The Books That Have Stayed With Me

Don’t worry, I’m not going tell you about ten books that have stayed with me. Cause I don’t think I have ten, or five even. But in the name of kinda sorta not really participating in this little Facebook tag that seems to have sprung up out of nowhere, I’m going to talk about it.

I’ve just read an article that states that Facebook has determined the book included the most in responses to the tag is…can you guess it? I could have. Easily. I’ll give you a second to think about it.

Here’s a hint if you’re still thinking. The main characters in the book go to a special kind of school by the name of Hogwarts. The most common response to this particular Facebook tag was the HP series. I think it’s understandable considering who I think is more likely to be on Facebook responding to these kinds of things. Would I have included the series? No. I think the movies are great and the books are likely a bit better, but have they stayed with me? I don’t think so. They’ll ultimately just be really great books that I think generations upon generations will continue to read. But I’ll just be reading through them once.

The rest of the top 20 on the list compiled by Facebook is about what you’d expect. Here it is:

1. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling – 21.08%
2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – 14.48%
3. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – 13.86%
4. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien – 7.48%
5. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 7.28%
6. The Holy Bible – 7.21%
7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams 5.97%
8. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – 5.82%
9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – 5.70%
10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 5.61%
11. 1984 by George Orwell – 5.37%
12. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – 5.26%
13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – 5.23%
14. The Stand by Stephen King – 5.11%
15. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 4.95%
16. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – 4.38%
17. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – 4.27%
18. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – 4.05%
19. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – 4.01%
20. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – 3.95%

Stephen King is perhaps the only mild surprise if you ask me, but eh I’m no expert. What do you think of the books people are saying have stayed with them? I know it’s completely subjective, but we all have opinions. If you’re wondering, my entire list would consist of The Diary of a Young Girl and The Hunger Games. No more. Dracula would be very close to being included.

Besides letting me know what you think about the top 20 responses, let me know why particular books have stayed with you, or if you’ve written this post link to it in the comments and I’ll take a look at your picks.

I snagged this list from here.

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The Reader in Me: Part II

Okay guys, this post was supposed to happen yesterday, but I’ve worked the last four days in a row and y’all don’t understand how sleepy I am as soon as I walk in the door. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping during my time I should have been writing posts. Eh. Anyway, this will be the second half of the post I wrote on Saturday.

Also, I’m playing around with posting at a new time. I know probably every single one of you posts whenever you feel like, but I don’t. I strictly post between 9:30 in the morning and 12:30. Now I’m going to see about posting at midnight each night instead. Why? Because I think most of you who actually read my stuff will read no matter when I post and perhaps I’m opening my blog up to a greater audience by posting at the later time. Maybe. Okay, now on with the post.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Absolutely. Not! Are you kidding me? No. Just no.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

I don’t travel. And I wouldn’t take my books with me if I did. Another question with no response.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Well shit. How old am I supposed to be? I’m barely four years out of high school and I guess eight years out from my freshman year. I haven’t reread anything from high school because you all should know by now that I don’t reread anything. This set of questions is off to a wonderful start.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Oh come on. This isn’t even fun anymore. What the heck am I supposed to find in a book? A corpse? A Mega Millions winning lottery ticket? Food? I’ve only ever found scraps of paper or notes in books, and I have to think that most people are the same way.

15. Used or brand new?

Definitely new. I have a handful of used books that stick out like a sore thumb on my shelf. At least they do to me.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Never read him. I bet he’s closer to the genius side.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

There are some truly great literary adaptations. But do not fool yourself, you cannot make a movie better than the book. Why? Because even if you have a nice long 150 minute movie, you still have to leave out huge chunks of the book because you simply don’t have the time needed to adapt every facet of the work. So no, I’ve never seen a movie that I thought was better than the book.

18. Which book should never have been introduced to celluloid?

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. This isn’t a knock on the book, I thought it was pretty good, but the movie did it absolutely no justice whatsoever. The movie looked thrown together at the last minute. And this was with Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross! And what happened after this trainwreck of a movie? They released a sequel made exactly the same way. Ugh. Thankfully no more came after. The more recent Alex Cross adaptation was a bit better, but still not very good.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry?

This is a little weird. No. I will say that I’ve read so long that I’ve finished reading with some weird noises coming from my stomach. Does that count?

20. Who is the person whose book advice you will always take?

I’m trying to figure out what this question means by book advice. Does it mean recommendations? I don’t think it means writing. So I’ll just assume it means suggestions. Okay. I don’t recommend books and I don’t want you suggesting any to me. We both win.

