The Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Hello, my darlings! I hope you’re all having/had a wonderful day!

I recently saw Shawshank from Void If Removed do the Anonymous Bookaholics Tag, and it made me want to tag along — get it? (I’m so sorry for the terrible puns, but I simply cannot help myself). Honestly, I’ll find any excuse to talk about books and how much I love them, because why not?

I tried to do some deep-diving to find the original creator, but I couldn’t find them. If you know, please tag them or let me know so I can give them the credit they deserve!

Without further ado, let’s get into the questions!

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1. What do you like about buying books?

Right off the bat, I have to acknowledge my own capitalistic, egotistical desires? Well, let’s dive in.

Buying books, or buying anything in general, often feels like filling an unsatisfied want or void that you may not even know you have. I’m definitely a retail therapy type of gal. When I’m depressed or feeling down, treating myself to a new book or a cute sweater gives me that hit of dopamine that I’m practically begging for. “Treat yourself” is a motto I stand by whole-heartedly — in moderation, of course.

I used to never think twice about buying an enormous stack of books every time I visited a bookshop, but after taking a mind-altering college course covering literary theory (which I’m still trying to grasp, so be gentle with my chaotic explanation), I thought a little bit more seriously about my buying habits.

You see, capitalism is fed by consumers — the main goal is to make you, the consumer, spend as much money as possible; therefore, they advertise their product in a way to make it appear as if that product will complete your life and fulfill that void altogether. In reality, the new excitement for that product will eventually die out, and another product will come along to attempt to complete you of your new desire (at a price, of course). And thus, the cycle continues of feeding into your own egotistical wants while others — specifically huge companies and corporations — profit.

Because of this, I try to purchase from small businesses and individuals so I know the profit is going towards people that need it rather than big corporations that want to rule the industries. I also try not to mindlessly buy books in bulk anymore for the sake of my wallet, as well as trying to not feed into my egotistical “I need to own every book known to man to feel fulfilled and accepted” side.

Now, if you would like a less depressing, more positive answer than my joy-sucking thoughts on capitalism, I guess I can provide that, too.

What I love most about buying books is the excitement that comes with the unknown of a new story. Every book contains its own world, people, adventures, lessons, etc., and there’s nothing quite like experiencing a book for the first time. The anticipation to dive head first into a new book that you’re amped to read is the best feeling in the world.

2. How often do you buy books?

As you can probably tell from my previous question, not very often. I do go through random spells of book-buying and hauling, but I try to remind myself that I already have so many unread books on my shelves that need some love and attention.

If I was asked this same question just a couple of years ago, I would have a completely different answer. I used to buy books on the regular — at least once or twice a month. But, once I took that literary theory course, and it pried into the depth of my own unfulfilled desires, I cut my spending a lot in general.

3. Bookstore or online shopping: which do you prefer?

I definitely prefer bookstores since I buy the majority of my books that way, but I also love online shopping for when I’m looking for a specific edition or title that my local bookshop doesn’t have or carry at the time.

I think I prefer bookstores the most for the atmosphere. There’s something homey and comforting when browsing, what feels like, endless amounts of shelves stuffed and overflowing with books, the smell of paper and ink occasionally wafting across your nose, surrounded by a galore of stories waiting to be heard.

Bookstores are beautiful safe spaces.

4. Do you have a favorite bookshop?

I do! Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More is my favorite local, used bookshop. They have an enormous selection of used books, textbooks, video games, music, etc. at amazing prices. The best part about Mr. K’s is that they accept books for trade credit, so it’s not hard to ball out on a budget if you have some books you want to donate!

5. Do you pre-order books?

I don’t think I’ve ever pre-ordered a book in my life. I think it’s because I’m constantly trying to keep up with my overflowing TBR, along with my previous thoughts on capitalism, but I’ll spare you all another rant lmao.

6. Do you have a monthly buying limit?

Nope. I go with the vibes — it really depends how much I’m in the mood to read that month.

7. How big is your wishlist?

Enormous. Never-ending. Infinite. And all the other synonyms.

8. Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own right now?

Only three??? Are these types of questions super difficult for anyone else?

After taking an entire day trying to decide which three specific books I would want right now (we love being a libra and not being able to make even the simplest of decisions), I’ve finally decided on the following ones:

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

I’ve had this on my TBR for a couple of years now, yet I somehow keep forgetting to pick it up! The recent talk over the new adaptation starring Armie Hammer has bumped Rebecca to the top of my TBR — I might even head to the bookstore after I’ve finished writing this.

Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Another book that’s growing fictional dust from sitting in my mental TBR for quite some time — really ever since I first read Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Other than Tess, this one seems to be another highly talked about Hardy novel, and I just need more of his stories in my life.

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Yet another read that’s been on my TBR since I can remember. I’ve never read anything from Toni Morrison — somehow my high school completely skipped over her — and I’m ready to fix that! The Bluest Eye is probably one of Morrison’s, if not THE one, most popular and talked about books, so I hope to read this one first.

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Tag! You’re it!

I had so much fun participating in this tag, and now I’m tagging, not one or two, but all of you!

I know you’re suppose to tag specific people, but where’s the fun in that? Let’s all have a turn!

ETSU’S Virtual Milton Marathon (Nov. 19) | experience Paradise Lost all in one day

My dear friends, my amazing and incredible alumni is hosting the Milton Marathon, an all-day reading of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, tomorrow (Nov. 19) from 8am – 8pm! (Or whenever they finish reading the entirety of the poem).

And the best part? You don’t need a Facebook account to watch!

Join ETSU’s 2020 Milton class, as well as myself and others, to chat and experience the Fall like never before!

Why?

I know what you’re thinking, “Zoe, that’s a lot of exclamation points.” I understand. I’ll try and tone down my excitement.

In 2018, I took part in the Milton class, as well as organizing our own Milton Marathon, and it was the most rewarding, as well as the most challenging, class of my college career.

One of my favorite professors teaches this course, and both he and his students always put a ton of effort into making the Milton Marathon happen every 2 years (since that’s the only time the class is offered).

From my own experience, I know how rewarding it felt to interact with fellow literature lovers, and the satisfaction of seeing everyone’s hardworking come together and pay off. Also, it’s just nice to be read to. When’s that last time someone read a story aloud to you? (That’s what I thought).

I’m sure the pandemic has made it even more difficult, especially advertising and getting everything organized, so I wanted to share a unique opportunity for all of you lovely readers to enjoy!

I’m going to pop in periodically throughout the day, and I hope to see and chat with some of you all there! ❤

The Realities of a Mood Reader | books i need to finish

Hello, my loves!

I’m back yet again after a long break — I promise I can explain. Life has been stressful and busy, and my mental health hasn’t been the best. I wasn’t reading anything, and what I did read was never consistent (as you’ll see in a moment). I felt like I had nothing to write about!, and I ended up falling into a self-deprecating abyss. I decided it was time for a little break for rejuvenation purposes, and I think it helped quite a bit, even though I am a bit nervous to be writing again, tbh.

But enough about my inconsistent and hectic life; we both know you’re here for the book content!

A Change in Reading Pace

I’ve always been a read-one-book-at-a-time gal (except while in college, of course), but I’ve now found myself with quite a hefty stack of half-read books. I’m not sure if it’s my habit of reading at least 4 books all at once in college for classes, my poor attention span, or if I’m simply developing into a mood reader.

There’s so many books that I want to catch up on reading, and my reading seems to show that. Why read one at a time when you can read all of them at the same time? At least that’s what my brain has been asking me.

Plus, I’ve been picking up books when I’m in the mood to read them rather than planning to finish a single book before moving on to the next. In all honesty, I’m just experimenting with the way I read to see what works best for me. Of course, it’s a little jarring and stressful trying to keep up with each story plot/characters and the anxiety-inducing feeling that comes with hardly ever finishing a book, but it has helped me read a lot more. If I’m not feeling a book, instead of DNFing it and giving up on it completely, I simply put it down for the time being and pick up something I’m actually in the mood for. So far, this change has been a great way to tackle my reading slump because I’m reading what I’m enjoying at the time rather than forcing myself to finish a book I’m really not feeling.

10/10 recommend experimenting with your reading process!

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The Reading List

This list mostly consists of classics, along with a short story anthology. As you might notice, a few of these books have been included in past posts, but your girl hasn’t read much in the past few months. Cut me some slack!

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (ReRead)

In times of stress, you tend to stick with the familiar. That’s exactly what made me pick up one of my all-time favorite books, yet again, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

I’m pretty sure Tess was the first classic I ever read — thank you, E. L. James, for the introduction — and I’ve held it close to my heart ever since. With the anxieties revolving around the election (thank god we’re finally done with dumby Donnie) and the stresses that naturally come along with being a part of society, I desperately needed a comfort read to distract me, and Hardy has provided yet again! Since I already know and love the story, it’s effortless to kickback and enjoy.

