Monthly Archives: August 2013

30 Day Book Challenge (Day 5 )

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Loads of credit goes to The Chronicles of Radiya for creating the ’30 Day Book Challenge’

This is the second time I’ve had to write this today as WordPress wouldn’t let me post! I’ve had bit of a bad day today so today’s challenge is quite nice as it allows me to think about loads of lovely books…

Day 5: A book that makes you happy 

There are tonnes of books that make me happy! But all for different reasons. Whether it be because I can relate to the main character or simply because the story line itself is just lovely, books sure know how to put a smile on my face. After a lot of debate I decided on a book from my childhood because whenever I was down it would always cheer me up.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I first read this book when I was about ten, I got it from my Junior School library and continued to take it out many times after the first. Everyone knows the story of Alice as it’s such a famous one (and because of the film cough cough) but no film can compare to the novel itself. Whenever I was upset I used to read this book because it takes you into a completely different world. Ok, when I was ten I didn’t have much to worry about in comparison to what I do now, but even still it did the trick.

The book is a lot darker than the film, but I read it regardless because I loved all the characters and just how magical the book was. Sometimes I thought I’d much rather be in Wonderland opposed to being sat in a hot classroom, asides from all the freaky stuff of course. I never got round to reading the second Alice novel, and I wouldn’t mind giving it a read either. If you’re ever feeling down then give this book a try, worked a treat for me. I wouldn’t mind reading it now if I’m honest.

”You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret… All the best people are”- Alice in Wonderland

My Mum is mentally ill, and I remember when I said the above quote to her and she laughed for ages. I gave Carroll all the credit though.

Upon reflection, I might buy a copy as I miss this book. And you should buy a copy too.

Sometimes when things get a bit tough it’s nice to take a trip to Wonderland.

Alice: That is Impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is”

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”Why do you read?”

Hello fellow my Book Worms!

I’m sure you’ve all be asked the same question so many times it’s unreal, because some people really just don’t get it. There are a number of different reasons to read! But which reason or reasons do you read?

 To learn new things:  Reading allows you to access new information that you might never have even thought about before. Whether it’s for pleasure or simply to aid your studying, reading is a great way to learn new things. Whether it’s about a historical event, politics, certain people or cultures. If your one of those people who goes to the library just because you want to know more about a particular area then that’s why you read.

Story land: If you love to live novels that simply tell a wonderful story then that’s why you read. It’s nice to read a story about things that just aren’t possible in the real world and sometimes that’s both good and bad. Magic, castles, ‘baddies’ and ‘goodies’ are always great to read about. It’s not just more mythical stories you love, stories about real life people or more realistic events are great to read about too. As you can relate to those characters.

Not much else to do: So it’s a Tuesday night and all your friends are busy with college and family or whatever. There’s not much on TV and you really don’t feel like going anywhere. Reading it a way to pass time in a calm manner. If you want to take a break from your studies but you don’t know how to, then it’s something constructive to do. Many Book Worms will feel this is not a good enough excuse to read, and I myself would have to agree.

 Escape: Sometimes when things get a little bit too tough, sitting down with a book for half an hour makes you feel so much better. As you’re no longer living your own life full of money, relationship and educational stress. Instead you’re in a world of magic or dystopia (the dystopia making you feel grateful for what you do have). It’s a stress relief and places you somewhere care free. -That’s certainly my main reason for reading.

What’s yours?

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 4)

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I’ve had a another very long day with little sleep, however I am determined to finish this challenge even if it kills me.  Ok, well I don’t think I’d take it that far.

Day 4: The worst film adaptation of a book

Ok, so when I was about 13 the Twilight Saga was one the most talked about things, whether it be bad or good comment it was very much talked about.  I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about, and then my friend made me watch the first film. Sure enough as many 13 year old girls did, I enjoyed it. So I thought I’d give the books a try.

I read the whole Saga before New Moon came out in the cinema and I LOVED them. I’m preparing for the hate now, as many people would disagree, but then again many people base their perception of Twilight on the films. The books were really good, I haven’t read them in a few years but through year eight and nine I managed to read the whole lot of them eight times and the first time I read the Saga I complete it in less than a week. That is pretty telling that they are worth a shot! When I really really like a book I can read it in next to no time at all because that’s all I end up focusing on.

