Archive for ‘30 day book challenge’

March 30, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 30- Your favorite book of all time

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: 

March 29, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 29- A book that makes you cry

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!

March 28, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 28- Favorite title

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’.

March 27, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 27- The most surprising plot twist or ending

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?

March 26, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 26- A book that changed your opinion about something

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.

March 25, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 25- A character who you can relate to the most

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.

March 24, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 24- A book that you wish more people would’ve read

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.


March 23, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 23- A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t

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.

March 22, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 22- The book that made you fall in love with reading

Roald Dahl was the man who made me fall in love with books, as I’m sure he did with so many children. Of all his works however, the book that made me fall in love with reading was undoubtedly Matilda- partially because I thought that if I read a lot I would ultimately get special powers, but mostly because I identified with someone who was a little bit of an outcast and who devoured books like there was no tomorrow. Matilda made me realize that there were more books than I could possibly ever read and I was obsessed with the idea of finishing all the books in my library. Again a book that needs no review or introduction, but my favorite scene from the film is below:

March 21, 2012

30 day book challenge- Day 21- Favorite book from your childhood

The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Malory Towers- all favorite books from my childhood- and all written by Enid Blyton. What can I say, the woman understood how the young mind works! I remember piling these books on my bedside table, curling under the covers with sweets and a cup of hot chocolate and just ploughing through them until the tiny hours of the morning when drooping eyelids would finally force me to sleep. I loved both the Famous Five and the Secret Seven for their mysteries, a bit like my guilty pleasure Nancy Drew (only much much better) and Malory Towers because, being an only child, I was always secretly enamored by the idea of boarding school and the thought of an extended friend- family. I still re-read some of these books to this day and whilst the prose is nothing to write home about the characters and stories are as vivid to me as they ever were. Not to mention that they were the pre-cursors not only to my actually going to boarding school but also to reading Agatha Christie- what more can you ask for!