Tag: Helene Wecker

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “E”. Hint: The World is a Melting Pot

Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 5 Letter E I am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!

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{ should be noted: @aishacs posted a multi-post Interview
on the blog Story & Chai
about diversity in literature; Part II, Part III, Part IV }

Originally I was going to focus on E P I C F A N T A S Y for Letter E, except to say, that throughout the twitterverse and the book blogosphere I was finding encouragement to draw light on another equally as important discussion of interest E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E! I grew up in a moderately sized city to the extent that the world was outside my door, the essence of the melting pot in vivid colours and dimensions was all around me. I loved the multicultural heritages I grew up near and I enjoyed the conversations I had with those who could help me understand traditions, cultures, and religions outside of my own. I have many fond memories speaking to Native Americans for instance whether I was at a bookshoppe or at an arts & crafts festival. I loved finding ways to engage with people who could dynamically shift my point of view and endear me to how our differences bridge the gap to how we are all interconnected and related.

Although I grew up in a house full of European descent (for the most part; mostly Briton though), the inertia of connectivity of other cultures was always encouraged and sought out. When you live in a city of any size, you get to see a beautiful cross-section of everyone who lives within the city itself. Whilst your riding the bus or walking down the boulevard you are greeting people as you come across them, accepting them as you speak to them, and within those brief moments of conversation you begin to grow curious about their own stories. Stories in which they grew up sharing within their own families and stories in which they grew up reading inside the books they cherished as bedtime companions.

I always celebrated then when I found multicultural characters in the stories I was personally reading as well as settings outside the norm of the net in which is regularly cast. E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E does not end nor begin on having different perspectives in ethnicity or nationality, as it also is inclusive of the ideal for a balancing of all characters and the lives in which they lead. This can include single | divorced | grandparent | foster parenting, adoptive or step-parent families, LGBT families and individuals; learning difficulties as well as those who are living with a medical handicap, illness, or affliction. Immigrant stories of people and families changing their stars for a life in a new country; biracial and multi-ethnic families. Whilst going further to extend past religious differences and spirituality freedoms to include a cross-section of all representations of a person’s beliefs as much as the differences in how we live, eat, and breathe. Full equality is giving the writer the will to focus on the characters they can personally identify with and as thus, can endear the reader to draw connection with as well. For every well-written story there is a reader who is aching to read a story which has transcended the living reality mantra of the earth being a melting pot and has taken the theory into practice in literature. I hint about my views about all of this under “My Bookish Life“.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E for me is reading the world through the lens in which we live. Our world is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions and individualism. Why not celebrate those differences by painting living testaments of our lives as a portrait through the characters we breathe to life in novels? Giving back a bit of the grace in which we are free to live?
by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

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Access to Different Kinds of Literature via Color in Colorado

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Books on the Underground; Books on the Subway; Jorie Loves A Story: Booking the Rails

I recently reviewed a book for my Booking the Rails Feature where I highlighted Wonder by R.J. Palacio who wrote this beautiful book about a boy whose face is altered from other children yet the light of his heart uplifts everyone who meets him. The beauty of the novel itself is showing the grace of living your life as true to who you are on the inside as to reflect back to those who perceive you through prejudicial eyes the joy in being authentically yourself. The barriers people build up between each other can be brought down one by one if we endeavour to understand what alienates us and be determined to draw out empathy and compassion as a first response rather than fear, ignorance, and indifference.

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August has a keen philosophical intuitiveness about himself, the dynamics of his family, and his personal living environment around him. He seeks to find solace out of uncertainty and squalls chaos with simplistic truths which etch out the stigmas of which society oft-times places on individuals who are in some shape or form ‘different’ from the ‘norm’. And, the sad truth is that normalcy is in the eye’s of the beholder! To be normal is quite definitively the ability to be wholly true to yourself, your internal resolve of spirit, and in knowing who you are without the prejudgements and negative thoughts of others assembling into your heart. August has instinctively dry humour to convey his thoughts about life, dispelling any unease to meet him because he breaks the ice by simply being himself! He draws you into his sphere by engaging you in a way you were not expecting! No pretense. He’s simply ‘August’, who prefers to go by ‘Auggie’, the brother of Via and the boy who wants to live like a regular ten-year old entering fifth grade!

– quoted from my review of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Each book I am selecting to highlight as part of my Booking the Rails feature will be a story which will challenge convention and/or the ideals of story-telling and branch out into new horizons for both my readers and those who find the books on the trains. I want to start a conversation on those posts of giving dialogue and conversation to topics and subjects that will benefit from having a light shined on them. It’s my own wink and a nod to creating a new pathway back into the culture of being ‘bookish’ and ‘conversational’ with each other. Rather than merely nodding in agreement or staying silent altogether. More of my thoughts on this are contained on my visit to The Star Chamber Show : Episode 16. (archived & easy to listen too)

Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper
Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper in the author’s office. Peacock Family Album.

Previously, I showcased the adoptive story of Carol Antoinette Peacock whereupon her story entitled: Red Thread Sisters embarks on the journey of adopting children from China. This is one of many yet to appear on Jorie Loves A Story, as one of my sub-focuses on my blog will be positive adoptive stories for those who are considering foster adoptive options as well as international, open, and other avenues towards adopting children into their family home. I wanted to find authors who give a positive testament of the emotional keel a child or teen experiences prior to adoption as much as the transitional period after they are adopted. (if the story broaches both time periods) What I appreciated about Ms.  Peacock’s writings are her honesty in leading with her heart and her own adoptive story in which the Red Thread Sisters stems from at its core.

