Monday, April 8, 2013

Alias Grace

Bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, yet disturbing work so far. The reader is immediately taken back to the 19th century to visit one of America's most notorious female criminals/prisoners.

The story revolves around the main character, Grace Marks. She was convicted for the brutal murder of her employers. However, not all believe Grace is guilty, some think she is completely innocent and others think she is insane. The problem with Grace Marks is that she claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan is engaged by a group seeking a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story whilst attempting to bring her closer to the day she cannot, or chooses not to remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is it a vicious, evil female's story or will it be the tale that leads one to believe Grace is the victim?

Overall, great read! I highly recommend it to everyone, especially those of you that are interested in prison writing or women's issues. I promise that although it is written in a century far from our own, the morals it teaches are universally pertinent, no matter what the time period.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Am I Missing Something?

Can somebody please tell me what this crazy obsession with The Hunger Games is about?

         Personally, I was turned off completely when I read the first few pages. I felt as if I was somehow too old to be reading the material. The writing style was geared more towards adolescents or young adults than towards the college educated, especially an English major. My boyfriend, along with my mother, has read the books and love them. Sadly, they are not the only ones with this opinion.

I must be missing something. The ideas, the characters, the plot, everything about the books felt juvenile.

 .Will someone please tell me what I am missing here? Is there anything enticing about this trilogy? I am pretty hard-headed, so I DARE YOU to try to change my mind about The Hunger Games.

Please, feel free to use the comment section to change my mind, argue, debate, anything! Let's talk about BOOKS!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh, to be as good of an author as the great Stephen King....

Wouldn't it be nice?

Stephen King is one of the greatest American authors of all time. He is well renowned for his contemporary horror and suspense novels. King has received an immense amount of awards for his creativity and skill. Some of the many include the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (2004), several Bram Stoker Awards, and awards from the Horror Guild. Stephen began like many other writers, simply writing for fun while in school for his Bachelors Degree in English. He Graduated from the University of Maine in 1970 and had already sold his first professional short story, The Glass Floor (1967). Whilst teaching high school, King wrote and sold many short stories and also developed a drinking problem. By this time, Stephen had married and wrote his first novel, Carrie in '73. By 1975 he had already finished his fourth novel and in 1977 he was a creative writing professor at the University of Maine, where he had graduated just 7 years before. In the late 70's, King wrote his eight book epic called The Dark Tower. By 2002, King stopped writing, partially due to his physical injuries that resulted from a car accident in 1999. Since that time, Stephen King has  resumed writing, but said,

"I'm writing but I'm writing at a much slower pace than previously and I think that if I come up with something really, really good, I would be perfectly willing to publish it because that still feels like the final act of the creative process, publishing it so people can read it and you can get feedback and people can talk about it with each other and with you, the writer, but the force of my invention has slowed down a lot over the years and that's as it should be.

Between '02 and now, King has written a column in Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Comics published  comic books based on the Dark Tower series, and he has written several novels, as well as short stories. Stephen King has had his share of setbacks, however he never let that hold him back from doing what he loved. The authors that King says most influenced him are Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and H.P. Lovecraft. Many of his books have been developed into films like The Shawshank Redemption. 

As an English major with hopes to write novels, Stephen King is a great mentor for me to look up to. Not only do I love his books, but I also respect him a great deal as a person after reading his book On Writing, which gave great insight into Stephen King's personal life, the struggles he had to overcome, and the factors that influenced him into becoming the man he is today. I highly recommend anything and everything authored by Stephen King; Truly one of America's great minds.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Dress Lodger

Sheri Holman's The Dress Lodger is a novel that truly reaches depths of your soul. As a modern-day female, it is hard to think about a life like that of the novel's protagonist, Gustine. She works two jobs, with only one day of rest in order to take care of her baby. The trouble is that her child has a rare heart deformity and must be treated with the utmost amount of care. During the day, she works as a potter's assistant and at night, she is what we could call today, a high-end prostitute. Her Pimp, or the dress lodger is Whilky Robinson. He allows Gustine to borrow an intoxicatingly beautiful blue gown so that she might reach a higher-end clientele whilst she strolls the dangerous streets at night. Behind her, every evening, is The Eye, who watches and protects the dress Gustine rents. Throughout the novel, your heart is aching for Gustine and the well-being of her infant child, but if you know novels, a happy ending is not likely to occur. Even though one would look down on Gustine now for working the streets, in the 17th century, it was a common part of daily life to cross paths with a whore because of the truely separated social classes and the inability for the poor to rise above to a higher class. Looking at Gustine from a 17th century point of view, I feel sorrow and empathy for her. This life is the only one that is in the books for Gustine and she will do anything to save her baby and offer him a good life. The Dress Lodger is a novel that embodies the unfair treatment of females and the indigent. After reading this book, you will surely be glad to be part of the 21st century, especially if you are a woman.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

This dark, sexual drama is filled with the fantasies of a young, naive Anastasia. When she meets Christian Grey, you can feel the butterflies fluttering inside her stomach and the attraction is mutual. However, not everything works out as she'd dreamed because Grey has a few secrets. They include a Red Room of Pain, which Ana is especially intrigued and mortified by. This is a MUST read for anyone who has ever dreamed of meeting your knight in shining armor, that talk, dark, and handsome type you save in your thoughts for late at night.

The author is able to envelope you in a dark shadow where everything taboo is acceptable. I had great difficulty putting this thrilling novel down and I know you will too. On to the next one.....