How the Reading Taste Evolves

genreMy reading taste has evolved immensely since I started loving to read in the third grade. (Thankfully). Some of you may know that the reading bug hit me with Treasure Island, but I never pursued another book similar to that genre.

My obsession turned to children’s literature (appropriate considering the fact that I was in fact, a child).

I only read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series. My mother would try to offer different choices but I just shook my head at her and pointed at the next Nancy Drew book to add to the shopping cart.

You see, my thinking was that since I loved these kind of books I couldn’t possibly like a different genre that wasn’t in any way similar to MY books. Why should I even try them out?

Don’t worry I moved on. I left elementary school for the scary and new middle school where there were no swing sets. My mother had been trying to get me to read Harry Potter forever but of course I would just say, “Why? There’s a new Goosebumps book right there!” She took me to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the movie theater which convinced me to give the book a try. Low and behold, a new obsession was born.

My new obsession was fantasy

I hungered for Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and the His Dark Materials trilogy. If it didn’t have magic, talking animals or dragons then it simply wasn’t a book worth reading. My mom would shake her head at this and I would shake my head back. She didn’t get it. She would read anything. But I was a one genre kinda gal.

So I survived middle school in one piece and moved on to the even scarier high school. My freshman year (please try not to judge me on this part) the Twilight fever hit.

New obsession: Paranormal Romance

Yes I am admitting to hopping on the train of the Edward craze. Soon after that I was reading everything that promised angst and love triangles. (Mortal Instruments– I’m looking at you). Simply because, love triangles were SO original and SO realistic and was made all the better if there was a mythical creature involved. “No.” I would tell my mother, “I don’t want to read that, I want to read this one about this girl who falls in love with this vampire.”

Which one, she would say.

Towards the end of my high school career I had to read The Kite Runner for my English class and was utterly captivated by the novel. I immediately went to my mom and demanded she read the book, “It will change your world,” I said, “Read it!”

She laughed.

Of course she had read The Kite Runner already and loved it so much that she not only owns it but also A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini’s other novel. But this isn’t why she laughed.

She laughed because here I was telling her to read a book. Telling HER! When she had recommended hundreds of books to me over the years and every time I would just stick up my nose at her and say no.

Needless to say, I got a taste of my own medicine.

I learned to broaden my taste. When someone recommended a book I would take the time to read it. As a result I have discovered a love for historical fiction, science fiction and classical literature. I’m also going to try horror very soon for which I am both excited and scared about, but nonetheless I’m going to try it, because my mother recommended it and she has never led me astray.

Every time my taste developed it was forced because of my stubbornness and snobbery. If my mother had never made me try other books I could still only be reading Goosebumps books today.

I’ve noticed that not only am I better reader for it, but I’m a better person for it too. My views on life have broadened dramatically and I’ve learned an incredible amount of interesting things that I never would have from Twilight.

Now, I’m not trying to take away anything from those genres. I still enjoy young adult novels, I’m just happy that along with City of Bones on my bookshelf I also have The Pillars of the Earth.

I also know that it’s perfectly okay for someone to only like one genre. As long as people are reading, we should be happy.

I just know that I am so grateful for all those times others broadened my reading taste. Does anyone else feel this way? Comment below and let me know! Happy reading!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

witch*This review does contain spoilers

Novel Facts:

  • Published: October 16, 1950
  • Publisher: Geoffrey Bles
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Pages in Paperback: 76
  • Preceded by (chronologically): The Magician’s Nephew
  • Followed by (chronologically): The Horse and His Boy
  • First published of seven novels although chronologically it takes place secondly in Narnia history
  • Quote: She did not shut it properly because she knew that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe, even if it is not a magic one.”
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Book Depository
  • threeandahalf

Plot:

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realize what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

Review of the Characters:

Aslan– The King of Narnia, who is both Great and Good. I love the way the beavers describe Aslan to the children, how he is not safe but he is on the side of good. As the son of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea Aslan’s power and goodness is unmatched. It is obvious that C.S. Lewis intends for Aslan to represent Jesus Crist in the Christian religion. Aslan sacrifices his life for others; endures torture during the process and after being sacrificed is resurrected. Aslan is almighty and it will be interesting to see his participation throughout the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia.

The White Witch– Just as in The Magician’s Nephew, the White Witch is evil to the core which again, is forgivable since she is not human. She represents everything humans should avoid: cruel, power-hungry, sadistic and lack of hope (I mean she made it always winter but never Christmas for goodness sakes). Since Lewis deemed the White Witch as the “Emperor’s hangman” ensuring the right to kill any Narnian caught in the act of treachery, it can be said that she therefore represents Satan; to whom the souls of damned sinners are forfeited. However I am conflicted in making this connection as Aslan so clearly represents Jesus while the connection to the White Witch is not so clear. (Can I say that she died pretty easy? If I was an animal in Narnia I would wonder why Aslan did not dispose of her before, but then again you don’t question Aslan).

