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Book Club: August

For the month of August, I wanted to chose a book that a large portion of the world is going through at this moment, war, spiritual awakenings, segregations, and imposed limitations for what someone is “suppose” to believe in (inside their own religion). Find Nouf by Zoë Ferraris dives into each one of those touchy subjects.

Sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, along with a truck and her favorite camel, her family (who are wealthy)calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a desert guide, to lead a search party. Only ten days later, when Nayir is about to give up, Nouf’s body has been discovered by some anonymous desert travelers. At first it seems as those Nouf had died of dehydration, but the coroner’s report came back with the death being ruled as drowning. Her family suddenly becomes uninterested in finding out how she could’ve drowned, however, Nayir takes it upon himself to finding out what really happened to Nouf. This will push gentle, pious Nayir, a Palestinian orphan raised by his bachelor uncle, to delve into the secret life of a protected teenage girl, in one of the most rigidly gender-segregated of Middle Eastern societies.

This novel dives deeper showcasing us Nayir’s deepest thoughts, and see him go through transformations spiritually and mentally as he discovers more about Nouf’s death.

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Book Club: July

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“The Diary of a Chambermaid” by Octave Mirbeau graces the book of the month club for the month of July. This classic book transports back in time to witness the life of Celestine, a chambermaid, that goes to different houses and takes care of the occupants. Her first station is at the home of an elderly man who has an odd fetish with her boots, later on while she is still working there, she finds the man dead in bed with one of her boots in his mouth. She then takes a position at a home where a married bourgeois couple reside, and she finds herself in the midst of a estranged marriage and ends up becoming entangled in their marriage as well. Celestine’s last position is at the home of bourgeois café hostess who mistreats her servants at every turn. During all these positions at all of these different residents, Celestine has begun to learn more about her body, her mind frame, and finds herself learning the ways of love, sex, and even the ways of the upper class world.

Octave Mirbeau is one of the most gifted authors of the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, and this book proves the talent he possessed. Celestine, the main character of the novel, is a great strong leading character, showing exactly what all women go through from an early age, and it shows that each woman takes control of their own lives and situations in different ways.

I thoroughly enjoy this novel, just as I enjoy all of Octave’s other novels, and this is why I highly recommend reading this book for the month of July. Once you have finished reading this book, comment below and tell me what your thoughts are on the character, the plot, and the book as a whole.

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Book Club: June

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As a book dragon (I divulge books like a dragon and rather enjoy them), I thoroughly enjoy a novel that is both fiction and historic, to me those novels will take me back to a simpler time that I have always wished for. And the Medici’s Daughter is one of those novels, a novel that will transport you back in time and lets you see through the eyes of Marguerite, daughter of Catherine de Medici, and sister to the future king Francis.

The time is 1564 in the winter, Princess Margot (Marguerite) has been summoned to the court in France, where one word from your mouth could cause travesty to you and your family. Being the daughter of Catherine de Medici, who is highly intimidating and such a powerful player of the courts during the time of a religious war, Princess Margot must learned the game just as well to please her family. Margot being the obedient daughter has accepted her role as a marriage pawn, even though she is in love with Duc de Guise, and agrees to marry Henri of Navarre, a man who is over zealous and wishes to seal a truce between the two countries. However, this promised marriage is all but a mirage concocted by her mother. On the day of her wedding, after the bloodshed has occurred, Princess Margot must choose between her family and soul.

Sophie Perinot has truly done it again with this novel of Princess Marguerite, and quite honestly there is nothing this author cannot do. Run to the nearest place where they sell books, and pick up your copy of this wonderful and colorful novel, it is truly a great way to kick off the summer time.

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My Mother Is…. (Poem)

You talk as though you are nothing,
Therefor you spend your time on others
whilst you sit at home at night patiently waiting.

Waiting for your daughter and son to come home,
Waiting for your love to fly through the door,
but little did you know my dear mother you are much more.

My mother is the brightest sun,
the one that cheers my siblings and I on.
My mother is a superhero,
she is wonder woman dressed in civilian clothes.
My mother is my moon,
for she guides me through life.
Ultimately my mother is my best friend,
for I know she will stay with me till the very end.