So that’s it! Another batch of questions found in the blogosphere and another batch conquered. Thoughts?

Ten Most Haunting Male Literary Characters

ImagePhoto Credit: Bubblews

Recently a survey was conducted of the British public to determine who they believed to be the most haunting male literary characters. Before I read the original article I had two characters immediately come to mind. One made the list and one did not. But who cares who I was thinking, let’s get into the list.

#10. Kevin – We need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver

Kevin doesn’t sound all that haunting to me, but I’ve also never read the book. Eh. Moving on.

#9 Caliban – The Tempest, William Shakespeare

I’ve read very little Shakespeare in my life. Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. When I say I read Hamlet, I mean I listened to the chapter reviews in class so that I could get a 100 on the tests without ever reading a single page. High school is fun like that. I did read Romeo and Juliet and to this day still believe it to be the greatest love story I’ve ever read. So I don’t know who this guy from The Tempest is.

#8 President Coriolanus Snow – The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

WHAT A SURPRISE! Yes, I hate President Snow. Yes, I think of him as being evil. But I did not expect to find his name on this list. Especially when we move along and see some of the other characters who are included. So suck it, President Snow!

#7 Pennywise the clown – It, Stephen King

I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie from the 80s? And boy, this guy could easily give you nightmares. Good thing I wasn’t afraid of clowns growing up. Just Chuck E. Cheese.

#6 Frankenstein’s monster – Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

In high school some students were required to read this, but I wasn’t. But I mean, EVERYONE knows this guy. I just hope your take on the story and the character does not come from the movie that was released earlier this year. Because even though I didn’t see it, I know for certain that the movie was nothing like the book. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

#5 Alex – A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

No idea who this is, but I THINK a movie was made from this book? I don’t know.

#4 Mr. Rochester – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Well I think some of you may be upset with me, but I also have not read this. But hey, I think Isla Fisher’s character had one of these books given to her by her dad in the movie Definitely, Maybe. And then she didn’t have it. And then Ryan Reynolds found it and kept it forever and everĀ  before giving it to her and then happily ever after. Good movie. But what the heck am I even talking about now?

#3 Jack Torrance – The Shining, Stephen King

Haven’t read any King. You all should know this by now.

#2 Count Dracula – Dracula, Bram Stoker

Well this is one of the two characters I thought of before reading the list. I’ve written several papers analyzing several aspects of the book and it is easily one of my all-time favorites. I was talking to my sister about the Count just the other day and all I could tell her was that he is the first character who comes to mind when I think of evil. He’s the first character who comes to mind when I think of monster. This story is also the first that comes to mind when I think of good vs. evil or man vs. monster. This book is truly great and the Count is the only character I think of when I think of vampires in literature.

#1 Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Unfortunate that I don’t know this character. No commentary from me on the top spot.

Lastly, the only change that I could justifiably make to this list based on what I’ve actually read would be to have Dracula at number one. For all of the reasons that I listed above. He IS evil. He IS haunting. But as for the other character who I thought would make the list, Lord Voldemort. I was quite surprised that he wasn’t named. I mean, we have seven books to realize how bad he really is, whereas these other characters don’t. Remember the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012? When HE was one of the featured acts when British literature was on display for the entire world to see? I rest my case.

So these are the most haunting male literary characters according to the British public. Do you agree with the list? Were there some characters missing?

You can read the full article that also lists the most haunting female characters here.

*The image is from the NBC series Dracula that was cancelled after just one season. But Mina, who you see in the image, in the show is seriously perfection. Oh my goodness. Just a thought for you all.

Books I Will NEVER Read

Photo Credit: Book Snobbery

I’m not a fan of bashing authors, but I’m not bashing authors really, I’m bashing their books. There’s a difference!

Okay, so I know most avid readers like myself have a number of books that will not ever be read for any reason. Not even if there’s a zombie apocalypse taking place and I’m the lone survivor with just the one book thrown on the floor in front of me. They are to remain off-limits forever and a day. Let me just give you the list.

1. Fifty Shades of anything

If you’re a fan of EL James, great. I’m not and never will be. I’ve known the very basic concept of the book for a long time now, but I just read a little of the Wikipedia page that made me want to slap someone. The first book sounds absolutely horrible. I mean, if you want to read about that stuff then partake in it yourself. Or go watch a movie. Or find a website. Do something. Don’t read about it. Makes me think you’re kind of gross. Don’t get angry at me for saying that. It’s my blog.