Granted, as I’m now 17 my social life is a lot more lively and along with studying I couldn’t do that now but even still! The books were great, they were moving and written really well. However, the films on the other hand I did enjoy but they just didn’t frame the story as well as the pages did. Also the fact that Kristen Stewart is a poor actress and I’ve seen planks of wood with more facial expressions than her doesn’t really help Twilight’s bad reviews.

As I’ve not read the books in years my opinion may be wrong and a lot of you may disagree, but if my memory does serve me correct then I feel it’s safe to say that the films did a decent book series no credit.  So on that note, don’t feel discouraged to read Twilight based on the stigma caused by the films. And regarding the films, my best friend (who’s a guy!) cried at the end of Breaking Dawn Part 2. So if you’re really a ‘book worm’ then you won’t let the films scare you off!

-Jess

-Go to the creators blog (The Chronicles of Radiya ) to find out more about this challenge.

 

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 3)

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It’s me again! Day 3 has arrived. And for the first time it’s very easy indeed.

Day 3: Your favourite series

HARRY POTTER. ENOUGH SAID TO BE HONEST…

Who could possibly disagree? In my opinion J.K. Rowling is a goddess who made my childhood. Now, if I was asked ”Who is your favourite character from Harry Potter?” I would have been like ”There is no way I can choose!” but today’s challenge isn’t really a challenge at all if I’m honest.

Why do I love Harry Potter so much? Need I care to explain. It has wizards on flying broomsticks and that is just the coolest thing…in the world.  I must say though that the books are tonnes better than the films, but the books always are.  I literally cried when I didn’t get a Hogwarts letter some would say that that’s a bit sad but I couldn’t care less, I wanted to and still want to fly on a broomstick.

The characters are all so brilliant and all bring so much into the story, they are amazingly written and so life like. I still remember starting Primary school and asking my friend if it was Hogwarts for her to turn to me and say ”No Jess, that’s not real”…

Sorry it’s a short one, getting late and I don’t know how this even NEEDS further explaining.

-Fancy joining on the Challenge? Have a look on The Chronicles of Radiya‘s blog for more details.

 

-Jess

 

 

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 2)

 

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I’ve had such a long day that I almost gave up with this and it’s only day 2, this is not a good sign. However I shall continue on my noble quest which is The Chronicles of Radiya‘s 30 Day Book Challenge, even if it means that I fall asleep at the keyboard. 

Day 2: A book you’ve read again and again

I have read many books more than once, and for a number of different reasons…pure love, pure boredom, and of course for dreaded English Literature revision. However the book (well play to be exact) I’ve chosen to write about has got to be William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. 

This is a very well known and common play studied across hundreds of schools in Britain. However, when you’ve studied this play 3 times and performed it twice (playing Juliet one of those times) one can safely say that they know this play very well indeed. This play introduced me to the genius who is Shakespeare. Before then, I had know idea why England made such a fuss over him. Now I get it! And he’s one of those people who’s made me proud to be British as his work is celebrated all over the globe and for very good reason. 

What I love about Shakespeare’s plays is that each time you read them you learn more and more about them. And you begin to understand elements and hidden meanings that you would have previously never even considered. I’ve been sat in many English classrooms and a Shakespeare’s play has been in question, the amount of new ideas is unreal. The teacher nearly always says ”I’ve never heard that before”. Most people would probably get sick of reading and studying the same play over and over, however I don’t have any problem with it in the slightest.

The characters are brilliant, the story is heartbreaking and the popularity of this play says it all really. And it’s got to the point where I can recite the entire prologue word for word but I still wouldn’t say no to reading or even preforming it again. 

Also if you ever get the chance to go to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre jump at it, it is absolutely amazing.

”What greater punishment is there than life when you’ve lost everything that made it worth living?”- Shakespeare [Romeo and Juliet]

All I can say is, if you haven’t read this play then you really need to. 
Again and again and again. 

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Blog 3

Dear Bloggers,

I’m not sure how frequently I should write these so I’m gunna do these like once a week. My life isn’t too interesting anyway so you won’t be missing out on anything dire. Anyway I’m here to complain as I just picked Gaskell’s North and South back up and I feel as though I should give it a chance by reading it all, but I really don’t want to.  Anyway, yes so do I carry on with it or don’t I? hmmmm.