I have a good feeling I’m going to be finishing Hardy’s novel very very soon!

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with this book; because of that, I haven’t picked it up in about 2 months. However, I refuse to DNF it! Even if it sits on my shelf for months, or even years, to come, I have a strong intuition that I’m going to finish The Catcher in the Rye one day.

Honestly, I have no idea why I feel the need to complete this book, but I’m sticking with my gut feeling. Talking about it now makes me want to jump back in and contemplate whether or not Salinger had a bet with his friends to see who could use “goddam” the most in one novel. I quickly understood why this was once banned.

Candide – Voltaire

As a lover of French culture and satirical heroic quest stories, I had to start Voltaire’s Candide, and I’m loving it so far. Since it’s a short book, I thought I would be able to finish it in one sitting, but my slow reading brain said otherwise. I only have about 50 pages left, so I’m hoping to finish it pretty quickly.

The dark humor and Candide, the main character, reminds me a lot of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass (read my review of it). It has the same over-the-top, absurd plot points with an unlucky character as the start, but The Golden Ass made me laugh more than Candide so far. I can’t wait to do a full review of this one soon!

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

You guys, you don’t understand how happy I am to finally start understanding the memes and jokes surrounding Dorian Gray. They’re spot on, honestly.

With the extensive philosophical ideas and conversations embedded in this story, I’m definitely taking my time reading it so my brain can fully digest it. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I finish Dorian Gray, but I’m super excited to discuss it with you all when I’m done!

His Hideous Heart – Edited by Dahlia Adler

Edgar. Allan. Poe.

That’s all you really have to include in a book description and I will eat it up.

His Hideous Heart is an anthology composed of short stories inspired by Poe’s writings, as well as the Poe’s original works. I started it in October hoping that I would finish it in time for a Halloween-y post, but I had less time to read than I thought and ended up only getting through about half of it.

Even though I thought it’d be a faster read, I’m still enjoying the stories a lot! I love seeing Poe’s classic tales revamped and modernized by talented, popular writers. The fact that you also get all of the corresponding Poe stories in the same book is pretty awesome, too.

Honestly, I have no idea whether to finish this and put a review out immediately after or wait until next October to post my thoughts. Which would you all prefer?

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The Future

As you guys might be able to tell, I have quite a bit of reading to catch up on. I’m in the process of adjusting my schedule to make more time for reading and writing, and I just wanted to thank you all for being patient with me! This year has been a whirlwind of a time, and my life feels scattered all over the place in return.

I’ve been feeling super inspired to write more posts lately, so I hope to have more fun content out soon for you all! ❤

Of course, I’ll be posting my thoughts about all of these books whenever I get around to finishing them. Stay tuned 🙂

The Reading Rush 2020 TBR |A Very Ambitious List Of Very Short Books For A Very Slow Reader

It’s July, which means it’s time for The Reading Rush!

I’ve never participated in any kind of reading event (frankly, because I’m super intimidated by how slow I read and setting myself up for disappointment from the start), but I’ve been seriously lacking on my reading. 10 pages here, 40 pages there. I’ve just been pushing it to the side.

Once I saw Ariel Bissett and Noelle Gallagher upload their TBRs (along with organizing my own staggering TBR pile), something sparked inside me, and now I’m ready to read everything!

Check out thereadingrush.com for more information about the event!

Without further ado, let’s get into the books!

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1. Read a book matching the color of your birthstone.

I love this idea for a reading challenge because it’s unique to the reader. Plus, I just really love birthstones. I’m an October baby (shoutout to all of my libras!), and my birthstones are Opal and a pink gem called Tourmaline.

As someone who adores bright and exciting colors, I’m shocked to see how DULL my TBR pile is. The trend seems to be black and orange books, at least for now, which does not work in my favor at all.

But alas! I found the one book with pink or rainbow on the cover, and that would be Victoria Redel’s Before Everything.

I don’t know much about this book other than it has a stunning cover. I don’t know what it is, but the colors and figures just speak to me. Ironic for the challenge, huh?

I’m pretty sure it’s a drama involving a family? group of friends? I’m not too sure (I should probably look into this kind of stuff before writing instead of repeatedly typing variations of “I don’t know”), but it fits the challenge AND it’s short (you’ll notice short books as a trend throughout this post).

