Independent Reading – gbw

Jacqueline Winspear’s Pardonable Lies is the third in a series of contemporary mysteries that center on a Psychologist/Sleuth named Maisie Dobbs.  The books take place just after WWI, and center mostly in London and southeastern England, although the portion I’m reading now takes place in France.  The quotation I selected is spoken by Maurice, Maisie’s mentor.  Here she is recalling wisdom he had shared with her:

“‘It’s a question of serendipity, Maisie.  Yes, of course the cases have nothing to do with each other on the surface….But here’s the link: In considering the one case, we have to stand in another place, look at our evidence from a fresh angle.  Without a doubt, that is a challenge for us; after all, we come to our work with a history, a language, a way of doing things in this world that is uniquely ours — and we can be stuck with it'” (p. 185).

What I love about this advice is that there is an element of trust and faith in something that cannot be predicted with certainty.  It will be there because the thinker trusts in his/her own thinking and subconscious enough to make it so.  There are no laws of nature, or formulas to follow, or contracts to keep — just the open mind of the thinker.  Maisie is a great character because she trusts her instincts.

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The Classic Fairy Tales

Book: The Classic Fairy Tales

Author: Edited by Maria Tatar


A short novel about some of our favorite classic fairy tales like Snow white, Little red riding hood, Cinderella, Little Mermaid ( etc.) Each chapter is a new fairy tale, the book goes through the history of each classic tale and give a brief summary of each remake of the story. For example in Snow white it goes first into the intro of the story and talks about the classic Walt Disney version then it goes through the time line of the book and its different authors Gaimbattista Basile: The young slave, Brothers Grimm: Snow white, Lasair Gheug: The king of Ireland’s Daughter and Anne sexton: Snow white and the seven dwarfs.

” The heroine may ingest a poisoned apple in her cinematic incarnation, but in Italy she is just as likely to fall victim to a toxic comb, a contaminated cake, or a suffocating braid “

This Chapter was talking about some of the way Snow white falls into a coma it’s quit interesting to read about some of the different versions in this classic story and how different they are from the Walt Disney that we all know and love. Its interesting to read he different versions and see some of the cutlers and the way they persevere there version of the classic tale. like in Cinderella in some different versions at the end she forgives her stepsisters and in some she throws them off a cliff and makes them blind for the rest of there life. This book would be perfect for people who like fairy tales and there different versions and people who like short essays.

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IT by Stephen King reflection

“Want your boat, Georgie?’ Pennywise asked. ‘I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.’ He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore.

Yes, sure,’ George said, looking into the stormdrain.

And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue…’

Do they float?’

Float?’ The clown’s grin widened. ‘Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy…’

George reached.

The clown seized his arm.

And George saw the clown’s face change.
What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke.

While this quote might seem very corny out of context, I feel that it does a very good job of showing why Stephen King is so successful and why his book It is so successful. This passage shows why Stephen King is so successful for a number of reasons. Firstly, Stephen King has said himself in interviews that while he does take lots of inspiration from horror, he would describe his own work more as suspense which I think is a very fair statement. I feel that the reason Stephen King is one of the most popular American writers is not as simple as “his books are spooky,” but it more has to do with skills as a writer in a general, and the way he takes his time to build up to the climax and continually rise and release tension. This also explains why his books can be super fat.
This passage also shows why this book in particular was very successful. I would consider It as the pinnacle of Stephen King’s horror-related books, mostly thanks to the main idea of the book – a monster that turns into whatever you’re afraid of, which is a universally applicable idea. I think it was also successful because while there are really standard horror novel components like being chased or scary monsters with sharp teeth, but it is also effective in being very unnerving, and focusing on subtleties, and building strong backstories so you actually worry about the main characters getting hurt or dying.

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  • what sort of book it is (genre?) This book is a story of Lovecraftian[Subcategory of cosmic horror] horror, it focuses primarily on the tragic experience of two people who go into a supposedly haunted home, only to find that an eldritch creature has nested itself under the cellar and is consuming those who inhabit the house.
  • what sort of readers might enjoy it? Those who enjoy Lovecraft’s work will definitely enjoy this story. However, for people who dislike genealogical and antiquarian content, I would recommend a story like the Color out of Space instead. This story is steeped in providence history, and Lovecraft’s swooning over Poe.
  • who might not enjoy it? Those who dislike horror or tragedy would not do well with this story, or anything written by Lovecraft for that matter. Also, his use of Baroque description and subjective adjectives forms a rare genera known as Purple Prose, in this writing style there are sometimes 20-40 adjectives in a single sentence, in other words severe runnons.
  • whether you liked it or not, and why. As with almost all of Lovecraft’s work, I enjoyed this story immensely. I identify quite a lot with Lovecraft as a person so I can understand the psychological root of his inspiration, as we think alike in some ways. I have a personal attachment to Lovecraft, I have read many of his personal letters, as well as several biographies. This story in particular embodies his love for Providence and his sense of childhood curiosity.
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Independent Reading The October Country 10/15/17

The book I read is called The October Country by Ray Bradbury and the genre is Horror. The October Country is a collection of short horror stories made/written by Ray Bradbury. Not All is scary some of them are just creepy. Some of these stories that I enjoyed were The Scythe, The Small Assassin, The Wind, The Crowd, and Homecoming. The Crowd is about a man, Mr. Spallner who gets into a car crash and sees a crowd. For some reason he know he will survive this car crash, he can feel it in his gut. He also notices that a particular group of people are looking suspicious. After surviving the car crash he comes home and starts looking at photos of multiple car crashes and sees the same people in each car crash in certain areas. The Small assassin is about a woman who gave birth to a healthy baby boy, she had to get a C-section and almost died, claims her baby is trying to kill her. No one believes her, at first, but soon her claims seem to have evidence to support it.

