Chloe: Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites is a new weekly feature that asks readers to share their favorite books. If you would like to contribute just shoot me a message!

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Tell us a bit about yourself!

My first love is knitting! Above anything else, I love the tranquility and meditative peace it brings me, and also having something I created to wear proudly. I also enjoy reading, and I have recently started reading a good deal more than I had been. In January this year I promised myself that I would try to read at least one book per month, and I’ve already finished twenty books, so I’ve surpassed my goal!

 

Aside from hobbies, I work as a massage therapist at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. I didn’t realize that I loved the mountains as much as I do until I moved here. I also have a petite corgi named Chubbs (I know, ironic) who is just the sweetest, goodest little girl that I ever did meet. And she loves to give me kisses. I also have an extremely supportive boyfriend named Jeff, who is very camera shy.
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What types of books are you drawn to?

I love high fantasy! Anything with magic, set in times where ladies wore corsets and people still used bows and arrows, swords, shields, etc. I’m happy to read most fiction, though, and love to have people personally recommend books for me to read. I also love an old-fashioned mystery novel.

If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?

I would choose Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Agatha Christie. I truly enjoy reading books from well before my time. There was such a different quality in writing than there is now, and there’s something magically beautiful about that.

Which classic or popular book do you hate?

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens; Read Yourself Happy; book blog; reading blog; book recommendations

I will admit, reading something when you are a child and disliking it can leave a very sour taste in your mouth about that particular book, but I don’t like to proclaim that I dislike something until I’ve given it a second shot once I’ve had a few years to stew on it. That said, I absolutely abhor Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It’s supposed to be fantastic and brilliant, and I’ve read it twice now–once in my homeschool years, forced upon me by my mother, who proclaimed it was literature and therefore a necessary part of my education, and then again about six or seven years later. I thought being older would help me understand it better, but it was still just as confusing as it had been when I was a child. Needless to say, the word ‘literature’ filled me with dread for a very long time.

How do you keep track of books you’ve finished and books you want to read?

I had this cute little reading log when I was a kid that I loved. I had used a folded up piece of pink construction paper and several pages of notebook paper folded and tucked inside the pink and stapled into place. From a young age, my mother indulged me in my love for office supplies, buying me a date stamp (like librarians used to have to stamp to the cards in books before they changed to an automated system) so I could feel really official when I started or finished a book. I recorded the title and author and designated a little spot for comments I had about the book.


I looked up online reading records a couple months ago and stumbled across Goodreads.com, which I had somehow never heard of. It made me actually want to start reading more, and to challenge myself to meet a goal of reading x number of books in a year. I love it!

What are your five favorite books, and why?

  • I feel like Pride and Prejudice should be on everyone’s favorites list somewhere. It’s a classic. The way that Austen writes is so profoundly different from modern authors that it still makes it a challenging read every time (and I’ve read it four or five times now), but it’s also rewarding. I got my own personal copy from a used bookstore in Southport, NC called Books ‘n Stuff, and the previous owner had written several things in the margins, making it feel well-loved and like someone had thumbed through to their favorite passages every time they felt like they needed a little old-world charm added to their day.
  • Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None fights Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the top spot in my favorites. I simply love how chilling and morbid and creepy and horrific the book is, how genuinely terrified you feel while reading it, praying that at least one of the characters will make it off the island…but they don’t. ‘Nuff said.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik will hold a special place in my heart. One day, after work, I got home, ready to plunk down on the couch and knit until bedtime…then the power went out. I was really scared (not of the dark, but of the power not ever coming back on), so my boyfriend and I lit a bunch of candles and I randomly picked this book off the shelf and started to read. And read. And read. I couldn’t put it down. I felt almost physically in pain every time I had to part with it, to go to work or to hang out with a friend. All I wanted to do was read this book. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend was getting upset at how much time I was spending with it. It’s based on Polish fairy tales, which makes it different from a lot of the books I’ve read that are fantasy or science fiction. The antagonist of the book isn’t a person, but rather corruption of the Wood, which came from an ancient wrong done to someone who became a tree. It festered in her heart until she corrupted the entire forest around her, creating poisonous fruit and dangerous monsters. Magic plays a large role in this, but also the intuition of a young girl, who isn’t particularly beautiful or special. I’ll move on to the next book before I end up laying out the entire plot.
  • Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The reason I chose the second in the series is because it felt incredibly real. I can’t give away too many spoilers, but one of the main character’s closest friends dies in this book, and the way the author writes Celaena’s grief is intensely perfect. It’s irrational at times, and I feel that that alone made this book kind of epic. I haven’t finished the series, but I’ve read reviews of each book that I have read and can only offer that no one should read the reviews that other people have written about these books. Maas poured herself into her work and you can tell in some of the themes repeated throughout the series. The main character has several different love interests as the series progresses and each one helps to shape and form her as she grows into what she needs to become. I love that Celaena changes gradually, and I found it frustrating that other readers who had reviewed these books didn’t share my appreciation for Maas’ creative musings, or letting her character evolve. Fans wanted Celaena to stay exactly the way she was in the first book, and with all of what happens to her, that was never going to happen. I’m so glad Maas decided to follow her heart instead of pandering to greedy fans, because it made the series that much more genuine and true to itself.
  • I read Heir Apparent when I was pretty young, maybe eleven or twelve. I can’t really place why I love it so much, other than nostalgia. This book does cross from modern science fiction into high fantasy, and the main character ‘dies’ so many times, and learns from her mistakes, only to learn that the game she is playing is actually not possible to win. I highly recommend it, if only so you can see into my childhood a little bit to see how it was shaped.

Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.

Jane Austen quotes; read yourself happy

Author: Penny Wright

Absolutely bookish.

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