2. Read a book that starts with the word “The”.

This challenge was a little difficult for me; not finding a book that started with “The”, but trying to decide on one!

I have at least 5 books that I can see right now that start with “The” on my shelf, but, in true Reading Rush fashion, I opted for the shortest book, which is Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.

This tiny book maxes out at 55 pages! And let’s not even get started on this creepy, yet intriguing cover that I found at Books-A-Million. It’s also one of those stories that gets referenced time and time again, and I selfishly want to be included in those conversations. Sometimes you just have to feed into your ego’s desires.

3. Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve seen.

Another great challenge! I’m a very big stickler in reading the book before watching the movie adaptations (unless I don’t know about the book, of course), but this challenge flips that tradition on its head.

Now, this could be a controversial pick, but I don’t really care because I have been trying to find a reason to make myself read another Shakespeare play (plus, they’re short!). Here’s my moment to shine, as the Shakespeare nerd that I am, and I chose Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

(I’m sorry about the blandness of this photo; I need to invest in some copies of Shakespeare pronto!)

After some Googling, I noticed that 10 Things I Hate About You (Heath Ledger… That is all.) was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, which I know nothing about. Since 10 Things is one of my favorite childhood movies, I have a feeling I’ll enjoy Shakespeare’s play.

Fingers crossed!

4. Read the first book you touch.

You all are going to have to trust me on this one.

I’ve seen variations of this challenge, such as Noelle’s technique of touching all the books and blindly choosing one, but I wanted to take this challenge for what it is.

After I picked all of the books for the other challenges, I turned away from my leftover pile of books and simply reached back. Since the enormous Anna Karenina is placed in the middle of the stack, I was a teeny tiny bit nervous.

And would you believe that I almost touched that gigantic 800+ pages monster?! Exactly one book away, the mere distance of a fingernail!

What I ended up grabbing was Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition.

Another short book! We love a good trend, no?

I love Austen, as well as a short collection of stories, so I’m excited for this read. I’ve tried starting this one a few times, but I always got busy and ended up never picking it back up. Here goes nothing!

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5. Read a book completely not in your house.

The sun has finally come out to stay here in the Appalachia’s, which means plenty of time to read on the porch and let the sunshine soak into your skin.

Seasonal depression? Never heard of her.

For this challenge, I chose Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.

I don’t know if it’s the theme (I think) of self awareness or finding your feminine power, but Chopin’s book deserves to be read outside. Perhaps it’s the cover art of the woman, hopefully, enjoying a sunny day. Whatever it might be, I’m here for it. Another tiny book for the win!

6. Read a genre that scares you or your least read genre

As we’ve all probably noticed, I’m a reader of classics mainly. I’ve read my fair share of contemporary and supernatural books, but I typically stick to my beloveds.

However, I recently got quite the stack of books from my mom of different genres, so what better time than now to give a new style a try?

Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House, an adult thriller, was one my mom pointed out in particular and said she really enjoyed. Since I’ve never read a thriller (that I remember, at least), now’s my chance to try it out.

My mom said she read this is just a few days, so I’m hoping it’ll be the perfect book to speed through. This is a reading challenge, after all.

7. Read a book that takes place on a different continent than yours.

This challenge is probably my favorite of them all. It allows readers who typically pick up books that resemble their own lives and learn about another culture! (My anthropology minor really comes out when discussing different cultures because I thrive on that shit).

I love reading about how people live in different parts of the world; their religions, food, family traditions, societal behaviors, and all of the enriching aspects that different cultures have to offer.

Anyways, back to the books. That’s what we’re all here for.

For this challenge, I chose Adèle by Leila Slimani, which is written by a French author and takes place in Paris, France.

I’m a little skeptical about this book because I remember hearing a review that it was kind of a disappointment, but I’m trying to go in unbiased and take it for what it is. (I’m terrible at letting people persuade my opinion of a book).

After reading the back of the book, it seems to be about this woman (I’m assuming Adèle) who seems to have the perfect life, but she’s apparently coocoo for sex.

Let’s just say this book is either going to be eh material, or it could end up being one of my favorite books of all time. We shall see!

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Please Send Good Vibes And Lots Of Coffee

Do I think I’m going to finish 7 books in a week? Absolutely not because I have no hope in my slow-reading self, but what the hell. Let’s give it a shot!

I have a feeling I’m going to be drinking quite a bit of coffee to get as much reading done as I can.

