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Top 5: Must Read Classics

                                                       Top 5: Must Read Classics

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Hello All

So here is yet again another top 5. This top 5 will outline my favourite classic fiction. Classic fiction has stood the test of time for sooo many reasons. Whether the stories can be applied to present day, how beautiful the writing is or how mind blowing the stories are, classic are timeless!!! Now I know classics are not for everyone, especially the writing styles and language but if you can get through these struggles these authors are quite brilliant for their time. The following 5 books are my favourite must read classics which you may or may not enjoy, I hope you do though.

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847 4.11 stars on good reads
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So this book was the first classic I picked up to read for leisure outside of school requirements. It was also one of my first big reads as the book is on the longer side. The book is set up in 5 phases of the main character Jane’s life: childhood, education, time as a governess at the Thornfields hall, time at the Moor house and the reunion with Edward Rochester. So not going to get into too many details but this book is full of drama, hardships, love, rejection and personal growth. This is also one of the best known love stories of all time along with anything Jane Austin writes.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 1868 4.06 stars are Goodreads

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Probably one of the first women coming of age novels. Story focuses around four women which each have such different distinct personalities. They go through the trials and tribulations of leaving childhood and breach into adulthood. The story’s timeline is one year, Christmas to Christmas. I could compare this story to a modern day Judy Bloom story! It outlines a totally different view due to the era it was written. Not only do these girls go through changes but they face them in a hard financial war ridden time. The girls have to face life without their father for a year! The 2 eldest then have to work in order to make ends meet. Great story!!

3. 1984 by George Orwell 1949 4.17 Stars on Goodreads

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This is one of the first dystopian novels published, way before Hunger Game times! It touches on the social issues such as the government’s reach into people’s everyday lives, repression, and how the government wants to control thoughts so no one has an original idea. George Orwell was a brilliant author with crazy insight for his time. It is set in an imagined future where civilization was damaged beyond repair by civil unrest. The leader Big Brother- the government- tries to control any individuality and the main character wants to be an individual. Great read for anyone not yet into classical fiction.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 1846 3.84 Stars on Goodreads

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This is a newer classic read for me. My friends all have differing opinions on this book. I thought it was kind of similar to other tragic forbidden love story books of its era. However it is still an easier classical fiction read and makes my top 5 list. Main character falls in love with a difficult and rude man who does not initially love her back or shows he loves her. Heathcliff, the poor mannered gentleman, allows Lockwood to stay at this house after seeing the ghost of his lost love Catherine. He falls ill and the love story is told by the housekeeper. Catherine loves Heahtcliff but it would have degraded her to marry him. Heathcliff overhears this conversation and runs away from the manner. She ends up marrying someone else and is unhappy. The story unfolds with a whole slew of debauchery, betrayal, revenge and mixed matched relationships.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin 1813 4.25 stars on Goodreads

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This story follows 5 daughters of Mr. Bennet. He is trying to get at least one of them married off so they may inherit his house and estate as he has no sons. It follows Elizabeth Bennet and her love story. It outlines the issues of marrying for love or for wealth which surprisingly is still in the spotlight today. The story has it all, love, betrayal, loss and humor. A read all around read for anyone to enjoy. From balls to cottages the settings in this British novel are great! All you could want from a book set in this era!!!!

What are some of your favorite classic fiction. What makes you apprehensive to read them. The old language is something to get used to but the stories stand the test of time!!! Please feel free to comment on your favourites below. Or did you not like one of the ones I listed? I would love to hear why.

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Happy Reading!!!!!

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book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature, top 5

Top 5 : Reading Hacks to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

Top 5 : Reading Hacks to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

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So we have all experienced a reading slump. Whether it be reading too many books in the same genre or after reading a series and cannot bring yourself to let go, a reading slump is the real deal. I have tried many ways to get myself out a reading block and the following 5 tips have been developed through trial and error. These hacks have worked for me and I am hoping by sharing them I can help some of my fellow book lovers get out of their hangovers If they do not work for you that all right as well. We are all different kinds of readers so something that works for one of us may not work for others. I hope you can use these as tools to develop hacks that work for you!

  1. Reading jar/ Blind date with a Book
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Ok so I am really excited about this one. I made one of these jars for date night and have adapted it for reading. The concept is you get an empty mason jar, popsicle sticks and multicoloured pens or markers. Then you research popular reads in all different genres, make a list. Genres to look up can include: horror, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, science fiction, thriller, mystery, memoirs, biographies, classics, contemporary, young adults etc.

You can now be simple or get creative. Colour code the genres and write each book title on a popsicle stick in the corresponding colour. Write anywhere from 5-10 books for each genre. You can also just pick one genre and write all the books you can find on the popsicle sticks. Now snaz up your mason jar. You can add all sorts of books ish pictures or famous quotes to the outside. Place the sticks in the jar all mixed up. Every time you are ready to choose a new book, reach into your jar and pick a stick. Then read the book the stick has on it!! Bam you have the reading jar.