Edmund– I liked Edmund very much as I feel he was one of the more accurate descriptions of humans. I’m not saying that I would find it normal for humans to betray family, I’m saying it is normal (especially for children) to give in to temptation. It was nice to see him grow and learn from his actions as we did when we were young. (I have countless stories of learning about the consequences of my actions). Edmund was human, he was a good person but a person with faults which is all the more relatable to children.

Review of the Story:

You can’t help but become enchanted as you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a dream world that beckons all children. Full of talking animals, palaces and evil witches, this novel makes for an epic fantasy adventure. My only concern was that the ending was a bit easy, however I do have to take into consideration that it is children’s literature. I was expecting a suspenseful battle scene with the White Witch, who seemed unbeatable but further thinking on this made me realize that she was already beat when Aslan sacrificed himself for Edmund. Therefore, the battle scene did not matter.

Review of the Writing:

As he does in The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis continues to write in a tongue-in-cheek way that speaks to children. This tone contrasted with fantastical creatures makes for a fun read. Along with this, Lewis includes several references to the Christian religion such as an allegory of Christ, Satan and the Stone Tablets. Since the connection of Aslan to Jesus and the White Witch to Satan has already been touched on I’ll move straight to the Stone Tablets. The Stone Table in Narnia represents the Stone Tablets that Moses brought down which contained the 10 Commandments. In this period it was very harsh, with the punishment of death for sins. However, after Aslan is resurrected the Stone Table breaks in half representing the end of the harsh period and the beginning of more forgivable time in which you can seek atonement for your sins. (That’s just my take anyway). I should note that although these religious references can be made they do not in any way eclipse the story. In other words, I do not consider this a novel in which the author is preaching.

Rating:

I highly recommend The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for anyone who would like to partake in an enchanting adventure. Although written for children, it is a story that all ages can (and should) enjoy!

witchandwardrobe.jpg

Overall Rating:
threeandahalf

P.S.– My next read is The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (the horse better not die)!

Super Sweet Deals

saleHello fellow readers! I was browsing the Barnes and Noble website looking for books to add to my wish list when I stumbled on a couple sales going on. Now, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share these deals with all of you lovely people? (A bad one). So just scroll on down if you want to check out some of the deals Barnes and Noble is offering.

1. The Summer Reading Sale

  • Buy 2 Noteworthy Paperbacks, Get a 3rd FREE!
  • Valid from July 18th, 2013 at 12:01am to August 22nd, 2012 at 2:59am
  • It offers a lot of great titles such as: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling and much more!

2. Get Reading: Deals on Recommended Reads

  • Purchase select NOOK Books from Jim Gaffigan’s reading list, and get another select NOOK Book FREE!
  • Valid this Saturday and Sunday only
  • Offer valid in store only
  • Includes great titles such as: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

3. Bargain Books: Summer Clearance

  • Includes books under $3 and $5, and books up to 80% off
  • Includes great titles such as: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Edgar Allen Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe

Just thought I would share with you guys! Have a great day and happy reading!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 10

15-Day-ChallengeWell folks, time sure does go by fast. It’s day 10 of this super fun challenge which was created by the blogger of Good Books, Good Wine. So if you would like to know a little more about me then go ahead and keep reading. If you don’t want to know more about me, just pretend you’re reading about someone else. (That’s what I do).

Day 10: How do you choose what book to read next?

Whew! Well it’s a long, complicated process but I’ll try to shorten it up a bit. (I can feel all the grateful looks).

1. I go to my bookshelf. (I could have included the many pit stops on the way to the bookshelf but I promised the shortened version so the shortened version is what you’re going to get).

2. When I finish a book I generally want to move on to a new genre. So I take out all books of the same genre I just read. Now my bookshelf is filled with bright, shining options.

3. An hour or three is spent with me examining each book, reading their blurbs.

4. I close my eyes getting frustrated with my lack of indecision and point my finger at a random book.

5. I open my eyes to see what book I’ve picked. I look at it for 5-7 seconds and shake my head. I take the book off the bookshelf and eliminate it as an option.

(It’s a sad process)

6. I try to make my eyes as big as possible to see if I can see all the books on my bookshelf at once. I can’t.

7. I let out a sigh and determine that all I need is some brain power and decide to go get a snack.

8. I get a snack. (Again, I’m trying to give you the short version)

9. I come back feeling energized and look at my options. Suddenly my energy is gone. I let out another sigh.

10. Finally, totally frustrated now I grab two random books and take them to my mom.

11. I ask her to pick one.

12. She picks one.

13. I go back to my room and start reading the one she didn’t pick. (Not because I don’t trust her judgement, because it’s the law of the mother/daughter relationship.)

*Repeat process when finished with book

I did my best to give you guys the short version. Trust me, I could have gone on much longer… How do you choose which book to read next? Comment below and happy reading!

