Emily Likes Books

41. Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s classic is probably one of the best period books I’ve ever read. I’ve tried to get into her other stories, but nothing really strikes me the way Pride and Prejudice does. I don’t know if it’s because I’m really familiar with the story and it’s themes, or some other factor, but it’s the only one of Austen’s books I’ve gotten through so far.
As a whole, I’m a big fan of the Pride and Prejudice world. Growing up I always watched the 1995 BBC miniseries version with Colin Firth (yes, please!) and Jennifer Ehle. The 2005 movies was good as well, but I always fall back to Colin Firth and his perfectly stumbled love speeches. I also indulged myself in the Lizzie Bennett series on youtube—which if you haven’t seen yet and are a fan of P&P, go do so, this instant!
40. Thirteen Reasons Why — Jay Asher
Apparently I was hiatus. My bad!
To continue: I read “Thirteen Reasons Why” in my early teens, when I really identified with the book. I had gone through some bullying, was not really happy, and it seemed the book just got it when I felt others did not.
It’s a story of a high school boy, Clay, who receive a packages with cassette tapes mailed by a girl in his school, Hannah, who committed suicide not long before. She mailed the tapes to people and had them send them on, explaining her reasons for her choices and retelling her story.
It’s a good novel for raising bullying and suicide awareness among teens and young adults, and for identifying the signs that someone might be contemplating such actions. It shows how your actions, or being passive about important matters, have consequences no matter how small they may seem. Things pile up, fester internally, and eventually explode. There wasn’t just one reason why Hannah was depressed, and committed suicide, like I believe a lot of people think is the cause of mental issues. There doesn’t need to be one drastic life change that alters your life forever, little things adding up can be just as effective.  

40. Thirteen Reasons Why — Jay Asher

Apparently I was hiatus. My bad!

To continue: I read “Thirteen Reasons Why” in my early teens, when I really identified with the book. I had gone through some bullying, was not really happy, and it seemed the book just got it when I felt others did not.

It’s a story of a high school boy, Clay, who receive a packages with cassette tapes mailed by a girl in his school, Hannah, who committed suicide not long before. She mailed the tapes to people and had them send them on, explaining her reasons for her choices and retelling her story.

It’s a good novel for raising bullying and suicide awareness among teens and young adults, and for identifying the signs that someone might be contemplating such actions. It shows how your actions, or being passive about important matters, have consequences no matter how small they may seem. Things pile up, fester internally, and eventually explode. There wasn’t just one reason why Hannah was depressed, and committed suicide, like I believe a lot of people think is the cause of mental issues. There doesn’t need to be one drastic life change that alters your life forever, little things adding up can be just as effective.  

“No-legs lay on one-leg,
Two-legs sat near on three-legs,
Four-legs got some.”

—   A riddle to Gollum from Bilbo; The Hobbit: Riddles in the Dark (J.R.R. Tolkien)

“Old Took’s great-grand-uncle Bullroarer…was so huge (for a hobbit) that he could ride a horse. He charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of The Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul’s head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment.”

—   The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party (J.R.R. Tolkien)

“Arya thought that Myrcella’s stitches looked a little crooked too, but you would never know it from the way Septa Mordane was cooing.”

—   Arya Stark; A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

—   The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party (J.R.R. Tolkien) 

“'The Red Keep shelters two sorts of people, Lord Eddard,' Varys said. 'Those who are loyal to the realm, and those who are loyal only to themselves.'”

—   Varys; A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
39. Things Fall Apart — Chinua Achebe
Another book I read for my grade 12 literature class, Things Fall Apart is a staple in modern African literature today. It’s set in Nigeria, around the time of colonialism and missionaries arriving in Africa to preach their religion. I didn’t think I’d like the novel that much, but it was actually very well done and an eye-opener. You get a kind of perspective on pre-colonial Nigerian culture which you may never have thought of; I knew nothing of this before the book. Customs are explained, religious aspects and certain social protocols. I really liked reading about some of these new and interesting perspectives.
There were only two things I struggled with: the complicated (to me) names, and my opinion of Okonkwo. Okonkwo, the main character, was one of the only ones I could get down straight. There were a lot of minor characters, and if I wasn’t paying the closest attention I would get them confused easily. Also I wouldn’t dare pronounce anything aloud. In my opinion of Okonwko, I couldn’t decide if I loved or hated him. It seemed I was either on the polar opposites of the scale with every page or nothing at all. He’s a strong, independent character who wants to preserve his culture, which is admirable, but sometimes he’s just so stubborn you want to throttle him.
If you like books based in other cultures, I would recommend this. Its quite interesting in that aspect, and it does pull at your heart strings somewhat too.

39. Things Fall Apart — Chinua Achebe

Another book I read for my grade 12 literature class, Things Fall Apart is a staple in modern African literature today. It’s set in Nigeria, around the time of colonialism and missionaries arriving in Africa to preach their religion. I didn’t think I’d like the novel that much, but it was actually very well done and an eye-opener. You get a kind of perspective on pre-colonial Nigerian culture which you may never have thought of; I knew nothing of this before the book. Customs are explained, religious aspects and certain social protocols. I really liked reading about some of these new and interesting perspectives.

There were only two things I struggled with: the complicated (to me) names, and my opinion of Okonkwo. Okonkwo, the main character, was one of the only ones I could get down straight. There were a lot of minor characters, and if I wasn’t paying the closest attention I would get them confused easily. Also I wouldn’t dare pronounce anything aloud. In my opinion of Okonwko, I couldn’t decide if I loved or hated him. It seemed I was either on the polar opposites of the scale with every page or nothing at all. He’s a strong, independent character who wants to preserve his culture, which is admirable, but sometimes he’s just so stubborn you want to throttle him.

If you like books based in other cultures, I would recommend this. Its quite interesting in that aspect, and it does pull at your heart strings somewhat too.

“I don’t go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me.”

—   Harry Potter; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)

“Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.”

—   A riddle to Bilbo from Gollum; The Hobbit: Riddles in the Dark (J.R.R. Tolkien)