Book Review: Beloved-Toni Morrison

beloved

I am beloved and she is mine.

Life is like the ocean at times. Steady, rocking you back and forth-gentle. But waves come crashing, burying your head, your body, soul and everything in between in the abyss where no voice can be heard. It’s the strain, the belly full of what-ifs, the lungs pressed against the mind-drowning in your own life or the lives of the would haves.

Beloved felt exactly like fading in an ocean. Toni Morrison captures life and death and all it’s fineness and places it in a slavery novel that is so much more than  just about slavery. Sethe the protagonist and pioneer in the novel, lives with her daughter Denver in the house that is known as 124.  124 embodies the essence of a  home, but in the house resides a darkness that takes over the life of Sethe and Denver. When former Sweet Home slave and friend of Sethe, Paul D., comes to visit , his presence penetrates that haunted darkness and stirs an awakening. History arises and is retold through the people, the voices, songs, and scars that are bore into the house of 124. When the character that is known as Beloved shows her face, the waves pour over everything and everyone. Morrison encloses the reader into a world that is real and guttural. Morrison writes about slavery from the persepctive of man ,woman, brother, sister, grandmother, daughter, son, and ghost. It is the names that are unspoken and untold, that are imprinted beneath the skin of both Sethe and the reader. There are so many themes and symbols that are uncovered while reading. The meaning of home, of motherhood, of history. What is the true definition of home? Sethe uses her motherhood as the overarching cannon that a mother would rather kill than see pain; slavery pain inflicted on her children. Beloved is a classic for a reason, and I am disapointed in myself for having read this only now.

“….in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. “

As for my review…well this one is quite difficult as there SO many things that can be discussed within it. But if I am giving an overall review, then I have to say that this novel is a solid 5/5 stars. I’ve read the The Bluest Eye by Morrison before, so I was used to her writing style. However, if you have not read anything by her before, her style can be quite daunting and difficult to get used to. Morrison mixes poetry, and illusion, and imagery, and allory, and prose all at once, so if you aren’t paying paying attention, then it might fly right over you. I really admire her ability to be both a poet and author together. It’s not for everyone. Beloved is a learning tool and you should be fully prepared to open your eyes when reading this novel. The only criticism I have with the novel, is that yes, you must pay close attention to the words and the things in between or you will miss the point-the stories of the characters. Beloved is used in many college classroom, and for good reason. There is a pervasive amount of topics that one can amalgamate. There are so many reasons why I love this novel that I would have to dedicate another posting just on my musings about Beloved. I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone with closes eyes or ears. Or anyone not willing to get lost in the waves and sink. This is a special novel that deserves all the praise and acclamation. If you haven’t read a Toni Morrison novel yet, start abruptly with Beloved.

is a pervasive amount of topics that one can amalgamate.

Autumnal Reading for 2015

Fall is such a beautiful season in my opinion, I love watching the leaves turn colors, I’ve noticed that while living in South Korea, the fall season is absolutely beautiful here. When the weather changes so does the mood and time. Along with that, comes my reading preferences. I really like lengthening the density of my books, so I generally opt for thicker tomes. Darker settings also curve my appeal, as I tend to pick books with heavy plots. I also feel like I have a lot of time during the fall to read, so it’s my peak reading season. It’s a great time to curl with up a book, and just hibernate into winter. What makes fall reading so great? Is it the crispy weather? The shorter days coaxing you to come inside? It is the weather you can bury underneath, or the smell of pumpkin everything that entices you sip something hot? Either way, fall is my favorite season to read for. Below I have compiled a list of books that are ideal for the fall. Some old, some new, some read, some not. Enjoy 🙂

  1. Antonement-Ian McEwan

2.  Beloved-Toni Morrison

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3. Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

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4. House of Leaves-Mark Z. Danielewski

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5. Between the World and Me-Ta Nehisi Coates

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6.  A Little Life-Hanya Yanagihara

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7. City of Fire-Garth Risk Hallberg

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8. Wilberforce-H.S. Cross

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9. Hamlet-William Shakespeare

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10. Lord of the Rings series-J.R.R. Tolkien

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What are you reading this fall season? Drop me a line if you want me to customize a fall reading list for you~I’d be happy to do so!

The Man Booker Prize of 2015 Winner is….

marlon james

Congratulations to Marlon James the winner of the Man Booker Prize of 2015.  The Man Booker Prize 2015 was announced Tuesday night, October 13th. James won for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings which is an epic tale about the gang violence in Jamaica, the almost assination of Bob Marley, and the expansion of corruption in the neighborhood.

His novel beat out front runner Hanya Yanagihara’s highly discussed novel, A Little Life.  There is currently a lot of buz surrounding Marlon James’ novel and  even though I have never read his novel, I’m excited to see a Jamaican writer win this year (whoop!).  He is also the FIRST Jamaican writer to win in all of the 47 years the Man Booker Prize has been active.

Gutteral, powerful, and downright gripping, A Brief History of Seven Killings is making giant waves. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and I urge you to do the same! Congratulations again Marlon James!

Read more about Marlon James and the Man Booker Prize here.

Book Review: The Paying Guests-Sarah Waters

the paying guests

First, I should apologize for being gone for so long. Things have been a whirlwind lately, but I’m happy to be back and deliver some bookish news and reviews for you all.

There has been so much buzz about Sarah Waters’ new novel The Paying Guests, so I knew I had to get my hands on a copy somehow. I had previously read Waters’ Tipping the Velvet and had really enjoyed it, so I was truly looking forward to reading her newest work. Sarah Waters has a marvelous way of writing thats pulls in the reader very slowly and surely, and once you’re in,  you’re completely hooked. She pays attention to detail, and takes her time with her characters.  You can tell her love of  historical backgrounds and early 20th century settings, as she creates a world and story with both of these things.

The novel is interwoven with relationships and their rise and fall and shortcomings. The relationship between two people, Frances Wray and Lilian Barber are peeled layer by layer, leaving the characters exposed and vulnerable in the reader’s hand. Frances Wray and her widowed mother decide to take in tenants due to the hardships left by the First World War. Lilian and her husband Leonard Bernard move in to the house with Frances and her mother, and it is here the shift is made. Relationships are made and tested, love intervenes and pushes the boundaries, and mental and physical spaces are stretched and pulled. Waters creates interesting dynamics between characters as mysteries and secrets unfold at Champion Hill.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Paying Guests, and would recommended it to anyone who wants a good juicy historical fiction. I poured through the pages and was never left with a dull feeling. If you know or have read anything by Waters, then you know what to expect. I was impressed with how she creates relationships and builds upon them, all the while creating shifts in the setting and further deepening the plot. It was not a difficult read, and it was quite enjoyable (although lugging around a 564 page hardcover is not so fun).  Towards the end of the novel, the story dragged on a bit, and I just wanted it to come to a conclusion (you’ll understand why if you’ve read the book). Also the ending is extremely anti-climatic and I was very disappointed by the way it ended. I felt as if Waters herself didn’t know how to end the novel, so it transfers that way to the reader. With that being said, overall I was highly pleased with The Paying Guests and would give it a giant thumbs up. It’s a bestseller must read and Waters has a long career ahead of her if she keeps writing great stories like this one.  A sure read, The Paying Guests isn’t one to disappoint.

withwith with how she creates relationships and builds upon them