Gitta's Literary Escapades

Just another reader taking on (modern) classics, best-sellers, award-winners, non-fiction, and (guilty pleasure) chicklit armed with common sense, a brain and feminism.
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel - Lee Harper To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Don't Miss Anything: Goodreads & Harper Lee

Hi everyone,

To Kill a Mockingbird PosterAlthough I like the layout of Booklikes, please follow me on Goodreads to make sure you don't miss anything.

 

Booklikes is where I publish reviews -- it offers so much more --, but when it comes to shelving etc. I prefer Goodreads. If only these two could collaborate...

 

Also, I just found out that the sequel to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is going to be published in July: Go Set a Watchman. Don't know why I only just found out... So, to get in the mood and even more excited than I already am, I looked on Etsy. Might decide to reread this classics (I read it back in July 2010).

 

What do you think about a sequel? Excited? Curious? Sceptic?

List of Reviews

Book Weights

Last updated: 9 February 2015

Below you will find a book of the books I have and reviewed in alphabetical and chronological order.

 

These lovely bookends (and many, many others) are sold by DesignAtelierArticle at Etsy. Have a look, they are wonderful.

 

Alphabetical order

 

A - C

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

On a lazy, rainy Sunday in London, I decided to take the tube to St Pancras, buy a book and read it over a cup of coffee. I went into Hatchards planning to get Possession by A.S. Byatt, which was sold out. Instead I bought The Alchemist and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I read a few pages, switched to Leaves of Grass and, save for an attempt or two, did not feel any inclination to pick it up for four months.

 

It took me over four months to finish this 160 page legend. That about says enough I believe. I did not like the writing style, the overal tone of the book, the characterisation. I almost feel as if I have somehow missed the entire point of this book, why everyone thinks it is so wonderful. I cannot put my finger on what it was specifically. Almost wished I just got it from the library. Shame really, but that goes to show; reputation is not everything.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/256018769

Curly Girl: The Handbook - Lorraine Massey

Curly Girl: The Handbook (Expanded 2nd edition) - Lorraine Massey, Michele Bender

As other reviewers have already written, the practical tips in this book are good, the rest isn't. The "Curl Confession" sections -- and there are loads -- are childhood memories of hair abuse and hair-shaming. This entire books appears to be aimed towards those closeted curlies (she actually writes at one point: "It's not enough to admit you're not straight") who straighten their hair every day and by every means they have at their disposal.

Even those with straight hair know that blow-drying -- or as Massey prefers to call it "blow-frying" -- is bad. The most useful bits in this book are the sections to help you identify your curl, tips on how to wash it, the do's and don'ts and some hairstyles perhaps. Some do's/don'ts are tailored for long hair only, others solely for short.

The overall tone of being a closeted curly girl (what about men?!) is obnoxious. A 12-Step Programme? Really?! Ah well, the Curly Girl method is good, but as someone who hasn't brushed, blowdried, straightened or over-shampoo'ed her hair in a futile attempt to have hair as shiny and straight as any fashion model, since I was 16 and who hasn't suffered through traumatising events of abuse by the deadly hands of a horrible straight-haired hair stylist (i.e. getting a haircut), this book is not worth the money and hardly worth the time. You can summarise it in a few short guidelines, which you can find online a thousand times for free.

I was tempted to give it 1 star, but it's core message: the Curly Girl method, the information about curly vs straight hair (biologically speaking) and some of the DIY homemade recipes allowed for the extra star.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling

I cannot for the life of me write a decent review of any of the Harry Potter books. I grew up with them and that makes them a large part of my late childhood and years as a teenager.  I reread many of them in anticipation of the publication of the new books. But I have only read The Deathly Hallows twice, in 2007 and, as part of my Harry Potter marathon, in 2014. I started this marathon in November after Litchick came up with the wonderful idea and read them back to back, leaving no time for writing reviews. Since the last one is still fresh in my memory, I'm going to start with The Deathly Hallows.

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Year in Review: 2013

2013 Reading Challenge

Wow! Best reading year ever! I started with setting my goal to 50, but ending up challenging myself to read 200 books. I didn't make it to 200, but I read 192 works including the King James Bible! I'm shamelessly impressed with myself. Now, I read a lot of fairy-tales which are often published as a single volume and I have listed these separately to keep track of which of the Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm Brother's stories I have read. I did read 94 "proper" books. I will not be able to repeat last year's high tide now that I am no longer a student and have -- seemingly -- joined the world of The Grown Ups tum, tum, tum, but I'll make an effort to read at least 25 books.

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Little Thumbling - Charles Perrault Review Series #8

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the eight and final part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

VIII. Little Thumbling

This fairy tale is not suitable for children: contains a brief description of the slitting of throats.

 

I expected this story to be like Grimm's Tom Thumb, which I read earlier this month. Though they have one thing in common – thumb-sized baby-portraits – Perrault's Little Thumbling, I assume actually outgrows his small stature. Moreover, this story is basically the origins for the well-known Hansel and Gretel. The Brothers Grimm seem to have used Tom Thumb for both Hansel and Gretel and Sweetheart Roland (read my review).

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SPOILER ALERT!

