Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie: Going back to Neverland

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“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

I read this little gem a few weeks back on my way to Brighton for the day, if you’re Instagrammers you would have seen a few posts of the last sunny day in Britain to be fair.

Would like to say, this was my first time ever reading Peter Pan.

Now that I’m saying it, although I’m typing, out loud it really does sound like the title Bookworm doesn’t even belong to me.

I’ll try and justify myself then.

“She asked where he lived.

Second to the right,’ said Peter, ‘and then straight on till morning.”

When I was little I was a huge fan of the Disney movie of course, because what 5 year old wasn’t? Also, I grew up with Hook starring the late great Robin Williams on V I D E O, as well as having a crush on the new (?) adaptation of Peter Pan, Jeremy Sumpter back in 2003. Yeah. That was 13 years ago.

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I’ll let that sink in.

Also, as a kid I think my mum got me the V I D E O of Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp, which admittedly I didn’t enjoy as much at the age of six and, to be fair mum; what were you thinking? Most depressing film in the world. For a six year old. Who thought she was about to watch Peter Pan; with an actual Peter Pan in it.

I digress.

As you may have been able to tell, my experience of Peter Pan up until now had been largely visual, so the point I’m trying to get at is that it was quite interesting reliving the story through the pages of a book this time. I loved reading the words and seeing the scene so clearly laid out behind my eyes. Also, very impressed with the screenwriters for the 2003 adaptation; parts and extracts from the book were so accurate; making it all the more enjoyable experience.

It was nice to go back to Neverland again with older eyes, as I’ve grown up, Peter would have hated it.

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”

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Twenty Poems by Rudyard Kipling

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I know I’ve been quite absent recently but what with a student schedule and a levels being the literal definition of hell; I haven’t been reading much. But here I am, talking about how I’ve read some books.

So I read my first book of poems recently; a new experience for the Jess.

 

And I really enjoyed it funnily enough. I can’t say I’m a huge poetry reader; it goes a little over my head to be honest. Maybe I’m not cultured enough.

But Mr Kipling really got me.

If, as always is a favorite of mine from the golden IGCSE days but it was lovely reading a little more of his work.

Also this book was 1 pound in the charity shop and was begging to be bought.

FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1918.

I really do love old books.

My favorite poems from here were The Secret of the Machines, If (of course), The Holy War, The Glory of the Garden (nothing says British like that!)

Poems which really stood out to me were The Children, The Beginnings and For All We Have And Are… do go and give them a read.

Thanking you, Mr Kipling, not only for the Jungle Book, but also this little gem of poetry which may have sparked the interest of probably the least poetic 18 year old, ever.

 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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I have no idea how I came to acquire this book. I don’t remember buying it. I don’t remember receiving it. Within the pages is a receipt from 2012 at a bookshop in Egypt (not completely weird; used to live there) but I have no recollection of this book or how it came to be in my possession. Weird ha?

I really didn’t know what to think about this one after reading the blurb; the story claiming to be about a baby who grows up in a graveyard after its family is brutally murdered and is raised by the ghosts and spirits who reside in the graveyard accompanied by his guardian. And from there we watch Bod (short for Nobody Owens) grow up in the graveyard meeting the various spirits that live there. It was interesting!

I wish I had read this a couple of years ago when its writing style and story would have made much more of an impact but if I’m being completely honest, the cover put me off not to mention the frankly morbid title. But I enjoyed it, and from me reading it I’ve realized actually how popular this fanbase is.

I was gripped as much as you could be from a book that says on the back Ages 10 and above.

Well, it is above…

Thank you Mr Gaiman, who I’ve realized and wrote many other cool books, for reminding me of the most important rule of conduct for a booknerd:

NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.

I’ll leave this little note here.

“Face your life, it’s pain, it’s pleasure. Leave no path untaken.”

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

 

A book stolen (not literally) from a charity shop; beaten and worn; its previous owner of whom wrote on the first page Judith, second name illegible, the date 1995; years before I was even born.

To sum it up; me and this bad boy were going to have some fun.

And isn’t it different?

I love a bit of Orwell; having read both 1984 and Animal Farm; in that order. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this one; not really being sufficiently within the funds to buy a brand new one from Waterstone’s, this charity shop treat was the perfect excuse to simply convince and assure myself ‘I definitely need this one’; never mind the fifty books yet to be opened.