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There are two sayings throughout “Red Thread Sisters”, as well as in the personal letter attached in the afterword by the author herself,… one is a meditative pause of ‘light reflected as brightly lit as lunar lanterns’, and the second is the poignancy behind the entitlement of the book itself, ‘of the delicate red thread that unites all of us in a shared common bond, where those who cross our path are meant to be in our lives, and despite the appearance of the thread’s nature, will hold steadfast and strong perpetually’. The book gives pause to any woman considering motherhood through adoption and any father choosing his path of fatherhood through adoption, because it touches on the raw emotions that are silently withheld from the adoptive parents, by children who live in constant fear that something they do or say or not do even will be grounds for them to return back from whence they came. To become un-adoptable simply because they didn’t live up to the adoptive parents expectations. It’s also a book that examines adoption from the reflections of the children themselves, as they struggle to yield and bend with a new rhythm completely different from the one they were used too whilst at an orphanage, group home, or foster home. They have to learn its okay to make mistakes, to learn and grow through their experiences, and that a forever family isn’t co-dependent on perfection but rather with honesty, heart, emotion, and love. May we always keep ourselves lit from within with a light of hope as powerful and strong as lunar lanterns, to advocate for adoption and the expansion of our hearts and worlds when a child in need of a family, finds one in those of us willing to open our hearts and homes to them.

– quoted from my review of Red Thread Sisters

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One author where I found a strong sense of giving E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E a new definition of purpose is Laura Resau. Her blog is linked to my sidebar where the RSS feeds join the mixture towards the bottom. I have been making purchase requests for her books at my local library each chance that I can as well. The tricky bit is to remember which book of hers I read first: What the Moon Saw OR The Indigo Notebook!? I have taken it upon myself to read all of her novels, but I am still in the middle of accomplishing this goal! I have also read Star in the Forest.

Laura Resau
Photography Credit: Tina Wood Photography

Laura Resau is the award-winning author of seven highly acclaimed young adult and children’s novels– What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Notebooks series (Delacorte/Random House). She draws inspiration from her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist, ESL teacher, and student. Loved by kids and adults alike, her novels have garnered many starred reviews and honors, including the IRA YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, and spots on Oprah’s Kids’ Book Lists. Praised for its sensitive treatment of immigration and indigenous people’s issues, Resau’s writing has been called “vibrant, large-hearted” (Publishers’ Weekly on Red Glass) and “powerful, magical” (Booklist on What the Moon Saw). Resau lives with her husband, young son, and beagle in Fort Collins, Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.

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The Indigo Notebook Book Trailer by the Author Laura Resau

The Indigo Notebook Page on Laura Resau’s site

[ after the 1:00 mark the song continues to be enjoyed by audience ]

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The Indigo Notebook by Laura ResauResau has the natural ability of fusing the indigenous culture of Mexico and Ecuador into her novels in such a wonderfully skilled way, that whilst I was reading The Indigo Notebook I instantly flashed back to my own memories of traversing through the interior of Mexico in and around the Federal District and the Yucatán Peninsula! One of these days I want to collect her books for my own personal library, but what I appreciated about my local library is being open to bring in authors who write multicultural stories for a young audience who could benefit from the life lessons and story contained within her pages! As I start to re-read over the books I have already read and progress forward into the ones I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, I will be writing down my thoughts on my blog! I am always hopeful that through the sharing of my own lamentations about the writers and books which speak to me to the point of being moved emotionally, I will in one small way impact another reader’s life.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : A sampling of Books to Read

{ books I have predominately found through my local library }

UPDATE: per rifflebooks.com errors I’ve moved this list to my #LibraryThing
(as I will be reading these selections throughout [2019] part of my #BeatTheBacklist challenge)

E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : New Authors on the Horizon

A full list of the book covers & stories is on Riffle: (share at will!)

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Equality in Literature & Diversity in Literature : walk hand in hand – July 2014

Reaching past our own heritages and our own living environments gives us a wider world view and depth of understanding. We become wholly in-tune with the harmony of the world’s spirit by embracing all the lovely and unique differences which shape our identities. We grow out of love and we give back love each time we endeavour to forge a bridge between our culture and the culture of someone else. We give our spirit a bit of a lift by the joy of celebrating the history of people who live as passionately as we do and whose traditions are as rooted in their culture and families as much as our own. Lessons of connectivity and of friendship will always abound when two souls are willing to make a connection.

One of the books I have oft spoken about online via my blog and my Twitter feeds is “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker, which is an atmospheric enriched narrative which crosses the divide between mythology and immigration. She digs deep into the setting of her novel to shift between New York City and the old world in which the Golem and the Jinni originated from. She has a deft hand in revealing human emotions and convictions out of characters who are everything except human! What endeared me to the text is her gift of story-telling to not only enchant you with a magical kinetic plausibility but to give you a full score of characters who are each on their own individual journey towards self-discovery. It’s in this inherent quest to understand both origin and worth in a world set against the tides of where their destinies are taking them, Wecker infuses her narrative with a connection of heart.

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Each were set on a course to learn and grow out of their experiences in a place neither expected to be. They each succumb to their inherent natures, but I feel only one of them is able to change the other for the good. Because one of them is stronger than the other as far as knowing how to make good on what has been turned for the bad. Their journey leads not to a resolution of sorts to overcome their individual obstacles towards true freedom, but rather too a junction point that leads them to question everything they felt they knew thus far along. And, in that conclusion the reader has to sit back and ponder the true meaning behind “The Golem and the Jinni”, for was it a journey of theirs that you took or an inward journey of understanding the limitations of humanity?

– quoted from my review of “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

I am hopeful that more readers will seek out E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E by choosing titles by all authors of all backgrounds who celebrate our united spirit within the global society of nations and nationalities.

