30 day book challenge; day 22, the next book you plan on reading

I’m trying to see if this works without the picture- sorry for the absence but here’s a link to the cover picture if you’re interested… http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=heart+of+darkness+penguin+classics&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&biw=1266&bih=544&tbm=isch&tbnid=kzWF3mgtjArzzM:&imgrefurl=http://www.campusbookstore.com/generalbooks/details/%3Fisbn%3D9780141441672&docid=1HYEDlFPpIkkvM&imgurl=http://www.campusbookstore.com/image.aspx%253Fisbn%253D9780141441672%2526size%253DLarge&w=325&h=500&ei=U1fvT6bUOuec0AXmj8zbDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=266&vpy=122&dur=160&hovh=279&hovw=181&tx=82&ty=192&sig=104506953825754122269&page=1&tbnh=165&tbnw=107&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:73

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

I actually wrote this post three days ago and it wouldn’t send for some unfathomable reason and since then I have been incredibly busy (looking at Universities, so I know you’ll forgive me). Now I am actually quite a way through the book, so it’s technically no longer the book I plan to read next….

Basically, it’s the story of Charlie Marlow, a sailor who goes to the Congo as a missionary and is horrified by what he sees. As soon as he arrives he sees lines of slaves in chains and  natives dying and quickly begins to realise that the philanthropic element of colonisation is a mere pretence- it’s all about the ivory, which he notes the missionaries “worship”. It’s quite difficult to read, especially since there is no line break during conversations. Marlow’s narration also feels very detached which perhaps reflects his difficultly coming to terms with his experience. It seems that he is unable to process his own emotions and as a result he is more of an impartial observer. However, as terrible as colonisation was, Marlow notes that its saving grace is the “idea” of it, to which one can “sacrifice” oneself. This reminds me a bit of Communism- in idea, it is a perfect society in which everyone enjoys equal high standards of living but in reality has lead to corruption, death, brutality and suppression of self-expression. Yet Communism is justified by the idea of the perfect society and so Marlow thinks that colonialism, forcing one culture onto another, is a justifiable but corrupted idea. This, amongst other things, has led Chinua Achebe to brand him a “thoroughgoing racist”, but I’m reserving my judgement until the end of the book.

Advertisements

30 day book challenge; day 23, a book you tell people you’ve read/finished but haven’t

Image

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I LOVE ‘The Hunger Games’ series. I don’t think it’s a particularly well-written series but the plot is so incredibly that it’s positive page turner. However, I haven’t actually finished ‘Mockingjay’, even though I tell everyone that I have. The reason? I’m not quite sure. I keep meaning to read it but there are  a million other books I want to read and they seem to be taking over. I have made a start but then exams and ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’ came along and ‘Mockingjay’… just got  a bit left behind.

Which book do YOU lie about having read? I’d love to know, so please drop me a comment! 

 

P.S. I know I’m missing day 22 and I have written a lengthy extract on ‘Heart of Darkness’ but for some reason WordPress keeps telling me that the post is invalid… Bizarre. 

Sorry guys!

I’m really sorry but my 30 day book challenge post won’t sent! Apparently the post is ‘invalid’- can anyone help me out with this? I’d really appreciate it!

30 day book challenge; day 21, favourite picture book from childhood

Image

Owl Babies by Mark Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson

It was a bit of a competition between this and Dear Bear but this was the book that immediately sprang to mind. I loved this book. I loved the story of the three owl siblings against the world, I loved the slight mystery shrouding it and I loved the illustrations. It made me feel like I was in a whole other world. It always enthralled me. I have very fond memories of this book, even though I’m not sure that I still have my copy! 

What was YOUR favourite picture book as a child? Let me know! 

30 day book challenge; day twenty, a book you’ve purchased but never read

Image

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 

I bought this book just under a year ago, under the impression I was going to study it for my AS-level English Literature. I did intend to read it but never got round to it and then what my friends told me about it really put me off! I do mean to read it as it’s famed for being a very experimental work, since Woolf uses a stream-of-consciousness narration which I find intriguing. However, I haven’t get gotten around to it but I’m planning to read it over the summer- it’s on my ever-growing list! 