I have not tired the blind date with a book but I believe it has the same concepts. I think there are some book subscriptions out there you can pay for. Or by the books yourself, wrap them all in the same unmarked wrapping and pick one yourself.

2. Join a book club

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This is a great one to read new and exciting books as well as to get out there and socialize!! There are so many different avenues to find a book club to join. Local libraries/ work/ friends or families or online are great forums to join. I know our local libraries have book face to face clubs as well as online discussion groups for those of us who are a bit too busy to commit to specific days.

Book clubs are a superb way to read out of your genres as books are suggested but others. These give you opportunities to read out of your comfort zone and expand your reading resume. I have actually made my own book club (keep an eye out for a post on how to create your own book club to be posted at a later date).

Even if you do not like the book the club has picked during the discussion you get a great insight as to why this book appeals to others.

3. Join a reading Challenge

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This is a relatively new concept for me. I have not heard of reading challenges until I became a part of bookstagram. It seems to be a great way to interact with other book lovers while getting over your reading hangover. It has more of a social media aspect if this is more up your alley.

The idea is each challenge has its own theme and you just read along until all the reading tasks are completed. Some cool themes are reading ABC’s ( a book with a title that starts with A, then B, then C etc. ) Book bingo which is a hugely popular one, genre challenge.

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The participant tried to read all the books in the challenge. There is usually a time time to complete each reading task by ie 30 days.

Places to find and join these challenges include: bookstagram, booktube, book blogs, goodreads and book riot .

4. Friend Recommendation

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The concept of KISS is pure and simple. Some of the best reads and best ways to get out of my reading rut are the books that have been recommended to me by friends!

Not all your friends share the all the same genre and book interests. It’s great when a friend suggests a book totally out of left field and it turns out to be one of your fav books. Along the same lines as a book club even if you don’t like the novel it’s neat to hear why your friend found the book a page turner and you didn’t!

5. Create or join a book swap Group

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So this may be a new one for you I know it was far me. The idea is you get a group of people together who own books. You then choose a book you own and have read and swap with members in the group. Everyone swaps one book. You can do descending alphabetical so last name with a B swaps a book with last name C then descend through the list. You can also put everyone’s name in a hat, choose a name and swap a book with that person. There are so many options for this particular hack the outcomes have endless possibilities. !

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I had so much from making this post!! This has to be one of my favourite posts as of yet. I have been in so many reading slumps and hangovers its unreal. Each time it has taken me so long to get back into my reading routine. These 5 hacks, especially the book club and reading jar have been my book saviours. I hope these will help you with your ruts!! If any of you have other hack you use please I would love to hear them!!!!!

Happy Reading!!!!!

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Top 5: Beach Reads

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It is the season of sandy toes and soaking up the rays.  Imagine being warmed to the core by sun beams all while having the majestic view of light dancing along the water in front of you.  What better way to enjoy this feeling than with a god read curled up on a beach chair sipping bubbly beverage. One of my favourite places to read in the summer is on the beach/eater front.  I think I have mentioned this before in past blog post but here in Canada we do not have a long truly hot summer season. I try to enjoy the warm weather and beach scenery whenever I get the chance.  Bringing along a great read just enhances this experience for me. There are so many amazing books to appreciate while lounging in the sun. These 5 are just a scratch on the surface of available beach reads this year.  If you have any suggestion for your favourite beach reads I would love to hear them!!

  1. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (2016)

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I just recently read Love and Gelato and thought it would be a great book to enjoy in the heat of the summer.  Somehow hot weather, love and icecream all go hand in hand and this book and all 3! 

It follows Lina who just recently lost her mother to cancer.  Her mother’s dying wish was for Lina to go live in Florence with a man Lina has never heard of or met -Howard.    Lina then discovers her mother had a whole different life in Florence. One of her mother’s old acquaintances giver her a journal and from there ensues a journey throughout her mother’s previous life.  With the grandiose backdrop of Florence Lina goes to all the places her mother mentions in her journal trying to figure out why she left and how Howard turned out to be her estranged father. With the help of a local boy Lina journeys through so many emotions and feels I could not put the book down.  It also made me crave gelato like mad which is perfect to enjoy by the beach side.  

2. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin  (2018)

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Another one of my recent reads All We Ever Wanted went straight to the top among my books I loved in 2019 list.   It’s a great women’s fiction contemporary piece with an easy to read feel. If you’re looking for a story of lives interchanging and values  questioned and chosen this is right up your alley. Is a great book where the reader can really get invested in the lives of the characters, which is one of the ticket items I look for in a beach read.