Liebster Award (Again) :)

liebster-award I’m really starting to love this whole blogging thing. It makes me so happy and fulfills a sense of purpose. (Am I being over-dramatic)?

So, (getting to the point), the brilliant and talented Sarah Evans absolutely made my day by nominating me for the Liebster Award.

Apparently this award (along with meaning “dearest” in German) recognizes the up-and-coming (no pressure) blogs with less than 200 followers.

Thank you Sarah, it means so much that you would count my blog in this category and congratulations yourself. It’s very obvious that your blog, A Place That Does Not Exist, is most definitely of the up-and-coming sort.

Now of course, there are rules. You can’t act just willy nilly on such matters (even though I try). Rules for nominees are:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts (that’s a lot) about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5. No tag backs.

Thank you again Sarah! You put a smile on my face today. (Which is something you have in common with chocolate).

Alright ladies and gents, shall we dive into this together?

11 Personal Facts:

jonasa1. I am listening to the Jonas Brothers first album as I write this (reminding me of my early teen days so no judgement).

2. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney film (but that’s pretty predictable considering that gorgeous library beckons all book lovers).

3. I’m writing a sequel to Peter Pan. It’s set 10 years after Wendy left Neverland, and Peter, missing her terribly, leaves to visit her. Midflight however, he ages 10 years and is stuck in London with Wendy.

4. I’m writing another novel, but I can’t share what it is about just yet (just that it is epic).

5. I was awarded Science Student of the Year in junior high even though I detest the subject. (DETEST IT)!

wind6. I love the movie, Gone with the Wind, even though I hate the ending

7. I always write my blog posts on paper before typing them out. (I know– weird).

8. I truly believe that the Harry Potter series is THE best series ever made. I can not be convinced otherwise.

9. I’m thinking of dying my hair brown but am conflicted only for the fact that I would have to change my blog title.

10. I LOVE going to the movies! I have a huge respect for cinema and love everything about the movie experience– from the popcorn to the trailers. (Okay, mostly the popcorn).

eggs11. The first thing I learned how to cook was scrambled eggs– and it continues to be the only thing I know how to cook. (Sad).

 

 

 

11 Questions from Sarah:

1. Gadget Geek or Technophobe? Great question, I’m a little bit of both, probably more gadget geek than technophobe. I love my laptop, phone, and Playstation; and am currently saving money for a tablet. However at the same time I am frightened how far we are taking technology, taking Siri for example. Disney channel showed me with its original movie, Smart House, that Siri has the potential to be dangerous (and I always trust my Disney sources).

2. Who’s your favorite author or movie director? Well, even though I adore and love many authors, my favorite would have to be J.K. Rowling.

3. What’s the best book you’ve read this year? So far, The Fault in Our Stars. It spoke to me on so many levels.

4. Favorite band? Augustana– adore their music.

5. What’s something embarrassing that happened to you recently? Cleaning my room. I was so embarrassed that I had let it get that bad. (It was a ‘bad’ that you can not even comprehend).

6. Road trip or Airplane? Road trip even though I have always wanted to fly, I love long road trips! Leaves a lot of time for thinking.

7. Who is your hero or idol? I don’t necessarily have one however I do admire Demi Lovato as I have someone close to me going through the same struggles. She keeps her head up despite of everything and it’s encouraging.

8. What did you want to be when you grew up, when you were a kid? An actress, that feeling fo giving it your all in a performance is unmatched.

9. Name something you do when you’re anxious. I read. It is the BEST way to forget your troubles.

10. Name something you do when you’re angry. I cry– to my humiliation. I can’t help it I have bad reactions to certain situations. If I’m dealing with a sad situation I smile or even laugh. (Go ahead and think I’m horrible now).

11. Name something you do when you’re happy. Well usually when I’m happy I’m inspired so I channel that inspiration into creative energy– writing and acting.

My 11 Questions for Nominees:

1. Are you a wheat bread or white bread person?

2. Name a book or movie character you would marry on the spot.

3. What is your favorite part about yourself (does not have to be a physical part)?

4. What made you decide to start a blog?

5. Name the first song that comes to mind.

6. What is something you wish for but know it is an impossibility?

7. What is your favorite season?

8. What is the first book that comes to mind?

9. Who is someone you depend on?

10. What quote inspires you?

11. If you could change your name, what would it be?

Nominees in no particular order:

  1. Disquietus
  2. A Morose Bookshelf
  3. authorjodiwoody
  4. Bitten by the Lit Bug
  5. Book Talk
  6. Bookshelves and Windows
  7. Caughtwithinpages
  8. Classy Cat Books
  9. Eye Have A Lot of Feelings
  10. It’s a Beautiful Ride
  11. Nightmares, Day Dreams, and Imagined Conversations

I would like to thank Sarah again and all my readers. It means so much to me (I’m not normally this mushy) that people read my blog and enjoy it enough to come back. Looking forward to a LONG blogging adventure!