Literature Readings, Thoughts!

Modernizing Required Readings for Students

Heya!

So I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to achieve in the world of literature. My want to go back to college and finish my degree was more about accomplishing my own goals and learning new things. I hadn’t yet figured out what I wanted to do with my degree, specifically, besides writing bestsellers. I’ve been reading, writing books and creating new stories since I was a young child, since before I could remember. Despite my detours in life, I always knew this is where I would land.

To translate that into academics, I want to delve deeper into the literary requirements of our youth. I remember being a young girl, inspired by big works like Shakespeare and George Orwell and also the smaller works like Summer of my German Soldier (Bette Greene) and Melusine. I always found it fascinating to read works by authors who lived long ago but realized that my fellow classmates did not. They were disinterested, flighty and annoyed. This made me really think about the works that we were required and what I could do to make reading more appealing.

So I’ve realized the best way to go about this is to modernize our required readings. I am a firm believer that the best writers weren’t only born 200 plus years ago. Yes, we can learn great things from our past but we can also learn a multitude of things from the present. We have hundreds of amazing writers here in this century and we need to recognize them. Do not take this as I am wanting to replace the genius works of the past. I want to give an alternative modernized literary option for teaching those students who squirm and fuss at the thought of reading outside of a text message. These are students who normally hate reading. I want them to be able to pick up a book they can relate to, learn the same skills of tension, mystery and cultural appreciation.

Over the next few years, I am going to compile a list of required readings and find comparisons in the modern world of literature. I want to develop a list of books that will still teach life lessons, broaden horizons and open the minds of our youth. I will be blogging my path with this and will eventually make a static post of the comparisons that I’ve done so that you guys are updated!

I would really like some suggestions that could help me on this journey. I found a really great one on GoodReads but it’s 500 books long! That’s a great start but I am going to break them apart, following a specific criteria, and choose The ones I think can really transform literature. If you’ve read a modern or contemporary book that you think could rival the literature of old please feel free to let me know! Also, tell me the book that you think it parallels. This is going to be a great journey!

P.S. To make a clear distinction, I am talking about new and original stories, plays and novels written now, not revisions or rewrites of old ones.

Good Readance,

Jade

Final Reviews

Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I really loved this book! It took me a little longer to read it because I am going through midterms right now but I’m excited to say that I am a big fan of Andy Weir. Jazz is relatable, intelligent, unassuming and daring. I love the characters ability to think quick on her feet and to be ready for anything that comes her way. I definitely love this ‘living on the moon’ theme that Andy Weir has started. It gives you a sense of hope for humanity and inspiration for the future of science.

I would not mind at all seeing a movie adaption of this book. I’d like to see what city they would create, how they would form the hubs and what they would use as a basis for the Moon’s surface. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, even those who are not interested in science and discovery.

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I need to find other books written by Andy Weir, I have a feeling he might soon become one of my favorite authors. I was actually talking to a fellow reader the other day and they mentioned the comparisons with Artemis and The Martian. I hadn’t even noticed they were written by the same author, Artemis was recommended to me.

They actually said they didn’t like this book as much as they liked the other. I can say that the way the books are written is completely different. Jazz Bashara is very different than Mark Watney. First of all, she’s a criminal and he’s a genius who recognized his intelligence and used it. Jazz did not. She is very flippant and squirrely in comparison to Mark’s character. The pace of the book is different as in the Martian you spend most of the book following one character who is unable to talk to anyone else but himself. It’s a great comparison and I love to see writers switch up their voice and still draw the reader in.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

 

Good Readance,
Jade

Thoughts!

Hearing From You! My favorite people!

Questions!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below! Please answer any of the questions below or feel free to ask any of your own.

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What do you like to read?
What’s your favorite genre?
Do you like to write? If so, what?
Have you read any of the books I’ve reviewed? New or older posts?
What books would you like to see reviewed?
Do you like the posts not related to reading and writing? If not, what would you like to see?

Jade

Thoughts!

Reading Black Authors

I recently read a book by a black author and I loved it. It had nothing to do with the author’s race or our connection through ‘blackness’. I never really cared what race wrote what book, it’s never had any bearing on my thoughts of the book. I have never wanted to limit myself and I refuse to let anything stop me from reading. If it’s a great story, I’ll read a book by any race.