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Not enough multicultural books? via Color in Colorado

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Thank you for joining me on DAY 5 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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This marks my fifth post for the:

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Which authors do you feel reflect the beauty of E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E? Which authors who are newly published OR have books which will soon be forthcoming would you recommend to be added to the “on the horizon” category of this post!? Which books have captured your heart whilst enveloping you in another person’s shoes and culture?! How do you feel progress has been made to give ever writer a voice and each story the gift for expanding our horizons?

UPDATE: 1 May, 2014: In the weeks since this post was first published I have participated in #diverselit & #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements on Twitter. I also created the tag #EqualityInLit to reflect my personal view and feelings towards diversity and equality in literature. You will denote a new category indexed on Jorie Loves A Story E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R Ewhich speaks to the heart of how this blog post inspired me to make my views a bit more well-known.

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{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.The photograph of Carol Antoinette Peacock was given to me by the author and used with permission. Laura Resau photograph, author biography & book cover for The Indigo Notebook used with permission by the author. The book trailer by Laura Resau had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portals to this post, and I thank them for this opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers provided by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Diversity Solutions with Sherri L. Smith (author of “FlyGirl”) – (mayaprasad.com)

Why I Write About India – (mayaprasad.com)

Diversity in Kid’s Books – (nytimes.com)

Booklist 2014 (for multicultural literature) – (campbele.wordpress.com)

Exploring Diversity Through Children’s & Young Adult Books: Background Reading – (cynthialeitichsmith.com)

Embracing Diversity in YA Lit – (slj.com)

Comments via Twitter:

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Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, Adoption, Book Cover Reveal, Book Trailer, Booking the Rails, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Whimsy, Brothers and Sisters, CFHS The Society, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Guest Spot on Podcast, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Meteorology, Nanowrimo 2008, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Quaker Fiction, Readerly Musings, Septemb-Eyre, Siblings, Sociology, Southern Belle View Daily, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Dystopia Challenge, The Rocketeer, The Typosphere, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, Writes of Passage, Wuthering Heights, Young Adult Fiction

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “C”. Hint: Curated Centuries.

Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 3  Letter CI am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!


C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E settled into my heart at a very young age as I still recollect my readings of:

There is a timeless eloquence knitted into the classics which gives us a proper sense of the art of story-telling because writers from previous centuries were not as tied down to particulars surrounding their characters and narratives. It was far more imperative to write down the bones of one’s story than to be negated to following a strict guideline of where their story actually would befit a publisher’s catalogue! And, in that rampant freedom came such heart-warming stories which defy time by their ability to resonate with readers from one generation to another! There is something to be said for being able to write a story as it inks out of your heart and populates the page!

Photo Credit: Jorie of Jorie Loves A StoryOne of the best blessings for me in becoming a book blogger this past year, is that I am open to new horizons as far as where I can seek out appreciators of the classics! One of the communities that I was most anxious to join and still am looking forward to participating alongside is The Classics Club! For a girl who has spent most of her days trying to convince people there is merit and mirth within the classics, how extraordinary of a discovery this is for me! They even have their own ‘tweeting’ codes to send-off messages & notes to each other! I love the fact that they are such a warm and welcoming bunch of bookish souls – dedicated to champion the authors of the past by presenting their tomes to the modern reader in a way that is convicting of its worth! They host RALs (read-a-longs) and challenges throughout the year too! I decided to create my first ‘badge’ by using photography I had taken whilst on a road trip throughout the Mid-West states! I originally created the badge in FotoFlexer, but re-created it once I found the lovely PicMonkey which gives you more choices to make ‘badges’ pop & stand out! I think they came out quite well!

I have found several classic-minded book blogosphere events since I went live in August 2013, and although, I haven’t always been able to complete the tasks I set out too as I had joined them, the appreciation I have to reading the classics has never faltered! When I realised I had taken on too much in August (i.e. launching Jorie Loves A Story to a ‘live’ audience; participating in my first Bout of Books, undertaking my first! blog tour hosting “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate for JKS Communications Publicity Firm; and trying to tackle Austen in August!) I re-attempted my Austen reading list for Classics Re-Told which was a multiple book blogger effort to read ‘after canons’ of individual classic authors and post on our individual blogs our thoughts and impressions therein! I felt for sure September was going to be the best month for me to accomplish this renewed task, however, September 2013 proved to be quite a unique month full of unexpected circumstances and events which proved taxing in my attempts to soak into Jane Austen!

If you hover your ‘mouse’ over “Stepping Back into the Folds of Time (tCC)” you will find all the classic-minded RALs, challenges, and events which get me quite giddy to be in a position to participate in! I decided to break the classical literature related events away from the regular fiction ones (which fall under RALs & Challenges in the top menu) as they are a specific focus group! One of the blessings this year, is not only am I still in-progress to read the books inside those older challenges as you can see on my main RALs & Challenges page (where I keep my progress updated) but I have unearthed a wicked sweet reading challenge entitled:

 

 Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). In this particular challenge you have specific categories you have to ‘fill in the blank with the classic book of your choice’ in order to complete the challenge! I decided to focus on a portion of classic literature I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading which is classic crime! Outside of those choices, I wanted to finally set aside time to dig into Henry James, an author I have appreciated from afar for quite too long! And, then of course there is Emilie Zola of whom I had made a purchase request at my library for his novel: “Au Bonhear des Dames” | The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola {1883}. I made a double-request to include the tv series “The Paradise” and I was quite chuffed and happy to see both were added to my local library’s collection! I am hopeful I can start to read his novel ahead of the series arriving as books tend to come in a bit faster than the dvd seasonals!