30 day book challenge; day 19, the raunchiest book you’ve read

Chosen (a House of Night novel) by P.C. and Kristen Cast

This was quite a difficult one as I haven’t really read any fantastically raunchy books. Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Fifty Shades of Grey are still on my to-read list and whilst Lolita was a definite contender, I’ve already used that for day nine. I’ve read lots of books with sex scenes but never anything that could be considered even close to an erotic novel and none of them have had masses and masses of sex. However I did remember that the House of Night series, which I was a big fan of a few years ago, did deal with sexuality and there was a lot of sex in the books. Chosen was probably the raunchiest, as this is the book where Zoey’s triple-boyfriend problems come to light and it’s one of the main themes in the book. She drinks from Heath and has dry sex with him on a bench, has her breasts fondled by Erik Night (whilst she drinks his blood) and makes out with and eventually has sex with (and drinks from) Loren Blake. The act of drinking blood is meant to be incredibly erotic and there’s a lot of it in the book! Zoey’s almost daily sexual activities mean that this book is actually pretty raunchy (and pretty hard to put down).

30 day book challenge; day 18, the book that you’re most embarrassed to say you like

Image

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Before I start, I would like to say that this is actually a fantastic book. It’s addictive, it’s a fun story and it’s easy to read. It’s fantastic especially for younger teenage girls and Cabot has a great writing style. However, it’s quite embarrassing to admit that The Princess Diaries (which chronicles the life of a fourteen year old girl) is one of your favourite books. It’s not exactly high-brow literature, it’s very girly and the Disney film makes it seem even cheesier than it already is. Still, I’d recommend it and I love it anyway!

Which books do YOU secretly love? Let me know in a comment!

30 day book challenge; day 17, the shortest book you’ve read

Image

Animal Farm by George Orwell

This may not actually be the shortest book I have ever read, as it’s hard to keep track. Obviously the books I read as a child were shorter but this must be one of the shortest adult novels on my bookshelf. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible it shorter but that’s a play so I wasn’t sure if it would count. Anyway, Animal Farm is a brilliant allegorical novel and I really recommend it!

(Sorry for the rushed post, I’m busy busy busy today!)

30 day book challenge; day 16, the longest book you’ve read

Image

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

This book is truly epic. It may be 1011 pages long but it certainly doesn’t feel like that- yes, it does capture ten years of Scarlett O’Hara’s life but it is also incredibly absorbing and you won’t want it to end. It depicts the extent to which war can change a nation and also a person. Scarlett starts off as shallow, selfish and manipulative but by the end of the book she is incredibly hardened, but also (in my opinion) a much more likeable character. You can’t fail to respect her strength and the way in which she works tirelessly to provide for her family. At the start of the book she was a largely unlikeable teenage girl but by the end of the book she is a flawed yet very admirable character. This book really is about change and its length doesn’t feel excessive, so don’t let it put you off!

What’s the longest book YOU’ve read? Let me know in a comment!

30 day book challenge; day 15, the first ‘chapter book’ you remember reading as a child

Image


The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark 
by Jill Tomlinson

I know for a fact that this is the first ‘chapter book’ I read as a child. I was in the first term of year two, aged seven and very excited to be put onto ‘free reading’. My friend, who was the first in our class to make the transition, read the book and because he read it, I wanted to read it. I was enthralled. This is the first book that really made me love reading. I liked the Biff and Chip books and reading them with my mum was fun, but I was desperate to get onto free reading and do it on my own. I remember feeling extremely grown up and proud of myself as I put the book into my book bag, but soon I realised that reading wasn’t about being a grown up. I was hooked by the story of Plop, the owl who was afraid of the dark, and his animal (and human) friends who helped him overcome his fear. This book really made an impression on me and I’ll always remember it for being the first that I truly loved.