Riquet with the Tuft - Charles Perrault Review Series #7

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the seventh part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

VII. Riquet with the Tuft

Once upon a time, three royal babies were born. One boy and twin girls. The boy was very disagreeable, ‘hideously ugly’, and had a hunchback, but, thanks to a generous Fairy, he was the wittiest. Moreover, he would be able to share his wit with the woman he loved. Then, a queen gave birth to two little princesses. She was happy with the first, who was very beautiful, but her youngest daughter, ‘an ugly brat’, was a thorough disappointment as she possessed none of the beauty of her elder sister. But no fear! Thank the Heavens this match-making Fairy. She made the beauty world’s greatest idiot, but gave her, as a compromise, the gift of transferable beauty. The ugly duckling of the family, though very witty, was given no superpowers and one is led to assume the Fairy, by now, had used up her magic-quota. At least, the smart ugly one had the satisfaction that everyone would eventually get bored with her gorgeous sister, once they found out there was nothing but air in that pretty head of hers, and would come to her to admire her wit.

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Cinderella - Charles Perrault Review Series #6

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the sixth part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

VI. Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper

This fairytale is so well known that there is no need to write a lengthy review.

 

He perceived that her little foot slid in without trouble

Think Disney's Cinderella minus the singing and the mouse and cat scenes and add a rat or two. And the good, kind Cinderella forgives her stepsisters for the years of neglect and servitude they put her through. A great fairytale overall.

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SPOILER ALERT!

The Fairies - Charles Perrault Review Series #5

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the fifth part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

V. The Fairies

A Fairy decides to do a social-experiment testing the kindness of strangers by taking as her focus group young, unmarried girls. The younger sister, gorgeous and kind, walks by this Fairy, who has assumed the guise of a poor woman. Being courteous and all, the first sister, on her daily 2 mile walk to the well, gives the lady a drink. In return, every time she speaks she spits out jewels, gems, diamonds and pearls.

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Puss in Boots - Charles Perrault Review Series #4

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the fourth part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

IV. Master Cat; or, Puss in Boots

Perrault’s version of this nifty kitty cat is the only version I've read so far and it’s the version I was told as a child.

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News: BookLikes on Wikipedia

BookLikes Logo

This post was originally published on 9 October 2013.

 

Earlier this month, I got lost again in the vortex that is the Internet, and somehow I discovered that there was no Wikipedia entry for BookLikes! There was nothing!

 

Until now (20 October 2013), when Themis-Athena and I created the product of our joint venture! Thanks again, T-A for offering to help and making it such a nice project to work on. I really enjoyed it.

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Blue Beard - Charles Perrault Review Series #3

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the third part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

III. Blue Beard

This fairy tale is not suitable for children.

 

Reclining upon a bed was a princess of radiant beauty

When a gentlemen is known for his hideous and terrifying beard, there is a chance he is actually really nice. However, when you also know that he already has seven wives and no one has heard or seen them in years, alarm bells should start going off. You should not marry him. If you were entering into a polygamous marriage you at least want to meet his other wives, wouldn't you? Moreover, you ought to have a plan when you decide to snoop around exactly where he told you not to go.

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SPOILER ALERT!
"The oppressed are allowed to decide which of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them. (Karl Marx)"
The Great Goodreads Censorship Debacle - G.R. McGoodreader

[Update: The book was deleted on 14 Oct. 2013]

Two weeks ago (26 Sept. 2013) I made an account here at Booklikes, because Goodreads had made an announcement about their new terms of service. Reviews could not discuss the behaviour of authors. Seems reasonable when there are plenty of GR users who write reviews containing explicit language because they disagree with characters' decisions, think Twilight is better, or cannot distinguish between the author's personality and that of his or her characters.


Booklikes would be a back-up, a lifeboat in case things went awry. But moderating reviews is a slippery slope. 

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing - A Memoir Of The Craft - Stephen King

So, we can all agree Stephen King is not the best writer. He will not win a Nobel prize, a Pulitzer, or a Man Booker. We will not find him on school and university syllabi. But he does know what makes for an entertaining read, works that sell, that get made into films. Also, he has some amazing things to say about The Hunger GamesTwilight, and Fifty Shades of Grey in a recent interview with The Guardian.

 

Twilight Harry Potter

We all know how he basically ended the discussion on which is better: Harry Potter or Twilight: "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend." To this he has now added that Twilight and books like it are 'tweenager porn.' He told the interviewer he read the first books of these three massively popular series but 'didn't feel any urge to go on'.

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SPOILER ALERT!

Little Red Riding-Hood - Charles Perrault Review Series #2

The Tales Of Mother Goose - Charles Perrault, D.J. Munro, Gustave Doré, Charles Welsh

Welcome to the second part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.

An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.

 

Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.

 

 

II. Little Red Riding-Hood

This fairy tale is not suitable for children.

 

In the wood Little Red Riding Hood met the old Father Wolf

This is the story about a little girl who talked to strangers. A thing any small child is told not to do! Especially if that stranger is also a wolf, an animal known to be evil and to eat people. The wolf asks her where she is going and Little Red Riding-Hood saw no danger in telling him whom she was going to visit. He hurries and arrives there in time to kill her grandmother, put on a set of grandma-clothes and comfortably lie in bed waiting for the girl.

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Currently reading

Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, Jerome Loving
Progress: 12/478 pages
The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Progress: 31 %
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Progress: 506/1082 pages
Orientalism
Edward W. Said
Progress: 34/396 pages
Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest
Leah Wilson, Jennifer Crusie
Progress: 17/197 pages
The Complete Poems
Catullus, Guy Lee, Titian
Progress: 105/244 pages
Renaissance Art
Geraldine A. Johnson
Progress: 23/176 pages
The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
Mark Forsyth