Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine's Day Theme

Valentine's Day themed freebie

Just One of These Top Ten Bookish Gifts My Valentine 
Could Surprise Me With on Valentine's Day
(But I know he won't BECAUSE HE NEVER READS MY BLOG!)

Book Lover's soy candle from Frostbeard Studio 
Frostbeard Studio

A Book Lover's Diary - Shelagh Wallace
A journal for noting personal discoveries from books read
Amazon

This throw pillow
(I've seen a more colorful one, which is better, but I cannot find it now.)
Bookworm Boutique

It's a Little House charm bracelet!
CuriosandCreation

A personal library kit
Amazon

This book stamp
(I could probably make this myself using Sculpey clay.)
Talk to the Sun

This bookmark
MeDesigns

Periodic Table of World Literature poster
Amazon

Something I can wear, 
like one of these tee-shirts with the entire text of my favorite book.
Litographs

A bookish tea cup (yeah, tea cup).
Redbubble

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Wish I Had to Read in High School


Freebie Week! Pick a topic near and dear to your heart. 
Something you wished was on our official list.

One of my greatest regrets from my high school years is that my peers and I were not challenged to read great literature.   The only book I remember having to read in 9th grade was Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, which was a major impression on me; however, imagine a vigorous reading list during my most impressionable years, and how it may have changed my life, or better yet, shattered my intimidation of reading the classics altogether.   

I am not saying it is only a school's responsibility to provide students with challenging reading lists, but I am saying that they should.  It is common sense.  Young people, such as I was, may not have parents or mentors to direct them to such ideas in literature, or young people may not even know naturally that they will love literature.  But schools should challenge their students nonetheless. Reading great literature can teach us in all areas of life and make us more compassionate and empathetic towards others. 

It was really difficult to choose titles because there are so many important works to choose from, so this is in no way an exhaustive list.  I only know that had I been exposed to these books, I would have been changed a lot earlier in life.

Ten Books I Wish I Had to Read in High School

The Four Voyages - Christopher Columbus



The Journals of Lewis and Clark



Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen



Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe



Little Women - Louisa May Alcott



Up From Slavery - Booker T. Washington



or

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass



or

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs



Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison



Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë



Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell



Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes 



Bonus:

The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom



What are some books you wished you were exposed to in high school?

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells


The Time Machine
H. G. Wells
Published 1895
Reading England Challenge

The Tine Machine was not very major "Reading England" material, but I added it since the setting is around London and the Thames at the end of the nineteenth century, as well as hundreds of thousands and millions of years later, into the future.  England in the late 1890s was a time of great scientific and technological advances and progress, as well as a time of conflict between laborers and the wealthy upper class.  

The Time Traveler was a scientist who built a time travel machine in his laboratory with the intent to explore the future, using the fourth dimension, which is space (not the astronomical kind either).  He expected to find a future utopia where man had ultimately solved all of his worldly conflicts with labor, poverty, and the environment; however, that was not to be the case.

The Time Traveler, George, in the film version, 1960
SPOILERS COMING . . .

Hundreds of thousands of years into the future, he found a world of beauty, like a Garden of Eden, where the temperature was warmer, and the inhabitants had their pick of the land (vegetation) for food. Incidentally, the Time Traveler thought this was great news, until he met the people of this strange world. They were not very intelligent or knowledgeable, as they could not communicate with the Time Traveler about their world.  They were weak, lazy and leisurely, with no curiosity or interest in life, and there were no families.  These people, called the Eloi, were juvenile-like.  

He also learned that they lived in continuous apprehension of night and darkness, and of the underworld beneath them.  That was where the Morlock lived.  The Time Traveler discovered that it was the Morlock who took care of the Eloi, but they also ate the Eloi.  The Morlock attacked in darkness because their eyes could no longer adapt to the sun or light.  You see, the Morlocks were descendants of the modern world's factory workers who had to work in dank, dark conditions and dangerous situations.  Overtime, power shifted, and the descendants of the Eloi, the wealthy upper class people, became lazy and lost control.  Now it was the underground workers who controlled the upper class society of non-laboring citizens.  

