Semester Reads: Spring 2017

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Hello Everyone,

Today I thought I would do something a little different. I want to share with you most of the things that I am reading this semester for Uni. I say most of them because for my Classics course we have to read a lot of sections from numerous authors, but not whole books. Therefore I will only tell you which physical books I have to read this semester. I am taking a total of five classes, four English classes and the Classics one.

English 395: Contemporary African American Literature – Slavery and Postmemory.

  • The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
  • My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass
  • The Known World, by E. P. Jones
  • Dessa Rose, by Shirley Anne Williams
  • The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride
  • The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

English 290: Human Values in Literature – Non-Western Voices

  • Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
  • The Woman Warrior, by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • No Telephone to Heaven, by Michelle Cliff
  • July’s People, by Nadine Gordimer
  • Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhawa

Classical Studies 384: Humanist of Antiquity II – Rome

  • Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian, by Thomas R. Martin
  • Miles Gloriosus, by Plautus
  • Adelphi, by Terentius
  • Thyestes, by Seneca
  • Aeneid, by Virgil
  • Pro Lege Manilia and Pro Caelio, by Cicero

English 354: Critical Theory

  • The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon

Please let me know if you have read any of them and if you have any tips about these readings!

Until next time,

Keky

 

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January Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

I cannot believe January is already over and we are well off into 2017! The first half of this month I have barely read anything because I was on vacation back at home, and between traveling and seeing all my family I did not have that much time.

In the second half of the month, however, I did read quite a lot and managed to finish about 11 books! Here they are:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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You, by Caroline Kepnes (3/5 stars)

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My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur (3/5 stars)

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Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (4/5 stars)

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We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (5/5stars)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Miles Gloriosus, by Plautus (4/5 stars)

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Adelphi, by Terence (3/5 stars)

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The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss (5/5 stars, even though it should have been a million stars)

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These are all the books that I read in January 2017! Please let me know if you have read any of them, and what were your thoughts and feelings about it!

Until next time,

Keky

Favorite Books of 2016

Hello Everyone,

and welcome to my top 10 favorite books of 2016. As a rule, I do not include Harry Potter stuff in here, nor books that I have read in the past and decided to re-read this year. All these books are in no particular order, and please comment down below if you have read any of these!

The Mistborn Trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson

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The Invasion of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

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Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë

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Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare

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A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

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Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

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A Room Of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf

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Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie

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The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

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These are my top 10 favorite books that I read in 2016. Please let me know in the comments below which ones were your favorite books that you read in 2016!

Until next time,

Keky

December Wrap Up

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Hello Everyone,

sorry for the delay. Between finals and going home – back to Italy – for three weeks for Christmas break did not help me blogging nor reading. In fact I read only four books this month. They are all different genres, and there is a debut among them which I am excited to share with you. These are the books that I read in the month of December.

  • Selected Prose, by T.S. Eliot: I gave this collection 3/5 stars because some essays I thoroughly enjoyed, and some others not so much. Overall, after studying Eliot for a whole semester, I have come to the conclusion that I do not like most of his works, he just does not resonate well with my tastes.
  • Trifles, by Susan Glaspell: I found this play to be extremely complex in its simplicity. I think the underlying feminist criticism is very well thought out and it is worth reading. I gave this play 4/5 stars.
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, by Natasha Pulley: this is the debut I was mentioning above. I very much enjoyed this book, the story was like anything else I had read before. The historical setting was very well flashed out, and the hints at Japanese culture and history were fascinating. A great debut for who is going to be a great writer. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • The Heart of Betrayal, by Mary E. Pearson: the sequel to The Kiss of Deception surely did not disappoint. I very much enjoyed this book, it was more political than the first one, however it certainly did not lack action. I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book of the trilogy. I gave it 4/5 stars.

These are all the books I read in December. Let me know what books you have read, and which ones were your favorites!

Until next time,

Keky

November Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

The month of November, even though very busy, was a good reading month for me! I have had a lot of T.S. Eliot to read for class, and I am not a huge fan of him, so beware. I have eleven things to talk about today, and there is a wide arrange of genres, so let’s get started! All of these are in chronological order as usual.

