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Blooming Into Our True Characters

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From the day we were born we were beginning our journey into our lives on this planet we call home, and throughout each phase of our journey we would hit some bumps in the road, at times they would have us take a detour for a brief period of time, or they would just block us until the road was prepared. These bumps in our journey prepares us and molds us into the characters that we are meant to be, into the people whom we are to become as we get older.

As children we are vulnerable and susceptible to becoming anyone’s clay to be shaped into whomever someone choses, yet as we get into our rebellious teen years (yes, everyone was rebellious to a point) we try to break free from that vulnerable clay and start to mold our own selves. Bit by bit we end up molding ourselves, with the helps of our influences and the Universe, into the people who we are meant to be, into the characters that we are meant to play on this grand stage we call life. Sometimes while we are attempting to mold ourselves we get caught up in the grander scheme of things, and try to mold ourselves into what the media and society tells us to look like, and for awhile we will attempt to do such a thing, then when wake up we realize that it was the stupidest thing to do. So we take ourselves out of the equation and begin to mold ourselves once more, successfully we become the masterpiece that we were meant to be.

However we are not complete, we take ourselves throw the mold into the burner and watch it immortalize us into imperfect perfect molds that we are proud of, and it is truly then when we realize that we have become the character that we were meant to play, the clay mold that took so long to become the object of attention has suddenly become human.

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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

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Book Club: August

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For the month of August, I wanted to do something a little bit different. I wanted to choose a book that had some historical moments, and was based on political motives during the eleventh century.

Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King is one of the most talked about books from 2011, the story is fascinating and captivating. It reels you in like you are a fish on a bait hook. The story is extremely well written, you won’t be able to put the book down. In fact, in 2011 I was transitioning between freshman year and sophomore year of college, and when I found this book I knew I had to read it. Honestly, it is one of my favorites from the 2000’s. More author’s should take notes from this amazing author.

In eleventh century Scotland, a young Saxon princess tries to fulfill her destiny, and along  the way there are many risks and trials that she will encounter. When the princess and her family shipwrecked on the coast of Scotland, along with an outlaw named Edgar of England, they ask the warrior king Malcolm Canmore for sanctuary. King Malcolm sees a political advantage with the outlaw Edgar, by giving sanctuary to not only him but to the Saxons as well, for the hand of Edgar’s sister, Margaret, in Marriage. This tells of the story of how Margaret became the queen of Scotland, and what happened to the rest of the passengers onboard.

Just like me, you won’t be able to put the book down until you get to the last page. You will feel like you have just landed in Scotland, and it will seem like you are living the lives of the characters that are portrayed in the book.

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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.

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Stop Ruining Masterpieces

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All over the internet there are those who have decided to use photoshop on paintings that are either very well known and even those that are not well known. For those of those who do not know what photoshop is, it is a piece of equipment that modifies pictures to anyone’s liking such as getting rid of curves to removing blemishes. It’s one thing to use photoshop on your own photos, but to destroy a painting that is already a masterpiece is a whole other thing.

When I had seen what others were doing, I wanted to puke. These people have decided to make these wonderful paintings “more desirable”. I’m sorry, but the subjects are already desirable. The curves are beautiful. The raw subject is captivating. The women do not need to be slimmed down. There’s no reason for this to happen. When the painters were painting, they used the bodies that God gave them. Natural looking women and men in the paintings are extremely beautiful and should not be messed with.
Stop using photoshop on these paintings. I could care less if you use it to destroy your own image just to impress others, that your own choice (I actually do care, but that’s another post).  But do not use it on a beautiful masterpiece.