Friday Favorites: Favorite Re-Covered Classics

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Re-Covered Classics

Most of us are very protective of our beloved classics, so it takes a brave soul indeed to dare reinvent the look of our timeless tales. But some did dare and produced amazing results. There’s also the need to keep up with modern society, which is now a very visual one. With monitors everywhere, it is what is eye catching that matters most now and publishers are aware of that. So the classics got a new look and here are some of my favorites.

P.S.– Click on their picture to be taken to The Creative Action Network which sells these re-covered classics.

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Friday Favorites: Favorite Author Pseudonyms

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Author Pseudonym

Have you ever fallen head over heels for an author? You read a book and absolutely adore the writing style so you start reading more and more of this author. Suddenly you’ve collected every book they’ve ever written, first editions with signatures, and know every answer to every interview they have ever given.

Then you find yourself gushing about your beloved author with your book buddies when one of them exclaims they love them too, they then go on to gush about them with you but they call the author by a different name. You tell them they are mistaken, they misheard you. You said “So and So” and not “Other so and so” and that’s when your friend tells you that you are using the author’s pseudonym.

YOU MEAN THAT WASN’T THE AUTHOR’S REAL NAME?

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Friday Favorites: Favorite Fictional Couples

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tressa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Fictional Couple

So you’re never going to believe this (or actually maybe you will) but when I made my blogging schedule for February I marked Favorite Horror Stories for the 14th (today). I had forgotten that the 14th (today) was Valentine’s Day, but now I’m wondering if maybe on a self conscious level my mind was battling the mushy feelings that are expected of this day. However, I have been given chocolate and cupcakes (by my mother) and as such am in a mushy kind of mood. So I have switched out the horror stories for favorite couples.

But I wanted to make it more interesting so I have decided to interview my two sisters and mother on the topic. If you read Favorite Reading Spots then you should know that this no easy task.

I decided to interview my 17-year-old sister Hayley first. I approach the teenager cautiously, she is sitting on the couch eating Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream and watching Ever After. For someone so ferocious she’s actually quite sappy. The thing with Hayley is that she loves her movies and I have to be weary of the moment that I interrupt. So I wait…and wait…and wait. I sit right next to her and fix her with my Super Ultra Glare (a powerful thing) so that she knows I have something to say but then she starts studiously ignoring me.

So finally:

Me: “Hayley–“

Hayley: “What!” (Imagine that in a high pitch voice, she doesn’t usually have a high pitch voice but when she gets mad it reaches unnatural pitches.)

Me: “I need to interview you for my blog.”

Hayley: [Sigh] (She’s a big on sighing) “Alright, it’s not like I’m not doing anything…” (I don’t feel bad because this is how I feel when she interrupts me while I read).

Me: “Perfect!”

  • Favorite Couple and Why:  Claire and Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger. The characters and love are realistic and the story breaks from the traditional mold. It’s a different formula as Claire has known Henry her entire life while Claire hits Henry like a ton of bricks.
  • Was it a slow build up or an instalove? Well, it’s a matter of time. The thing with this book is there was never any real choice involved, they were meant for each other because of time. So if I had to choose one, instalove.
  • What was your favorite moment? Well that’s really hard so I’ll just say the first moment that comes into my head. It’s when Claire, who’s an artist and is losing motivation, starts creating this crow in a cage in a bunch of different forms. All the while Henry is watching her and realizes Claire is that crow. Not exactly romantic, but a poignant moment.

Next I went to my other sister, the baby of the family (a.ka.– capable of getting away with murder). A 14-year-old girl who hold the world record of most words said in one breath. This creature is called Miranda. Miranda is lying on her bed with her Ipod 2 inches from her face, looking at what, I don’t know. The only light is cast by the small bedside lamp and the rest of the room is shadows. The very air in the room screams do not disturb but I venture forth anyway, for I have a blog post to write.

As I approach the hormone raddled teenager she lets out an ear-splitting laugh (one of her adorable quirks) and then resumes zombie mode. I gather something she read was funny.

Me: “Miranda?”

Miranda: “Hmmm.”

Me: “Can I interview you for my blog?”

Miranda: “Huh?”

Me: “My blog? You know where I post my book reviews–“

Miranda: [She roll onto her back to look at me] “No, I know, but what do you mean by interview?”

Me: “Can I ask you questions about your favorite fictional couple?”

Miranda: “Hermione and Ron.” [She turns away from me and starts to settle back into zombie mode].