I like being challenged to step outside my own inklings of where I am thinking my reading adventures are taking me, whilst at the same time keeping myself curiously tethered to the hope of unlocking a ‘new’ author who will take me on this wicked sweet journey through language, setting, and prose of narrative! I get a happiness inside of my spirit each time I am about to enter into the realm of a classic novel; thinking about the readers who had picked up a similar version of the story as I am and wondering what their thoughts were as they opened the book for the first time!? Some of my classics are in the ‘classic’ hardback stylings of the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s. I was gifted a beautiful portable and deep blue set of Shakespeare which I am quite keen on opening this year as well! I have been wanting to set my sights to work my way through his collected works since I was a teenager in high school finding that I had an affection for Julius Caesar moreso than Romeo & Juliet; and a penchant for Much Ado About Nothing! I loved the way in which Shakespeare elected to speak his emotions in his writings. He never backed down from being fierce or representative of all the chords of human emotion but he staid within the dimensions of what is effectively dynamic given that he wasn’t one who opted to use the harsher words of the 20th Century which run thick and through. He had a way of conveying internal thoughts and outside prejudices which gave you a pause to contemplate the fuller scope of his legacies as you read his words.

The last time I was able to update my progress on where I was currently with my classics readings was on Wednesday, 19 February 2014! I had previously turnt in a group check-in for The Classics Club: 15 February, 2014, where I was blissfully excited to be reading along with #LitChat for War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy! I never dreamt I would tackle Leo Tolstoy in 2014, but this goes back what I was lamenting or at least attempting to say, there are moments when I find a book or an author settles itself into your hands, of which purpose isn’t known at the time of opening the book but alights inside your heart once you’ve completed your reading! I always felt there is a time and season for everything in life, but to take that a step further, I believe we are meant to read certain stories at certain times in our lives to where the text and context might have a greater effect on us rather than if we had read it previously or at a point in the future. By blogging my reading life, I feel as though I can extend a part of my journey to you dear hearts, hopefully inspiring you to take on your own literary wanderings and perhaps, sharing a common goal in our quest to uncover and discover new authors who lit a flame of curiosity which can only be quenched by reading their works!

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

One of the classic books I am determined to complete before Summer is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté, as I had this intensive study of the novel happening in September, but as foresaid, September had other plans for me than reading the books which were intriguing me and engaging me in long-known conversations! I was a bit surprised by how captivated I was by Eyre, as my introduction to her came about through the motion picture “Jane Eyre”:

Jane Eyre (1996) Official Trailer #1 – William Hurt (HD) by MovieClips Classic Trailers

Alongside my pursuit to focus on the after canons of Austen, specifically of Pride & Prejudice for Classics Re-Told, I have also allotted myself to read a certain number of sequels and re-tellings for Jane Eyre! (underneath the top menu ‘Stepping Back into the Folds of Time: Books of Eyre’) Some characters enter our lives and give us the ability to want to know of them. To seek out more about their person, or to understand more of their depth than we previously were clued into on our first introductions. Jane Eyre is a woman who has such a quiet strength of resolve, she enables us to genuinely seek more out of ourselves whilst facing adversity as much as she endears our heart whilst presenting herself without embarrassment or unease. Eyre is a champion for everyone who has had humble beginnings and who strives to not only reach past her circumstances but to carry-on forward with the hope of her dreams and for finding a man who would allow her the honour of returning her love.

I was not even certain if I could participate in the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat as I was struggling to hold the War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash). massive hardback volume our leader recommended for the RAL! Normally reading a hefy book would not be as complicated, but I am finding of late my hands falter a bit with the larger books and I do a bit better with a paperback version in which I can carry with me or snuggle into a comfy chair soaking into the narrative at will. My local library pulled through for me, whilst I was visiting a different branch than my home location I asked the question of seeking a paperback of War and Peace which would be easier for me to read? Apparently my local library has a secondary ‘hidden’ collection insofar as to be able to offer patrons unchecked out editions of classical literature! This refers to the fact that I have a copy of War and Peace but it is without a due date! The blissful freedom in knowing that I can take my time with the text, and not have the fear of having the book boomerang back to the library every fortnight as apparently this particular novel is of greater need in being read right now! I am trying to see when I can begin my readings, but I think early this coming week will work just fine, as I want to read the first 400 pages in order to get properly caught up, as I am unfortunately two months behind at this point! I had so much happening all at once that I fear that between sorting out when to read and how to gather the book back from the library, I exhausted the hours I could have been reading Tolstoy! Therefore, in coming weeks you will start to see the lovely badge I created here float into view as I journal my impressions as I read and gather my thoughts in order to participate actively in the topical discussions in which Dana Sachs is hosting via the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat!

Of all the books on my Classics List to be read, there is one section that I am most proud of curating, which is the category for “Magical Realism” as I was first introduced to this genre through The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker! I am forever speaking on the book’s behalf via Twitter, and attempting to draw out a line of conversation on the post I created to highlight the book, because it was singularly one of the best library discoveries I made last year! A complete accident of sorts drew the book into my hands! The type of book I had trouble putting down because I didn’t want to part with the characters, their journey, or the story in which I felt closely tied into by the time the final chapters were concluding! The post evolved to become a bit of a primer for “Magical Realism” itself as a genre, and for that, I was quite happy as I literally copied over all the lovely books I unearthed and placed them on my Classics List! This is why I felt it was quite keen of Mr. Danish in sharing my passion for the genre and how wicked sweet it was seeing that we are drawn to the same authors & stories!

If I had to pick my Top 5 Magical Realism books I want to read next, I would select:

  1. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  4. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  5. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  6. +1 for good measure: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern (a book I began at Christmas 2013 & have wanted to complete!)

