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Does Anyone Even Read Anymore?

As I look around myself, I see more and more people choosing more convenient and instantly rewarding forms of entertainment.

Now there is nothing wrong with that but I can’t help noticing that the average person (especially my age) does not read books anymore. It is a novelty if I find a friend who enjoys the same books as me let alone enjoys reading at all.

We’d rather go on facebook or watch Netflix or watch the movie adaptation of the book rather than read the book itself. Forget reading thought provoking classics or discussing ideologies. Those are the things of the past and just not cool anymore.

I know there are programs that promote reading all the time and with movie adaptations the YA genre has received this whole new generation of readers. But I’m talking about real books: Dickens and Dante and the Odyssey. Timeless, precious book that people need to read once in their life.

Maybe that’s why the retail price on books increases significantly every year or the number of my readers diminishes every year. No one even reads anymore

Book reviews

Book Review | Wuthering Heights

Title: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Bronte

Genre: Classics

Synopsis 348914Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë’s only novel is  set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors. Depicting the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology.

 

Not gonna lie, it took me a while to finish this book, partly because of the book it is and partly because of the workload I’m under.

I have always appreciated the talent the Bronte sisters possess and Emily was no exception. Wuthering Heights is written in this purely colloquial manner that is unique to its writer. Some passages just left me swimming in a sea of beautifully written poetry oh my.

Bronte also presents a very compelling tale spanning generations. It’s intriguing to see characters develop not just in age but also how their principles change. It’s interesting to see how one person’s choices can affect the lives of generations to come. The novel is basically characters being miserable, family feuds, and a unique landscape.

What I found lacking was justification. I mean Heathcliff is presented as this purely evil human being who has feelings for no one but Cathy, yet I find it difficult to grasp that he is a just pure evil without some sort of adversary having caused this everlasting bitterness inside him. The novel would also become dull at some points due to not much happening in the characters’ lives etc. However, for the most part it was quite an adventurous read.

Rating

3

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Book reviews

OMG Shakespeare | Redefining Literature ft.hashtags


We’re all aware that Shakespeare has written history’s THE MOST iconic plays but OMG Shakespeare is a series of adaptations with a fresh take on the already well-known plays.

Written in the form of text messages and status updates, the “plays” make use of 21st century’s best emojis and hashtags to convey the plot and character journeys throughout:

YOLO Juliet 

Macbeth #Killingit

A Midsummer Night #Nofilter 

Srsly Hamlet 

The books span in about 100 pages each and are a quick entertaining read if you’re looking to refresh yourself between doing loads of homework. I first came across them browsing the humour section in the book store and knew I absolutely had to get them.

They take the mickey out of Shakespeare but also, the plot is extremely simplified and much less painful to read thank God. Although, I wouldn’t recommend you to start off reading these before you’ve read the actual plays, this is something you;d normally read after to have a laugh.

How pathetic some of the characters and their decisions are is really obvious in these books. The layout makes it so convenient although you have to be in the know with all the emojis and hashtags which is why the informative sections at the front and back of the books are really helpful.

For all Shakespeare fans and readers out there, I’d definitely recommend flicking through these if you ever come across them and have a good laugh!

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Book reviews, Discussion

6 Revealing Truths About Persuasion

Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last finished novel and after reading it recently, I was left with a few things to reflect upon.

People can have life-changing influences over your decisions 

Anne Elliot, our heroine, gets talked out of her engagement at a very young age by a mother-like figure in her life. All throughout the novel she keeps getting talked into or out of whether to pursue a relationship with a man or not. The main message I got out of this is:

How many times have we let people in our lives, friends/acquaintances make our decisions for us or influence our decisions in life to a great degree?

And it’s not until Anne starts to listen to her own instincts that she realises that she is the best judge of what is good for her or not.

It’s always best to trust your instincts 

Carrying on from the above point. Anne is possibly my favourite Jane Austen heroine, she has a sound mind and judgement which she learns to occupy throughout the novel.

Her instincts draw her towards certain kinds of people, good people, and once she stops worrying about not living up to other people’s expectations and just doing what she believes is right, things start falling into place in her life.

True love withstands all 

This one I’m not particularly rooting for however, it is one of the biggest and cheesiest aspects of the novel. Anne and her love interest Captain Wentworth have been separated eight and a half years after breaking off their engagement.

Circumstances happen to bring them together and their love stands the test of time, it stands the test of distraction by other potential lovers and it stands the test of vanity- Anne is considered to have “lost her bloom” at the time the novel is set yet, Mr. Wentworth still finds her beautiful.