Anyway, that’s enough about books for now. What’s been going on in the real world…not a lot to be honest. Ok well last night I went to a party (yes people who read a lot also go to parties) and yeah that was good. Of course I embarrassed myself and phoned a few people I shouldn’t have done, but yeah that’s alcohol for you. College is starting soon! In fact I have my interview on the 2nd of September about what A2’s I’m doing…I literally don’t know if I can deal with another and a much harder year of History eugh!

For drama our devised play is based on ‘Political Theatre’ so basically something that pisses you off. However I can’t think what to do it on! I mean lots of things irritate me but hmm I have no idea. I know, you guys give me some ideas!

I really do have appalling language when I’m writing more personal blogs, so yes I’m sorry if any of you find it offensive. And I’m sorry if I’m breaking the lovely stereotype you probably have of the British, because I really don’t talk posh…however I do like tea!

I started the 30 Day Book Challenge! I don’t think it can be that difficult.. I mean I use WordPress everyday. Oh, who am I kidding I’ll run out of time! Especially when college starts back up and my teachers decide that they want to drown me in essays, eugh! I need some new ideas, I see people posting all these really interesting things to do with reading or something like that and I’m like ”here have another book review!” I mean sureeee, that’s what my blog was designed for but ya know couldn’t hurt to add other stuff. So if you have any ideas, let me know 🙂

My TBR list is extremely long and know there are other books out there that I want to read as well but I want do get through them steadily, so here are some:

Ellis Island: Kate Kerrigan
The Lovely Bones: Alice Sebold
The Help: Katheryn Stockett
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: Anne Brontë

And of course there are many more, but if you see any in that list that you’d like to know more about then let me know and I’ll get reading.

Posts to look forward to this week

-My continuing of the 30 Day Book Challenge *dies a bit inside*
-I’ll be answering the question that all book worms get asked countless times… ”Why do you read?”
-And of course my weekly book review on…watch this space.

Thanks for reading
-Jess xxxx

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 1)

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So I’ve finally gathered the will power to start this! Hopefully I won’t bore you to death with loads of posts and instead you’ll like reading them, otherwise this is effectively a complete waste of time. But yes, remaining as optimistic as ever I shall continue. Loads of credit has to go to The Chronicles of Radiya for starting the challenge so thank you! Now what do I face today?… 

Day one: A book you wish you could live in

Right, so I’m already stumped. How on earth do I choose?…

Step One: look at bookshelf 
Step Two: Think about all the books I’ve read that aren’t on my bookshelf
Step Three: Head explodes

I joke, my head didn’t really explode I just walked off in a strop and asked my cat if she had any idea, I’ll take her silence as a no. There are loads of books that I wish I could be in! When I was 5 and I was told the story of Cinderella I was content I was going to grow up to be a Princess just like she did, still wouldn’t mind to be honest. Then when I got to about 10 I started reading those Rainbow Magic books by Daisy Meadows, oh how I wished to be one of those fairies so bad. But then again as much as I’d like to be able to fly around and have magic powers, I think as I’m 17 I need a more mature approach. JUST KIDDING, I’D BE A FAIRY ANY DAY. I joke again, of course… 

*20 minuets, a cup of tea and 3 McVitie’s later*
NOPE NOTHING.

*5 more minuets of eating…*
GOT IT

[prepare for Spoiler’s]

Ok, so I’ve already reviewed this book but besides the point if I had half a hour in this book I’d get up to a lot to say the least. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Why don’t I want to fly, cast spells, meet some fancy prince? Well, I’d much rather punch Tom Buchanan in the face to be honest with you as it’s his fault that Gatz dies. I literally cried my eyes out when he died in the book. Then I went on a rage which is sad because Tom isn’t real. I’d do other stuff too though! For a start I’d be straight to one of Gatsby’s swanky parties, and I’d do what others did not and I’d actually thank Gatsby and appreciate him (just want to give him a hug to be honest). Also I’d tell Daisy to leave Tom and marry Gatsby as Gatsby is clearly much better than Tom. 

Mind you that would change the whole plot of a story that you’re mad if you don’t love?

Well, that’s what would happen if I was in the novel. Which makes it kind of a good thing If I’m not because everyone would just dislike me so ok. 