The first selection has been a hardback I purchased from a big box store the year it was released as it was one of the few times a newly released book had captivated my attention to the fullness of Howe’s. I have been properly entranced ever since and whilst engaged in a recent conversation I was urged to place this book on a ‘post haste’ schedule of reading priority’ of which I couldn’t agree more if I stressed how itched I am to begin! Harris’s story arrived to me on two separate occasions and for two separate birthdays: in my early twenties a family friend was going to surprise me by seeing the motion picture and then, two years ago this Summer I was gifted the book by a dear friend. The book has nearly haunted me as a result! Sarah Addison Allen I discovered by stumbling across her website a handful of years ago and finding she offered the best backgrounds for a reader’s delight! Those same backgrounds for my desktop are lost to the ethers when my computer crashed and died in late 2013. The spell her stories cast on me have not been lost! White’s novel has had a murmuring of an effect on me as I have overheard reader’s speaking on the book’s behalf in my local library as much as I have been involved in conversations online or through email to dear friends who insist that I put down all the books I am currently reading and shift over into The Language of Flowers! I couldn’t blame them, as the premise had me at first reading! Which brings me to The Mistress of Spices which is one of my first Bollywood discoveries and of course, a hidden discovery for ‘Magical Realism’ as at the time I had viewed the motion picture I was entranced by the style of Indian film-making and less concerned by the genre in which it fit! I was quite curious then to read the book after finding that it had been an adaptation!

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh [book trailer] by Pan Macmillan

More curious to note is that my next C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E readings will be of:

  1. The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté (as a RAL with my dear friend Maggie!)
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (RAL with LitChat)
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (to follow War and Peace!)
  5. A Shakespeare Play

Which brings me to my next foray of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E is to embrace all the lovely BBC and/or other adaptations on film! I am striving towards reading stories ahead of seeing their adaptations as in the past, I have always lost hours in which to make this plausible! There are times where I have known there was a book ahead of the motion picture (i.e. “Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World”) and times when I hadn’t truly known there was one at all (i.e. “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding”). I am looking forward to seeing which adaptations sweep me away into the story I fall in love with on the printed page and which adaptations I find fall a bit short! Which is a continuation of something I have already begun to do, as I have seen more theatrical versions of “A Christmas Carol” than you can shake a stick at! The story never fades from the fondness of my heart nor does seeing how each new ensemble cast handle the breadth of the tale! I have also seen a handful of classic adaptation and modern for “Pride and Prejudice” the last one being a re-telling entitled “Lost in Austen” which I actually discovered whilst participating in Classics Re-Told in September! My review of the mini-series never surfaced which is one review I am most keen on finishing after I watch the mini-series for a second viewing! (time frame unknown: it was an ILL)

I look forward to making connections with other bookish souls who wander around the same books as I do, all the while retreating into the C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E past and finding new friends along the way!

Parjunkee Designs

My passage into C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E has only just begun to move forward again, and as I find ways to bring the books to life in my musings, I shall be sharing my lamentations in posts throughout Jorie Loves A Story as a way to become part of the nexus of conversation surrounding the books which throughout time have held a finger-hold on us.


Thank you for joining me on DAY 3 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

This marks my third post for the:

A to Z Challenge

And, might I add as an observation on Day 3? 

I was oft curious to find out if other appreciators of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E enjoy reading and then viewing adaptations and/or if they have a preference of only viewing certain books in motion picture over others!? Where does your own heart lead you into the wide realm of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E as you step back into the folds of time yourself!? Are there authors who you picked up and were quite shocked you did not soak into their narratives? Were there any startling surprises in where your wanderings led you? Which authors have withstood your reading adventures of being the ‘key’ authors who lead you back time and again!?

{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others. Wildlife photography by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story, badge edited & created in PicMonkey by Jorie. “I Like Big Books” badge by Parajunkee Designs is a free resource provided for book bloggers. The book trailer by Pan MacMillian & the film trailer by MovieClips Classic Trailers had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel & film. Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, After the Canon, Austen in August, Back to the Classics, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Books of Eyre, British Literature, Classical Literature, Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, Library Find, Magical Realism, Poetry, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenge Addict, Rewind Challenge, Romance Fiction, Sequel Authors, tCC The Classics Club, William Shakespeare Challenge

+2014 Chunkster Reading Challenge+ Or, how Jorie <3s novels of hearty depth!

Posted Monday, 17 February, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

2014 Chunkster Challenge hosted by Vasilly

I, must admit, I am always quite curious about the books I gravitate towards reading time after time. Do I pick a specific genre to explore!? Is there a particular heart of depth to the stories I am selecting?! Is there any specifics that would stand out!? Setting?! Time preference!? Locale!? Or, could it be that I, Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story have a natural curiosity and eye bent towards falling in love with novels of hearty depth! What the rest of the world considers a ‘chunkser’ I consider “Now! That’s what I call a wicked sweet tome of a novel!”

Although I have seen posts attributed to this particular reading challenge over the past few years, I was always curious about the length requirements of the reader’s choices!? Apparently, any novel over the mark of 450 pages is considered a ‘chunkster’ by the broader readership! I consider anything under 750 pages to be a full-fledged novel of wickedly delightful sagas! Then, again, I happen to have a penchant for reading multi-generational sagas, of which cannot be fully contained in one singular volume! I oft find the sagas are separated into multiples; either in a running serial of the same family &/or spilt into trilogy installments. The odd quartet is thrown in for good measure as well!

I am a reader who envelops her mind, her heart, and her soul around the characters she meets inside the stories her mind illuminates for her as she reads. The main characters as well as the supporting characters all have equal footing in her heart because each of the characters mentioned may hold a piece of the evolving story. Or at the very least, provide a backdrop flow of continuity for the time, setting, and place of the novel! I love seeing the smaller details, the finer points of everyday hours which elapse at different intervals whilst your engrossed into a hearty historical inasmuch as you might be jettisoning into a time slip or time travel narrative! I like seeing the finite details because they in of themselves give a winking nod towards our own histories. How life was for those who came before us in the not-so-far-off past can be ruminated in a historical story.