On rationality & resentment 

Anne and Captain Wentworth both have opposing responses to their broken off engagement. While Anne accepts her lost chance and has a more rational approach to things, Captain Wentworth cannot help but be angry and resentful of the circumstance and Anne even.

I personally believe Anne’s rational approach is the better option because resentment leaves you in despair and agony.

On appearances & vanity 

Vanity is a huge aspect of the life of the Elliots, Anne’s family, though Anne is the odd cookie who isn’t vain at all and is super down-to-Earth about her beauty. Keeping up appearances and being pretentious for the sake of a profit, romantic or otherwise is also a scheme a few characters in the novel occupy.

The novel in its conclusion leaves you with the impression that being pretentious and vain, in the end, leaves you with nothing basically.

So don’t be pretentious and vain guys

Anyways, I didn’t just wanna do any old book review on this novel as it left me with a lot of thoughts jumbling about so I hope this persuaded you enough that persuasion is worth a read!

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Book reviews

Book Review | Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein

Author: Mary Shelley

Genre: Classics-Horror

Page count: 273

Synopsis

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever

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Deemed one of the first science fiction novels ever Frankenstein delves into human nature, morale and the age old question of: Are people born evil or is it circumstance that makes them evil?

Writing

Simply written in the typical 19th century prose Frankenstein is narrated from various first person points of view, first through an explorer sending letters to his sister then through Victor Frankenstein and then through Frankenstein’s monster’s point of view which I found very interesting. The language is what intimidates people from getting into classics but I can vouch that this book is very easy to understand.

Plot

The plot of Frankenstein is not so much horrible as it is tragic. Set amongst some of the most beautiful places in Europe the story progresses as one event after another unfolds smoothly until you’re drowned in misery and you feel Frankenstein’s doom yourself.

Characters

The characters for me were the most intriguing part. The parallels between Frankenstein and the monster and how they’re often compared to Adam and Satan or good Vs evil really got me thinking because Frankenstein and the Monster are in such similar circumstances. People have literally written essays about those two so check them out if you’re into deep analyses of characters.

The Monster seems to invoke empathy in me for his need for affection and friendship was so strong. Humans tend to be quite prejudiced towards someone that is different and “ugly” and to me the Monster seems like a metaphor for how people are treated not very nicely just because they have a different skin colour or whatever,  just my opinion.

That was my take on Frankenstein which I’ve been meaning to read since Halloween last year. Definitely a worthwhile read!

Rating

4

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Bookish Bucket List

I’ve been inspired by the book blogging community to create a book related bucket list. Why? you ask?. Well I’m a professional list maker and nothing satisfies me more than having everything crossed off my lists. And I don’t mind the accompanying feeling of accomplishment either.

In no particular order here are my bookish goals I’d like to accomplish sometime in my future.

  • Meet my favorite authors, in particular:

-John Green

-George.R.R.Martin

-Rick Riordan

And many many more!

  • Have 200 followers on my blog (I know ambitious) I’m currently sitting on 97 so spread the word!
  • Get a physical ARC for review. Praise the lords above if this actually happens, ever.
  • Be president of a book club.
  • Go to a book conference. There have been several in Australia but school gets in the way. Surely one day.
  • Read all works by Jane Austen- I’ve currently only read Pride and Prejudice, I know shame.
  • Read all Sherlock Holmes stories
  • Have a book-themed wedding, much like this one:
Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi

 

This is the most cutest and adorkable thing ever! AHHH cue he feels. More pictures at

http://taherehmafi.tumblr.com/post/82749772508/ransom-and-i-got-married-several-months-ago-in-an

  • Work at a bookstore/library
  • Read my way through the Penguin 100 classics with their beautiful covers

  • Read a book in French- I began Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone but quickly gave up after a headache.
  • Visit 10 antique libraries around the world
  • Own a first edition copy of Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • On the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird I want to actually finish the movie for once- I’ve tried twice but Black and White doesn’t hold my fancy for long sorry

  • Visit locations in a book- this might actually be happening in the near future. Just stay tuned “wink”
  • Go to Comic-Con and meet at least one Game of Thrones character
  • Visit one Game of Thrones exhibition

Yep. That is my book related bucket list. I personally find it lame but hey a little ambition never hurt anybody. I’m gonna be updating this list, you know adding things, crossing off and I recommend you make one too! It’ll be interesting to see all the things we achieve.

~infinityreads