Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

I can't stop reading this! I'm doing a degree in English and have a pile of books which need to be read and I can't. put. it. down. The way Nabokov uses words is just mesmerising - every syllable is accounted for and every sentence is just the right balance of rich narrative and short bullet points.

That's the thing about books - there are certain ones which just draw you into their world, and putting them down to carry on studying is the last thing you would ever want to do!

What's the last book you read which you couldn't put down?

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Saturday, February 18, 2012


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Famous Five

 The Famous Five Series
by Enid Blyton

As a bespectacled English degree studying bookworm who's second home comes in the form of a library, I'm frequently treated to an eye roll that cements my predictability before I'm asked the following question: 'What's your favourite book?'. 

Being an English student, I feel my whole body fill with dread whilst I attempt to remember every novel I've ever enjoyed or willingly read past the preface - sorry Sense and Sensibility! My mind contemplates the possibilities; I want to seem well read but I don't want to name the latest fad novel! My favourite novel(s) may surprise you. 

Hello, I'm Bee and my favourite novels are Blyton's Famous Five book series. That's right, I embrace my intense apprehension, and genuine fear, of Uncle Quentin and I willingly become engrossed in the sheer glut of ginger beer and picnic food that they're always blessed with on their unimaginable journeys. I have always wanted to be the sixth member of their gang. Whether they were just simply going camping or whether they were exploring an island or investigating Smuggler's Top...I was always gripped and amazingly jealous! 

I'd read a book a day and would never become tired of Blyton's twee descriptions and classic 'shock horror' narrative twists and turns. Regardless of age, reading ability, patience or budget, you need these books in your life! I still read the very same editions that my mother read when she was a child in the 1970's and I can't wait to someday read those very same books to my own children/mass of cats. 

If you're looking for a nostalgic adventure from the comfort of your own warm bed, grab Five on Treasure Island, make a brew and prepare to kiss goodbye to a whole afternoon in the 'real world'. Don't worry, there's 20 others to keep you occupied afterwards ;)

(Can I just say, I'm totally with Bee on loving The Famous Five series and am also an English Student! Must be summat in the water! ;) ) 
Many Thanks To 
Bee from the marvellous 'Vivatramp'
for sharing your favourite book with us!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Literary Crushes!

Considering it's a certain day, I thought I would have a themed post, about my personal favourite literary crushes.  I still find it hard to accept that some of these men don't actually exist (I should probably add that I am coming to terms with this fact, just more slowly than other people...)

Ron Weasley
The ten year old version of me felt like I should fancy Harry, since he was the brave hero, but I quite liked his gangly and awkward side-kick. The massive, annoying family was something we definitely had in common, as was dodgy knit-wear.  Then the film came out and all crushes were gone. Sorry, you were just so much better in my head!

Michael Moscovitz
AKA the perfect man.  
Funny, intelligent, kind, he went off to Japan to save the world by making a robotic arm, he wasn't threatened by his girlfriend being a princess, and he had a nice smelling neck.  What more can you want from a guy?

Mr Darcy
Do I really need to elaborate on this one?  Except that maybe I have 'a thing' for socially awkward guys?

Mr Rochester
Okay, yes, he's 'ugly', but he's also misunderstood, dark, and mysterious. Perfect swoon-worthy material.

Noah Calhoun 
(I'm going to admit, this one is based entirely on the film)

Some other literary crushes can be found here - it's amazing how 'diverse' they are!
Who's your literary crush??
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Yellow Wallpaper

'If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendancy - what is one to do?'

I've started reading short stories.  It's amazing, when they're done well, they can be so powerful and explosive in so few pages.  You are in these character's lives for such a short period of time.  This is one of my favourite short stories which I have come across, I'm currently making my way through 'The Oxford Book of American Short Stories' there's a wonderfully diverse selection, if you're so inclined!
'The Yellow Wallpaper' is told from the point of view of a woman whose husband has confined her to the upstairs room of a rented summer house.  Published in 1892, it is considered an important piece of feminist writing highlighting attitudes towards women's mental health issues.  The room they've rented is covered in lurid wallpaper, faded by strong sunlight, and peeling off in some places.  

The wallpaper starts to take on a life of its own; as the wife struggles to overcome her hatred of it, her husbands insistance that everything is fine and she will recover by the end of the summer.  She starts to write in secret, her hopes and fears, her confusions and daydreams about her surroundings.  You only have her point of view, you don't understand her husbands thoughts and feelings, you don't even know if she's that reliable at telling a truthful account of the events as they unfold.  There's so much that you don't know that leaves you wanting so much more.  You become involved with these characters so quickly and want to know their backstory.

The best thing about short stories is how involved you become in such a short space of time.  Perfect for a train journey; I do wonder why we've become a nation obsessed with novels! Short stories are a tad underrated, so this is my unashamed propaganda! Read more short stories!
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Charlie!

  I'm going to be completely honest here; I've not read much Dickens (have i shocked you?) I've studied several of his books in school and now at University but his books have never really called out to me. I feel a bit guilty on this one because it's quite easy to assume you know the works of Dickens without actually reading them; certain characters have become engrained in our national consciousness and we reference them without even thinking about where they've originated from.  I've only read the children's abridged version of a 'Christmas Carol' but feel like I know the characters inside-out.  
Sorry Dickens, this is my way of saying, Happy Birthday, and I promise to read more of your books.

What's your favourite Dickens' book?
Do you struggle a bit with them like me?
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