Eating with the disinterested Eloi, "The Time Machine" film, 1960

For the short time that the Time Traveler stayed in this strange world, the Morlock stole his time machine, and he had a few run-ins with them in his attempt to learn about them. Eventually, he did get his contraption back, and instead of going home to 1895, he went on to see if there was any hope for human beings in the distant future.  Unfortunately, he found a dying earth with strange unusual creatures. It was totally disappointing.  Therefore, he returned home where he met with his colleagues and friends to narrate his strange tale to them.  

And just like a drug, he couldn't stop himself; by the end of the story he was back in the saddle of the time machine again, in search still of a better world for humankind.

The Morlocks, "The Time Machine," 1960

FROM BOOK TO FILM

It is difficult not to confuse the story in the book to the story of the 1960 film version because they are different, and the film fills in some of the missing pieces from the book.  The film focused more on war. When Wells wrote The Time Machine, WWI and II had not occurred, yet.  The film addressed life during and after war, and how it changed man.  Man was drawn into underground shelters at the sound of the sirens, a practice that continued long into the future.  That is how the Morlock captured their prey; people had become conditioned to go underground and seek shelter from danger, at the sound of the siren.

Also, according to the film, man was detached from human relationships and emotion.  At one point, an Eloi was drowning, and no one was compelled to save her.  It is totally believable.

This was a great book to read to my imaginative younger children.  My eight-year old transformed a recliner in our living room into a time machine, and since we read them the book, they have not stopped discussing time travel.  While the vocabulary level is extremely scientific, and not elementary, they were still able to follow the adventure of the idea of time travel.  Time travel is such an adventurous concept.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Gertrude Stein
Published 1933

I had never heard of Alice B. Toklas or Gertrude Stein in my life; so when this biography came up on my WEM reading list, I imagined I was going to read about a woman who had a life changing story and a major contribution to the world.  Not even.  Well, not by my standards.

In fact, I was thoroughly confused for the first few chapters because I thought it was an autobiography about Alice Toklas, but her image is the tiny one on the cover, while the author was Gertrude Stein, and she sports the giant headshot.  And even more confusing was that the narrator, Gertrude, spoke about Gertrude.  It took awhile, but I finally figured out that it was Stein's words, in which she wrote mostly about herself.  I do not know why she just did not call it her autobiography.

Both Alice and Gertrude were Americans who lived in Paris, France, and all over Europe. Alice met Gertrude on the first day she arrived in Paris, and they remained together for the rest of their lives. They were polar opposites in every way, and maybe that is why they were perfectly compatible.

Gertrude and her brother collected art, such as works by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Guis, and more.  Eventually, their interests in art led to Salons, which were held at the apartment they shared (with Alice - don't forget poor Alice).  Visitors came to view their collection and discuss art, literature, and music.  The Stein's and Alice became close friends with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.  Even authors and poets attended the Salons, like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Sinclair Lewis.  Gertrude made long-lasting, intimate, and influential relationships with most people she met, and they, including these painters, authors, poets, and even composers, often sought her opinions.

She was amazingly popular.  Apparently, everyone wanted to paint her portrait and take her picture. Here is one of the most famous portraits done of Stein, by Picasso.  Now I know whom this woman is!

Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso, 1905-6
Gertrude Stein posing for Joe Davidson 
bronze sculpture, Paris, 1923

And poor little Alice had her portrait done, too, by an artist I do not know.  She looks so meek, small, and quiet.  I certainly think she was.

Alice B. Toklas by Pavel Tchelitchew, 1927 

Here is probably the most important piece of information: Gertrude Stein was an author.  Who knew? She wrote a lot of books - novels and poetry - but none I have ever heard of.   And after reading this autobiography, I do not understand how or why she receives to this day such praise for her writing ability or style.  It is not the worst, but it reminds me of the decline of art.  Art declined, music declined, and writing also declined.  It just has, and there is no defense of it.  I suppose she was the product of her time, as all art forms were being influenced by the social philosophy of the day.  

