Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review & Excerpt of Saving Beck by Courtney Cole

By Courtney Cole

Okay, so my review was supposed to be posted yesterday, but honestly I needed to take a day to just sit and reflect about what I’d read. Saving Beck is so much more than a story—as you’ll find out in the author’s note at the end—and in order to write the best review I simply needed more time.

“Loving someone with an addiction is a heavy burden to carry. At times, you feel alone, as though no one else could possibly understand. And most of the time, no one can, unless they’ve walked this particular path themselves.”

Some of my favorite quotes come at the beginning and end of the book in the notes from Courtney and her editor Lauren Mckenna. That isn't in ANY way, shape, or form an insult to the words that lie within, I just think it’s really powerful to hear an author say—this is real, I’ve lived this, please let my words help you.

And, Courtney, your words are going to help.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Absent Female Narrator in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko

          Oroonoko(1688) tells the story of a young Coramantien prince who is sold into slavery. Oroonoko, the prince, is a successful military leader trained by Imoinda’s father. Imoinda’s father saves Oroonoko’s life by taking an arrow to the eye, and after this heroic act Oroonoko becomes general. Oroonoko meets Imoinda for the first time when he goes back to the court, and he falls in love immediately. The two marry, but shortly after, and before consummation, Oroonoko’s grandfather sends Imoinda a royal veil. She must leave Oroonoko to become one of the king’s concubines. Oroonoko and Imoinda communicate secretly, and he sneaks into her quarters to consummate their union. The king, suspicious that something is happening, sells Imoinda into slavery while Oroonoko fights on the battlefield, but he tells Oroonoko that she has been killed. The news devastates the warrior, but he rouses himself in order to lead his troops to a victory. He, and one hundred of his men, are received as royal guests on an English sea captain’s boat, but once on board they realize they’ve been tricked and they will be sold into slavery. 
            Oroonoko winds up in Surinam, where he is sold to a slave-owner named Trefry. Trefry treats Oroonoko kindly, and unwittingly reunites Oroonoko with Imoinda—now Clemene. The reunion fills them with joy, and it’s not long before they conceive a child. Trefry continually ensures Oroonoko—now Caesar—that he will free him, but with a child on the way Oroonoko begins to grow restless and suspicious of this promise. When his restlessness reaches its peak Oroonoko leads a slave revolt. The colonists catch them and the slaves are convinced to surrender after Deputy Governor Byam agrees to fulfill Oroonoko’s demands. Byam breaks the agreement immediately, and Oroonoko realizes that they will never know freedom again. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Review of The Water Cure

The Water Cure
by Sophie Mackintosh

“King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or, viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave."

I’ve waited weeks to write this review, because when I finished I wasn’t even sure how I felt about the book. I don’t mean that I was unsure if I liked it, but rather the content of the book was so heavy and so muddled that I needed some time to sift through it alone.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

January to July 2018: Top Reads

Top 11 books so far this year:

I was inspired to write this post when I saw Wandereader post his fav books he’s read so far in 2018. (Love you, Chase!)
Listed in no particular order, here are my favs from January-July 2018:

K.A. Tucker NEVER disappoints. Keep Her Safe warmed my heart and kept me guessing until the end.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Digital Archiving: A Borderland?

“The actual physical borderlands that I’m dealing with in this book is the Texas-U.S. Southwest/Mexican border. The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest. In fact, the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy.” -Gloria Anzaldúa, from the introduction to Borderlands/La Frontera. 

            Gloria Anzaldúa is well known for a number of her books and pieces of writing. One of the most well-known books is Borderlands/La Frontera. A borderland is exactly what you think about when you think of a literal border between two places, but for Gloria it moves beyond just the physical. As you can see in the quote pulled from her introduction to Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria was very aware of the border that divided Mexico and the Southwest. This idea extends, though, into a psychological, sexual, and spiritual border anytime two persons of different cultures occupy the same territory or space. Borderlands aren’t just the physical divide between spaces and places, they're the overlapping of cultures and ways of life that can be present when two individuals enter the same room. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hyper-Masculinity and Female Degradation in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Hyper-Masculinity and Female Degradation in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Feminist criticism of George Orwell reaches far and wide into his vast collection of work. Historically, male authors have received much criticism over their portrayal of female characters. Orwell is an example of someone who has been on the receiving end of this criticism, and rightfully so. Daphne Patai is a feminist scholar of Orwell, and her book, The Orwell Mystique: A Study in Male Ideology, is one of the most complete and extensive pieces of Orwell criticism. There are a number of other criticisms, but none so complete and so wholly feminist. Arthur Eckstein, in his review of Patai’s book, says, “[Patai’s] radical feminism has led her to an insight about Orwell which is of the greatest value: his obsession with masculinity of the most traditional, Hemingway-esque type.”[1]He continues by stating that it is not hard to find examples in Orwell’s texts, but no one had pointed to the phenomenon so blatantly before Patai. Eckstein is correct that there are not any other Orwell critics who have pointed so obviously to the obsession with hyper-masculine identity in his writing. 

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