  • Murder in the Cathedral, by T.S. Eliot: this is the first play Eliot completed and it was actually not that bad. I particularly enjoyed the second half, where there is a resurrection of classical rhetoric’s practices to convince the audience about the just supposedly just reasons for cardinal Beckett’s murder. I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • 9780765377159_p0_v2_s192x300The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), by Brandon Sanderson: I don’t think there is much to say here, except that this is probably one of my favorite books of all time. It is the perfect conclusion to an epically delightful fantasy trilogy, and I would recommend anyone to read it. 5/5 stars.
  • Allora Mi Prenderò un Cappello, by Maria Cristina Benetti: this is a memoir written by the author, recounting her story while having cancer. I was sent a digital copy by the author, and I wrote a review for it. You can find it here. I gave it 5/5 stars.
  • The Aerial Poems, by T.S. Eliot: I have already forgotten them, except for one, and I was not a huge fan. Modernist poetry is not really my thing, I prefer contemporary or Victorian and earlier. This does not apply to women’s poetry, which sometimes can be different, especially American poets. I gave it 2/5stars.
  • Hag Seed, by Margaret Atwood: 1hagseedcoverThe premise for this book is amazing. It is a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Tempest set in a jail. The main character teaches the plays of Shakespeare to a class of men in a prison, and the story revolves around a plot for revenge. This was my first Atwood novel – I have read some short story and some poetry by her – and while I did enjoy this, I was expecting a bit more. The first half of the book was really good, but I feel like the second half was slower, so I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • 51gs9di1qwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: again, another book I expected more from. I had heard that it was overrated, and I think that if I didn’t listen to it in audiobook, I would not have been able to finish it. Another 3/5 stars.
  • Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot: finally something I truly liked by Eliot! If you want to read anything by him, read Four Quartets. It is beautiful, poetic and hopeful. 4/5 stars.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J.K. Rowling: I saw the movie, loved it. I read the script, loved it. Of course it’s a 5/5 stars, and even though it should be more like a 4/5, the premise it built is genius and I can’t wait!
  • The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson: 16429619I am so glad I read this, because I thoroughly enjoyed it! It tells the story of a princess that runs away the day of her arranged marriage, and she is followed by two people: an assassin sent to kill her, and the prince she was supposed to marry, but the reader does not know which one is which. I lived the writing and the pace, and I can’t wait to pick up the second one. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
  • Inventions of the March Hare, by T.S. Eliot: not much to say, sorry. 1/5 stars.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling: this is pretty self explanatory, I listened to it in audiobook before going to sleep and I loved it. I will try and listen to one HP book a month. 5/5 stars.

These are all the things that I read in the month of November! Let me know if you have read any of these and which books you liked the most this month!

Until next time,

Keky

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Villains

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**SPOLER ALERT** > If you have not read A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas yet, You might want to skip this one.

Hello Everyone,

And welcome back to my blog! Today I have been inspired to do this week’s topic for T5W (Top Five Wednesday). To find more about it, click here to go to the Goodreads page for it!

This week’s topic is all-time favorite villains, and I am so excited about it. As a disclaimer, I will not include any Harry Potter villains, however, if you wish to know who my favorite villain from the HP series is, well, obviously dear old Tom Marvolo Riddle, aka Voldemort, but that is not a surprise. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite villains, in no particular order.

  • The Lord Ruler, from The Mistborn Trilogy. I love the figure of the Lord Ruler; even though I cannot say much without spoiling the whole plot, if you have not read this series you just need to know that he is not as black and white as you may think. He is a real person, going through real struggles, and with a mind of his own. Yep, he’s great, and he is written so well you feel for him, even though, in the end, he’s a horrible person.
  • Jack Randall, from the Outlander series. So, this is a villain I openly loathe. I think this is the only antagonist I genuinely feel no sympathy for, I truly despise and dislike him. When reading scenes in which he appears, it would be really hard for me not to tear the page, snort at him, or yell. One of the most horrible fictional characters I have EVER read about.
  • Tamlin, from A Court of Mist and Fury. I know he is only a minor villain, but I really dislike him. He is a controlling and psychologically abusive male who lacks empathy and or sympathy. I really hope Sarah will redeem at least part of him in the last book of the trilogy. I somewhat liked him in ACOTAR, and I am eager to see what is going to happen to him.
  • The Red Queen, from the Queen of the Tearling Trilogy. The Red Queen of Mortmesne is the typical villain who is self-absorbed, self-righteous, vain, and scared of both death and old age. She is cold, calculating, and delightfully ruthless. I cannot wait to learn more about her in the last book in the trilogy.
  • Heathcliff, from Wuthering Heights. I know, I know, Wuthering Heights again. Well, guess what, Heathcliff is one of the most ambiguous ‘villains’ you will ever read about. He is mistreated in childhood, and the question of nature versus nurture has never been more real.