2. Twilight

I know Stephenie Meyer has been heavily criticized for her writing skills and the way she portrays Bella. Those are pretty much the two reasons why I won’t be reading any of the books in the series. Let me be clear, though, I would read this entire series 100 times before ever reading the first book from the above mentioned series. My reasoning for not reading these books is mostly because they don’t seem like they’d be interesting reads to me. Sure the writing may not be great and Bella isn’t the most memorable literary character of all-time, but the only book I’ve ever read about vampires was Dracula. Yes, I loved it.

3. Divergent

I think some of you may be thinking how I’m putting this series of books in with the other two. What I’ve read and heard about this series of books has mostly been that the first two books were pretty good and the last one was disappointing. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve read. Those have nothing to do with my decision not to read this series. There’s only one reason why I won’t read these books. It’s going to sound crazy, but oh well. I won’t read them because of all the comparisons they get to The Hunger Games. THG is my adult obsession. I LOVE those books. LOVE them. You’ll recall that I named the trilogy my favorite series ever in a previous post. Well, it’s because of the very slim off chance that I like Divergent more than THG that I won’t read them. I’m in love with Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss and Effie and Prim. I don’t want that to be overshadowed by Veronica Roth.

4. Anything written by a celebrity

I fully realize that most celebrities who ‘write’ books don’t actually write them. They have the help of a journalist or author or someone who actually writes the book for them. It’s not that I think the books are poorly written, it’s that the books are generally bad. For instance, I don’t have any interest reading about the whole rags to riches stories that so many athletes claim. It’s great that you went from food stamps when you were little to millions of dollars a year in salary, truly, BUT you won’t find me reading about it. I’m not including former presidents in this group. I think their books would be rather interesting to read. I look forward to reading George W. Bush’s book at some point. Not necessarily because I’m a supporter of his, but because his presidency was the first of my life that I actually understood a little about what was going on.

5. Anything with seductive people on the cover

I mean, come on. What’s the point? I work in a store that carries a very selective section of books. You’ll pretty much only find the major bestselling authors there. The ones I can name off the top of my head who I can recall seeing this past weekend are James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. BUT half of the books that I don’t recognize the author names have half-naked people on the front. It’s annoying. Won’t ever be reading those books. Not a one.

This would be my reaction to reading any book on the list.

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

Okay, so I know my list wasn’t exactly a list of particular books so much as it was a list of types of books I won’t read. But that’s it. Do you have any books that you’ll never find yourself reading? Tell me why.

In other news, I just passed 500 WordPress followers less than a month after reaching 200! You guys seriously make me happy.

Stop Choosing Between Writing and Reading

Photo Credit: momitforward.com

I read more blog posts in a day than I’d like to disclose, and about 97% of those posts all pertain to writing, reading, or some other aspect of books like reviews. There are plenty of topics that are repeated by bloggers because they’re so prevalent. For instance, it would be fairly easy for me to find posts everyday about writer’s block. I’ll probably join in on that discussion at some point, but that’s not today. Today I’d like to discuss another topic that I’ve read about several times and have personal experience with.

If I write, then I can’t read. But if I read, then I can’t write.

This is the age-old question an author faces when there is only a limited amount of time for writing and/or reading. The author is forced to ask himself which is the more pressing of the two. Do I want to finish that great book I’m almost done with or do i want to sit at my computer with my head in my hands searching for the right words to put to paper? Or, I have a few great chapters I REALLY want to write before I forget them, that book on the nightstand can wait a day or two or seven.

I’m constantly reading about writers who don’t feel that both activities can be done within the same day or stretch of a few hours. STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT! Sorry to raise my voice but I really feel that this point needs to be made. If you are VERY limited in the amount of time that you have for reading/ writing, then okay, doing one of the two is better than doing neither. But if you find yourself constantly forcing yourself to pick one over the other for no apparent reason other than to do so, then stop it. Right now. When have you heard of an author who doesn’t read? I’ve read about bestselling authors who read several books a week! All while writing. Now, I understand that it’s different when they don’t have a regular job, but the number of hours they spend writing is not something any person can accomplish.

The point I’d like for you to take from reading this is that you don’t always have to choose one over the other. If you have a great book that you’re finishing up, then go ahead and finish it and your manuscript will be there waiting for you once you’ve finished. I promise. Or if you have a string of chapters that are just itching to get out of your head and onto paper, then go right ahead and type them up. But there’s no reason to stop your reading altogether because you’re working on your first novel or for your writing to take a backseat because you’ve got your hands on the newest Stephen King book.

If you love writing then I know you love reading, don’t end your relationship with one because of the other. Three IS NOT a crowd this time.