Under Pressure (Reading Pressure)

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Since my journey into the booktube/bookinstagram community I have a new sense of pressure. Pressure to read as much as possible, read critically and diversely, and come up with refreshing and intelligent thoughts on books that I have read, and the pressure to read “worthy” books.  This newfound pressure is becoming unwelcome into my life. I have a full time job, loved ones and a life like everyone else. Instead of focusing on the most important things, I find myself worrying about not reading enough and what books I am reading. Picking the next book to read has become impossible. I stare at my bookshelf and wonder what if this book isn’t good enough and I’m wasting my time? Am I reading diversely enough? Is this a “fluff” book? Do I really want to read a book that I might not love or that isn’t up to the standards that have become even harder to reach lately? There can be so much judgement on what you read and your thoughts on it. I’ve been noticing it more and more. You can see it when booktubers post videos with “unpopular opinions”. Everyone has to disclaim that they are these opinions and it just wasn’t for them. I realized how silly that is and we all have different tastes. I see it even on my small Instagram page when I discuss books with people, someone starts talking about a book and then another user can say a remark about it’s “too (insert description that is meant to be an insult) for me” that all of a sudden puts doubt in your mind and makes you feel silly about the book you love! I even find myself doing it. I don’t really enjoy YA books and I just never really have, for any reasons depending on the book but it just isn’t really my style; when I see people post how many books they’ve read I almost feel a little annoyed because some YA books are just so much shorter than most of the books I try and read. It’s so silly and unbelievable to me but it’s just a split second reaction until I remember perspective. After that split second I remember how many important things there are in life and as wonderful as books are, there are much more important things. That being said, I intend to drink my chamomile, calm down and keep reading whatever I want, no pressure!

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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I finally finished lovely Jane Eyre and wanted to share my thoughts. I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed that it brought character building mixed with exciting plots all in the same book.  You go through this journey with Jane and you see how she changes with new experiences and I find that really interesting.  I really enjoyed Jane’s character. I liked how she was a strong female that stayed true to her convictions, especially during emotional situations that many others would find hard to put their foot down and say no. I definitely related to her desire to learn and read (of course) and really enjoyed that side of her. However, I will say in a few situations I really did not agree with how calm and unquestioning she was. I won’t spoil anything but there were a few really?!? moments. Although, I think the eccentricity of these moments really adds to the book and makes it a “page turner”. Ultimately, I did enjoy how she stuck to her convictions and became an independent woman and I was pleased with the ending. This is definitely one of my favorite classics!

 

*** Spoilers***

I really loved her feminist mindset and that she questioned gender roles.  “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.” That to me was a great quote and those types of ideas really make me happy and can be rare in victorian era literature.

I found it really unbelievable that Jane was so calm about “Grace Poole” trying to set Mr. Rochester on fire. She sees her the next day and has quite a few thoughts but was way too calm. She just listened to Mr. Rochester and didn’t tell anyone and didn’t say anything.  When a man gets attacked, she just helps Mr. Rochester and doesn’t protest that much. Then when her veil gets ripped apart she lets herself be convinced that it was a dream and there was possibly no truth to it even though her veil was ripped. Besides these, she decides to run away when it’s cold out and in her panic forgets all of her belongings in a carriage. I understand the emotional trauma and the obvious danger from Bertha (she did stay after all the previously other events, so why stop now) but did she really believe that leaving immediately in the middle of the night was the best solution to her problem? That to me was the only flaw that I just couldn’t get over.

I watched a video after I read this book from Crash Course on Youtube by John Green and it brought up the point that Bertha is a symbol for Jane’s desires and everything she has to repress to be a Victorian woman. I thought that was such a great thought and it made me see Bertha in a new light. John points out that whenever Jane is upset Bertha acts out, I never noticed that and that idea just really grew on me. I really like that perspective. I’ll list the link below.

My Unlimited and Never-Ending TBR

The great thing about books and reading diversely is that you have an unlimited amount of books you can read. Every book is a mysterious present waiting to be opened. It could be the newest favorite book you have or it can become something that you’re upset you spent the time reading. Deciding what books to read is one of the hardest decisions for me. There are so many books how could I possibly choose one to read. Non-bookworms might read that sentence and think that it is an absolutely ridiculous statement. It’s the truth, as you get older and you have to block out time specifically for reading you never want to “waste” it on a book you won’t like. I want to read all the classics, all historical fiction books, fantasy, and non-fiction book imaginable but I will sadly never have the time. I like to reflect on what my unquenchable thirst says about me, and whether it is a good thing or not; but like every other bookworm I will ignore this and continue on my quest to read every book imaginable and my hope to live more than a thousand lives!

