Weeks 37 and 38: Results & Week 39: Goals

Ugh I have no idea why I’m so far behind this week. I’m sorry. I thought college would put me back on track, but I guess I thought wrong. But hey, I’m here and I can’t really complain. You can, though. Yell at me in the comments. I think that’ll motivate me to post on time. PLEASE.

However, I finally have some good news! I finished four books in the weeks I’ve been gone!

  • Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Writer’s Handbook 2011 by Barry Turner

 

I had to read Jane Erye and Wide Sargasso Sea for my Women’s Literature course. My high school reading schedule got really messed up because I changed schools and took an AP Lit course, so I’ve missed out on many of the traditional books read in high school, including Jane Erye. I was really eager to read the book though, especially because I love Charlotte Bronte’s sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights. I was not disappointed either. I enjoyed this book so much! I definitely need to buy my own copy of this one. Jane is such a great character. Not only does she rise out from a horrible background to become free and happy, but she finds love when she grew up hardly knowing what love is. Besides that, the story itself is fantastic! I’d strongly recommend it to anyone who has not read it.

Wide Sargasso Sea, on the other hand, I didn’t enjoy. At all. It’s pretty much published Jane Erye fan fiction. It’s the story of Bertha Mason, the mad woman in Rochester’s attic. It’s interesting to read things from various perspectives, but I didn’t really find this story interesting. The writing wasn’t my favorite and the story itself was a bit…too much. I understand the the writer is trying to combat racist undertones in Jane Erye by providing a perspective from the West Indies, but I feel like she was pushing her agenda too much. I wasn’t even sure what the point of the story was. Of course it was her descent into madness, but I was never sure whether the author was trying to argue that Rochester caused her madness or not. It all just seemed like a jumble of events. It was a cool idea, just misled in my opinion.

FIGHT CLUB. I know the first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club, but LET’S TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK. My friends warned me, they all told me it was great. My friend Ali is a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan, and she told me that I’d love his books too. I just had to read them. Also, I’ve never seen the movie before, and I was curious. I was totally not expecting any of what happened to happened, and I enjoyed every word. It was shocking and strange and perfect. The story, the characters, and the ideals are just so…perfect. Wow, this is a horrible review. I don’t even care! This book was fantastic, and it is definitely a new addition to my favorite books list. I can’t wait to watch the movie now! Highly recommended.

Writer’s Handbook 2011 isn’t really a book, but I’m including it anyway. It’s more of a reference for writers, and it was the most helpful reference I’ve read. It was mainly targeted to U.K. readers and writers since the organizations, magazines, and writer’s workshops were all based in the U.K. so check it out if you’re anywhere over there! There were some international sections, though, so I was able to find some things relevant to myself. Regardless of location, this book really inspired me to get writing again. There are pages of magazines to submit to, small and large presses, writer’s workshops, book clubs…everything. It got me searching for more places around me, and I found so much. The most helpful site I found while looking for places to submit work to was this one:

http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html

I’m definitely going to be spending more time working on some short stories and maybe some poetry to send in! I really encourage you to as well! Let me know if you do and if you get accepted!

In other really exciting news, I went to the Book Barn with my university’s English Club on Friday. The Book Barn is an old barn turned 5-floor used/vintage book store. It’s only five minutes away from campus, and the old couple who own it are the sweetest people. They have three cats and a dog walking around (I pet all four of them. My crazy cat lady side came out big time.) I fell in love as soon as I saw it. And now for the big news…They asked me to intern with them! They have a couple of students from the university come over to help them every once in a while and they pay them in books! They also teach you about running a book store, which is my absolute DREAM. Oh my goodness, I don’t think you understand how happy this made me. I’m going to ride my girlfriend’s bike over tomorrow after class and see what I can do to help. I’m so excited about this.

Speaking of English Club, tomorrow’s the next meeting and we’re going to be discussing why Harry Potter is better than Twilight. It’s going to be wonderful. I’m so happy with the direction the English Club has taken this year. Last year, it was boring and absolutely horrible. We literally did NOTHING every week. The president would just talk to the vice-president the whole time. I eventually stopped going. This year, we’re actually doing things and I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to get involved last year, and I felt horrible for not wanting to after seeing what it was like. I was almost the treasurer this year, but I decided that I am too busy this year with my own club and that I’m not really suited to be a treasurer (I’m horrible with math and money).

I’m also going to be talking about my club, the Harry Potter Alliance/Quidditch team at tomorrow’s meeting! We’re already up to fifty-plus members, but maybe we can get more! By the end of the month, I should figure out if we’re official or not! I can’t wait.

Another club I’m involved with is the literary magazine, Daedalus. I wasn’t involved last year, and I was disappointed with myself for not being a part of it. Granted, they don’t do much fall semester, but they’re thinking about maybe hosting writer’s workshops. Going to the meeting really inspired me to put myself out there this year. I’m going to actually submit my writing. Hopefully I’ll be accepted because being published is a dream of mine. Being published in a college literary magazine actually helps my chances later in life. I’m also going to attend the workshops if they go through with them. I need to get over my fear of showing my writing to people. It’s the only way to become a better writer, and I think it will really help.

I’m so sorry this has turned into a giant rant about my life, but it’s sort of on topic, right? Next week is Banned Books Week, so that’s cool. I’ll be joining Out of Print’s book club in reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughterhouse-Five. I’m excited because I love Vonnegut and I haven’t read this book yet! Let me know in the comments how you plan on giving the big “fuck you” to censorship!

So. Goals. Right. This week I’m hoping to finish Tipping the Velvet. I know, I’ve been reading it forever. What am I doing with my life? College, mostly. I don’t know what that implies, but just so we’re clear, it mostly means sitting naked in my dorm while doing homework, jamming to music, and eating really unhealthy food. I went into town Friday night with my friends and walked up and down the main party street….while my friend was dressed as a banana. That’s the kind of thing I do. We don’t drink and party; we dress up like fruit and skip down the street past drunk people. Anyway, I got really off-topic really quickly. Yeah, so besides Tipping the Velvet, I don’t know if I’ll have time for anything else. I think I’m just going to stick with one goal this week.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

Jen.

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