Having never really read into Orwell and the context in which he wrote in; him being an Etonian came of a bit of a shock to me as well as the fact of Eton’s education system dismissing English Literature as a simple pastime, not something to be taught back in the day: oh how the other half live! It also makes me wonder what form Orwell‘s writing would have taken if he had have been able to pursue it at school. Would he be the much loved and adored author we know? Or just Eric?

On to the book, then.

Knowing Orwell‘s schooling; it came as a great surprise to see and wonder just how on earth this probably well-off man, managed himself in the immense poverty in which he immersed himself into quite willingly; if not forcefully. His writing speaks volumes also on what he shied away from; anything luxurious or had worth to it. He drowned in the working class society of Paris; yet his writing was not solemn and self-pitying, but full of pride and an air of snobbishness which he seemingly tried to cover up. It is almost as if he loves it; he loves the poverty and having nothing.

Or is he simply able to live and experience it without the prejudice as he is able to have a hand on the safety button and escape from it all; his peers and family happy with that decision.

So as much as he tries to kid himself throughout this type of memoir of poverty, I still believe that the old Etonian is very much alive in him.

But don’t get me wrong it was a huge insight into that world which one can’t deny is utterly alien to our own; you don’t know poverty until you’ve read this book. 

 

These two extracts stood out at me; first for Orwell‘s utter Britishness and then for being a wise fella.

There are, indeed, many things in England that make you glad to get home; bathrooms. armchairs, mint sauce, new potatoes properly cooked, brown bread, marmalade, beer made with veritable hops- they are all splendid, if you can pay for them.

Basically he named the most British things…

Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?–for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except ‘Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it’? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.

This one hit home…

BOOKHAUL FOR AUGUST…oopsies.

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I should not be allowed within reach of charity shops…

Maya Angelou- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Jean Rhys- Good Morning Midnight

Victoria Aveyard- Glass Sword

This Is London-

William Shakespeare- The Taming of the Shrew

Arabian Nights

George Orwell- Down and out in Paris and London

Conrad- Heart of Darkness

Rumi Poems

Orhan Pamuk- My Name is Read

William Shakespeare- Hamlet

Maragret Mitchell- Gone With the Wind

Michael Morpurgo- War Horse

John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath

William Shakespeare- Romeo & Juliet

Gullivers Travels

Shelley- Frankenstein

Leroux- The Phantom of the Opera

The Voyage of the Beagle- Charles Darwin

Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen

The Time Traveller’s Wife- Audrey Niffennegger

Tales of Beedle and Bard- J.K Rowling

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

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This book is literally The Fault in Our Stars meets Looking For Alaska ALL OVER.

Reading this was like a blast from my very angsty past, with slamming doors after breakups and Facebook posts I would have fangirled over it in my early tweens.

For a young reader, full of angst (its okay!) this is your ticket out of here.

An easy read which I started and finished today, as a means of escape (ANGST), this book was great. The story was and interesting twist on two ideas merging together.

The plot, at times, felt patchy and the ending gave me the impression of trying to be like so many other teen novels… I was upset by the lack of closure; with little positivity and a bucket full of hormone filled, almost epiphany quotes to sum it up. I wanted to know how our characters ended up. Also, wanted to know more about their backstories with lead them to their fates.

An okay read.

Neh.

 

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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I have been dying to get my hands on some Hemingway; having already own 3 of his works I’ve been waiting for the right moment to be able to lose myself in a book and give it the attention it needs. So last night, after sitting in a reading slum for a few days, in an act of frustration I picked up this little one and began reading with quite a forceful huff.

I have been in love with the idea of Hemingway for a while now; guilty of being an avid Pinterest-er, Hemingway is in abundance for his quotes to wandering up my feed and for me to pin them to “Romance at that” board. After scrounging through “Books To Read Before You Die” blogs many times, The Old Man and the Sea has popped up there, so inevitably it made it onto my To Be Read list, graduated into my To Be Read pile and then contributed to my To Be Read bookcase.

Alas, no more! 

It has been read.

These few lines stood out at me;

‘The fish is my friend too,’ he said aloud. ‘I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.’

Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. But imagine if a man each day should have to try to kill the sun? We were born lucky, he thought.

Hemingway is able to capture this impossibly complex thought, romanticizing the concept in the most Hemingway-way possible. Being the man he was, the almost patriarchal view on other living creatures is imminent, but what shines through all that is the respect and almost chivalry between man and fish on a worthy life, is worth some consideration into the many layers to a personality which may not only be realized through their actions.

