Saturday, May 8, 2010

Give Me Your Titles!

Question of the Day: Waffles or pancakes?

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.

Hope you enjoy this post dedicated to books!

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!!

5 Random Books Recommended to Me

-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-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"
I believe that the one novel everybody should have the pleasure to read, no matter at what age, is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. From what I have heard, many people have not read the actual book and tend to underestimate its value and consider it only a ‘children’s novel.’ But the truth is that any child, teen, and adult can enjoy this book as much as somebody else at a different age can.

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.


My favorite thing about this classical story is how it allows you to stretch your imagination beyond the horizons and travel along with James on his giant peach while never leaving your own cozy reading nook at home.

Review #2: A Contemporary Author Recommendation

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 Novel

From 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.

~TRA


*This post was inspired by literary agent Nathan Bransford.
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8 comments:

Luca Belotti said...

Hey cool blog!
Please visit my blog and tell me what you think about. I hope you'll be one of my followers.

Bye LB

http://lucabelotti.blogspot.com

Cheryl Clarke said...

to kill a mockingbird and 1984 are great! and i also recommend the great gatsby.

do you like the l'oreal foundation?

http://cherylclarke.blogspot.com

Front Row Mode said...

Great post

tc

www.frontrowmode.blogspot.com

Becca. said...

i love a good bit of william golding, i find his books fascinating!

thankyou for the comment on my blog! :)
XOXO, BECCA
http://fashion-train.blogspot.com

Gaby said...

i love your taste! im following you :D

Incognito said...

Wow... Simply Awesome.. I am an avid reader myself and I love anyone who shares the passion for reading. I saw Uncle Tom's Cabin in your list, so I would also recommend "Beloved" and "Sula" by Toni Morrison and "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. They will give you a further insight into the complexities and traumatic history of the African-American people. Personally I salute them. Waiting to read your posts again :)

Amanda Sablan said...

My Advanced Drama class in high school put on 1984, the play, a few months ago (I was the Loudspeaker), and I loved the storyline! The idea that such an extreme government take-over and totalitarian regime could ever come into being both fascinates and terrifies me. One day I'll have to check out the novel.

Amanda Sablan said...

Pancakes, all the way.

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