However, because of her writing style, the reader may know Stein very clearly.  I imagine that she was strong, opinionated, and assertive (with a mild manner), as well as unemotional and well-grounded.  I think she also may have been a little arrogant and conceited. Imagine: she wrote this autobiography, as if her life partner, Alice, wrote it; but it was mainly about her own life.  

The story of their connections with artists and authors was enticing to me, and their involvement during World War I in Europe was definitely intriguing, as I appreciated the story of their experience. Stein was also a controversial figure, especially with her opinions about black Americans particularly:
Gertrude Stein concluded that negroes were not suffering from persecution, they were suffering from nothingness.  She always contends that the african is not primitive, he has a very ancient but a very narrow culture and there it remains.  Consequently nothing does or can happen.
By the way, that is how the passage appears in the book.  Insert your own mental grammatical corrections, if you must. 

In the end, I never understood why I had to read about Gertrude Stein or Alice Toklas, when I did not find anything that they did very important.  In all fairness, I am sure she or they are more widely known in Europe, especially Paris (where Stein's busty bronze sits), and also within art and literary circles where Stein accordingly influenced her contemporaries.  

Finally, to close this post about this odd couple and biography, if I can think of anything memorable at all, it is this old photo.  It features Alice and Gertrude hanging out in their abode, and I thought it summed up everything very nicely.  That's how I shall remember this.  

Alice and Gertrude, 1922

Following is an audio of Stein reading a poem she wrote for Picasso.  It's terrible - the poem is.  It's really awful.  It's just not good art.  But you be the judge.

Read or listen to Gertrude Stein's poem "If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso".

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin


The Institutes of Christian Religion
John Calvin, edited by Lane and Osborne
Completed and revised between 1536 - 1559

When I began my great book study, I never considered the benefit of reading theological works.  I am certainly not interested in Christian fiction; however, historical, systematic, and personal testimony of great philosophers and teachers of the Christian faith do interest me.  And since The Institutes was written by the John Calvin, in the 1500s, this title seemed fitting for theological classics.  But to be sure that The Institutes of Christian Religion was or is considered a classic, I searched and found it often listed with Augustine's Confessions as an important work.  Hence, I added it to my Classics Club list.

The Institutes was originally written in Latin by Calvin, in five editions, over twenty-three years. The entire final edition is over 1,000 pages.  The edition I read was translated into modern English and contains only 15% of the text; the rest is said to be of little interest to the modern reader.  Calvin wrote The Institutes as a simple handbook on Christian doctrine; a practical book about the Christian life.

I struggle to know how to explain this book, so I labeled the parts, and within each section, I captured some of my favorite quotes or passages (in gray) so that you may better understand the voice of Calvin.

John Calvin

Part I: Knowing God and Ourselves
Book One: The Knowledge of God the Creator

And what can man do, man who is rotten to the core and so wretched, when even the angels veil their faces in terror?  It is to this undoubtedly that Isaiah refers when he says 'The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign (Isa. 24:23).

Part II: God's Word and God's Spirit

...the only true faith is that which God's Spirit seals on our hearts.

Part III: God, the Trinity, and His Creation

So because there is one faith, [Paul] infers that there is one God; and because there is one baptism, he infers that there is one faith.  Therefore, if by baptism we are initiated into the faith and worship of one God, we must, of course, believe that the one into whose name we are baptized is the true God. And there can be no doubt that.

As a Christian, it is challenging to understand how we worship one God, when God is also God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In this section, Calvin explained the difference between the unity of and the distinction between all three.  He quotes Augustine:
The names we use to distinguish between the different persons of Trinity refer to the relationships of the persons to each other, not to their common substance or nature - which is one.
This was definitely an essential section.

Part IV: God's Providence

I love this section on God's care and help.  Calvin says about self-defense, and I wholeheartedly agree!  (Makes me consider the gun and self-defense issue brewing here in America.)
Now, our duty is clear: since the Lord expects us to defend our lives, we must do so; since he offers his help, we must take it; since he warns us of danger, we must be careful; and since he supplies remedies we must use them.
Part V: Man's Sin and God's Remedy
Book Two: The Knowledge of God the Redeemer, In Christ

How many times did Calvin reiterate that original sin is due to Adam's disobedience?  Surely, Eve gets some of the blame; however, it was Adam's direct disobedience to God's command.  He says, 
Sin and death were introduced by Adam, so that they might be abolished in Christ.
As for a remedy, Calvin says,
So God begins the good work in us by arousing in our hearts a desire, love and study of righteousness.  More accurately, he turns, trains and guides our hearts to righteousness.
PartVI: God's Law

The Law is a kind of mirror.  

