Now that my AP exams are over, I'm finally getting back into my reading mode. This summer, I hope to finish reading The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and also complete Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. The latter is actually for my college's Summer Reading Program, and I thought participating would be a great way to jumpstart my freshman year. Both books are quite well-known; I will definitely be rating and reviewing them once I finish and, of course, sharing my thoughts here with all of you! If you've already read these two books, shh!! Don't tell me anything! ;)
I don't think I've done any book reviews on my blog before, so this is what this post* is all about. My book reviews aren't nearly as extensive as my movie reviews; plus, I'd like to keep my posts shorter than before since I realize now that my previous ones tend to be long-winding and very texty! D: Sorry about that. I've been blogging for quite a few months now, yet I am still learning everyday what it means to be a good blogger.
Top 10 Most Influential Books
This is in my personal opinion and in no particular order.
1) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe
2) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4) The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
5) Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
6) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
7) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
8) 1984 by George Orwell
9) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
10) Little Women by Louisa May Alcotte
Now, here are a few books that have recently been recommended to me and are on my never-ending list of books to read. Feel free to give me short reviews, but I'd appreciate if you didn't ruin any endings or give too much away! And any other recommendations would be awesome...my summer this year is gonna be packed full of books! Hurrayy!!
-Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
-On Writing by Stephen King
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Review #1: The Best "Everybody Book"
The difference between this novel and other children’s novels such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is that it challenges the mind to think outside the box. Giant peaches are not your typical fruit and ladybugs, grasshoppers and centipedes are not your average best friends, but the book almost forces you to ask questions like, “what if I was James and those things did happen to me?” It is difficult for a children’s novel to be simple yet sweet and contain tragedy and love, friendship and terror all in one book.
Khaled Hosseini is one of the most interesting and prolific contemporary authors of today’s society. He came from a brilliant family that seems to specialize in history (his father was a diplomat of the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother was a history teacher) and had an almost immediate success with his most famous novel: The Kite Runner.
This novel fascinated me the first time I read it because the meaning is extremely powerful and had a permanent impact on my outlook on life. Hosseini incorporates much of the politics and history of his own childhood homeland, Afghanistan, into this book. In doing so, he shares a lot of his personal knowledge about the current status of Afghanistan and what its circumstances have done to many families native to the area.
Several of Hosseini's other books, such as A Thousand Splendid Suns, are just as powerful and eye-opening. There are few prominent Middle-Eastern authors in America, much less ones that are able to create such prose filled with the sins, the beauty, the anger and the honest truths about their own country. What strikes me as most fascinating about Hosseini is that he has succeeded in all of the above and much more.
Review #3: A Must-Read Young Adult NovelFrom the first sentence of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, I could not stop reading. This contemporary novel tells the story of two sisters: Kate Fitzgerald, who has been suffering from leukemia all her life, and Anna Fitzgerald, who was genetically engineered to be a donor match for her sister. Although they have an extremely close relationship, there is a constant battle that must be fought and never seems to end. The family is torn apart when Anna decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body, and the lawsuit becomes even more controversial and significant than even the Fitzgeralds realize.
Several dramatic events occur that lead up to the heightened climax towards the end when the ultimate truth about Anna’s real intentions is revealed. It was difficult for me to imagine the emotional and physical difficulties that Kate and her family had to endure. Even though it is fictional, this book represents the many life-changing situations that families struggle go through everyday; it really opened my eyes and made me feel grateful and thankful for all the good things in my own life. In my mind, this book reminds me of a bottomless ocean: it will grasp you by your shoulders, suck you into its depths, and keep you until you have soaked yourself within its waters through and through.
*This post was inspired by literary agent Nathan Bransford.