Recently, I joined a facebook group for black women that love to read and it’s really blown my mind. The camaraderie, the honesty, and the uplifting comments really made me feel like I belonged. As an introvert, that’s a huge deal. Members posts the books they are currently reading or their views on an upload. So I chose one book they suggested to me, and I will be doing a review on it, but I really liked it and in turn I picked up 3 other books I saw posted to the group. Once you gain my trust, I might just start listening to you.

Sometimes I’m not too sure about the suggestions I get. Before, when I was just randomly asking out to the world, I’d have people suggest political books, which I’m not very fond of (Am I going to read Fire and Fury? I have no idea). I’ve had someone suggest I read overly religious books, fire and brimstone types, and I’m usually iffy on those as well. I can be a stickler, with no real guidelines, but usually I will pick it up and crack it open.

Whenever I ask for suggestions people want to know what I’m looking for and I can’t really answer that question. I tell them to just give me their favorites, nothing political, nothing religious but people like to push their favorites so…eh.

I love to read different genres. As a kid I started with Julie Garwood’s The Wedding and fell in love with romance. I went through phases of Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie and wild wonders like James Patterson’s Angel Experiment series and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I didn’t move into non-fiction and biographies until I got older. On Writing by Stephen King, Steve Jobs, and Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran were a few that I loved.

I can’t really choose an ultimate favorite genre because I’ve read so many books and I’ve loved so many that fit different criteria. I’m a big fan of mystery, romance, and psychological thrillers but I’m also an avid reader of paranormal romance, futuristic science fiction and oddball humor. I like to hear about different walks of life but I love it to be in story form. I’m not a fan of the fifth grade history book biography theme.

I am African American and I write but I never thought it was a big deal. There was nothing in my upbringing that told me black people can’t be writers. No one, other than those who told me to choose a career that was going to make money, told me I couldn’t succeed at being an author. I’ve been reading adult novels since I was seven and it never crossed my mind that people thought this was incredulous. I’ve never pulled up the authors profiles to check and I’ve never seen a “Written by a Black Author” sticker on any covers in Barnes and Nobles. Have you?

That being said, I do want to support my own people. I do feel that it’s important that they know we are reading their novels and are behind them 100 percent. Since joining this facebook group, I’ve heard about more black authors than ever in my entire life.  As a bibliophile and book addict I’ve obviously added a ton of novels to my To Be Read file. I’m very excited. Hopefully I will find more gems like Allegedly, a book by Tiffany D. Jackson. I have a few more on my list, suggestions from the group, and will be doing reviews on them here. If you have any thoughts on this or if it’s a thought you’ve had let’s chat!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

P.S. If you have any suggestions send ’em right over! Don’t be afraid!

Final Reviews

Book Review: I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

 “Almost two years after someone snatched Alexandra “Zan” Moreland’s then three-year-old son, Matthew, from his stroller while his sitter dozed, Zan, a New York City interior designer who remains devastated, has been unable to trace her son. To make matters worse, somebody is using her credit cards to purchase expensive items just as she’s on the verge of landing a prestigious account for her fledgling business. Worst of all, evidence emerges that suggests Zan kidnapped her own son. Meanwhile, a priest is troubled by a woman whose confession reveals that a murder is being planned. Contrivances that prevent key information from reaching the heroine as well as characters without personality in the service of a plot with at least one major hole won’t please those who prefer their suspense firmly grounded in reality and logic.”*

 

It almost happened again. I almost let it happen again. It t’was the night before Christmas…just kidding. It was about 2am this morning and I started to read an e-book that was recommended to me earlier in the day and then I thought, Crap! I need to read those damn library books! So I went to the large stack sitting on my dinning room table and picked up I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. I got into the book and it took me until, around, 4am to finish it.

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I thought the book was pretty great, although there were some parts that really annoyed me. It’s already established from the first moment that someone is impersonating her and that most won’t believe it but she spends the majority of the book acting like a crazy person. She often asks herself if she really did have something to do with her son’s disappearance. Of course, I expected her to be upset, frustrated, exhausted and even a little unhinged but the dramatics was an unnecessary addition to the plot twist.  I feel as if we didn’t answer most of the questions (lotta worry, lotta call backs with no pay off; thinking of the Stephen King suspense method).

