No roundup Sunday today (although I would like to mention the bit of news that Stranger Things season 3 cast Cary Elwes as Hawkins' Mayor. Whaaaaat?! I'm so excited about this!), but a Get To Know piece instead. Up this week: The Bookworm. I thought the perfect introduction to this category would be to find and tell you about the five books that shaped me into who I am today, but first, let me tell you what to expect when it comes to The Bookworm:
a w o r k i n p r o g r e s s
First and foremost this truth bomb: I don't read as much as I used to and would like. There were times in the past where I didn't do anything else in my spare time and I absolutely loved that. Just switching off and getting lost in a book, it's something I don't do quite often enough anymore. There are a lot of reasons for that, of course. I don't commute to work anymore (bit silly when it's just a bike ride away), I live alone and am constantly rushing around the place getting everything in order, I am writing more and more these days, AND have been addictively binging How I Met Your Mother and Friends just about every evening for the past couple of weeks. So that is why I vow to get a frickin' grip, ignore Netflix altogether for a couple of days a week at least (God help me) and take to reading again. I know for a fact that it's one of my favourite things to do and a great just before bed habit, so here's to rediscovering that part of me and keeping it up!
c o n t e n t
From reviews to funny little pieces about my favourite books, I've already listed a couple of ideas for this column and am pretty excited about getting started. I must admit that I'm a bit out of finding the newest books that fit right up my alley, though, and that's why I would absolutely love it if you'll send me recommendations or even blogs or other websites that'll keep me in the know. Go right ahead in the comments, if you like! As for now, I thought I'd start with an all-time favourite to get back into the habit of reading and have reached for - what else - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone again. So, yes, you can count on it that the next Bookworm post will be about that little treasure.
5 b o o k s t h a t s h a p e d m e
LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. I cannot tell you how much I adore this book. I often reread it the minute Autumn comes around and there's no way I'm not crawling into my couch whenever they show the film on tv. It's a story about family more than anything else, but the fact that the whole story is carried by a bunch of strong-willed women is something I've always admired. One of the things that shaped me? The fact that those sisters earn their keep and are able to provide for their family for the majority of the book (in times when it's expected of women to focus on finding a husband and little else, as well), without having to wait for a man to do it for them.
PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan is my favourite childhood story and I'm quite sure it introduced me to how wonderful it is to escape to a fantasy world once in a while. It taught me to dream, to believe, to enjoy life and have fun, but also to learn to love the prospect of growing up, as long as there's always that little bit of Peter left inside all of us. I repeat: a little bit. He truly is a little pr*ck, you know (which is - accidentally - still my favourite thing about him).
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen. Oh, where to begin? Am I a hopeless romantic because of this story? Definitely. Do I secretly hope there's a Mr. Darcy type out there for me? Well, duh. But Pride and Prejudice is about so much more than that. From the inaccuracy of first impressions and being willing to grow as a person and recognise your own mistakes, to sticking to your ideals and not settling for less no matter how high the pressure; there's a lot of little pearls of wisdom hidden in Austen's beautiful writing. There's not a film or written story based on her work that doesn't leave me absolutely smitten, do you know what I mean?
THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling. I'm a twenty-something, and if you are, too, I shouldn't have to explain how much HP means to me because you already understand. I grew up with Harry and the entire Wizarding World, laughed and cried with it, stayed up all night reading it, and I am a 100% sure that these books have made me a better person. It's as simple as that. I'm officially calling it the twenty-something Bible. It's funny cuz it's true.
THIS SIDE OF PARADISE by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If I have to name my favourite authors of all time, Fitzgerald is one of the first that comes to mind. The Great Gatsby was the first 'adult book' I read, and I don't know if was just the way he wrote - it's so... classy. That's the word! - but I was so impressed I had to let the whole thing sink in for awhile. I worked my way through most of his books in no time and This Side of Paradise really stuck out, probably because the timing of when I read it was so accurate. The main theme? Coming out of your perfect and safe bubble and getting wake-up-called by life itself and finding a bigger purpose. The way the main character deals with it all is mostly a 'how not to', but still... I found it strangely comforting and loved that at the end of the book - spoiler alert! - there's still no answer to what this guy's bigger purpose in life could be. "I know myself... but that is all", he tells us, and I loved that. It was like Fitzgerald (only 23 at the time he wrote this, which explains the ending if you ask me) meant for us to fill in the blanks. Know yourself and the rest will follow.
Q: if you had to name the books that shaped you, which ones would it be?