First by displaying the righteousness of God, it rebukes everyone for his own unrighteousness, puts him on trial, convicts and finally condemns him.

Second,...the Law is to control those who would have no concern for just and right behavior, unless there was fear of punishment.

Third,...the Law refers to believers in whose hearts God's Spirit already reigns.  The Law acts as a whip, urging a man on like a lazy donkey!

Part VII: The Person of Jesus Christ and His Work of Redemption

By [Jesus'] intercessions, he appeased God's anger, and on this basis created peace between God and men, and by this bond secured God's goodwill towards them.

This was interesting about the phrase 'Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father':
The metaphor comes from princes who have judges to who they delegate the job of administration and issuing commands.  So Christ, in whom the Father is pleased to reign, is said to have been received up and seated on his right hand (Mark 16:19).  All that the apostles mean when they refer to Christ's seat at the Father's right hand, is that everything is at his disposal.
Part VIII: Faith and Repentance
Book Three: The Way of Obtaining the Grace of Christ

The Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectively binds us to himself.

Part IX: The Christian Life

The Christian ought to be disciplined to think that throughout his life he is dealing with God.  Then he will bring everything to God for his assessment and use, as he looks only to him.

Part X: Justification by Faith

For clarification, Calvin points out the differences between justification and works:
We simply interpret justification as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favor as if we were righteous: this justification consists in the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of Christ's righteousness.
...justification is based on faith, not works. 
Good works done by believers are considered righteous, that is, they are imputed for righteousness.  A work only becomes acceptable when it is received with pardon. 
Part XI: Prayer

This section, Calvin covers his rules for Christian prayer, such as
"...concentrate all thoughts and feelings and not be distracted by random ideas..."; 
"...be sincerely aware of our needs..."; 
"...get rid of all boasting and self-opinionated ideas..."; 
"...and be spurred on to pray with real confidence of success..."

Part XII: God's Election and Man's Destiny

This was a great chapter on election, assurance, and never losing salvation, all very controversial principles of Christian doctrine.  Basically, Calvin makes the case that some men are destined for salvation and some are destined to destruction; but no salvation is based on man's works, but because God chose him, in mercy.  He also talks about assurance:
...if we are in communion with Christ, we have proof clear and strong enough to show that our names are written in the Book of Life.
[Jesus] makes it clear that those who are rooted in God can never lose their salvation.  When we are his, we are saved forever. 

Part XIII: The Church
Book Four: Outward Means by Which God Helps Us

Here Calvin compares the false church with the true church, discusses church government, and explains church discipline.  (This is where he directly confronts the Catholic Church.)

Part XIV: The Sacraments

Calvin describes the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper.  The one I did not agree with is infant baptism, which he says is totally acceptable if the parents are saved, since it is equal to circumcision, which was also performed on infants under the Law.  I disagree because a believer must be mature enough to understand the gospel before he can repent and trust in Christ for his salvation.  Besides, baptism is also a proclamation to the congregation that the believer is making a conscience decision to follow Christ.  Infants cannot make this decision.  

And so that is my extremely minor summation of The Institutes, and still it was too long.  Those who are curious or interested in reading about Christian teachers who have shaped our comprehension of God's Word and Christian theology, this is a simple and useful resource to use for your study.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
published 1932

Two words: Pure Joy.  If you have children, read this to them.  If your children are adults now, or you do not have children, read this to your inner child.  I did not read the whole Little House series until adulthood, but that does not matter.  I have reread it several times since, and there is always room in my heart to find more to love each time. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder obviously wrote this first book, Little House in the Big Woods, with the conscience of a young child.  She recalled her semi-fictional childhood (at four and five-years old) when she lived in the woods near Pepin, Wisconsin, in the early 1870s.  Some of the events may not be accurate.  Nonetheless, I believe it all.  Some people like to believe in Santa Claus; I like to believe in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  

