Tag Archives: Fault in Our Stars

A Return to Summer- Part 1: Books

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Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

– Bob Dylan, Mr. Tambourine Man

Hello guys! I’m finally out of school. Finals week was crazy on a whole new level. But that’s neither here nor there (untrue. It’s there. In the past. Or something).

Since we last spoke, it has magically become summer. I don’t want to do another Things I Like post after being away for so long, but I do have several things that are quintessentially summer. Some of these things are traditional, ones that have been “summer” to me since I was little. Others are more recent.

Let’s start with books.

When I was little, summer was my time to reread all my favorites. Now that I’m older, it’s more of a time to read books I haven’t had time to get to. Here’s a sampling of my summer reading.

Favorites

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- This is one of my favorite “growing up” books. The sisters in the story remind me so much of my own.  A fun read!

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt- I had never cried while reading a book before this one. It’s not exactly a love story. It’s more like a tale about the question of immortality. This book feels like summer.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery- Anne is quite a lot like the elementary version of myself, except for the color of our hair. A delightful book that seems custom-made for reading beneath a tree, apple in hand.

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne- It’s Winne the Pooh! Explore the Hundred Acre Wood, get into scraps, and enjoying being a kid…no matter what your age.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith- This book is completely unappreciated. It’s romantic, intelligent, and utterly enjoyable. The heroine is one of my all time favorites.

Anything written by John Green. Seriously. My three favorites are The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking for Alaska.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby is a fantastic book. It really is. But although I loved reading it, I never felt that something, that sense of connection to the story, that I had had those thoughts, lived those moments. This Side of Paradise was completely opposite. It starts out dull. I almost gave up before the end of the first chapter. It gets better. I’m so glad I made the effort to keep reading. As the book goes on,  it began to feel more autobiographical, more genuine. It’s worth the struggle, guys.

To Read

Things I’m reading now/planning to read

Office Girl by Joe Meno

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Phantastes by George MacDonald
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
And more…

My next post will be summer films I adore. Let me know if this series is something you enjoy, or if it just seems annoying and vapid.

Books, books, books!

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So far this year, I have read about 48 books give or take. My brain is filled with love triangles, wizards, superpowers, and teenage angst. I try to vary what genres I read from, but I’m kinda making up for lost time when it comes to young adult novels.

Out of all the books I’ve read, some of my favorites have been (in no particular order):

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (graphic novel)
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

These are the ones I find myself blathering about and recommending to my friends. I actually only own two of these books personally, but ya know…broke college kid and all that. 😛

I have been asked how I can possibly have time to read as much as I do. The answer is, whenever I’m doing schoolwork, housework, or anything else I’m reading. It is my life.

I mean, it’s been my coping mechanism since I was about 6. Whenever I was bored or embarrassed, I’d read. And now, I have two giant bookcases in my room, books under my bed, books in my closet, and books stored in my sisters’ rooms. Addiction might be the right word.I love books so much that my parents used to actually ground me from reading when I got in trouble.

I am “that” girl: the one who raises her hand in class when the teacher asks “Now who has read ___ ?” or who always says “The book is better” after seeing a movie. And I’m sorry. I’m not sorry for who and what I am, but I am sorry for “book people”.

I know far too many people who have been put off reading by the annoying girl/guy who comes up, makes some snide remark about their reading material of choice, and then flounces away. Do I think that some books are greater? Heck yes! But when we shove those books on reluctant readers,  sometimes it’s enough to crush them altogether.

However, that being said, if I see you reading Twilight, I will point and laugh.. I have read full-on actual romance novels that were better written and had more of a plot. I know it makes me hypocritical, but I just…it…I  can’t, guys!

How do you feel about books? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Do you love Twilight and hate me? Let me know 🙂

 

Things I Love Today…

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I haven’t done one of these in a while!

1. Come Along, Chelsea Lauren- http://comealong-chelsealauren.tumblr.com/

This is my favorite nerdy fashion blog. Chelsea is always so inspiring. She takes characters from shows, books, and movies and then recreates the looks.Here’s an example. This is based on Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars:

2. This video. I’ve had it on replay.

I just recently saw Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I thought it was hilarious, if a bit crude at times. It’s my first foray into the dangerous world of Mel Brooks.

3.

Sherlock and Watson: Ponies by Vondell Swain

Sherlock and Watson: Ponies by Vondell Swain

4.  The fact that I get to read The Hobbit, Frankenstein, and Slaughter-house Five for my science fiction and fantasy literature class.

5.  Guys, I make some mean chocolate Oreo cupcakes, if I do say so myself

Books! Books! Books!

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Here’s a survey about me and my experiences with books. I’ve been asked several of these questions, so I’m putting this here for future reference. Thanks to Kayley Hyde (owlssayhooot) for pointing me to this.

1. Favorite childhood book? The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

2. What are you reading right now?  A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.

3. What books do you have on request at the library? Honestly? Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and um…some Stargate SG-1 books. *cough, cough* Yeah.