Hopefully, this reading challenge will get me more into the habit of picking up a book rather than my phone. It is also possible that reading so much is going to make me view reading as a chore, which it never should be, and I will fall back into that wretched slump of mine.

Sending hopeful wishes and great books your way!

The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson | A Glass Of Rum With A Side Of Suckfish

First and foremost, what a guy!

I’ve seen countless interviews of Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp, but not once have I read any of his works. (Well, not until a few days ago, that is.) I was once a poser fan, but no longer!

If you plan on reading this book, I hope you’re in the mood for a glass of rum on ice because it will definitely have you craving one.

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The Details

Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary is a piece of “gonzo journalism,” a type of journalism where the reporter is a part of the story and often told in a first-person narrative, making it very personal. Thompson lead the gonzo journalism movement in the 1970’s, making him the O.G. of the style.

The Rum Diary tells of “Paul Kemp,” a young journalist, and his time working at a drowning newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the late 1950’s. Once Kemp arrives in San Juan, he’s thrown into a whirlwind of drunken, sexual, and sometimes violent events with his friends and coworkers (while consuming a plethora of rum, of course).

Even though The Rum Diary was not published until 1998, Thompson first began writing this novel in 1959 when he was 22 years old, making The Rum Diary his first novel.

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The Review

I don’t know if it was just my reading experience (aka working a full-time job and moving), but this book was pretty forgettable to me. It could be because my mind was focused on more important things, but the first 2/3 of the book have completely left my mind. I can recount the somewhat big events that happen, but I definitely wouldn’t put money on my Rum Diary trivia, if you know what I mean.

Thompson’s simple and captivating writing style kept drawing me to pick up the novel whenever I had 20 minutes of free time. I suppose you could argue that I wanted to pick up the book because I wanted a distraction from my actual responsibilities, and you would probably be right (I can’t even begin to express the hatred I have for moving), but Thompson’s prose definitely gave me an excuse to keep reading.

Another thing I enjoyed about The Rum Diary was the characters. I’m not sure if they were people that Thompson actually met, or if they were dramatized in a certain way, but I absolutely loved that the characters were FLAWED (we love some good humanism) in more ways than one. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy loveable and pure characters every now and then, but let’s be real, they’re boring. Thompson seems to make it a point to show the faults and lows of characters rather than their highs and achievements, and I admire that more than words can express. I’m all for complex, loveable-but-broken characters, much like Alex from A Clockwork Orange (my fav <3), and it just makes the story that much more engaging.

Even though Hunter S. Thompson’s prose and characters were intriguing, I decided to rate the book 4/5 because it’s pretty forgettable. Again, like I previously mentioned, it’s probably because of my reading experience, but it is what it is. I am interested in picking this book up again some time in the future and see if I enjoy it more because there are SO many reviews praising this book.

Are we surprised that I tainted my own reading experience? Absolutely not. I seem to be the queen of self-sabotage.

Another problem I had with Thompson’s novel was the outdated language and concepts, so Trigger Warnings for racism and rape. They definitely are not at the forefront of the novel, but I did feel uneasy when one of Thompson’s characters use the n-word, as well as the same character trying to take advantage of a drunk woman. However, Thompson does kind of save himself by having Kemp speak up or change the subject whenever these events occur. But still made me uncomfortable, nonetheless.

Thompson’s The Rum Diary is an enjoyable read, minus the aforementioned uneasiness, and would be a perfect summer read for the right person. Perhaps with a side of rum.

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Extra Thoughts and Spoilers

I don’t really have a lot of extra thoughts on this novel because I, you guessed it, can’t remember enough to actually compare. Well, that and I don’t really have anything to compare it to, much like the unique and eccentric Hunter S. Thompson himself.

BUT I had to touch on perhaps my favorite quote of all time: “I’m tired of being a punk–a human suckfish.” Kemp then explains that he latches himself onto bad things, much like suckfish latch onto sharks.

As someone who also tends to be attracted to all things bad for me, this metaphor of the suckfish resonated with me in more ways than one. Rather than being the suckfish in my life, I’d prefer to swim in my own stream. I often have the energy sucked out of me (pun intended) when it comes to my job, family and friends, but it’s time for a change.

I think everyone can resonate with not wanting to be a suckfish, whether you apply it to your friends or work or anything. We all deserve to treat ourselves with kindness than letting some shitty shark determine our route.

Swim free my little fishies!

