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.

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.

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

What ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Taught me about Love and Relationships

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Ever since I was a little child I always had a book in my hand, I would take that book with me everywhere I went and read it while other kids were socializing with one another, don’t get me wrong, I would jump in mud puddles and play in the dirt just like any other child, I just preferred books more. The books I read as a child helped shape me to become the woman that I am today, and I am grateful for it. Most of the books were of romance, you know the old fashioned romance novels that still grace the bookshelves around the world, but are now in the back due to the recent BDSM novels 5o Shades of Grey taking the limelight.

Anne of Green Gables series is a perfect example of one of the romance-coming of age novels that I grew up reading as a child, and during the time that I had discovered about love, friendships, relationships, and learning about myself as well by reading these novels. And oh what a ride it was at such a young age to learn about that. And now, as a woman in my mid-20’s, I can look back on those novels when I need some reminding about what it is that I learned about love and relationships.

                                          Find someone who challenges you:

When it comes to academics, and some sports, I can get pretty competitive, that is just who I am by nature. However, I, just like everyone else, feel like I have to dumb myself down to just stroke a guys ego, but just like Anne Shirley, I will have none of that. At first Anne tries to best Gilbert, who is also very competitive, but in reality this whole competitive streak in the both of them, it just makes them both better, not only for themselves, but for each other.

Forget about your ideal suitor/dream person:

Just like everyone else out there, we all are attracted to specific types of people. For Anne, her ideal person was “tall and distinguished looking, with melancholy, inscrutable eyes and a melting, sympathetic voice”. That description is nowhere near Gilbert Blythe, even though he is her soul mate and one true love. For myself, my ideal person was, tall, rugged, tattooed, with soulful eyes and a deep, penetrating voice. I’m not saying you should settle, by heavens, no. Just remember, that your soul mate will look different from your ideal suitor, and that is okay. In the words of Anne Shirley, “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.” Keep that in mind when you have finally met your soulmate/twinflame.

Relationship with your own bosom friend (best friend):

Everyone has a best friend (s), the one that we can go to for anything, and know that they will be your support system, while at the same time, make you stay grounded. Anne Shirley’s best friend is Diana Barry, whom she refers to “bosom friend”, they are inseparable and their friendships stays strong throughout the remainder of their lives. Having your very own best friend is one of the best feelings in the world, because you have found someone who understands your quirks, and loves spending time with you.

Letting Yourself Be Rescued:

For many modern women, they do not want to be rescued by a prince/princess on a shining horse, it is basically against everything that the modern woman stands for. But if you are like Anne Shirley, holding onto the bottom of the bridge in The Lake of Shining Waters, and your rival comes along wanting to help you get out….take it. There is nothing wrong with being saved once in a while.

Don’t be afraid to feel all of the emotions:

Being an emotional person is nothing to be afraid of, in fact, I am highly emotional, and perfectly okay with that. Because I feel for everything around me and in me. Anne’s emotions are well read between the lines, and to see the things she finds joy in and see how much Gilbert had hurt her, is truly remarkable. Because she is a human, she is allowed to feel these emotions.

Never take shit from boys:

When Anne arrives to the school on her first day, Gilbert is taken by her and wants to get her attention, so what does he do? He calls her “carrots” and pulls on her braids. And Anne’s response, she got up, cursed him, took a slate and smashed it over Gilbert’s head. It is humorous when you first read it, and still hilarious when you read it again, or even when you watch it happen when Megan Follows (as Anne Shirley) busts the slate over Jonathan Crombie’s (as Gilbert Blythe) head.

The first meeting:

The moment Gilbert Blythe lays eyes on Anne Shirley, he is smitten, as if it were truly love at first sight. But then his obnoxious behavior turns Anne away for some time, and he tries to get her attention again. Love at first sight is something that pretty much everyone dreams of, and I will admit that I have always been fascinated with the thought of love at first sight. For myself, I have never actually experienced it, but I don’t let that get me down. The first meeting can be over the top like Anne’s and Gilbert’s, or it can be something that you have only read or seen in movies, or even just by a chance encounter.

Sometimes it’s best to apologize:

Anne realizes that her actions against Gilbert were uncalled for, and that is when she gives him the sweetest and dearest apology ever to be written: “What a stubborn little goose I was…”, finally opening up that door that led to a beautiful friendship and romance.

