation, whose blog is absolutely fantastic, a definite must-read not only for the elegance in his writing but also his humor, sensitivity and general content. He also answers every comment on his blog which is something that frankly amazes me!
I also have to answer 10 personal questions and nominate 10 fellow bloggers for the award.
1. Favorite color– At the moment, mint because of the fashion craze with mint at the moment. But also peach in a more general sense. Soft peach. Makes me think of flowers.
2. Favorite animal– Horse. Without a doubt. The only reason I’m doing my 100 book challenge and trying to raise money for World Horse Welfare. If you’re afraid of horses or indifferent, you really are missing out on an incredible experience. Loyal creatures their personalities and quirks makes them literally human. And beautiful too!
3. Favorite number– 16. Don’t know why, it just is.
4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink– Carrot or cucumber juice. yum 🙂
5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter– Facebook. I find Twitter confusing.
6. My passion– Not any one thing. I am passionate about a plethera of things. Riding, History, Ballet, Singing, I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one.
7. Prefer Giving or Getting presents– Giving. Nothing in the world compares to finding something which makes someone smile.
8. Favorite pattern– Most indian patterns on fabric. Stunning.
9. Favorite day of the week– Monday. I know, you think I’m mad, to reassure you it is also my least favorite day of the week, but I like mondays because every single one is a promise of a new start, new goals, a clean slate- a chance to do better than the last week.
10. Favorite flower– Tulips. So many pretty colors!
And now for 10 blogs. If I haven’t put your blog on here I probably still love reading your blog!
1. wantoncreation (who else!)
10. A.J. Jenner
(P.S I think you should visit all these blogs, just to see if you like them too)
To me, my favorite book of all time could only be a one which answered all the questions of this challenge with the exception of being overrated, a book I have hated, the first book I remember reading or a book that disappointed me.
It is the best book I read last year, which makes it also a book I read often. It is (sort of) in my faovrite series, as well as being a guilty pleasure that inspires both happiness and sadness in me and sometimes even tears. Highly underrated, it is a book I though I wouldn’t like but did, not to mention being my favorite classic and my favoured work by my favorite author. It is a book that more people should read and one that should be on every college reading list as a warning for the ignorant and small minded not to mention that it contains some of my faourite quotes. It is my favorite book that turned into a movie (which was also partially desecrated), is favorite book from childhood which made me fall back in love with reading at a time where I was bored with its predictability. It has changed my opinion, has a surprising plot twist and in a nutshell is my favourite book title of all time.
In case you hadn’t already guessed from the picture to the side, my favorite book of all time is the short story ‘The Painted Veil’ by W. Somerset Maugham and the title is taken from for a Shelly sonnet. The story follows a very shallow Kitty who marries the highly intellectual Walter Fane, a bacteriologist who lives in China and who falls madly in love with her. The marriage, on Kitty’s part is motivated purely so she can be married before her younger sister, and to get away from her mother. Bored with life in Hong Kong, and a husband whom she doesn’t understand, Kitty begins an affair with the well-regarded Charles Townsend. Caught by her husband, Kitty is forced to choose between accompanying her husband or being scandalously divorced by him. What follows is Kitty’s growth into a woman and her gradual realization of her own mistakes and shallow nature without making her into a different human being, a hero or something amazing- simply a real woman realizing things about herself. Beautifully written, Somerset Maughan manages to write a book that is both incredibly interesting and spectacularly well written. A real triumph, and thus my favorite book of all time.
Also, I love the film with the exception of their slightly change to the plot:
Before I write about this, I will clarify the title- it is not so much about a book that makes me cry, it is about a moment in a book that is so emotional, or a character written so well that something which happens them provokes a physical reaction. I don’t just bawl my way through the entire novel on the train- never fear!
Book one which makes me do this is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Alcott is a like an American Austen and what’s not to love about this heart warming novel that follows the lives of four sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March as they turn into little women. Even though it’s been years since I’ve read it, Little Women is still a book (and film) that makes me cry- normally only when Beth dies as she is such a kind and sweet character whose death just seems to highlight everything that is wrong in the world. Being an only child I also spent a lot of my childhood being attracted by the idea of four sisters, so the death of Beth spoiled this perfect image of the four-child family.
Another book that makes me cry- or moment in a book, to be more exact, is actually the death of Dumbledore in Harry Potter. Something about that death is so utterly devastating to me that tears ran down my cheeks from the moment of his death till the end of the book. I even had to go ask my mum for a cuddle.