Me: “It has to be a book that you actually read Miranda…”

Miranda: [She lets out a deep sigh and turns to face me again] “I don’t know, do I have to pick now?”  (Imagine that in a high pitched voice. Unlike Hayley, she always talks in unnatural pitches).

Me: “Yes.”

Miranda: [She looks at me and shrugs her shoulders]

Me: [I look back at her determined to win the silent battle]

Miranda: “I don’t know Lindsey.” (She LOVES to make things difficult).

Me: “Miranda, please just pick one and I promise we can play Nancy Drew later.”

Miranda: [Perks up] (She’s like me, bribing is our second language). “Oooo okay. Ummm…”

  • Favorite Story and Why:  Wes and Macy from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. Because Wes is like, a cute nerdy artist…and yeah I don’t know. I liked Wes.
  • Slow build up or instalove: “Oh jeez, I don’t know. They meet and then part and then meet again and then part and they meet again after a couple months… [Sees me glare and then shrugs] I guess slow build up.
  • Favorite Moment: Uhhh, when Wes convinces her to quit her job because she hates it… yeah.

Now for my mother. She’s in her spot on the couch reading on her e-reader. Now, I’m sure that she will be happy to do an interview, the problem is getting through to her. When she reads, an atomic bomb could go off next door and she wouldn’t flinch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked her a question that has just gone unanswered. She sinks into the story that she reads until it surrounds her. She can’t hear the outside world. So I must use drastic measures. Yes, I must, don’t try to stop me, I have a blog post to write after all and if I must resort to the extreme then I’ll make that sacrifice. My hand reaches out to her with my fingers shaking and my pulse raising as I slowly… tap her shoulder. Don’t look at me like that it had to be done.

The dreaded tap gets the job done. She looks up at me, her eyes unfocused because she is near-sighted.

Mom: “What?”

Me: “Can I interview you for my blog?”

Mom: “What for?”

Me: Your favorite couple in fiction.”

Mom: [She puts down her eReader and lets out a sigh as she looks up, running through thousands of titles in her mind.] (For you see, ladies and gentlemen, my mother is a bigger bookworm than me.) “Well, I want it noted that this is extremely hard.”

Me: “Noted.”

Mom: “Fine. Then I’m going to have to go with Claire and Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife–“

Me: “Yeah, sorry, that’s not an option. Hayley already picked it.”

Mom: “But that’s my pick!”

Me: “Sorry but for the sake of the blog post, you need to choose another couple.”

Mom: “Fine. But I wanted it noted that Claire and Henry were my first choice.”

Me: “Noted.”

  • Favorite Fictional Couple and Why: Eve Dallas and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I like this couple because it’s the opposite of couples found in books like 50 Shades of Grey. It doesn’t romanticize obsessive and controlling behavior. Eve and Roarke don’t stifle each other they enhance one another.
  • Slow build up or instalove: “There’s definitely some instant chemistry but they take some time actually getting together so a combination of both.
  • Favorite Moment: In the first book when we see that Roarke has been carrying a button in his pocket that fell off Eve’s jacket.

There you have it folks, the opinions of a 14 year old, 17 year old and Mother who chooses not to reveal her age. Man, I hope you readers appreciate what I had to go through to get those answers. I expect a statue in my honor at the very least. Now as for my pick:

  • Favorite Fictional Couple and Why: Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The connection between the two was enchanting to watch and I loved the circus atmosphere as well.
  • Slow build up or instalove: Well it’s definitely instalove for Jacob but for Marlena its their bond over Rosie the elephant that connects her to him and that bond grows over time.
  • Favorite Moment: When they danced together for the first time. I think that was the moment they saw a future together if August wasn’t standing in their way.

Who’s your favorite fictional couple? Share below and happy reading!

Friday Favorites: Favorite Children’s Novels

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Children’s Books

Let’s travel back to the past for a moment, shall we? Let’s step into 7-year-old Lindsey’s shoes, a little girl with long hair because she longed to be the blonde version of Pocahontas. A little girl who loved Peanut Butter more than life itself and named her dog after the friendly ghost, Casper. A Lindsey who sang at the top of her lungs at every opportunity and who had a thing for Barney. What was this version of Lindsey’s favorite books?

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

purplecrayon

7-year-old Lindsey would tell you all that she liked the book because her favorite color was purple, but 22-year-old Lindsey recognizes the wit she possessed years ago. This book is an advocator of creativity and imagination. We watch Harold create a world with his mighty purple crayon, drawing dragons and moons, pies and one-tree-forests. Little Lindsey had a magical soul even then and she recognized a fellow patron in Harold. This book is the kind that you need to be reading to children, especially the way people are constantly entertained by technology nowadays. It’s nice to remember how brilliant a child’s mind is when all you give them is  a crayon.