These are the five villains that popped into my mind when I read this week’s topic. Please comment down below what some of your favorite villains are, I would absolutely love to know!

Until next time,

Keky

BR: Allora Mi Prenderò un Cappello

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Title: Allora Mi Prenderò Un Cappello

Author: Maria Cristina Benetti

Genre: Non-fiction memoir

Published: 2016

Pages: 110

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Salve a tutti,

oggi vi propongo qualcosa di diverso.

Innanzitutto questa recensione sarà scritta in italiano, la mia lingua madre. Il mio è un sito in inglese, ma questa è un’occasione speciale.

L’autrice di questo libro, Maria Cristina Benetti, mi ha contattata un mese fa chiedendomi se ero disponibile per una recensione del suo libro, Allora mi prenderò un cappello. Questo libro è una memoria della sua esperienza come donna ed essere umano durante la malattia “cancro”. Essendo stata paziente di mio padre ed avendo io vissuto l’esperienza del cancro nella mia famiglia, non potevo dire di no e così ho deciso che avrei fatto una recensione sia in italiano che in inglese per promuovere questo libro.

Date le circostanze non mi atterrò alla guida che uso di solito (personaggi, trama, scrittura) ma userò una cornice più ampia; parlerò del messaggio trasmesso e del potenziale che un’opera letteraria come questa può avere all’interno della società. Ovviamente gli ho dato 5/5 stelle. Questa è la mia recensione.

Non ho mai letto nulla di simile a questo libro. E’ diviso in capitoli, certo, ma ogni capitolo ha una sottosezione e ogni paragrafo tratta di un tema diverso. Questo libro è un excursus di tutte le emozioni ed i problemi che hanno afflitto la protagonista da quando ha avuto un tumore al seno fino a quando ha avuto, recentemente, un linfoma.

L’autrice descrive la sua esperienza in modo molto chiaro, utilizzando un linguaggio semplice ma allo stesso tempo metaforicamente elaborato, creando così un’opera intersezionale.

Questo libro può essere letto da chiunque e penso che questa sua qualità sia fondamentale.

L’autrice è stata estremamente coraggiosa a trasferire i suoi sentimenti sulla carta mostrando la sua vulnerabilità al mondo, ma il fatto di rendere la sua esperienza pubblica è anche la sua forza perché consente alle persone di riconoscersi e identificarsi con la sua esperienza.

Penso sia molto importante che più libri come questo siano scritti.

La parola cancro include concetti come paura, disillusione, morte; leggere l’esperienza di una persona che è pronta a combattere, anche se a volte perde la speranza, è fondamentale perché alla fine la speranza è sempre ritrovata. Parlare più spesso di questo tema aiuta a togliere lo stigma alla parola, ad aprire la comunicazione e a rendere la vita del paziente e della sua famiglia più semplice.

Una delle cose che mi sono rimaste impresse di questo libro è il fatto che il cancro può davvero trasformare una persona e stravolgere la sua vita. Infatti l’autrice parla della sua esperienza lavorativa in una casa di moda, comparandola con la situazione attuale in cui non si riconosce in se stessa: non può prendere il sole, non può andare in bicicletta senza che le manchi il respiro, non può fare una doccia normale e ha perso amici che vedevano la malattia prima di vedere la persona.

Alla fine, è vero, il cancro l’ha cambiata, ma ci sono altre cose positive che sono nate con la malattia. Connessioni più forti con una diversa comunità, incontrare gente nuova e, finalmente, riuscire ancora a nuotare.

La frase conclusiva del libro è:“Non ti volto le spalle, ti voglio guardare negli occhi. Uno dei due li abbasserà. Tanto vinco io”. Penso che questa espressione sia emblematica per la forza che possiede: una buona dimostrazione del fatto che non è facile accettare la malattia e che, anche se ognuno ha un modo diverso di affrontarla, l’importante è trovare un modo per combatterla.

E’ stata davvero una bella esperienza leggere questo libro, sono contenta che Cristina mi abbia contattata per scriverle una recensione.

Potete trovare la pagina Goodreads qui. Spero davvero che il messaggio sia apprezzato e divulgato.

Alla prossima,

Keky