1. What book made you feel confident, either about yourself or your life?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, hands down. Easy choice. I read this book when i was 14 and it was hard, not completely above my comprehension level but I wasn’t, at that point, used to reading the complex sentences that were commonly used in old novels. I spent two solid weeks deciphering this book, at times having to read a single page through 2 or 3 times just to fully comprehend it. I had to read aloud in places to make the long complex sentences make sense. After school i would lock myself away and I remember I finished the book at 1a.m. at my grandfather house. When I closed the last page I sat for a few minutes just basking in the pride I felt. I finished Jane Eyre! Not just finished but understood. I did it. After letting the victory soak in I went downstairs to where my Poppy was watching TV and I just said “I finished it. I finished Jane Eyre.” and he congratulated me.
I have never worked harder for a book, and after conquering it I have never had to, that book taught me much and more about utilizing context clues and understanding sentence structure. Everything after has been cake.
2. What book made you feel sympathetic or sympathise greatly with the characters?
Caucasia by Danzy Senna. This book is about two little mixed girls living in 1960’s Boston with their white mother and black father. Both parents are civil rights activists. The girls, Birdy and Cole, struggle with being different and living in a time that isn’t exactly friendly to ‘their kind’. When their parents split up they make the decision to split up the girls; dad takes tan skinned, curly haired Cole and mom takes light skinned straight haired Birdy. The story follows Birdy trying so hard to hold on to who she knows she is, a biracial girl, while her mother tries to protect them by making her disown that part of her life.
I am biracial. I am curly haired and tan skinned. I was raised in a house with my black father, black step-mother and black step-sisters. For the first time ever in a novel I truly understood what a character was going through. I connected with Birdy and Cole in a way i never could with any other characters and I felt so bad for them because of it. I know how bad it hurts to cling to a part of you (whether it be the black or the Polish) that everyone in your life is trying to deny. i know what it’s like to be confused about where you fit, because truth be told no matter how you look you will never be [insert ethnicity] enough for most people. I cried reading this book. I cry thinking of this book. I cry because these girls were me. Times have changed, people have changed, but the struggle of the American Mulatto has not changed much over the decades.
“The mulatto in America functions as a canary in a coal mine. Canaries were used by coal miners to gauge how poisonous the air underground was. They would bring a canary in with them, and if it grew sick and died they knew the air was bad and eventually everyone would be poisoned by the fumes. Likewise, mulattos have historically been the gauge of how poisonous American race relations were. The fate of the mulatto in history and literature will manifest the symptoms that will eventually infect the rest of the nation. We are the first generation of canaries to survive, a little injured perhaps, but alive!”
3. What book made you feel anxious?
I was trying to think of a book that has kept me on the edge of my seat, a real age turner. I know i’ve read them, i know I’ve read many books that were so action packed I had to read them all in a sitting but i can’t think of any except Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. Anyone who has read this will think ‘What? That’s not too anxiety educing.” but for me it was. I couldn’t guess what would happen! And how Beatrice treated all the men in her live and trying to guess how everything would work out, ugh, can’t deal. I need to read this again.
4. What book made you feel annoyed?
The Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory. The main character Alys pissed me off. i never liked her, not once during the book. I LOVE the book (I’ve read it twice) just not her. At ever step the people with her are offering her the world and as soon as she sees something ‘better’ she turns her coat and leaves. She sells out and abandons everyone. She’s a cunt. She is the worst type of person and I was so annoyed with her through the whole book. Both times I read it 😛
5. What book made you feel disappointed?
I’m going with The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
(I am trying to think of books I’ve read in the past but its hard to remember most of them so i’m just staring at my shelf picking books from that). This one was a disappointment just because I felt it was poorly written and I know Philippa Gregory is my favorite author and can do better. i haven’t actually finished it because it was just super disappointing.
6. What book made you feel confused?
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. i just read this book in December and I love it. love love love. I love this book but while reading it I was nothing but confused. I think i told my roommate so many times while reading this “I have no idea what this book is about. i don’t know what’s happening, I don’t think there is a plot, nothing is happening. What?” I didn’t know what the book was about until the last chapter.
I recently asked another person reading it, and who is halfway through, what the book was about and he said “I have no idea but I like it.” Truth.
7. What book made you feel satisfied?
Meridon by Philippa Gregory (She makes up about 30% of my book shelf okay!) I was thinking about this book last night so maybe that’s why it’s the first to pop into my head while typing this. This is the last book in the Wideacre trilogy and it just wrapped everything up so well. I was so happy how it ended and I love Meridon and ugh, the feels. Feelings mater right? Well this book gave them all to me.
8. What book made you feel like you could really relate to the main character?
I’m going to have to cop out and say Caucasia by Danzy Senna. Had I thought about these questions before I sat down to type I might have come up with something different for these but nope. Caucasia. It has my heart.
This has been a lazy TAG! and I apologize. I mean I’m typing this Monday just after I typed up my late Wrap Up and I have to get ready for work so, yeah, life.