 

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

sidewalkends“If you are a dreamer, come in,

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in!”

7-year-old Lindsey would pull this book out when she wanted to be reminded that anything was possible. It was a perfect book for reading aloud also with fun rhymes that seemed to flow from the tongue.

7-year-old Lindsey didn’t want to read about boring, ordinary things, she wanted to read about a polar bear in the fridge or diamond gardens. It was a fantastic tale that amused adults but stayed with children like a well-kept secret and it remains a favorite of mine to this day.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

threelittlepigs

If you tried to suggest a story of the classic, “Three Little Pigs“, 7-year-old Lindsey would just roll her eyes at you and exclaim you’ve got it all wrong. If you want the real story, she would say, then you need to read this book. The wolf is actually innocent, and that last little pig framed him! Little Lindsey would happily argue with you all day about the logistics of the story and I think that’s my favorite part of this book. It inspires critical thinking and debate. It teaches perspective and logical arguments to children. To this day I’ll still argue that the pigs had it coming all along.

Those were the three books that stick out most in my childhood. They made life a bit more magical and for that I’ll always be grateful.

What were your favorite books as a child? What would you draw with a purple crayon? Who do you think is innocent: the wolf or the pigs? Share below and happy reading!

Favorite Books I Had to Read for School

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Books I had to Read for School

I love reading, I do. I really, really, do. But for some reason, at school when a teacher puts a book in front of me and says “YOU MUST READ THIS” the reader inside of me vanishes and instead the rebellious hoodlum takes precedent and silently declares war with the teacher.

I hardly read any of the assigned novels in school and I’m not proud of it. But I can’t change the past, I just have to move on and try to do better.

However, there were a few novels assigned that I couldn’t help but read and be taken in by its spell. Its these novels I will talk about today.

east of edenEast of Eden by John Steinbeck

I was completely taken by surprise with this novel. The summer before my sophomore year in high school I was assigned Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and hating summer school work on principal I in turn hated that novel. So in class during my senior year, when Ms. Potter assigned East of Eden I silently groaned and felt the rebellious hoodlum rising within me. I felt that Steinbeck was stalking me. He knew I didn’t read his previous novel and he was back for revenge. Game on Steinbeck.

I was determined to just skim through the book but when Ms. Potter actually dedicated a class period to reading the first few chapters, I had no choice in the matter. There I was practically shouting at the novel in my head as I read it when I found myself starting to read with earnest, starting to digest what I read and actually cursing the bell that meant class was over. This novel was actually okay, more than okay, it was fascinating. I read the whole novel quickly after that and found that Steinbeck had won the battle, but I didn’t care. East of Eden remains one of my favorite classics to this day.

thekiterunnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Another novel assigned by the brilliant Ms. Potter. I’d heard great things about this novel and I knew it was probably a good one, but still the stubbornness in me wouldn’t allow myself to be excited. As soon as the words “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” were uttered Khaled Hosseini was dead to me. I stared at that book for a long time, trying to convey what an inconvenience it was to me. This time it was my mother that convinced me as only a mother can (you all know the look and tone of voice). She had read the book and said it was a novel that I absolutely needed to read, not skim.

Since I live with my mother, I didn’t really have any other choice but to comply. Of course, this novel engaged me. Anybody that has read it I doubt can say otherwise. It’s a compelling story and utterly heart wrenching. It really is a book that everyone should read at least once in their lives.

thegreatgatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book was assigned for our final exam, which meant that it only earned double negative points from me. We were to have the book read and then come in and answer the discussion questions. Being the natural born procrastinator that I am, I did not even open the cover of the book until the day before the exam and I really had not planned on reading the book at all, but just do the basic skimming. I ended up finishing that whole novel in a matter of hours (it’s a short book).

I drunk the story in and loved what I tasted. My heart went with Gatsby as soon as he was introduced and stayed with him until the very end. The next day I went to class and I nailed that exam. It actually amazed me that I had so much to say about such a short story, but that’s just proof of Fitzgerald’s skill. Well done Fitzgerald, and well done Ms. Potter, you got me again.

There you go, the three books that I actually read cover to cover in high school. Sure, there a few more out there but none that resonated with me such as these three. Here’s a lesson for you kids out there: read the books teachers assign to you, though it may seem like they are doing it just to be mean, they are doing it for a reason. Trust them.

Did you struggle with reading books assigned to you? What books did you love the most in high school? Share below and happy reading!