Day 25: Favourite book you read in school.
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which books burn. Bradbury’s dystopian novel concerns itself with issues of censorship and media influence. In a police state where books are banned and burned by ‘firefighters’, Guy Montag starts the novel as a worker loyal to the state and slowly progresses to the point where he wishes to be free of it. The world presented through Guy’s eyes is a bleak one, particularly to someone who idolises books as much as I do! But it is a great novel to study and generally read.
I read this book for one of my university literature subjects, and I loved it. Especially the resulting discussions about censorship and media influence in society. This is one book that I really need to get around to reading again.
Day 26: Your favourite nonfiction book.
So I really suck at this…. The whole ‘posting every day’ thing. Fingers crossed that I’ll actually start doing this challenge properly some time soon!
Anyway… My favourite nonfiction book. I didn’t even have to think about this one.
Night – Elie Wiesel
I have only read Night once, but the memory of that reading has stayed with me throughout the seven years since. This is such a dramatic and beautiful book. The dramatic is perfectly understanding, but the beautiful way iin which t was written completely took me by surprise. Night is Elie Wiesel’s memoir of his experiences as a fifteen year-old Polish Jew during World War II, specifically his experiences in the Auschwitz III – Monowitz concentration camp.
This book is nothing short of heartbreaking, and 100% revealing. It is used within schools to explore humanity and the absence of it, and I couldn’t think of a better example. Wiesel’s description of life within the concentration camp is brutal, and yet magnificently told. I clearly remember one passage which always sticks out in my mind as being particularly beautiful, and it described the sight of human ashes rises up into the night sky.
I haven’t read Night since 2005. I want to re-read it, and I am terrified of doing so. This is such a strong and powerful memoir, and I just haven’t found the courage to pick it up again. But if you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest that you do.
Day 27: Your favourite book title
And one more post to get myself up to date!
I thought long and hard about this day’s challenge. I’ve read so many books, it’s hard to pick out one title from all of them. In the end I chose a title that I love, not just for the words alone, but for what they mean within the story of the novel itself.
The Well of Shades – Juliet Marillier
Juliet Marillier will probably feature quite heavily in this challenge. She is my favourite author, the one whose books I can read and feel as if she’s written it just for me. The Well of Shades is the third (and hopefully not final!) book in the Bridei Chronicles, an historical fantasy series which follows the life of Bridei, who in history was King of the Picts until his death in the 580s. In the novel series, Bridei is a honourable and lovable man who comes into power at a young age. Well of Shades, however, focuses more on Bridei’s companion and bodyguard, Faolan as he travels to Ireland to reconnect with his family (who just might be my favourite character of all time – so many favourites in this post!).
The well of shades of the title physically refers to a dark cavern in which the previous kings had sacrificed young maidens to appease a god. Bridei had put an end to this practice in an earlier book, refusing to sacrifice more lives. Subsequently the title is more metaphorical, referring to the ‘well of shades’ within each of us. The darkness within that each person must overcome in order to live peacefully and happily. In keeping with this, each of the characters in this novel is forced to overcome their own personal well of shades, they confront the darkness within and (hopefully) overcome it.
The Well of Shades is my favourite title because of what it represents. Because of the way that these characters fight for what they truly believe in, even against themselves. It’s hard to explain why I adore this title (and the book) as much as I do without giving the story away. So, naturally, I’d recommend that you give the Bridei Chronicles a try and see for yourself why The Well of Shades is my favourite title out of all of the books I have read!
Day 28: The last book you read
As I stated in my last post (5 minutes ago!), I am in the middle of reading Before Midnight, a young adult novel which is part of the “Once Upon a Time” series of fairy tale retellings. The last book I read was also a part of this series.
Midnight Pearls – Debbie Viguié
Midnight Pearls was a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I actually really enjoyed the way Viguié chose to deviate from the original Andersen story, and from the Disney film that is so well known. However, several of the situations and in particular the character of the Sea Witch were very similar to the Disney film, and I did find this somewhat annoying.
Aside from this small annoyance, I did really enjoy Midnight Pearls. The novel surprised me with several of the twists and turns it took. Expect surprises if you read this novel, none of it is quite what it seems!
Day 29: Book you’re currently reading
So apparently I’m pretty terrible at this posting every day thing… But in my defence, I have been busy renovating one of the rooms at home. Which is also the defence I’m going to use to explain the book I am currently reading…. 😛
Before Midnight – Cameron Dokey
This is a young adult novel, part of a series of fairy tale retellings called “Once Upon a Time”, and it’s been just what I’ve needed. Though honestly I haven’t had much time for reading this past week. Before Midnight retells the well known story of Cinderella and so far it’s been a really interesting take on the traditional story – Dokey even managed to get the pumpkins in there! Cendrillon (child of the cinders) has been raised alongside Raoul, a boy around her own age with no idea where he came from. I’m interested to see where this story will go, who the mysterious Raoul is and what role he will play in this retelling.
I do love a good fairy tale adaptation. One of my favourite shows at the moment is “Once Upon a Time” with Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin, and my favourite novel is an amazing spin on Beauty and the Beast. I’ve got eight of these young adult novels to go through, judging by how interesting I’ve been finding them, they should keep me entertained!
Day 30: Favourite coffee table book
So I’ve decided to have a bit of fun and try to complete a 30 Day Challenge, specifically about books. 🙂 I found this challenge online somewhere but have decided to twist it a little by doing it backwards. Mostly because I don’t want to tell you my favourite book until the very end. 😛 Ready? And off we go!
The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World
Really, how could I ever go past this book? It is a collection of photographs of some very amazing libraries throughout the world. This collection has stunning images of beautiful books, art, architecture and rooms throughout the world and is just a fantastic thing for anyone to be able to flip through and admire.
Here’s some of the featured libraries, just to show you how amazing this book is!
Royal Library in El Escorial
New York Pulbic Library
Long Room, Trinity College Library
And many, many more! 😀