This story follows a couple main characters while they try to navigate through a horrible situation.  Nina and her son Finch face allegations that he took a horribly inappropriate picture of fellow classmate Lyla.  This all takes place in a rich private school in Nashville. Lyla’s father tries to stand up for Lyla and her values while battling the powers of wealth and privilege.   It really brings into light current hot topic issues of social media in today’s society along with wealth versus middle class social rights.   

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)

It may be an older title but man what a psychological thriller!  The dark, gloomy suspenseful feel of this book is in stark contrast to the light warm feeling i get at the beach.  I think this parallel is why I like reading thrillers and murder mysteries on the waterfront. Even though these books send shivers down my spine the warmth I feel at the beach counteracts this.  What do you all feel about reading gloom and doom while enjoying some summer fun? Ya or nay?

Gone Girl is one of those books is a crazy out of this world ending.  Nick Dunne finds that his wife Any is missing. Throughout the novel suspicion of course falls on the husband.  Relationship issues come to light and mysterious journal entries explain 2 very different versions of a marriage.  Where is Amy and why is she gone? Is Nick Dunne the perfect husband or is he a villain? Is Amy an innocent victim or a horrible wife?   All these questions and answers unwind in a fast paced, page turning, you can’t put this book down feel!! Great to binge read while drying off in between dips in the water.

4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (2017)

I just finished this one in June.   Little Fired Everywhere was a delve into the picture perfect family in the picture perfect neighbourhood.  Low and behold no family is picture perfect. It takes a mother and her daughter renting their rental house to truly bring all the family issues and resentment to light.  The Richardsons rent their house out the Mia and Pearl. The children soon become fast friends but their friendship brings out the best and worst of each person. After an adoption issue rocks their little perfect neighbour hood even more secrets come to light.  This is a great for anyone who loves a page turner where each chapter reveals something scandalous. Core issues of mother daughter bonds and family ties writtle this dynamic read!

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott  Fitzgerald (1925) 

So this is a considerably older read from the novels I have mentioned above.  This classic just seeps with summer fun. From crazy parties with a mysterious host to forbidden summer love it has everything I want to drift off to while taking in the sun.  Classic books are not for everyone. The Great Gatsby is an easy to read relatively short novel that is a great bring along to any beach day.  

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Who among us has not curled up on a blanket riddled with sand and opened up the crisp pages of a book?  Beach reads have to be one of my favourite things I look forward to while I wait out the endless months of winter.  Which are your favourite beach read? Do any of you like a specific genre while you are watching the waves roll in?  

Happy Reading!!!!!

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Top 5: Books that Should be Made into Movie

Top 5: Books that Should be Made into Movies

So with all the remakes and live action movies coming out I thought we should get the book world more screen time! We all have mixed feelings about book to movie adaptations. They care either go really well or crash and burn, and let’s face it they usually crash and burn. The follow 5 books are stories that I think would transcribe to the big screen and the special effects would be mind blowing.

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book sparks such vivid images in my imagination. I think the Night Circus would have breathtaking illusions on the big screen. All the different circuses the 2 magicians Marco and Celia conjure up could be visually dazzling in a movie. I would love to see the directors take on some of the circus themes and performances that take place in Le Cirque des Reves. The love story between Marco and Celia is so different than anything on the romance market it would be a nice break in the cinema.

2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I do love me a good post apocalyptic book and Station Eleven delivers. I would love to see how the world looks and the devastation after the Swine Flu pandemic. I love who all the characters are somehow connected to the pre breakdown of civilization. I think the flash back/ present day views would translate great to a motion picture. The dystopian apocalyptic genre has been really popular as of late and I think Station Eleven would be a nice addition.

3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Myers

I think everyone who has read these books can agree if made into a movie the special effects would be out of this world. Cyborg, space and monsters all mixed together in a series of movies is a sure win at the box office!!! I would be interested to see their take on the how lunar cyborg aspect and how they would make the lunar people shimmer.

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The first book that got me to truly love the historical fiction genre. I believe the sheer background and setting would make this a astonishing film. Any type of world war movies are usually a hit with movie goers. I would be so interested to see how they choose to portray Marie-Laure LeBlanc’s view as she is blind. Seeing the Sea of Flames jewel and the lengths Marie- Laure’s father goes to hide it would be so moving. All the Lights We Cannot see could translate to a heart wrenching movie experience.

5. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Lastly I choose the Hazel Wood because for the anticipation of how the visual and imaginatroy scenes would play out on film. This book was so whimsical and fantastic the visual effects/ scenes in the Hinterland would be so fun to view as a movie. Alice Three times would be a spooky and thrilling experience to sit through as well as all the stories Tales from the Hinterland. Seeing twice killed Katherine and her bird would be intriguing!

These are just a few of the book I choose as I think the visual and special effects would be out of this world. If you have any other book to movie suggestions I would love to hear them and they reasons why you choose it!

Happy Reading!!!!