4. Bad book habit? Stopping in the middle occasionally.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? From my school library, I have several books about Marie Antoinette and libels in France as well as One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. From the public library, I have several more books about Marie Antoinette and libels (I’m writing a paper), Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, probably other stuff…

6. Do you have an e-reader? Actually no.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I’m always reading multiple books at a time.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Actually, not  really. I mean, I do share what I read more often. Does that count?

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?) Extras by Scott Westerfeld. It’s the fourth book in the Uglies series. Not recommended.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Read it.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Often. I will give almost anything a try. I may not finish it, but I’ll give it a look.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? Primarily, classics, some YA, poetry…almost anything really.

13. Can you read on the bus? Sometimes. Other times, it makes me dizzy.

14. Favorite place to read? Outside, under the crab apple tree I used to climb when I was a kid. 🙂

15. What is your policy on book lending? I’ll only lend books to friends or people I’m sure will return them.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? Never.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Sometimes. I grew up a “books are sacred” mentality, so I’ve only been ok with writing in books for a couple of years. Highlighting though is a common thing. You’ve got to love highlighters…

18. Not even with text books? Reread 17.

19. What is your favorite language to read in? Other than English?  I’m tied between Latin and Spanish.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? It needs to be significant. Since that’s a bit ambiguous, I’ll explain. It needs to be something that made me think, inspired me, or at the very least, made me smile. 😀

22. Favorite genre? Um….

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) YA. I’m their target demographic. I should be reading more YA.

24. Favorite biography? Currently? Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Yeah, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It was the required text for a summer leadership course I took.

26. Favorite cookbook? How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I don’t own it, but I’ve borrowed it from friends countless times. On the top of my “To Buy” list.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Seriously, read it!

28. Favorite reading snack? Granola bars.I keep the wrap on while I eat, so there’s no stickiness.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Does Moby Dick count?

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Sometimes, although I rarely read critics’ commentary.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? If a book is bad enough to warrant such a review, I will show no mercy 🙂

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? French. There’s no hesitation in my mind. French.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s not a hard read, it’s just really long! That’s a serious commitment! Also, I had no idea what it was about when I started. (Spoiler: It’s about vampires…like scary Dracula ones, not pathetic sparkly ones).

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? Understanding Physics by Isaac Asimov.

35. Favorite Poet? Probably Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? My average is 15.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread? Unread or unfinished? I start almost every book. I just give up on some. A good example is New Moon

38. Favorite fictional character(s)? At this very moment, Margo Roth Spiegelman, Sherlock, Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and Orual from “Till We Have Faces”.

39. Favorite fictional villain? Sauron, the Phantom, and Gatsby (who is a hero, a villain,  and more phony than Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye)

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on vacation? Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Paper Towns by John Green, The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K Chesterton, The Princess and the Goblins by George Macdonald…

41. The longest you’ve gone without reading. A day?

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. Moby Dick. I’m trying! The pretentious metaphors get in my way.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? The little bzzzzz my phone makes when I get a text.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? Lord of the Rings. Hands down the most brilliant adaption I’ve seen. I also love Sophia Coppola’s adaption of Marie Antoinette, based on the book by Fraser.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation? Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader top the list.  The Phantom of the Opera is fun. It’s completely separate from the book, in my mind. V for Vendetta is one where I loved the movie first, but after reading the book, I was saddened to see all the movie could have been.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? Of my own money? $75

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? All the time. I’ve found some of my favorites that way.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? No plot, flat characters, pretentious prose (Moby Dick!), general lack of interest.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized? Yes! By subject, then by author’s last name, then by either book title or number in a series.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? Keep! It’s like in Inkheart. Books are scrapbooks of memories.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Not that I can think of.

52. Name a book that made you angry. Wuthering Heights. I love it, but Heathcliff and Cathy make me so frustrated!!!! Occasionally, I’ll throw things, yelling “Why can’t you see what’s right in front of you, you stupid, spoiled numpty gonks?!?!?” or something along that line.  Also, Twilight but for the reason that it is terrible, not because it breaks my heart.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Dracula by Bram Stocker. It is actually scary, which I wasn’t expecting either.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? Eragon.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? John Green or Jane Austen.

I hope that wasn’t too bad. If you decide to take the survey, please post a link in comments. I’d love to read it. Also, feel free to ask questions.  Happy book exploration!

The Fault in Our Stars

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The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Interesting, this quote from The Fault in Our Stars may just some up how I feel.

It is about cancer, but almost incidentally. It’s about pain, suffering, and the human condition. It’s about the idea of oblivion and existence and meaning. It’s about the reason we’re here and what we should do with the time we’re given.

It’s honest. Candid. Relevant.

I don’t know how to go on without being pretentious or spoiling the plot. Please read it. I can’t promise you’ll enjoy all of it. But it’s the kind of book that makes you question assumptions. It takes you back to first being in love, first seeing death, first questioning the universe. I think the world would be an infinitely better place if we all revisited those moments, free from the irony of blase eyes. Look at the world unfiltered.

*This is straight from my Goodreads account because I don’t know if I could write another review without crying. It really is a wonderful read!

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