What to Read For Women’s History Month

March is a great month for many reasons. First, it’s National Book Month and second, it’s Women’s History Month. Because I am definitely picking up my reading for National Book Month, I want to include some books are that ideal to celebrate Women’s History Month! There are many extraordinary lives to be honored this month, take a look at the reading selection and see if anything fits your fancy. Happy Book and Women’s Month to you all!

  1. 1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

HeLa-Cells-GalleyCat2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

americanah3. Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

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4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

untitled5. Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical by Sherie M. Randolph

56d728dd1e0000b3007033036.Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

tehran7. Women Race and Class-Angela Y. Davis.

6356358. Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr

sally-ride-9781476725772_hr9.  A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

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10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Of course, there are many book out there that celebrate women and their impact on the world, these are just a few of suggestions to get you started. New York Public library has complied a wonderful archive of literary things that are specifically for Women’s History Day. You can find it here. How are you celebrating Women’s History Month?

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: Norwegian Wood-Haruki Murakami

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What do you get when you mix melancholy steeped in alcohol, sex, and a large dose of sadness? If you’re thinking a Friday night gone wrong, then you’re partly right. Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood swept the best seller’s list in Japan and is now an international sensation. Murakami is known for his unique writing, targeting a certain emotion in all of us. This one was my first Murakami read (shocking I know) and I have to say, my head still feels like I came out of a lingering hangover. As I write this review, I feel impelled to take a swig of whatever drink is next me, put on shaded glasses, and pound out my feels on a typewriter (all for dramatics of course). Settling for my laptop keyboard instead, shall we dive into the caliginous pool that is Norwegian Wood?

The quiet and pensive Toru Watanabe is a young college student who begins his life at the doorstep of his dorm in Tokyo. Shouldering an already harboring sadness over the death of his best friend Kizuki, and a blossoming love for his dead best friend’s girl friend Naoko, Toru is left to retreat into the caverns of his own mind.  The book spins and wheels through his relationships, both sexual and platonic, as his adolescence grows into a peaking adult. Set in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, we see the times reflected in the characters as Murakami includes riots, sexual exploration and liberation, and political craftiness. Toru’s love for Naoko is prevalent throughout the entire novel; it is when our protagonist meets the eccentric Midori that the heaviness that lies inside him form into an even deeper emotion. The “manic pixie” girl Midori plays her role exactly as labeled. She is liberal, outspoken, emotionally sporadic and lovable by the quiet Toru. Norwegian Wood explores many elements of sadness, death, depression, and sex. However, it does it in a way that is melodic and slow, processing it one bite at a time. Murakami takes his time with the novel, savoring each emotion and character.

My feelings still stands as stated above: this book feels like a hangover. I know there are many fans of Murakmi out there, and perhaps I should give his other novels a go, but Norwegian Wood wasn’t a favorite for me. Maybe because everything was processed so slow in this novel, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. The characters were so-so and sometimes I couldn’t stand them. It was a good read, just not a favorite. It took me a bit to get into, but once I did, I enjoyed it a little more. I wasn’t “wowed” and it wasn’t as sad as many thought. Call me stone cold, but that’s just the way I felt about it. I do like the questions Murakami brings up about death and life itself. One particular quote is my favorite: “You try too hard to make life it your way of doings things…So stop what you’re doing this minute and get happy. Work at making yourself happy!” The novel really speaks for living your life and pursuing the things that make you happy-not wading in fear or sadness. Although it wasn’t a favorite for me, there are elements to the novel that were really enjoyable.  I do like the author’s writing style, and he has some intriguing prose in the mix. This one gets three stars from me. I’m curious to explore some more Murakami! Any recommendations?

 

 

 

Wednesday Words

I decided to start a weekly post every Wednesday dedicated to new (or old) words that are in reference to reading. I am absolutely in love with how words sounds so I though this would be a perfect post!

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What are some words that you love?

Source:Merriam Webster Dictionary

Book Review: Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman

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When I turned the last page on this magnetic book, I contemplated how I would write a review on a story whose web continues to be spun deeper. As one of my first Neil Gaiman novels, I was completely blown away by the craftiness of his “Alice and Wonderland” meets “Labyrinth”-esque novel. Gaiman created a dark underworld with animal- like humans and a magic that is anything but ethereal. 

It all begins with a mundane life inhabited by Richard Mayhew. Richard peruses through the humdrum of his life, which includes a decent job, a decent apartment, and a fiance. It isn’t until he sees a bleeding girl on the street of London, that his whole world turns upside down. The young girl, Door, introduces Richard to the underworld of London called London Below. It is in this dark world where Richard meets interesting characters, and his own strength is tested-both mentally and physically. Richard slips into the cracks of the unknown, a place where time and space drips chillingly down the walls. Door has the ability to open and unlock doors in practically any location. She, like the slew of charming characters reside in the underground of London. Richard accompanies Door on a adventure to solve the mystery of the murder of her family. Along the way, friends and enemies are made, and a literal and figurative beast makes an appearance.

It is without a doubt that Neverwhere will leave you constantly turning pages, and wondering what happens next. It is a mystery wrapped in fantasy shrouded with darkness. I admire Gaiman for writing such a fantastic novel,and I enjoyed it through and through. The characters are developed well and en capture the essence of the underground. The ending was slightly disappointing, however I am pleased with the overall outcome of the book. I would recommended this novel to anyone interested in twisted fantasies. Gaiman knows how to capture an audience and hold them in place. I am eager to read more Neil Gaiman novels to see if they match with Neverwhere. Although I have heard Neverwhere isn’t Gaiman’s best book, it exceeded my expectations (which are quite high), and I would definately save this book for a future second read!

What Neil Gaiman books are your favourite?

Art Submissions

As I know many of you are writers, artists,and bloggers, I want to start featuring your work on my blog each week. It’ll be a great way for you to share your work with others! I am open to submissions of any poems, short prose, artwork, guest posts, self-written articles, and more. Please email me at Jdai90@comcast.net or contact me through the blog. When you submit your work, please include any titles, images, and descriptions that you want to be included. Also include your name unless you want to be anonymous.

Thank you and I can’t wait!

Jessica

Reading Resolutions

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As 2013 comes to a close, let us all reflect on our year of reading. Did you read anything you hated or loved? What was your reading pattern like? Is there anything you would change about what you read or your reading pattern?

Here are a few of my reading resolutions:

1.Reading more non-fiction.

 2.Read more books (of course).

3.Buy more books from online vendors.

4.Review more books I have read.

 5.Read more dystopian novels.

What’s your reading resolution for 2014? Comment below and tell me your favorite read of the year. Happy New Year and many blessings!