So there you have it- the two book moments that make me bawl more than any other!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Definitely my favorite title of all time! I know, I can see the awesomness you feel just reading it. It drew me instantly in because of its aforesaid weird awesomeness. The book is pretty good too- an autistic boy- Christopher-attempts to figure out who killed his neighbor’s dog. What is more awesome however is that the title is actually a remark made by the Sherlock Holmes in “Silver Blaze”- and as Sherlock Holmes is one of the most awesomest characters of all times, this adds to the overall awesomeness of the title “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”. Overall, I would define this title as ‘awesome’.
It’s difficult to think of a particular book that has a surprising twist or ending, particularly as I’m about 80% right in my guesses about endings these days. However, just about anything written by Agatha Christie invariably surprises me- no matter how convinced I am that I know the perpetrator of a particular crime. When I feel that the whole world’s literature is simply written with the same plot, it just takes an Agatha Cristie mystery to perk me up again. Obviously Murder at the Orient Express comes to mind, but also the two books shown in the pictures- At Bertram’s Hotel and Black Coffee. Question moment- have any of you ever guessed the correct wrong-doer in an Agatha Christie novel?
Snobs, the novel, is so waspish, so resplendant with dry british humour that I couldn’t help the odd actualy lol (laugh out loud) moment. It also changed my view of the british upper classes at a time when my understanding of them was that of any young girl- they wear such pretty dresses! Instead, I was presented with this view: “The English, of all classes as it happens, are addicted to exclusivity. Leave three Englishmen in a room and they will invent a rule that prevents a fourth joining them.” The plot follows Edith Lavery a pretty social climber from the middle classes who whilst visiting his parent’s stately home, meets Charles, Earl of Broughton, and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield. When he proposes, Edith accepts- but is she in love with Charles the man or Charles Earl of Broughton? It’s particularly interesting as it’s written about the present day english artisocracy which have recieved much less literary attention than their ancestors. So, if you have any delusions about the english upper classes, this book, written by Julian Fellowes (one who moves amongst the creme de la creme of english nobility) will certainley change your mind.
Darrell Rivers from Mallory Towers is probably the character I relate to the most. Perhaps less so in the last few years, but up until that point- without a doubt. It was actually only when, in a fit of nostalgia, I re-read the book that I really started to identify with Darrell and her growth into a young woman. Initially short tempered (cough, like yours truly) she gradually matures through the series- something most teenage girls tend to identify with. Darrell’s attachment to and enjoyment of school was one I also felt, not to mention that the books in general accurately depict the emotional aspect of people you have lived with in boarding school-people you will always share a bond with simply for having lived side by side with them for years on end.
Whenever I am trawling the web in boredom, looking for well-reviewed and interesting fantasy novels/ series, there are two notable works which do not appear. The first is Secret Sacrament by Sherryl Jordan and the second the Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix. Let me be clear, I’m not a fan on Nix in general, but I adore this trilogy- Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen (+1- Across the wall) are something just that little bit different as the protagonist, Sabriel, is a death-witch who deals with making the undead return to their dead state. With the help of a cat and some interesting bells, Sabriel is a fearsome and interesting character. Nevertheless, in the world of fantasy, it is rare for me to actually hear of someone who has even heard of this trilogy. As for the Secret Sacrament (Sheryl Jordan) I suppose it could be described as a kind of Pocahontas story where a boy, ever in awe of an outside, ‘savage’ culture becomes a healer and lives amongst them. Whilst I’m not proclaiming its literary excellence- it ultimatley paints cultural difference and characters in general and very broad strokes- it remains a pleasant fantasy to read with a sad but appropriate ending. I feel like I want to discuss these books with someone, so do me a favor and go out and read them.
Any self-resepcting Tolkein aficionado should have read the Silmarillion, and despite my supposed credentials as the aforesaid I have in fact not read this book. I keep getting told that it’s absolutely awesome, and yet every time I get round to reading it something seems to get in the way. The book is a collection of J.R.R’s mythopoeic works, published and edited by posthumously by his son Christopher. It is an incomplete narrative of the formation and stories of middle-earth which makes it a perfect companion to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I would tell you more, but sadly, having comitted literary sin and still not read this, I cannot! Thus a book I have wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t.