Last summer I read the nine-book series and wrote about it in one post, focusing on maturity and the race to adulthood.  But this year, while reading with The Little House Read Along, I am going to focus on each book individually.  I took notes on what mattered most to me.  These are some of my favorite parts:

Laura's older sister Mary owned a real rag doll named Nettie, but Laura's doll was a corncob doll named Susan.
Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she did it only when Susan couldn't see.
Laura and Mary learned many lessons from the stories their Pa told them about his and his father's childhood.  One story was about "Grandpa and the Panther."  When Laura asked Pa how a panther screamed, Pa demonstrated.
Then he screamed so that Laura and Mary shivered with terror.
Ma jumped in her chair, and said, "Mercy, Charles!"
Pa told them the story about "The Voice in the Woods" when he was given the responsibility as a young boy to bring home the family's cows, but instead played and lost track of time.  It was dark when he realized he did not know where the cows were, and he was frightened by a screech owl in the woods. His father gave him a spanking for getting distracted.  Then he ended his story like this:
"There's a good reason for what I tell you to do," he said, "and if you'll do as you're told, no harm will come to you."
At Christmas time, Laura confessed that it was "so hard to be good all the time, every day, for a whole year."

Laura admitted that she hated wearing clothes.  She liked to look at the pictures in the Bible, and she remarked that Adam looked so comfortable because he did not have to be careful to keep his clothes clean, because he had no clothes on.  Laura asked,
"Did Adam have good clothes to wear on Sundays?"
"No," Ma said.  "Poor Adam, all he had to wear was skins."
Laura did not pity Adam.  She wished she had nothing to wear but skins. 
Another great story was "The Story of Grandpa's Sled and the Pig."  Pa tells how on Sunday his own father and his brothers could do nothing but sit still on Sundays, after church.  But one Sunday, when their father fell asleep, the boys went outside to use their new sled in the snow. Unfortunately, on the way down the hill, they hit a hog, and there was nothing they could do about it.  Father woke up and saw them just as they sped passed the front door, with a squealing hog at the front of the sled.  They later got spankings for disobeying.

Ma giving "Sukey" a slap

The episode of Sukey and the bear demonstrated how important it is, especially for children, to obey authority immediately.  One night Laura went with Ma to milk Sukey, their cow, but in the darkness, they thought they saw Sukey out in the barnyard.  Ma reached out and slapped Sukey to return to the barn, and immediately realized it was not Sukey, but a bear.  She instantly ordered Laura to the house, and Laura did not ask why.  She went.  Ma caught her up and ran to the house.  Safe inside, Ma praised Laura for obeying quickly, without asking questions.

Laura dancing with her uncle

My favorite part in the story is the dance at Grandma's house.  I wish I were there.  It was the most joyous, exhilarating family gathering.  How much fun!  (Yeah, I need to get out more.)
Next, there were several episodes in which Laura felt sorry for herself.  Mary had golden blonde curls, while Laura had dull brown hair.  Laura noticed that the storekeeper paid particular attention to Mary's appearance, not Laura's, and I imagine this may have happened quite a lot in her life, which made Laura feel insecure and jealous.  Once, she slapped Mary in anger, over the hair color issue.

"Everything was all right again."

Pa witnessed this outburst and immediately "whipped" Laura for it.  Then later, he took her to himself and showed her love and forgiveness, and set her straight about the hair color.
At last, when it was getting dark, Pa said again, "Come here, Laura."  His voice was kind, and when Laura came he took her on his knee and hugged her close.  She sat in the crook of his arm, her head against his shoulder and his long brown whiskers partly covering her eyes, and everything was all right again.
Making cheese

Pa and Ma complimented each other very well.  Ma was so humble.  While making cheese, and using every bit of the ingredients, Pa said,
"Nobody'd starve to death when you were around, Caroline."
Well, no," Ma said.  "No, Charles, not if you were there to provide for us."
Near the end of the story, Pa used a threshing machine to harvest the wheat in fall.  And he proclaimed,
It's a great age we're living in.
I can just feel the prospects of the era.