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The Shadow of the Wind

I read this beautiful book because @WellDoneBooks made a beautiful review about it! I was so motivated to read this book that I went out and bought it as soon as I can. I started this book on a Saturday while I was in the Jeep Dealership waiting room, waiting for my car to get a replacement ignition (it was a recall). I immediately loved this book, so much so, that I read for two hours and didn’t really notice how long I had been sitting in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. It was wonderful and I was loving every minute. I finished that book shortly after this Saturday and was very sad it was over. I was even more upset that I had no one to talk to about it.

The prose of this novel is just beautiful, the way Carlos creates sentences is just wonderful. It has been a few weeks since I have read this book, so I can’t quite put my finger on why or how but he is just a master of literature. I loved every sentence, and I read every sentence. I think the plot was so interesting and the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books was such a wonderful and mysterious concept. I couldn’t help but wonder if these places actually exist, and maybe I’m not befriending the right people in life if I haven’t discovered anything besides libraries and bookstores. I loved the characters and even how they brought up the history of the Spanish Civil War. I don’t know much about modern Spanish history so that was really interesting to hear about. I do enjoy that for a large portion of the book, Julian Carax’s life was really a mystery and that towards the end everything started to make sense. The same goes to the mysterious character Lain Coubert. I don’t want to spoil this book but I really found it so interesting and fascinating and the parallels between Daniel and Julians life were beautifully done (are you tired of my overuse of the word beautiful in this review?). Plus I wasn’t quite sure how the book was going to end and I was very happy with it! This book instantly became one of my all time favorites and I immediately recommended it to my book friends! I realize this review is brief but in order to create a spoiler free review I had to. If I went to in depth I would never be able to stop and you would know everything about this book and hate me!

Let me know your thoughts on The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I am more than happy to hear them. Mostly so I have someone to talk about this book with!

Goals for 2016

This year, along with everyone and their mother it seems like, I wanted to start a blog about books and maybe life in general. I realize of course there is a chance that no one will read my blog at all, but I’m willing to take that chance. The booktube and bookstagram community have created such a wonderful and inspiring atmosphere. I think youtube has done that a lot for many subjects in general, but of course, the booktube niche is closest to my heart. In 2015, I basically discovered the booktube community. I had followed a few people on instagram with book focused accounts and I thought it was wonderful. The past year I have been really focusing on my love for reading. I am working in a science-based field and sometimes find that my creative side is just drowning, in the scientific method. I love science, and I love learning how the world works but I also felt part of me wasn’t being nourished. It’s possible that some people don’t feel that way and can go their whole life working one job in this field and not feeling incomplete. I realized my first year of this position, that I wasn’t one of those people. I love to history, art, and most importantly reading. I like seeing the world in a romantic perspective sometimes. In college I started as a history major and ended as a Geology major. Now I love geology, I think geology is such a broad subject. You use chemistry, physics, biology and math. It really is I guess the “liberal arts” of science. I fell in love with this science, and I loved learning about it. During college, I was able to quench the thirst of my creative side in classes. Our teachers did an excellent job of allowing us to figure things out ourselves, and see the big picture. Many times that big picture involved a past world with weird little trilobites crawling and imagining vast oceans with terrestrial life. So to me that was wonderful. However, no my job doesn’t focus on those aspects of geology, now I focus on real- world applications that generally involve contamination. As you might guess, it is a very useful and important field but it doesn’t allow much creative nourishment. That’s where this beginning stems from. That being said, I will continue to focus on creative nourishment this year by starting this blog and hopefully interacting with more book lovers through instagram (@bookssavetheworld) . Thanks for reading my first post (assuming someone did) and I welcome all positive interaction. 🙂

Reading Goals:

  • Read more!
  • Read more classics, and read diversely.
  • Read classics that are on the Rory Gilmore Book Challenge.
  • Continue blogging and reviewing about my books I read.
  • A general goal- Reduce the amount of “nothing” I watch on tv or youtube, and fill in that time with something of value. (I realize I sound like my own mother wanting me to stop watching cartoons on tv!)