Book Girls Who Break the Mould

BookGirlsWhoBreaktheMould

What makes our favourite female characters so special?  This roundup celebrates book girls who break the mould.  Some refuse to be restricted by gender roles.  Others teach us there’s more to being strong than acting tough.  All make great role models and deserve to be read again and again.  

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My 3 Favourite Mothers in Literature | Mother’s Day 2016

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It’s time to celebrate the wonderful women who raised us.  Take a break from brainstorming ways to show your mum some love, and remember your favourite fictional mothers.  Here are my 3 favourite mothers from childhood books:

Miss Honey | Matilda

Miss Honey is Matilda’s school teacher and eventual adoptive mother.  When Matilda’s biological family punishes her for being unique, Miss Honey embraces Matilda’s individuality.  She does everything in her power to nurture Matilda’s special talents and make her feel loved.  Her overflowing joy spreads positivity to her students.

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Molly Weasley | Harry Potter series

Molly Weasley is fiercely protective.  She confronts danger head-on to keep her family safe.  Despite being a tough cookie, Mrs Weasley can also be tender.  Her knitted Christmas sweaters and home cooked meals keep her loved ones warm and cosy all year round.  When Harry visits, she makes him feel like part of the family.

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Marilla Cuthbert | Anne of Green Gables

Marilla Cuthbert may not have signed up for motherhood, but she steps up to the plate when Anne Shirley comes to live at Green Gables.  At first, Marilla is stone cold and strict.  But as Anne warms her heart, she is surprised to experience love like she has never known before.  Sharing in Anne’s misadventures becomes the most rewarding part of her life.

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I hope this list gave you the warm and fuzzies.  Who are your favourite mothers in literature?  Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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Book Review | Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

13259307TITLE: Fahrenheit 451
AUTHOR: Ray Bradbury
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 1953
GENRE: Sci Fi, Dystopia, Modern Classic
PAGE COUNT: 227


First published in 1953, Ray Bradbury’s timeless classic portrays a not-so-distant future in which literature is outlawed.  Guy Montag is a fireman, but instead of putting out fires his team is responsible for burning books.  A chance encounter and one impulsive act of rebellion are enough to change his world forever.

A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.  Burn it.  Take the shot from the weapon.  Breach man’s mind.  Who knows who might be the target of the well-read mind?  – page 77 Continue reading

Review | A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

a_clockwork_orangeTITLE: A Clockwork Orange
AUTHOR: Anthony Burgess
RELEASE DATE: 1962
GENRE: Dystopian, Adult Fiction, Modern Classic
PAGE COUNT: 192


This dystopian classic is just as amazing on my second read.  It hasn’t lost any relevance since the day it was published in 1962.  

15-year-old Alex is a high school student by day and a violent gang leader by night.  He is gaoled after a break and enter gone wrong.  The prison wardens offer Alex an irresistible ultimatum – submit to a reformation experiment and get years wiped from his sentence.  The unethical nature of the experiment causes controversy – can a man without freewill be called a man at all? Continue reading

My Romantic Reading List for Valentines Day 2016

Love is in the air this weekend!  To celebrate Valentines Day I’m revisiting my favourite romantic reads.  Some are old, some are new, some aren’t your average love story.  But one thing they all have in common is a talent for making me swoon.  What are you favourites?  Share below in the comments!

6867Atonement by Ian McEwan

Cecelia and Robbie are torn apart when Robbie is wrongly accused of rape and sent to the WWII frontline.  Through painstaking detail McEwan crafts a rich world around their star-crossed romance, weaving viewpoints and time periods together.  Atonement is heartbreaking but beautiful.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldUnknown

How can you talk about romance without mentioning this masterpiece?  Jay and Daisy’s romance is beautiful, but best of all is the writing.  Set against an intoxicating backdrop of 1920s opulence, The Great Gatsby paints a portrait of humanity more vibrant than life itself.  I am in love with its unforgettable language.

818z5OvvrWL._SL1500_Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a story about finding (and learning to love) yourself.  Eat, Pray, Love isn’t your typical romance, but it IS deeply romantic.  Liz’s self-reflection and personal epiphanies touch upon every aspect of her world.  This book has enormous heart and soul.  If you’re alone this Valentines Day, Liz will inspire you to spend it loving yourself.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë9781471141638_hr

Another obvious addition.  Re-reading this book countless times made Cathy and Heathcliffe’s damned romance immortal to me.  I would agonise breathlessly over the claustrophobic house, the desolate moors, and the characters’ self-destructive wills.  Wuthering Heights is overpowering.