Finally, it is the end, and Laura was in bed, listening to Pa play his fiddle and sing "Auld Lang Syne." She asked what it meant, and Pa said, "They are the days of a long time ago."   Everything is perfect and safe to Laura.  She thought to herself,
"This is now."
She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now.  They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now.  It can never be a long time ago. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Bookish Personalities


Another year of reading is done.  Reading literature is not just following words on a page; it becomes a journey, an experience that forms an enduring memory, beneficial or not.  On January 1, this blog turns four years old; but it feels much older because I have been all over the world, covered a variety of ages, and met countless people.  Some stories have remained close to my heart, some have pricked my conscience, and some have boiled my blood.  Nonetheless, I have walked in someone else's shoes a gazillion times already and am beginning to believe that man would be a little more compassionate toward his fellow humans if he would just read more literatureBut, I digress.

This is for pure entertainment: at the end of the year, I look back at what I have read and assign it a personality - the way I reflect upon a book now that I have experienced it, and always so grateful that it is now part of my life forever.

The Bookish Personalities of 2015 are...

Most Pleasurable Read for an Epic Poem
Beowulf (Tolkien)

Most Lovely Reread
Persuasion ~ Jane Austen

Most Unbelievable Senario
"A Doll's House" ~ Henrik Ibsen

Most Defaced (in a good way) During Reading
Robinson Crusoe ~ Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe, defaced

Most Enlightened Spiritual Journey
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners ~ John Bunyan

Most Horrifying Non-Fiction
Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson ~ Mary Rowlandson

Most Bewildering Plot (Where is Steinbeck going with this?)
East of Eden ~ John Steinbeck

Oh, Woe Is Rousseau Award
Confessions ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Most Reflective Reading Escapade (I get you, Virginia Woolf)
The Voyage Out ~ Virginia Woolf



Most Likely Author Still Striving for Perfection
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Least Likely to Find Any Worthy Characters Here
The Fortune of the Rougons ~ Émile Zola

Most Disheartening Historical Fiction (if any of it is true)
A Journal of the Plague Year ~ Daniel Defoe

Take Me Away to a Little Pond Somewhere Award
Walden ~ Henry David Thoreau


Someone-Got-Up-On-the-Wrong-Side-of-the-Bed Award
Ecce Homo ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

We're Not Talking Right Now Award
The Grapes of Wrath ~ John Steinbeck

Most Favorable Slave Narrative 
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl ~ Harriet Jacobs

Most blah Read (wasn't into it)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Best Make-Me-Feel-Like-a-Kid-Again Literature
The Wind in the Willows ~ Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows

Most Honorable Reread
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass ~ Frederick Douglass

We-Need-More-Leaders-Like-Him Award
Up From Slavery ~ Booker T. Washington

Best Moral of the Story Award
Lord of the Flies ~ William Golding

Best, BEST Escape From Reality
The Little House series ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


Painter of Literature Award
The Kill ~ Émile Zola

The Kafkaesque Award (It's only a dream)
The Metamorphosis ~ Franz Kafka

The All-Time Grammy Award for Books (My Absolute Favorite Novel of 2015)
All Quiet on the Western Front ~ Erich Maria Remarque


Most Repetitive (You said that already) Award
Mein Kampf ~ Adolf Hitler

Eerie Fiction Award
Dracula ~ Bram Stoker

Most Impressive Biography
The Story of My Experiments With Truth ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Best Impression Made on This Reader (I want more Forster)
Howards End ~ E.M. Forster


Most Likely to Come Back as a Slow Cooker in Its Next Life
The Song of the Lark ~ Willa Cather

Most Ingenious Story Based on the Comparison of Two Words
Sense and Sensibility ~ Jane Austen

Most Likely Never to Reread (it is regretfully ingrained in my memory forever)
In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote

Happy New Year!
What personalities would you award your books of 2015?

~

For previous Bookish Personality Awards:
2014 Awards
2013 Awards
2012 Awards, part II
2012 Awards, part I