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The Golden Ass – Apuleius | The Story of an Ass of a Man

When Apuleius’ story of The Golden Ass popped up as I scrolled through the Book Outlet classics section, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I don’t know whether it was the title of the book, the classical antiquity cover art, or the overall curiosity of this unheard classic, but something was grabbing my attention and not letting me go.

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The Details

Upon further investigating, (aka reading the description), I discovered this story follows a man named Lucius who is turned into an ass after meddling with uncertain witchcraft. As he awaits his final human transformation, Lucius the ass finds himself in the midst of chaotic events and comical misadventures.

The Golden Ass was written towards the end of the second century AD in Italy, and it is broken up into 11 Books (much like Milton’s Paradise Lost). The edition I acquired is published by Penguin Classics and translated by E. J. Kenny. Apuleius’ hilarious text is one of the only and funniest stories still left from classical antiquity.

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The Review

This book made me literally laugh out loud so many times, and do you realize how rare that is to come by for me?

Within the first Book, Lucius in his pre-ass form meets Socrates, who is later almost completely beheaded by a group of witches (I promise this is not a spoiler; it happens within the first 15 pages.), to which they then pop a squat over Lucius and take a piss.

May I remind you, this was all within the first 20 pages.

I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into by picking up this strange collection of stories from the perspective of an ass, but I truly enjoyed it and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

I couldn’t let myself give Apuleius’ The Golden Ass 5 stars because it seemed like the pacing of the story started to slow down in the middle. I’m thinking my mood had a lot to do with losing interest in certain parts since I read most of it at work. Sometimes I would have to put the book down multiple times to help with customers and stocking, so I felt distanced and pulled a little from the story.

However, even with distractions and small reading slump moods, I couldn’t quit picking this up. Because of The Golden Ass, I now have formed the habit of getting to work early just to have time to read. I wasn’t able to find a lot of time to read at home with chores and other things to occupy my time, so I took it upon myself to make time to fit this book into my schedule.

With all of the chaos and gloomy moods from the COVID pandemic, I need some type of comedic relief. Thankfully, Apuleius had my back.

Along with Lucius’ metamorphis journey, Apuleius has also sprinkled little anecdotes and classic tales throughout The Golden Ass. My favorite story within the text had to be the tale of Cupid and Psyche, and it was quite a nice size chunk of the book (35 pages, to be exact). Because I was constantly having to stop in the midst of paragraphs while reading this, I feel like I only skimmed the surface of this engrossing narrative of the Cupid and Psyche’s stressful love story. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back soon and read it uninterrupted so I’m able to fully digest its themes and moral compass.

Fortune is also mentioned a lot throughout Lucius’ troubling metamorphis journey, seeing that Fortune isn’t exactly lending him a helping hand. Whenever Lucius seemed to be having a small string of good luck, Fortune made sure to put him back in his place. Rather than causing me a lot of stress, these little touches added a lot of humor to the writing.

In conclusion, this book had me hooked and snickering to myself in the back of a liquor store from the beginning. The small anecdotes and hilarious misfortunes happening to poor Lucius made it impossible not to put down, as well as keeping a straight face.

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Extra Thoughts and Comparisons

The Golden Ass reminded me some of Dante’s Inferno, where Dante the Pilgrim witnesses many unfortunate souls and events that eventually lead him to personal and spiritual development. However, rather than Dante’s serious approach to cruel Fortune’s powers, Apuleius takes a comical leap and 100% achieves just that. Could this heroic journey be a staple of classic Italian antiquity?

(Possible spoiler alerts ahead!)

Even though these two are very independent from one another and differ in their own unique ways, some traits, although differing content, resemble one another when comparing Dante and Apuleius’ character-driven stories.

After all of Lucius’ mishaps, he decides to dedicate his life to the goddess Isis, much like Dante worships Love and God at the end of Purgatorio. Both Dante and Lucius drastically flip their own selfish habits to actions of worship and love. For both characters to achieve these holy endeavors, they must undergo some form of change/initiations. Dante is shaped by his time in Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, while Lucius’ goes through multiple initiations for Isis, as well as being admitted to office as an advocate by the main god Osiris.

While both Dante and Lucius are experiencing their own personal journeys, their spiritual journeys seem to run parallel to one another. On the bright side of this, if you don’t feel like committing a lot of time to complete Dante’s complex and dense Divine Comedy, it could be possible to get a similar story in a short 214 pages. Don’t get me wrong, Apuleius’ text is also pretty dense, but a 200 page book beats a trilogy, no?