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The Books That Shape You

The books we read shape us into the beings that we are, if you don’t believe that then look at your bookshelf and see which genre out rules the rest, then dive deep into your mind and heart, you will see that those books shaped you in ways you had not realized.

For myself, I read just about anything and so the list of books that I have read is completely all over the page from classic to fantasy to psychological thrillers. Even though I cannot pick a favorite book, I tend to find my self lean towards the classics, such as A Room With a View, Sense and Sensibility, The Raven, Moby Dick; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to name a few. Those books helped shaped into the person that I’ve become.

Recently, I read an article that was titled, “What Your Favorite Book Genre Says About Your Personality”, and I was intrigued. Being so intrigued, I began to read what this person had thought about each genre and how it developed a person’s personality. And when I read the first one, classic, I was smiling so big that I was surprised how accurate this person had pinpointed my personality from just focusing on my favorite book genre. Here is what the article said about classics, ” You have and will reread just about every classic there is. Jane Austen and Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck — this is the crew that will always be your favorite writers. You were the kid in high school who actually read all of the mandatory books and enjoyed them. You prefer getting to know one person deeply, rather than knowing a couple people on the surface. You tend to cherish the simplicities in everyday life more than anything else.” 100% that is me in a small paragraph when it comes to pinpointing me with a book genre. I was excited to read the books that my teachers had assigned for us to read, in fact, I got in trouble for reading the entire book ( we were only supposed to read two chapters), and was unable to say anything about the book, because I might’ve spoiled it for the rest of the class. I didn’t mind, it just meant that I could read a different book while they were discussing the chapter that they were on.

The article continues to go on and list other genres such as fantasy, horror, and romance. What is your favorite book genre? Do you have more than one? Classics is my number one, then fantasy. And the description for the both of them definitely suits me.

Follow this link and read the original article about book genres and personalities.

https://www.bustle.com/articles/109117-what-your-favorite-book-genre-says-about-your-personality

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Book Club: May

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For the month of May, the novel that was picked out is by the ever so talented Thomas Hardy, who is a well known romanticist novelist from England. Tess of the d’Urbervilles is one of Hardy’s famous novels for several reasons, one of the reasons is due to the original novel being censored for challenging sexual morals of the time, late Victorian era.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles follows a young sixteen year old girl named Tess, who is the oldest child of peasants, John and Joan Durbeyfield. A chance encounter between John and a man named Parson Tringham occur, and it is in that moment that John has been notified that he is a descendant of nobility. John and Joan send their daughter, Tess, to go to a nearby relative and “claim kin”, to alleviate their status and financial problems. While Tess is visiting the relatives, a young man named Alec d’Urbervilles, he becomes very attracted to Tess and decides to hire her to help his mother with her poultry. While in the residence, Alec seduces and rapes Tess, leaving her pregnant. She gives birth when she gets back home, to a young boy named Sorrow. Suddenly, Sorrow falls ill and dies in infancy, leaving Tess wounded and devastated of losing her child. After losing her child, Tess meets a young man named Angel Clare, and after a while of saying no to Angel’s proposal, Tess finally agrees to marry Angel. However, they are not married for long. For they decide to split after they both divulge each other’s past secrets to one another. After they have both gone their own ways, Tess sees Alec (who is now a minister), and tries to stay away from him. However, Alec leaves his post as minister and pursues her, asking her to marry him over and over again, with Tess giving him the same reply, that she will not be his wife. **You need to read the entire book to understand what all Tess goes through, it is impeccable.

This novel is one of the most unique novels out there, because for it to be a novel to challenge the time period that it was released in is truly magnificent and bold. Thomas Hardy is definitely an author that everyone needs to read at some point in their life.

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On My Bookshelf

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If you have been following me for any period of time, you have begun to notice that I am what you would call a bookworm, however I refer to myself as a book dragon (I divulge the books and sear them into my memory). Give me a cup of good tea, comfy lounge pants and shirt, a comfortable place to sit in, and a pile of books, and right there you have my ideal heaven. My bookshelf is filled to brim with books, and it spills out onto the floor and in boxes. One might say that I have way too many books, however, I beg to differ. You can never have too many books in my opinion.