This wicked sweet challenge is hosted by Vasilly of Chunkster Challenge!

{Proposed Goal of Reading *25* Chunksters}

Given the rate of probability of increasing my page counts as the months progress forward, I have decided to aim even higher than I originally felt I could achieve over the next 10 months, as I am beginning to count this challenge in the second month rather than the first! And, at the latter half of February, I might add! I originally felt only five novels of considerable length might be possible! Who knew!? I suppose this would fall under the ‘hidden talent’ category for performance artists!?

{Reading List} | Combination of Blog Tour Reviews & Personal Selections

IF a book is in italics I have bumped it into 2015 rather than reading it in 2014.

  1. Crown of Vengeance {Book 1: Fires of Eden series} by Stephen Zimmer (612 pages)
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1,215 pages)
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (643 pages)
  4. Somerset by Leila Meacham {Prequel to Roses} (610 pages)
  5. Roses by Leila Meacham (609 pages)
  6. Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham (470 pages)
  7. The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hill Chatlien (484 pages)
  8. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (528 pages)* officially on hold for another year
  9. Sepulchre by Kate Mosse (592 pages)* officially on hold for another year
  10. Citadel by Kate Mosse (680 pages)
  11. The Reincarnationist (Book 1: Reincarnationist series) by M.J. Rose* (464 pages)
  12. The Memorist (Book 2: Reincarnationist series) by M.J. Rose* (464 pages)
  13. A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander* (480 pages)
  14. [7,851 pages thus far!]
  15. Intangible by C.A. Gray (482 pages)
  16. Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan (456 pages)

{In consideration} | A considerable number are on my tCC List!

[projected pages to read: 8,498!]

  1. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (582 pages)
  2. Jaran {Book 1: Sword of Heaven series} by Kate Elliott (494 pages)
  3. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (834 pages)
  4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (552 pages)
  5. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (479 pages)
  6. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (552 pages)
  7. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (473 pages)
  8. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (562 pages)
  9. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (656 pages)
  10. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (704 pages)
  11. The Crimson Petal & the White by Michael Faber (on TBR Challenge List) (833)
  12. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1,024 pages)
  13. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (753)

{Previously Read}

[Pages thus far consumed: 1,548 & counting!]

  1. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (486 pages)
  2. King’s Dragon {Book 1: Crown of Stars saga} by Kate Elliott (532)
  3. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher (530)
  4. and continuing,.. as I sort out which books were of considerable length!

{*} reading in conjunction with scheduled book review of next in sequence

Already at the start of keeping track of the length of each novel I read, I am amazed at how the list begins with *13!* Curiously, I am fascinated to seeing which ‘length’ of book attracts me the most!? If spilt into 100 page increments, will it be the 400 mark? 500? I’ll have to continue this part of the discussion come New Year’s Eve, 2015!

*UPDATE (18FEB’14): As I read Christine’s note about how many actual pages I’d consume, I was curious, how many would that be!? I added the figures!

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story Badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey.

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 17 February, 2014 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, Chunkster Reading Challenge, Classical Literature, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Romance Fiction, Science Fiction

It truly ought to be rather elementary,…

Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Have you ever noticed how inefficacious it is to read against the grain!? To where your honestly directing yourself towards a book that may not be exactly where your heart was leading you, but perhaps, it was a title itching in your head to be read,… you know, one of those books you came across half an age ago, yet never fully had the ability to nestle into? All the while, it was rather elementary to observe your next read ought to be instead one that takes place precisely ONE HUNDRED AND TEN years after the last? Yes, you read that correctly,… the very last book I read was “The Golem and the Jinni” {by Helene Wecker} which teleported me into *1899: New York City*. Logically, my next read ought to have been set in *1789*. And, here I found myself dipping my toes into four had-hope-to-reads finding my mind restless, wandering around the pathos of thought, and never truly ‘settling in’ to the story; err, stories! As if by pure will alone, I felt a drawing to trying one ‘more’ attempt {the last of the evening, albeit early midnight oils thus dispersing} which was “Mistress of my Fate” {by Hallie Rubenhold}. Yes, dear hearts, not only is it *1789*, but I am about to embark on an adventure in one of my favourite literary cities: London! Sighs. It truly ought to be rather elementary, by now, eh!? Notably, the French Revolution is starting to dawn with such a rapt haste!

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 19 July, 2013 by jorielov in Spontaneous Musings

A swirlment of folklore surging to life in New York City,… “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker, a debut novelist who captured my heart

Posted Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 by jorielov , , 13 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Published by: HarperCollins PublishersApril 2013.

Page Count: 496 Converse on Twitter: #GolemandtheJinni

Borrowed Book By: My local library for which I am forever grateful in seeking out fantastical new writers, who pen brilliantly conceived worlds with the breath of a realm just past ours! I know one day I want this book to be amongst those treasured books in my personal library!

What captivated me to wish to drink in the narrative, whilst I discovered it amongst the stacks of books featured on Book Browse? I think it was the premise that sparked a curiosity that would only become quenched if I were to drink in the narrative. Sometimes I feel as though the books speak to me, in that, it’s the full effect of their presence,… from premise to cover art to the foreboding idea of what may lie beneath of the pages. I get a sense that I am drawn to certain titles moreso than others. You have to admit, to embark on an adventure that spans centuries and involves mystical and fantastical elements of magical proportions packs quite the appealment! Over on the author’s website, you will find a hearty excerpt, as well as bonus information on the neighbourhoods in New York City, as much as the characters which you can find on the right toolbar whilst your reading the excerpt! To seek out more information behind the scenes of the book, read the articles threaded through the Jewish Book Council.

 Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

The Golem and the Djinni – Helene Wecker extract by HarperCollinsPublishersUK  

Inspired to Share: I think anytime you’re giving the gift of hearing an author speak about their book is a moment you do not want to bypass! I haven’t always been able to travel to book signings or author lectures, but through the availability of author interviews online, I am finding that I enjoy hearing in their own words why they choose a particular story to tell. Listen to hear Ms. Wecker speak about a book that is stitched close to her heart.

Interview with Helene Wecker, author of “The Golem and the Jinni”,  

by HarperBooks, which is part of HarperCollins, the publisher.  

By the Time I reached Page 34: I had settled into the atmosphere of the setting and the presumption of knowing what I might be in for as the story progressed forward, as both the Golem and the Jinni had made their individual appearances. I was struck by similarities to other fantasy characters I had already become acquainted with, as with the Jinni I was reminded instantly of “Q”: the arrogantly curious omnipotence being who could not detach himself from humans due to his disgust with the simplicity of the species and the curious nature behind their innate humanity.

Two entities bound by an infinite level of what they can yield and achieve, yet struck down by boredom, impertinence, and impatience! {Q is a character from Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek”, a series of four tv serials and eight motion pictures by which I loved whilst growing up and continue to appreciate to this day! Q was portrayed by the incomparable John d’ Lancie who made him endearing to watch!} Whereas the Golem, took on a few hintings of Troi, {Another reference to Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek”.}, where the Golem struggled to deal with the voices she overheard whilst amongst humans, because she emphatically and telepathically was connected to their innermost thoughts and desires. Yet, reminded me more of Data, in the struggle towards being more human! Both entities shared the common element of being made by man and for man’s purposes, at least initially. Her ability to be self-aware and learn from her experiences also held Data in my mind as I began to know more of her character.

From there, as those were my initial points of reference to sink further into the world Ms. Wecker had created,… I was enjoying the references of cultural heritages, immigrations through Ellis Island, and noting the author’s use of the Five Elements, Plus One: the Golem {of Clay}, the Jinni {of Fire}, Humans {of Earth},… which led my mind to speculate a sequel involving Air and Water! And, how intriguing it would be to stitch all of this together! I was not even sure at first if this would be the type of story that I could comfortably sink myself into, as although I used to read quite a heap of science fiction and fantasy novels, it’s been half an age since I last picked one up! It’s always been my fervent intention, if not desire, to regain a passion for this part of literature, and as the words drenched through my eyes and permeated my imagination; I felt that for once, I might have stumbled across a way back into the genre I’ve ached for since I was seventeen! The very moment upon which the genre was vibrantly enticing, entirely new, and easily able to be read! It’s a wonderful moment for a reader to find their way back into a section of literature they once feared they’d have to abandon completely!

I Always Appreciate a Wordsmith: And, Ms. Wecker is amongst my favourites in this regard, because she chooses to entice your mind and imagination with a palette of textural rich incantations of literary narrative! She has the ability to write a viscerally stimulating setting set in distinctively enriched cultural neighbourhoods of New York City with a clarity that befools your mind into not realising we’re currently in the 21st Century whilst reading this book in hand! Your drawn back into the past, as the veils of time reveal a world where immigrants lived with a constant fear of not fitting in or being understood. Where they hoped to re-create a new life for themselves, but always questioned if they were succeeding. A world where you could either make it or break it based on the resolve and strength you carried within you when you travelled by boat to the New World.

I couldn’t drink in her narrative fast enough, and even then, I debated if I should be so very hungry and thirsty for the next page, because I didn’t want to run like lightning through such an enriched text! I wanted to linger as I absorbed the sights, sounds, and aromas of each neighbourhood and crevice of space that is shared with us. We take a journey alongside the characters, as we’re introduced to not only two remarkably unique characters, in the “Golem” herself and in the “Jinni” himself, but the passageways that led them to New York City. Oh how I appreciate a wordsmith who delicately weaves her tale into our mind’s eye with a bewitching vernacular!

Ruminatively Inclined to Muse About: The original necessity of conjuring a Golem and the mythlogical-mysticism surrounding the Jin! This book encompasses such haunting notions of a man-made creature brought to life from clay, though upon a bit of superficial digging into the origins of Golems, I learnt that they can be conjured from more than mere clay, but always by the hand of man, not God. In fact, that is a distinction that is proposed in the story itself, as how can a creature of man, be not only curious about God, but question how faith and religion plays a part in their existence as much as mankind? There are overlapping topics that draw a breath of digging deeper than mere folklore surging to life in a city that many are intrigued and fascinated by each year. The very essence of self-identity, self-awareness, faith, religion, ethnical heritage, cultural identity, self-worth, ethics and logic, good vs. evil, and the oldest of adages, best not to meddle in affairs that we are not meant to muddle into much less grasp! I appreciated the underpinnings of Jewish and Arabic mythologies interwoven into the plot, which I learnt by way of the interview posted here were inspired directly by Ms. Wecker’s own background and that of her husband’s! To cultivate a novel that gives a plausible thesis with a difficult resolution is one of literary brilliance.

