Guess who’s arisen from the dead? Moi! I’ve recently read a book, watched, like, thirteen movies, and I’m ready to push out so many reviews for you guys over the next few months, you have no idea! I just returned from an inspiring trip to Barnes & Noble, I’m settled down with a nice sandwich from Panera Bread, and I’m ready to share my finds.
So, the original purpose of this quick little trip was to pick up the two books I’m supposed to read this summer for my English class. So… I entered the bookstore and marched straight to the back in their “Fiction & Literature” section to look for the last name “Steinbeck.” I picked up the second book I’ve been assigned, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and searched for the first, Of Mice and Men.
My trip was supposed to be over.
BUT, no. I’m a book lover, and even though I have several books in my bedroom, completely unread, and absolutely NO shelf space, I had to get two more books.
So, I picked up Caraval by Stephanie Garber, completely intrigued by the cover and the summary, as well as a book I originally picked out for my mother and purchased from the bargain book section for the two of us to share: The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones.
Below I’ll list these books with what they look like (unfortunately, B&N only had the classic revival version of Of Mice and Men, but the others are extremely appealing.) As some of you may know, I don’t judge people by their appearances, but, um, I’m slightly ashamed to say that I do judge actual books by their covers, which drew me to The Barefoot Queen. 😉 I’ll follow this up with a small explanation of the content that’s to come over the course of the rest of this summer.
First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.
A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes the very nature of equality and justice in America.
The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream–a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Spain, 1748. Caridad is a recently freed Cuban slave wandering the streets of Seville. Her master is dead and she has nowhere to go. When, by chance, she meets Milagros Carmona—a spellbinding, rebellious gypsy—the two women become inseparable. Caridad is swept into an exotic fringe society full of romance and art, passion and dancing.
But their way of life changes instantly when gypsies are declared outlaws by royal mandate and their world as a free people becomes perilous. The community is split up—some are imprisoned, some forced into hiding, all fearing for their lives. After a dangerous separation, Caridad and Milagros are reunited and join in the gypsies’ struggle for sovereignty against the widespread oppression. It’s a treacherous battle that cannot, and will not, be easily won.
From the bustle of Seville to the theatres of Madrid, The Barefoot Queen is an unforgettable historical fresco filled with characters that live, suffer, and fight for the lives of those they love, and for the freedom they can’t live without.
Alright guys, so before I go, I’m just going to give you a little taste of what’s to come. I’m going to push out a book review for Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton as well as the movie adaptation. I’ll then probably do some more photography posts, as I’m going on vacation in two days so I’ll capture lots of pictures. Then, you’ll get a lot of movie reviews. I’ll explain why I’ve basically been binging movies for the past couple of weeks later, but, long story short, I did something stupid and decided to make up for it.
Thanks so much for reading, and thank you to those who keep reading even though I stopped posting regularly during the school year.