194755Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

My final pick is a children’s book.  Mr Hoppy is desperately in love with his neighbour Mrs Silver, the owner of a disappointingly small tortoise called Alfie.  Mr Hoppy decides to make her happy by secretly swapping Alfie for a slightly larger tortoise every day.  Esio Trot is simple and completely enchanting.

I can think of many more that deserve to be on this list (fodder for next year’s Valentines Day post wink wink).  I hope you enjoy these romantic reads and spend your Valentines doing something special by yourself or with loved ones xo  

Photo credits: http://www.beautifulbookcovers.com / http://www.goodreads.com / http://www.books.simonandschuster.com.au / http://www.amazon.com

Review | Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

15798121I assumed that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a romance.  If you’ve only seen the 1961 movie, you think so too.  But it’s much more than that.  

Don’t be fooled by Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard’s passionate liplock as the credits roll up – Truman Capote’s 1958 novella lacks a Hollywood ending.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s is romantic in the F. Scott Fitzgerald sense of the word – melancholy and introspective.

Capote offers readers an experience transcending the banal entertainment provided by typical romances.  His writing is confidently elegant.  His characters have panache and self-awareness.  His ending is flawless.  What a shame Hollywood cut it so y’all could see a kiss. 

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Review | Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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.  – page 1

Recognise these opening lines?  The first paragraph of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 classic, Lolita, is so famous it’s become almost clichéd.  It perfectly sets the tone for this sumptuous masterpiece.  

lolitaLolita is just as scandalous in light of contemporary perspectives as it was 60 years ago.  Scholar Humbert Humbert marries Mrs Haze to be closer to the object of his romantic obsession, her 12-year-old daughter Dolores.  After Mrs Haze’s death, he becomes Dolores’ guardian and lover – a shameful secret at the mercy of her dangerous mood swings.

Although pedophilia is unforgivable in our society, Lolita inspires great empathy.  Humbert Humbert is our first person narrator.  He articulates the minutiae of his mind’s inner workings with poetic precision and sensitive wit.  It’s impossible to refuse empathy to someone so lucid and relatable.

If for nothing else, read Lolita for the language.  This romance is a string of visceral scenes that won’t fade from my memory.  Join the club and swoon over the lyricism of Nabokov’s words.  Open your heart to its beauty and expand your mind for its perspectives – Lolita is a must-read.  

Photo credit: http://www.goodreads.com

 

Classics Haul + Summer Reading List 2015

I went a bit overboard when I visited Dymocks in the city recently.  Luckily I had my loyalty card to take the edge off this blow to my bank account.  Check out the classics I added to my collection!  I reckon these make pretty amazing summer holiday reads.  

15798121Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Truman Capote’s novella was first published in 1958, but I’m going to hazard a guess that you associate the title with Audrey Hepburn’s iconic portrayal of Holly Golightly in the 1961 film.  I’ve never seen the movie so I thought this short book would make compelling holiday reading.  Its longstanding status as a masterpiece ensures me I’ll enjoy it.

lolitaLolita

Lo and behold this almighty classic (pun intended).  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov has sat on my to-read list for years and I’ve only just picked it up.  This is a must-own for lovers of classics.  You can expect a review in the new year.

1573226521-01-lzzzzzzzThe Beach 

This 1996 bestseller by Alex Garland is a modern classic.  Like Breakfast at Tiffany’sThe Beach is well-remembered for its film adaptation.  I think this gripping and dark adventure story would make a great holiday read.  Maybe while sunbaking on the beach…?

Catch 22catch-22_cover

War stories are never high on my to-read list, but this 1961 classic by Joseph Heller demands attention.  Although Goodreads reviews are unanimous about this book’s genius, I’ve read many that admit it’s a challenging read.  Some day I will have to steel myself to take on this giant.

Rye_catcherThe Catcher in the Rye

Most of us are well acquainted with  J.D. Salinger’s 1951 classic from being force fed it in high school.  I’ve tried to read it once before but lost interest.  I think it was my sense of obligation that put me off.  However, a friend recently pointed out that I would enjoy this as a Vernon God Little enthusiast.  So here I am giving it another shot!

I hope my summer holiday reading list inspires you.  This is my last post of 2015, so have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!