                                                                    MOST BELOVED :

                                                    (The books that I always have near)

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The ultimate spiritual book that I can refer to when I am having those moments of feeling lost.
  • Jane Austen: Complete Novel Series. These novels are a great stress reliever, and for me, when I am overly stressed, I turn to Jane Austen with a cup of tea and something to eat.
  • All things Edgar Allan Poe. This man has shaped me in so many ways, especially with my writing skills. No matter what time of the year it is, I always turn to Poe and enjoy his poems and short stories. Gothic Romance are the type of books that I can always turn to when my mind wishes to dive into a world of mystery.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. Jules Verne has always been high on my list of people that I enjoy reading all the time. In fact, for me, I cannot and will not put down any of his novels for they contain sea monsters, the ocean, and the world in general. He uses so many symbolic references in his novels, and in this novel, there are so many that you will try to decipher them the entire way through. Although I will say this, I could never really choose a favorite author or book, however if I were to choose, this book would be number one.
  • When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi. To describe why I love this book and hold it near and dear to me would be impossible. The way Nadia writes her stories is truly breathtaking, and with this novel, you cannot put it down, and if you have to you will ultimately fighting back the tears of not knowing of what is about to happen to the main character Fereiba.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. The original story, not the Disney-fied version, is truly more captivating and more relatable in many ways. And with this novel always being a beloved novel to me, I can truly see through the eyes of Quasimodo and Esmeralda at the same time, and feel what they feel. Victor Hugo is one of the classic authors that cannot and will not be ignored, for his story is engrained into the minds of those who have read his novels.
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!” This childhood story of mine has always been close to my heart, and as I had gotten older, that was when I realized the references were to being high as a kite, quite honestly it doesn’t bother me at all. Alice in Wonderland is one of the most influential stories of all time when it comes to giving books to our children, and when my mom introduced the book to me at a very young age, I was so thrilled, that I started the book right away.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. I am going to be honest, I love all of Shakespeare’s works from Romeo and Juliet all the way to The Tempest. However, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been my number one favorite out of all of his works due to the fact that she shows love comes in all forms, and shows the mystical side of the mind. Shakespeare truly captivated my mind from an early age, and even though I remember more lines from Romeo and Juliet, the lines of Puck will always be seared into the back of my mind.

                                                                      Present Company:

                                                    (What I am currently reading and thinking about)

  •  The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb. This story is about a girl in search of her father who was last seen in Vietnam, and wishes to figure out the fate of his demise. For the relationship between her and her father had become estranged when he became separated from the girl’s mother. This story is extremely touching and it will certainly tug at the heart strings.
  • The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff. The story follows a woman by the name of Charlotte Gold, whose ex-fiancé comes back into her life and seeks help from her and the company she works for. The novel takes place during the time of Nazi Germany and follows the web of stories and lies that follow the characters. Quite honestly, this is a fantastic story and highly recommend it to everyone.
  • Once we were Brothers by Ronald Balson.  This is currently on my to be read pile. Not only that, I think that Mr. Balson is a fantastic author, so to have this book in my pile, I am absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to read soon.
  • All Things Beautiful and Bright by James Herriot. I have read other books by Mr. Herriot and to see that he has a book out that I haven’t read makes me a little sad, so I grabbed a copy and it is now waiting ever so patiently to be read.
  • Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell. Lets be honest here, who wouldn’t want to read a novel about one of the world’s most famous painters? I would in a heartbeat. Currently this lovely novel is in my novel to be read. And once I have begun to read it, I know that I will be sucked into the story and will not want to be taken out.

Now these are not all of the books that I contain, trust me, these are just the ones that I hold dear to my heart and ones that I cannot wait to dive into and explore the other worlds that are lurking between the black and white lines of the pages of these novels.

So, what is on your bookshelf? What are your most beloved novels? What the novels that are on your to be read list?

Photo Credit: Dree Harper