I am always a fan of hers but I definitely pay attention to each book as it’s own separate work. I must say, I did enjoy the plot twist in this one. It wasn’t as explosive as some of her other stories but I enjoyed it. I’d recommend this book if you just need something to curl up with or a quick read with a little suspense.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but have plan to…let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Reading.

Jade

 

*Link to Book and synopsis: http://bit.ly/2CTpnPG

Final Reviews

Book Review: Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan

Hey guys! So I have a weird review to write today. I was not really a fan of this novel. In my honest opinion, I would not recommend it for anyone to read. This is the first novel of the Shadow series and I believe the newest Christine Feehan novel.

I’m not sure if the reason I disliked the novel was because I just went through a victim and domestic abuse class or something else but it seems pretty logical. I spent almost the entire novel cringing at how often the relationship reminded me of Stockholm Syndrome, verbal abuse and uncontrollable behavior. Stefano spent most of the book threatening to chase her down if she tried to leave, threatening to tear anyone’s head off should they dare to look at her for too long or having his family members chase her around.

Hey, I understand that she was scared and that she needed to be protected but gosh…like, can a girl breathe? At one point, he even told her that she could feel free to speak her mind but it wouldn’t matter because he’d do what he wanted. I also understand that since the Fifty Shades of Grey women came out of the woodworks, “romance” authors are starting to make their alpha men even more controlling and strong willed. They have to feed into the fantasies of the women who want to be dominated, told what to do and forced to stay.

I am not one of these women.

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The actual story plot seems to have a very great foundation. It does seem like it has a lot going on, though. It’s as if someone took a jumble of ideas, narrowed them down to…100 bullet points and crammed them into one novel. I like the idea of shadow riding and using the tubes but…I’m not sure, its something about it that’s just…too much.

If you’ve read this novel, please let me know how you felt. Did you get the same vibes I did or were you completely taken away by the novel?

Tell me, tell me!!!

Jade

Final Reviews

Book Reviews: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Hey All!

So…I’m super super excited to be reading the Harry Potter series! My parents, as much as I love them, were very very strict. Their strong Christianity beliefs didn’t allow them to have dealings in magic, paranormal or spell type theories. That’s the way they took it at least. I, however, grew to love these stories and had to hide when I wanted to read them. (Definitely a stubborn and determined child.) I was barred from reading anything Harry Potter or any other magical nonsense like that.

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As an adult, I can read whatever I want! Whoop Whoop! So of course when I remembered that I’d been gifted the Harry Potter series by an old friend, I was ecstatic! I’ve read the first three Harry Potter books. My complete thought was that I can read the books and then watch the movies as I go along. I’ve watched the first two and haven’t yet watched the third. It’s been a great adventure!

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I was actually quite surprised at home much I enjoy the stories. Have you ever thought of how different your imagination is when you’re a child as opposed to when all thoughts of magic have left you? Have you noticed that when you get older the belief that things like talking books, floating tables and brooms that fly dwindles? I was scared that I wouldn’t love the books as much because I’m such…an adult! Sounds silly but when you really think about it you’ll see it’s true.

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I definitely would recommend these books. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young child or an adult looking to get your imagination back you will enjoy these books! I loved the movies too! The story line greatly with the books. They did such a great job! I can’t wait to finish the series and read the rest of the stories!

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

Thoughts!

Long Little While

You’d be surprised how much you missed something when you’ve been away for a while. I talked to someone recently about my love of reading and they mentioned how I should write reviews. I thought to myself ‘I do!’ but I knew that I hadn’t been consistent with writing them. I don’t think there is any real science behind it, I just think that my love for reading has suddenly outweighed my love for writing reviews.

Don’t get me wrong! I love love love to review novels but I just get so caught up in the stories that I end up reading the next novel and not writing the review. I have sooooo many book reviews to write. I’ve at least read 4 books a week for the last month and a half. Each of them will be getting a review, it’s just a matter of time.

I look forward to the long nights until I get them all done and I hope that you enjoy them.

I love feedback guys! If you hate my reviews, let me know! If you love my reviews, let me know! If you have read the book before, please…let me know and tell me how you felt about it!

 

Jade

Thoughts!