A Lasting Impression: The Golem and the Jinni is a classic premise of star-crossed lovers who do not realise they’re meant to be in each other’s lives. The story is a play on Pride and Prejudice as well, as you become introduced to Ahmed {the Jinni} and Chava {the Golem}, they tend to take on counterparts of characters you might already love as I do. Yet, there are distinctive differences as well. I appreciated the fragility and flawed character of Chava, who despite all her best efforts and attempts to becoming a humanoid, she must render herself hinged to her nature as a Golem. This startling fact for her, is not a surprise to the reader as there are enough facts pointed out to this regard, but to read her reaction and her acceptance of this was done with a deft hand! Nature or Nurture is a heavily argued point to understand the underpinnings of one’s personality and traits of action. 
It’s not all whittled down into black and white principles or plausible scientific explanations either. This is a running play of acknowledging that even if you think you know a particular subject, there is always the possibility that the subject is going to surprise you, and take you to places you hadn’t yet fathomed to be true. The Jinni, Ahmed is as arrogant as they come, determined to place himself superior above all others, even if his actions are a hazard to those he chooses not to attach himself too. He’s the complete opposite of Chava, who being an empathic being is well and fully aware of human emotions and the counter balance it takes to live amongst them. She is constantly aware of the consequences of both thought and action. Whereas Ahmed is more concerned with his own affairs and his own needs to even consider another person first. This tug of war between their character traits and the way in which they choose to live ultimately has a high price for those in their inner circles. 
Each were set on a course to learn and grow out of their experiences in a place neither expected to be. They each succumb to their inherent natures, but I feel only one of them is able to change the other for the good. Because one of them is stronger than the other as far as knowing how to make good on what has been turned for the bad. Their journey leads not to a resolution of sorts to overcome their individual obstacles towards true freedom, but rather too a junction point that leads them to question everything they felt they knew thus far along. And, in that conclusion the reader has to sit back and ponder the true meaning behind “The Golem and the Jinni”, for was it a journey of theirs that you took or an inward journey of understanding the limitations of humanity?

 

  The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker,

Book Trailer by HarperBooks, which is part of HarperCollins, the publisher.  

It Should Be Known: I am always excited by the curious peculiarities of the frequency of serendipitous discoveries! In the world of books, I can attest to having many an adventure of coming upon a book, a book that I might not yet feel a warming towards, only to become further entranced by its premise and the curious nature of ‘what I could find inside it’s pages’ to the brink that I simply MUST find a copy to give myself the ability to decide for myself, “Is this or is this not a book I am attracted too rather than simply being infatuated with?” Within the trailer, there is a brief cursory mentioning of “The Night Circus” and “A Discovery of Witches”,… the first was a book of interest the year it originally published although the reasoning behind ‘why’ I wanted to read it remained elusive; and the latter is a book I plucked off the shelf of the library on an ordinary ‘library run’ which led me to realise the author was soon to be featured on Booktalk Nation,… yet… the stars did not align for me. Not to read either book OR to participate in the Booktalk Nation event. Isn’t it curious then, that this book in particular, by which I was able to read at a moment I was most keen too, leads me back to these!?

Fly in the Ointment: I was most distracted by the scene [opening pages of Chapter Twelve] by which Chava returns to the Rabbi’s flat after he has passed on,… she runs into Michael, his nephew at the door, and the exchangement of dialogue felt out of context for what she would normally have said much less thought: it was too peculiar, as she seemed to ‘understand’ the process of a Jewish passing far more than she’s meant too, and the whole scene reeked of a displacement for me! It was nearly as if this was a part of a re-edit that went terribly wrong OR was not fully congealed to the rest of the story — I ran it through my mind and if it was left out completely, it wouldn’t have affected my understanding the flow of the story. After a second reading of the same scene, after having gone well past it’s section {nearly a quarter further into the story!}, I denoted what the main issue actually was! Chava was responding to Michael with the presumption that she was reading his thoughts, but there was an absence of his internal voice from this sequence of dialogue and narrative exchangements! That is precisely what I had picked up on, but hadn’t registered fully because I was too entranced to lament what stoked my ire! This small absence felt a jutting away from Chava’s character straight down to her personality traits and how she interacts with humans.

Cliffhanger Ending: I will admit, that I was twenty pages out when the book was recalled to the library, and I didn’t want to forsake my enjoyment of the story’s conclusion by rushing the pages and missing out on the experience! I never want to skip over dialogue or narrative for the sake of completing a novel, but at the very same time, I was betwixt what to do, as I felt for certain this book would be a ‘must read’ selection at the library! Imagine my gobsmacked expression when I learnt it was returning back with me! No one had placed a hold!? That was beyond shocking to me! I’ll admit, when I first picked up the book, as the initial pages started to prop up the images in my mind,… I wasn’t certain if I’d fully enjoy reading this story or if I would be too far afield in a narrative I was not used too. 

Yet. At the ending chapters, I found myself moving into a place I wasn’t expecting to land: the quagmire of a cliffhanger! Perhaps its the optimist in me that hopes for a resolution that characters can live with OR either accept if the cards do not come to pass their way,… but to exit a novel such as this with a cliffhanger ending was not something I had surmised for myself! Sophia’s character had a mere passing of thought after her main appearance at a pivotal moment for the Jinni {which I will not reveal here as it’s too gutting to even think of spoilting it for a reader!}. And, then there is the Golem and the Jinni themselves who more or less are left with an ambiguous ending of this part of their journey! I closed the book half aghast at myself for being so properly irked! I felt a bit short-changed I suppose, because more than anything, I thought everything leading up to those pages was preparing me for the inevitable! Saleh I think had the easier path in the end, as he ultimately did find the peace he sought so hard to achieve. It’s Ahmed and Chava that I am concerned about, and wonder if my original ideas about Water and Air might play a part in what I hope will be a sequel? How can we forevermore not know the conclusion!? Surely there is a door to unlock this literary key!? Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 by jorielov in 19th Century, Author Interview, Book Browse, Book Trailer, Cliffhanger Ending, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Magical Realism, New York City, Scribd, Time Slip