Sunday, November 29

56 pages down, 432 to go...

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation"

So... this blog may turn into me venting about my life a little more than I intended. I will try to keep the focus on books and reading, which isn't too difficult since I am an English major. Which I am kind of questioning right now. I loved English in high school. I looked forward to the class every day, liked the reading, writing, all of it. But now, I am beginning to question that. Was it because I had amazing teachers? They made me want to learn and now I am just not getting inspired by my dull professors? I seriously have had only two professors so far that actually made me truly interested in their class. All of the others, not really that exciting. Is that how college is supposed to be? I don't know. I just feel like I am waiting for a class and professor that actually makes me fall in love with education again. I loved high school. That was part of the reason that I wanted to be a high school English teacher. It just made sense to me.

Anyways, that was a long rant. The point was that I have 432 pages of American Literature to get through today. I have been sick and in the hospital for the past month (really, really long story) so I am really behind. And my professor wants me to take an incomplete for his class even though I am completely capable of making up the work if he gives me alternative assignments. Which he would have to do if I took an incomplete anyways. I don't even know. It is so frustrating. I am not the "take an incomplete" type of person, if you know what I mean. I am used to perfect. I am not saying that I am perfect by any means; I am so far from it. But in school, it is the only thing that I can do perfectly. I can get good grades if I try really hard. It makes up for not being perfect in every other aspect of my life. Ugh being a perfectionist sucks.

I am just going on and on and not getting to the point of this post. I am meeting with my professor tomorrow to talk about how I am going to finish his class and I haven't done the reading for the past few weeks. So, that is why I have to read all 432 pages in order to prove that I actually can finish his pointless class before Christmas. And as an English major, I feel like I should be enjoying what I am forced to read. I'm not really. And that makes me question everything all over again.

Here is the reading list for today:

Walden by Thoreau
Narrative of Life by Douglass
Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne
The Birthmark by Hawthorne
The Philosophy of Composition by Poe
The Raven by Poe
The Fall of the House of Usher by Poe
William Wilson by Poe
Bartleby the Scrivener by Melville
Leaves of Grass by Whitman

I will update later with reviews of all of these. Hopefully, they will get better. So far, Walden was not a success for me. Granted, I only read the first two chapters, but it did drag on for a while. I really liked his main message for the simplicity of life and that mankind needs a connection with nature, but some of his examples and explanations were too long. Overall, the chapters made me think, which is always a good sign after reading something profound. Thoreau definitely got his message through and left me thinking about the vanity of my own life. Especially after going shopping yesterday when I have more than enough clothes.

Back to reading.

Saturday, November 28

A good chick lit series does exist

The genre of "chick lit" is usually not considered a good read. Usually, these short books are filled with drama, relationships, and fashion, lacking in any literary value. I do admit that I have been known to read an occasional It Girl or Private series once in a while. It is mindless reading that doesn't require much thought.

A few years ago, my sister and I discovered a series that gives "chick lit" a new feel. Pretty Little Liars is a fresh, new series that gives the reader the typical juicy details and secrets, along with suspense that makes you keep reading. The series follows the lives of four girls who were best friends in middle school. Their clique fell apart when their leader, Allison, disappeared. Now, years later, the four return to their hometown. No longer friends and dealing with the constant struggle of high school, the girls begin receiving messages from the mysterious"A." Somehow, "A" knows each girl's deepest secrets that only Allison knew. Where did Allison disappear to? Who is "A"? Believe me, these questions will keep you reading. You will not be able to put it down.

This series has been around for a few years and Sara Shepard releases new books constantly. The next installment, Heartless, will be released in January, 2010. Here is a list of the series so far:

1. Pretty Little Liars

2. Flawless

3. Perfect

    4. Unbelieveable

    5. Wicked

    6. Killer

    Friday, November 27

    Hello :]

    Dear fellow book junkies,
    I have been obsessed with reading since I can remember. And now, years later, as a sophomore in college, I definitely do not have as much time to snuggle up with a blanket and escape into a good story. It is much more difficult to take the time to read something that I am interested in when I have hundreds of pages of English Lit that I have to read a week. The one drawback of being an English major. It makes reading for fun just that much harder to accomplish. So, I am making an effort to actually read. It is one of my favorite things to do. But, after reading Beowulf, it is sometimes so much easier to turn on the television. Well, no more.
    From now on, I am going to READ. And I am hoping that writing this blog will make me not get lost in my busy day to day life and take some time to myself. I will update this with reviews, new books, books into movies, etc. Probably, no one will actually read this. But that's alright. It will just be fun to write it :] And if there is someone listening, I hope you enjoy it. It is just that much easier to know what to read when you have a recommendation. So, here we go :]