 

Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gables series, created the characters of Anne and Gilbert to show the entire world about true romance and show that even Anne goes through the entire cycle of emotions as she learns her place in the world, in herself, and as a wonderful yet spunky daughter, friend, wife, and mother. Not only that, but Lucy Maud Montgomery created a man (Gilbert) that millions of women (and some men) had fallen for, and I was one of those women who had fallen for Gilbert Blythe. And if Mrs. Montgomery were here, I would give her a hug and thank her for creating such beautiful novels that I could relate to.

 

 

Book Club: September

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Twenty five years ago, Diana Gabaldon released the famous novel Outlander in the United Kingdom for the world to read. This novel set in motion that is now a successful book series and a wonderful television series. The first time I read this novel, it wasn’t until I was in high school because twenty five years ago I was just being born.

Outlander is about a young lady named Claire from the 1940’s (WWII) who is working as a British Army nurse. She is married to a history professor named Frank Randall and they live a great life for the most part. The two of them decided to go on another second honeymoon up in Scotland so Frank can gather more information about his family’s history. While Frank is digging around for information, Claire goes plant picking around the hill of Craigh na Dun. While there, she comes into contact with the standing stones on top of the hill. She gets dizzy and faints, then she is awaken by the ancestor of her husband, Captain Jack Randall. Captain Jack attempts to take Claire back with him after he has decided that she is a threat. Before he could take her back with him, he is knocked unconscious by a Scotsman. The scots have declared that she is Sassenach, an outlander that is unfamiliar with the Scottish Highland culture. She heals a Scottish lad name Jamie Fraser by fixing his arm, and then ends up marrying him. The adventures they have throughout the book will keep you hooked.

This novel is filled with romance, history (takes place during the Jacobite uprising), adventure; it’s no wonder why thousands of men and women have been drawn to this novel and the rest of the series. Although it has been turned into a television series, and I must say that it is fantastic, reading the book will make it even more fun because it will seem like you are able to see everything through all of the characters eyes.

Book Club: June

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For the month of June, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Since I have started this little book club, I have given you all recommendations for books that are more suited for adults. But for the month of June, I wanted to do something that would get the parents and their children involved in reading. So the chosen book is “Pumpkin Moonshine” by Tasha Tudor.

Pumpkin Moonshine is about a young girl who finds the fattest pumpkin at the pumpkin patch and wants to carve it for Halloween, but before she is able to carve the pumpkin, she must first take the pumpkin home safely without any problems and then she will finally be able to carve it just in time for the holiday. The book is very short, only forty pages long and was released 1938. This book was created by Mrs. Tudor for her niece and her niece’s husband.

The reason why I chose this book for the month of June, even though Halloween isn’t for a few months, is due to the fact that Tasha Tudor has been one of my favorite authors and illustrators. She helped illustrate, “The Secret Garden”, “The Night Before Christmas”, and “A Time to Keep”. Not only that, she has released many other books that she wrote and illustrated herself. Personally, I think she is one the best out there. Sadly though, in 2008, Mrs. Tudor passed away. Although she passed away, her books and artwork will always be treasured by those who have read her work and have studied her style of drawing. This book is perfect for young kids, and it is perfect the parents to get involved as well with this story. It would make a great bedtime story for the parents to read to their children. The book is available all over the internet and easily obtainable.

The Things No One Knows (Poem)

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An avid daydreamer am I,
Sitting on my bed or walking through the park with a book in my hand.
On the outside all you see is what I want you to see,
But there are passions of mine that I harbor inside.
Passions that no one knows of.
Masquerade balls and opera,
Dreaming of a time when things were simpler but also had a modern sense of love.
Long dresses with long flowing curly hair,
Dancing in the hills of the Alps before any world wars.
Dreams of being a ballet dancer,
Gracing the stage in a production of The Nutcracker was a dream of mine for so long.
Playing the cello at the philharmonic,
Letting my music capture the souls of those who listened.
The sound of footsteps hitting the rock made roads takes me back,
Takes me back to my old home in an unknown land.
A place that I wish that I still lived in.
These are things that no one knows about me,
So I just stay behind my pen and paper,
Continuing to write my poems and dream of a place I once lived in.