Until Next Time…

Have you ever heard of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass? If so, what were your thoughts on it? I’d love to discuss this insane story with someone who’s read it, but it doesn’t seem like many people know the story of the man who once morphed into an ass and later found spiritual enlightenment.

A Mini Book Haul

Lately, I’ve had a terrible itch to go to a bookstore. Since that’s not possible at the moment, the Walmart discount section will have to do for now.

I don’t typically find anything worth a damn in these piles of unwanted bindings, but Fortune seems to have turned her wheel in my favor.

So, without further ado, allow me to share my (hopefully) diamonds found in the rough.

The Girls in the Picture – Melanie Benjamin

I immediately picked this up for the insanely gorgeous cover. (Just look at the fashion!)

After reading the synopsis, I found out that this book is about two girls trying to make it on Hollywood in 1914 during the rise of silent films. And to be honest, that’s pretty much all I know.

I never saw myself has a historical fiction reader, but after diving head first into Stephen King’s 11/22/63, I think I’ve adopted a nice little reading niche for myself.

A Country Road, A Tree – Jo Baker

Yet another historical fiction book and another beautiful cover buy.

All I know about this story is that it follows a writer in Paris in 1939 during WWII.

I love Paris. I love learning about WWII. I, too, am a writer. This book checks off all of the boxes for me!

And the best part? It’s less than 300 pages! I’ve caught myself buying nothing but larger books lately, which is great for my reading challenge, but it’s also a teeny bit stressful when it feels like it takes an entire month just to finish one book. Sometimes I love a quick and enjoyable read, so I’m hoping Jo Baker can deliver!

Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved interior design. So, naturally, when I came across this beautiful book, I had to snatch it.

Unlike other decorating books, this one is primarily 1961 designs. I love the 60’s, bright colors, and retro theme, and this has already hit all of those soft spots for me.

What books have you picked up recently, and which ones are you most excited for? I’d love to hear them!

Why I Love Reading Classics | Words and Time Travel

Classic literature is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. Whenever I peruse the shelves for something to read or buy, I always end up grabbing a Jane Austen novel or a Shakespeare play over a newer contemporary or thriller.

Don’t get me wrong, I do read modern books, but there’s something enchanting about classics that I just can’t resist.

I often feel left out since most enjoy reading more popular books, but then again, I may just not have found my people yet!

In the wise words of Mark Twain, “‘Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read.”

I often find myself feeling uncomfortable expressing my love for Plato and Dante to the average human, as well as bringing up John Milton’s Paradise Lost as a book recommendation. Their responses are typically confused looks and some small words of encouragement.

Nevertheless, I will continue to spread my love for dense, thematic literature until my face turns blue, even despite the painful interactions.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about classics is you know it’ll be an enjoyable and enriching read (for the most part).

I mean, it’s well-known for a reason, right?

Of course, not everyone is going to like reading a classic if that’s not the type of writing style you enjoy, but this is just my reading experience.

Also, when I read a classic, I feel like I’ve been teleported back to that time period.

How were women viewed in Ancient Greek? What did people think of England and its government during the Renaissance? How do people view the world? What do people think about the Bible? All of these questions, and countless more, can be answered through reading literature.

Even with their fictitious elements, classics are encapsilated by their author’s language. As an avid studier of language and how it evolves, I love exploring previous cultures and how they utilized their word choice, structure, etc. The author’s language shapes the world that they are living in through their own perspective.

I don’t really know where I was going with that. I just love how writers have the ability to create a world that readers feel like they have truly explored and experienced.

Lastly, I love how much classics teach you about yourself.

Take Dante’s Divine Comedy, for instance. By following Dante along side his own journey of self-actualization, the reader is able to reflect on their own person and assess things about themself.

As a real life scenario, I have a friend that took a Dante class with me, and he explained that following Dante’s journey through depression helped him out of his own depression. Now he’s completing a thesis all about bibliotherapy (therapy through books) and the power of bibliotherapy for mental health.

If that isn’t the most impactful example of classics and how they shape you, then I don’t know what to tell you.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own reading taste, and mine just happens to be classics!

Maybe one day I’ll explore a wider variety of more modern novels, but I think I’m comfortable in my cozy classics for now.

What kind of books do you like and why? I’d love to hear some recommendations!

Stay safe. Stay home. Stay stuck in a book.