Taking A Break From Social Media

So I’ve discovered that the hardest thing to do is find time between work, school, luxury and hobbies. It’s hard because now there are so many other things taking up our time and mind. I’ve seen so many studies, and I wont go into the gory details, about how much time we, as humans, spend on our phones. It doesn’t only include phones though! Many people like to lift their noses and say “Well, I don’t spend all day on my phone!” or “I put my phone down during dinner.” It’s not just that. There are TV’s, Mac/laptops, tablets, IPads and now even watches that take away from our quality time with each other.

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I am no different. I spend a lot of my time surfing the internet, trudging through Facebook or taking selfies for my Instagram or Snapchat accounts (those to be listed below!). After seeing a post, that was completely ridiculous, on FB I actually sat and thought about the time that I spend using these medias. Then, after spending a few days reading a book because I was so distracted, I decided to take a break. I need to get more reading done, so I can get more reviews done! Yay (aren’t you excited!?)!! I want to watch more movies and tv shows. I want to take longer walks without checking my phone as soon as I get home to see if anyone liked a status. I also want to find my center and start doing yoga more. I definitely used to do it a lot but have seriously been slacking on that front!

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From 4/24/2017 until 5/24/2017 I am doing, what I call, the Break Free From Media experiment (#BreakFreeFromMedia or #BFFM!). You may wonder why it’s an experiment or why it seems like a big deal but it truly is for me! After moving to my area just over a year ago I still feel like I haven’t completely incorporated myself into the “scene”. Using social media is definitely a way I bridge that gap.

I will only be using this site (as it’s my review blog and not what I would call social media…weird I know) and my professional Instagram page (which is obviously for professional purposes only). You guys should make this move with me!! Would you take a break from your social media? Or do you believe you can’t live without it? Let me know what you think!

Jade

P.S. My anniversary with my guys is coming up soon…boy am I excited!

Links are also on the side of the screen 🙂

Instagram– JadeElyzabethJ

SnapChat- BlackIceQueen

Thoughts!

Just A Dedicated Reader

Sometimes I find that life takes a toll on me. My soul and heart feel downtrodden and I can’t climb out of the rut I’m in. It’s a never ending cycle of unexpected experiences, good or bad, that fill your existence with doubt, fear and excitement. While to some this is welcoming and new. It’s like with everyday that goes by you could be opening a new door to a fork in the road. To others it’s terrifying, like you never know when to hold on or when to let go. You never know if this is it; if this will be the day that every moment of planning, every night of staying up late or every sacrifice you made will begin circling the drain.

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So….I do what any respectable woman would do and I climb down further, deep deep down, using my hands as claws and hooks to push me further into a book. I pull out some dusty novel that I enjoyed years ago, one that’s been pushed back and scrunched up and curl up to cry. Fortunately, though, this can happen at any time, for any reason. It doesn’t always start as something bad.

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Sometimes, I have a long day…good…but long day in school, work, out paying bills or shopping for groceries. I just want to lay in bed, not do anything  and read a good story. I don’t want to toot my own horn and say that I’m a fast reader or anything…I would just say that I’m a dedicated reader. As soon as I find something that I really love, from the first few pages, I sit down and stay rooted to the story. The edge of the bed, the toilet, cooking asparagus, running out to the car, checking the mail; anywhere is a good place to continue reading a book. I’ve, on many occasion, had to stop myself from walking into a pole, a person, into a hole or even a wall because I was too busy reading.

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Now, yes, people like to hide the fact that they are avid readers (for some reason that is beyond me) but there are a lot of good reasons why we read. The following is a list of pros we get out of reading that I gleaned from a website that I cited at the bottom. I was looking for some of the pros just on my own and figured I’d share with my fellow readers. To go further in-depth check out that link!

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  1. Mental Stimulation
  2. Stress Reduction
  3. Knowledge
  4. Vocabulary Expansion (one of my favs!)
  5. Memory Improvement
  6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
  7. Improved Focus and Concentration
  8. Better Writing Skills (another one of my favs!)
  9. Tranquility (umm…yes!)
  10. Free Entertainment (My fav!!)

Good Readance!

Jade Elyzabeth

 

cited:

winter-hebert, lana (n.d.) on LifeHack.org Retrieved from
10 Benefits; Why You Should Read Everyday