Monday, October 30, 2017

Short Stories - Love 'em, or Hate 'em?

Short stories are one of those things, very much like poetry, that I feel like you either love or hate. Now of course there are styles that are more likely to appeal to a person than others, but as an overall state, I think few people who have read them are ambivalent about this medium.

I'll be honest, I haven't read too many short stories. I read some back in high school, and have recently been trying to experience some more of them...and I just don't get the appeal. Am I reading the wrong style for me? Perhaps. I've been working through some science fiction tales by various authors, and I am hoping to move on to some Ray Bradbury soon. I've read Fahrenheit 451 and enjoyed it, and am very interested by the premises of several of his works, so I think it is at least more promising that I will like these.

I'm not against all "short works", so it isn't a bias entirely on full novels vs. everything else. I love poetry, and enjoy the occasional essay here and there, and don't have any issue one way or another with novellas. It's just that something isn't grabbing me with short stories. Here are my thoughts:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Thanks once again to the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish who hosts this Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT). Here is my version for this week's installment, but you can see ones by others here: Top Ten Unique Book Titles.

  1. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
    I've always thought this was a great title.
  2. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
    Also see: The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo.
  3. There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar
    Ah, Louis Sachar...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Period Dramas: Made in Dagenham

Based on real events in England during 1968, Made in Dagenham is a 2010 film, successful enough to follow with a musical based on it in 2014.

What It's About:

It's 1968, and out of over 55,000 workers at the Ford plant in Dagenham, England, only 187 are women. These women, responsible for piecing together and sewing the leather seats, trim, and more, were re-classified as "unskilled" labourers, causing their pay to be less than those of any of the men in the factory. Prompting a fight for equality through a walk-out, the fallout from their actions impacts not only the entire Ford plant, but all of the women who came after.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)

In light of the recent news that Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts.

First off, I want to congratulate Mr. Ishiguro on the honour. This post in no way intends to be an opinion on whether or not that accolade was deserved, and is simply my experience with his work so far.

Like a lot of people, my first experience with Ishiguro's work was when the movie of Never Let Me Go came out. Being a huge fan of dystopian literature for many years, especially those with a dark or twisted element, this seemed right up my alley. I think I might have missed a few minutes at the beginning of the movie, but otherwise I watched it the whole way through.  I'm a huge fan of Carey Mulligan and Sally Hawkins, and enjoy many things that Keira Knightley has done, so the whole thing seemed really promising.

Conceptually, I enjoyed it. Yet I felt a lack of an emotional connection to the characters, except for the mild "person on the outside" feeling that Kathy and I seemed to share. But I was not satisfied with this - perhaps something was missing from the adaptation (moments cut out, beautiful prose untranslatable to film, etc.) that just didn't give me the full experience. So I endeavored to read it.

Here's what I found:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

Need a Gothic novel that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning? Look no further than...

Hands-down one of the best books I've read in years, Rebecca is a Gothic novel written in 1938 by Daphne du Maurier. It is one of those novels that tells you everything and nothing in a single instant, and is a perfect study of jealousy, loyalty, and desperation. I went into this book knowing essentially nothing about it, just desperately needing to pick up a book that wasn't excessively long to get me through a few weeks.

What it's about:

A young woman, orphaned and unsure of herself is working as a companion to an American woman, Mrs. Van Hopper, for a living. Whilst on vacation in Monte Carlo, she meets the older widower, Maxim de Winter, the wealthy owner of the Manderley estate. The two form a friendship which quickly develops into more. When Maxim whisks her away from her mundane life back to his home at Manderley, she is haunted by the memory of his previous wife. Will she ever learn to escape the shadow of the beautiful, and beloved Rebecca?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday series (TTT) for this great post idea: Top Ten Book Boyfriends. I had a lot of responses for this one, so...I tried to limit myself, but I still ended up doing two separate lists - one for books, and another for movies, TV, etc. I just couldn't help myself!

I'm sorry...once I saw this photo I couldn't resist using it


  1. William (Will) Herondale - The Infernal Devices (series), Cassandra Clare
  2. James (Jamie) Fraser - Outlander (series), Diana Gabaldon