I’m always surprised when people say they didn’t always love reading. Like, a lot of book bloggers say that Twilight got them into reading in their teenage years. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I just find it baffling that they didn’t read before. I figured you’re born a reader rather than becoming one.
I have loved books for as long as I’ve been able to read. There have been times when I’ve not read as much, but books have always been a huge part of my life, so I thought it would be interesting to look back on the most important books throughout my life – the ones that moulded me, and stayed with me long after first discovering them.
This isn’t really a tag but I encourage any of you who want to do your own ‘life in books’ to go ahead and do so. I actually got quite emotional thinking about some of the books that have meant so much to me, especially as a child.
It’s International Women’s Day today and originally I wanted to mark the day with some kind of ‘top 10’. However as I was making notes for this post, I realised that the point of the day is to celebrate all women, and that to list them in order of preference or in order of how much their works have impacted the world would be somewhat restrictive for what I wanted to do.
I’ve therefore compiled a list of women writers, in no particular order, whom I think have had a massive effect on readers all over the world and/or whose works I especially love.
Apologies for upcoming swearing in this post, but this was no time for words like ‘bloody’ or ‘darn’.
I finished reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin last night, a highly influential book about women who, deemed by their husbands to be getting too big for their boots, are replaced by robots. They lose all independent thought and begin to stay indoors, cook, clean and look after the children, having no interests of their own.
This was a fantastic read and it put me in the mood to read some feminist books. I’ve read a limited number of feminist novels and not much non-fiction at all, apart from a few Simone de Beauvoir excerpts at university. I therefore searched ‘feminist’ in the Kindle store, expecting to see the likes of Germaine Greer, Laura Bates and Betty Friedan, who had a couple of particular mentions in The Stepford Wives.
I did come across some of these names. However, I also came across something – worryingly close to the top of my search results – that disturbed me.
(The girls’ experience) went down almost the same as the Gladers’ terrifying experience, except less of the girl group died – if they were tough like Teresa, this didn’t surprise Thomas in the least.
The Scorch Trials, James Dashner.
Did anyone else roll their eyes reading that? Surely it’s not just me who finds that last part, which is so clearly trying not to be sexist, incredibly patronising. Hey, authors. If girls are so tough and interesting, why not write about them?
So today is pretty historic for Britain. Today we will decide whether to leave or remain in the European Union.
I’m worried. I hope common sense will win through, but hey, nothing motivates like xenophobia, right? I genuinely believe if we leave the EU, the next step will be to put a system in place to ‘send all the foreigners back’ and then we’ll be well on our way to the dawning of a new Holocaust.
I sound like a drama queen, I know. But if you went back in time to warn people about the Holocaust, do you really think they’d believe you?
I’m not going to get into all the different issues surrounding the referendum, because this isn’t a political blog. But I thought I’d mention a few books with a really strong message about the Holocaust. I think it’s so important to read up on and learn from all areas of history, and I don’t really think it’s possible to read these books and not come out with a deep hatred for racism and intolerance.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve still only read about two-thirds of this, but what I have read was deeply affecting.
Welcome to my alphabet series! Today’s book is Dan Brown’s controversial Da Vinci Code.
Here’s what people say is wrong with it:
- Bad writing
- Disrespects Christianity
I’ve mentioned The Da Vinci Code a few times on my blog, so it’s probably clear I disagree. In terms of bad writing, I’m not excusing this – however, I would say it’s unskilled writing, not purely bad. E.g., take the opening scene:
Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-six-year-old man heaved the masterpiece towards himself until it tore from the wall and Sauniere collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.
As he had anticipated, a thundering iron gate fell nearby, barricading the entrance to the suite. The parquet floor shook. Far off, an alarm began to ring.
Well, I was going to do the Chocolate Book Tag in honour of Easter Sunday, but I started answering the questions and was like, ‘Hang on… this feels familiar…’
So instead, I thought I’d mention some books that I loved as a child. I think of Easter as very much something I only cared about when I was a kid, and even then I wasn’t all that bothered.
Here’s the main books that jump to mind when I think about my childhood.
The Famous Five series, Shadow the Sheepdog, and basically anything else by Enid Blyton.
Enid Blyton was hands-down my favourite author growing up. She is the reason I wanted to become a writer. She was also the reason I tried ginger beer, and thanks to her books about secret passageways and hidden treasure, I got through a lot of boring family days out by imagining I was on a Famous Five/Secret Seven quest.
In honour of International Women’s Day today, I wanted to post about my top 5 female characters.
This list is purely based on my tastes and the books that I’ve read.