I’ll continue to ponder over this one for a while…

Thanks Ern, for the beautiful first read!

 

I totally felt like Dumbledore when I said alas…

forgive me.

A Broken World: Memories of the Great War by Hope Wolf edited by Sebastian Faulks

 

Finally, back to some normality.

This book has done some traveling over its time in my possession; Norway and back, and it took me the entire two weeks to get through it and then some.

As this is not a novel, it is an easy read to pick up and put back down again between the odd mundane task, picking up from another entry, possibly reading and entry a day.

I confess, this was the first historical read I’ve ever invested in (blasphemy, I know), and apparently its a historic read because it said so on the back; so that’s that.

The reason why it took it took so long was due to its content, the War was bleak wasn’t it?

Grim stuff.

I never took history at school and my knowledge of the First World War stretches as far as Downton Abbey (blasphemy) at the best of times; I decided I needed some education on the matter.

And it was shocking. It was shocking, and dreadful and painful and full of despair and love and hope and fear and the brutality of humanity. We can become the most beautiful creatures when we’re on the brink of death, destruction and any other dreary word that beings with ‘D’.

Despondence.

I had to keep putting it down to just take a breather.

As a first historical account of the Great War; I have been enlightened.

I’m overwhelmed with the sense that I shouldn’t forget.

 

 

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

 

I have a few confessions to make.

Confession #1: This was my first historical fiction read.

Confession #2: I kind of loved it.

Wow! As a teen, saying the words “historical fiction”simply sounds like social suicide, but I really wanted to give the book a chance. It just sounded so intriguing.

I was intrigued.

Throughout this one, there is just so much feeling between unspoken words and wordless looks; its truly magical how Chevalier was able to capture complex characters and their quirks and unique traits without wasting words.

Chevalier doesn’t waste her words; she is precise and well thought through and precise.

I’ll definitely be reading more of Chevalier.

 

Confession #3: Chevalier is kind of my grandmother’s neighbour in London…

 

Hello signed copy.

🙂

So apparently I’m in Norway for two weeks… 

Haven’t been blogging as much; in the middle of a house move, studying for the GODDAMN UKCAT, and having a fortnight away in Norway visiting a friend. So actually it’s a pretty good reason.

But yes, Norway is amazing! If you haven’t been; go. Worth it worth worth it!

Yesterday we climbed up Pulpit Rock, doing the whole tourist stuff.

I proudly accept my tourist-ness. It was so much fun!
I’ll just leave these here…



BOOK HAUL… uh-oh…

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As I hang my head in shame as the very few digits in my bank account waggle their finger at me in disdain.

I buckled; I’m sorry. I’m supposed to be saving for my Norway trip and I had to go into town to get dad some weird lip suncream stuff and Boots is RIGHT NEXT TO WATERSTONES.

I wasn’t going to buy anything, I really wasn’t. But I’ve been feeling kind of down and have been told recently I read really childish books.

So to throw in their face WAR AND PEACE. 

WAR AND PEACE, PEOPLE.

Dear Lord and Baby Jesus what have a signed myself up to?

I’m a little scared.

But I’m of course looking forward to getting immersed into these books once I get the chance.

Burger’s Daughter looks good as well!

Also Little Penguin Classics are lethal in a book shop because they are so cheap and so small and cute and then I’ve picked up four and oops.

How have your recent book hauls treated you?

Adventures In Human Being by Gavin Francis

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This is a proper interesting one, this is!

For all the med geeks out there, this one is a definite read! Recently one of Waterstones’ bestsellers (it was on one of the table thingys) this is quite a popular book at the moment and it has all its right to be.

Contrasting heavily with Do No Harm, I can say, this is ten times more scientific. I skipped a few pages at some parts because I simply wasn’t interested in the content and then was able to pick up when I found something I was interested in.

This felt more of a textbook with a splash of humor and mostly dry pages and a lot on ancient philosophies and so on.

It doesn’t sound like I enjoyed it, does it?

I did! I really did, but its dull and exactly what I would expect from a science based book.

If I had read this before Do No Harm by Mr Henry Marsh, I would have bloody loved it… but I didn’t so I didn’t love it. I enjoyed it.

It’s alright, alright?