Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Top Ten Character Driven Novels!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Join the fun! 

After pondering for far too long over the definition and meaning of 'character driven' novels, I finally decided that character driven novels are essentially just novels focusing on really interesting and well developed characters? I'm not sure all of these actually fall under 'character driven' novels but here are some of my favourite books with good characters!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I can't write a post about characters and not include this one. Jane Eyre is such a finely crafted character that I have no words. As with a lot of classics, Jane is intricately crafted, we follow her from childhood and see her character develop and bosom. She's so much more than just the one dimensional governess with a crush on her employer, that she could have been.

Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer - The Shock of the Fall is such an interesting novel, exploring one character's experiences and struggles with mental health (schizophrenia) Filer is also a mental health nurse which gives this novel a real sense of authenticity.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - Margaret Hale is one of my favourite literary characters. She is such a strong and admirable character and is just queen. (I'm sure someone in the novel does in fact call her queen, or something along those lines?)

Life of Pi by Yann Martell - I remember being in Waterstones and randomly reading the blurb of Life of Pi. I was instantly drawn in and was not disappointed. This book follows Pi, stranded on a lifeboat with only animals for company. This book deals quite heavily with faith and that's something Pi has a lot of. The ending is so unexpected and really thought provoking too.

One Day by David Nicholls - One Day follows the lives of two characters, every year on the same day for a number of years. Both characters feel so real as they develop and change over the years and by the end of the book you feel as if you're leaving behind two friends!

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - All the characters in this book are so well crafted and interesting with their own quirks and back stories, even the secondary characters are very well characterised. Ruth and Nao, the two protagonists are so different, yet both such interesting and intriguing characters. All the feels.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Books like The Bell Jar have really opened my mind about how mental health is just as important as physical health, and the internal struggles experienced by Ester seem so authentic, especially considering some elements of the novel are quite reflective of Plath's life.

Vicious by V.E Schwab -  The characters in Vicious are so interesting, dark and twisted. They are very flawed and easy to dislike but definitely not dull.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men was one of the first classics I remember reading and feeling so drawn in by the characters and found myself actually caring about them and their relationships. (and the rabbits)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This book though, all the feels for all the characters. They are so well crafted and I got so attached.

What do you guys think of these books? What are your favourite character driven novels?  

Thursday, 2 October 2014

September Reads!

Hello y'all! This post should more appropriately be called my September Read, rather than reads, plural,  as I only managed to read one book this month! I was in a bit of a reading slump at the beginning of the month and University reading has gradually been taking up all of my reading time! I'm trying to organise my time more effectively so I can do all the things I love (read, play skyrim, eat food, sleep) as well as study for University.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - 5/5 stars 
North and South was the only book I read this month, and despite the disappointing feat of only reading one book, I'm glad that it was this one. North and South is a classic, written in 1855 and follows Margaret Hale, as she moves from the south of England to the north, and how this move impacts on her life, those around her and changes her views and opinions. The novel is set during the Industrial Revolution at the time when the north was particularity industrial, with an abundance of factories and the emerging middle class, which I found so interesting to read. One of my favourite things about classics is the way it's possible to learn about the cultural and historical climate of a particular time period and this is definitely a novel that really portrays how things were changing so drastically in the 19th century. Gaskell explores problems with industrial capitalisation and relationships in society between workers and factory owners from a nineteenth century perspective which is really riveting to read. North and South is such a well crafted novel and a wonderful combination of Literature and History!

After finishing North and South, I started Emma by Jane Austen, and I've gotten about 100 pages in, however I'm not the biggest Jane Austen fan, so I've taken a break from that book and returned to my reading slump. I'm really excited about reading Heir of Fire so I'm thinking I will start it as soon as possible to hopefully get back into the reading rhythm, yay!

What did you guys read this month!? 

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