I love the 1920s American society, I’d love to experience it. Even if Nick isn’t too keen on it, I think it would be a brilliant time to live in! Many people would disagree because of the fails of that era but I wouldn’t mind spending some time there regardless. And tell you what, if Daisy doesn’t want Gatsby then I’ll happily have him. 

And for those of you who haven’t read my Gatsby review;
https://jessdrain.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/a-review-the-great-well-fantastic-gatsby/

Anyway, keep giving me feedback! And I’d love to hear your opinions. What book do you wish you could live in? 

 

 

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Oranges are not the only fruit (Jeanette Winterson, 1985)

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So for A2 English I have to do a coursework element, where I write a comparative essay on the poet Tony Harrison and on a novel of my choice (out of a select list). So over the summer I was expected to read two of these novels before choosing. I was reading Gaskell’s North and South however I’ve taken a break from it as it’s just way too slow and I need to get on with my summer reading ready for September. As I’m in the process of choosing which book I want to use for my essay I felt it would be a good idea to review them as I do with the other books I read to help me decide. It also allows you to see whether or not you want to read these books too. I read this real quick to get my blog done on time (I’m currently writing this at 10:43pm on a Sunday night and my blogs are supposed to be done weekly ooops).

Right so, I open the book to the contents page and it turns out all the chapters are named after the first eight books of the bible. This confused me a little as all I’d been told about this particular novel was that is was about lesbians.  So I guess it’s kind of immediate in saying where the conflict is concerned ”unnatural passions” tut tut. Each chapter and thus each bible book represents a different stage in Jeanette’s life (The rebellious character, who goes against her mother’s holy wishes). However even though the main character is named after the author the novel is not an autobiography to be exact;
        ”Oranges is written in the first person, it’s direct and uninhibited, but it isn’t autobiography in the real sense. ”(Winterson)
However it does draw on the author’s personal experiences to a certain degree as most novels do. The inclusion of embedded narrative taken mainly from  Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, suggests this placement of fiction can be seen as ”metafiction” this being the questioning of fiction by analysing the conventions within it. This idea is backed up my the difficult reading style due to the sometimes confusing order of events and mythological stories. This novel does contain lesbians however it is also a story of  bildungsroman (meaning growing up, yeah I had to look that one up). 

The character of Jeanette mentions a few times throughout the novel how she will never get married. She also says;
                   “As far as I was concerned men were something you had around the place, not particularly interesting,
                     but quite harmless. I had never shown the slightest feeling for them, and apart from my never wearing
                     a skirt, saw nothing else in common between us.” 
Her wishes sadly do not match up with her mother’s and she attempts to take on a completely different way of life, which goes well…until her mother finds out.  Jeanette’s mother seeks help from the pastor who says how;
                    ”These children are full of demons”
The church and Jeanette’s mother attempt to rid her of all her feelings for the female sex, it drives her on the verge of madness (at least that’s the impression I got) at some points. 

 This novel points out the difference between the older and younger generations. It also shows how religion can influence lives, and sometimes can restrict life choices. What your family want for you isn’t always what you want and it certainly isn’t always necessarily the best thing for you either. At 16 Jeanette leaves the church like many people do on their own accord when they are old enough simply because that way of life is not for them. This book allows this fact to be pointed out. This novel demonstrates how many teenagers of today’s society still feel about disclosing sexuality and drifting from their parent’s wishes. 

And the title? What significance does that hold? Jeanette’s mother only ever gives Jeanette oranges. Never is she to try something new for herself. The oranges represent the captivation Jeanette has to endure and the restrictions placed upon her. Fruit is sweet and tempting much like the same sex relations Jeanette both longs for and encounters. The females are like forbidden fruits for Jeanette, and as long as her mother has her way Jeanette will never be allowed to be herself.

Would I mind studying this novel? No, not at all; and if I choose to then I’ll have to read it again anyway but even if I don’t choose to study it, it would be worth a second read!

8/10

     

Keep checking my blog for my 30 day book challenge- starting soon!

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Harry Potter Studios- London

https://jessdrain.wordpress.com/between-reading/

 

For some reason WordPress won’t let me post separate posts on my Between Reading section :S What do I do? Otherwise I have to use the same post for all my blogs by editing it and copying the new text in? Confusedddddd.

Anyway, the link is to my experience of The Harry Potter Studios [London] Enjoy! xxx

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Between reading

Between reading.

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