I feel like the people who would like this book are people who are into modern horror/mystery. I believe they would like this book because it has a sort of element of wonder, suspense, and creepiness. This book can also leave you to think about some of its stories over and make you read them again. Those who I think would not like this book are those who are not into a horror mystery book. This is because the short stories are all horror mystery.

I really loved The October Country because it was very interesting in how he wrote these stories. I especially loved his short story The Wind. The Wind in short is basically a concept of if wind was a living thing. I really loved how he was able to describe a characters feelings and emotions in such a way where you were able to completely know exactly how they felt. In the end i would give this book a 5 star rating because I loved it.

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Independent Reading Journal 2

Book: A Dog’s Purpose

Author: W. Bruce Cameron


The quotation that I decided to use shows the unconditional love from dogs. It starts with Bailey as the narrator, saving his best friend, Ethan. However, Ethan really doesn’t need the help. But, Bailey on the other hand, thinks he is saving him from the monsters of the deep pond. In the quotation, Bailey has flashbacks seeing his Mother and relates it to a blurry view of Ethan in the water, showing the never ending affection for both. He then proceeds to his duties of rescuing his beloved owner.  

“I couldn’t see much of anything down there in the water, which pressed against my ears and slowed my desperate decent. I could sense the boy, though, sinking slowly ahead of me. I swam even harder, finally catching blurry sigh of him–it was almost like my first vision of Mother, a smeared image in murky shadows. I lunged, jaws open and when I was right up to him I was able to seize the hood of his sweatshirt in my mouth. I lifted my head and, dragging him with me, rose as quickly as I could toward the sunlit surface of the pond.”

Page: 95 Paragraph: 1

I chose this quotation because I loved seeing Bailey, unselfishly, go and retrieve Ethan out of the water. Its significance shows later in the book, when Grandpa and Ethan test out to see if Bailey would go and save him other than just the one time. Also, their bond between dog and boy is stronger than ever.

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The Collected Stories

Book: The Collected Stories

Aouther: Isaac Bashevis Singer

This quotation takes place in a village called Frampol the village fool Gimpel is explaining the hard life of being assigned the lowlyest person in society. As he explains being gulabel takes a tole on him he is casted away and is the village donkey.

” I am Gimpel the fool. i don’t think myself a fool. on the contrary. but that’s what folks call me. they gave me the name while i was still in school. I had seven names in all: imbecile, donkey, flax-head, dope, glump , ninny, and fool the last stuck.”

As Gimpel states that he is a lowly and flax-head individual he goes on to explain that he shouldn’t he treated as if he was a waste can for tricks even if he is a little gulabel. He always recalls a saying ” It is written, better to be a fool all your days than for one hour to be evil” every prank or foolish remark people tell Gimpel, he says to him self Let it pass: so they take advantage of me.  Poor fool he is that’what the villager say, This chapter was quite amusing.

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Reflection on Blitzkrieg, from the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk

This is one of the few things that does not make me cringe by its use of the word “Blitzkrieg”, which was a propaganda term from the second world war to describe lightning war. This book describes the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in the late 20s and early 30s, of all the people in the story of the war who interested me, I think Rohm topped it. Ernst Rohm was the leader of the SA, one of the  few people who used casual speech with Hitler, and was “openly gay” according to the book. He was one of the largest contributors to the rise of Hitler, and yet was killed by Hitler and Theodor Eicke in the Night of the Long Knives. Rohm was the one and only real threat to the rise of Heinrich Himmler in the 30’s as he controlled the SA, this is why Himmler fabricated evidence that Rohm was going to overthrow Hitler and so Hitler, being a gullible fool, personally oversaw Rohm’s murder. This meant that Himmler was now the sole leader of Deutschland’s military and police. This was the direct cause of the holocaust, as Himmler originated the idea of the holocaust in the first place and now had the power to implement it.

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Milo Yiannopoulos Dangerous reflection

“Trolling has many elements. It’s often about telling truths that others don’t want to hear. It’s about tricking, pranking, and generally riling up your targets. And it’s about creating a hilarious, entertaining public spectacle. The best part is, most left-wingers refuse to accept that they’re being trolled. I think this quote is very relevant because people today on both sides in my opinion are hyper sensitive. In a world where political discussion is filled with yelling and insulting each other, it’s refreshing to see someone base their ideas on facts. Even if you disagree with Milo, it’s still a very definitely a very good read and an interesting perspective.

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Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes book reflection

“In short, our gentleman became so immersed in his reading that he spent whole nights from sundown to sunup and his days from dawn to dusk in poring over his books, until, finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind. He had filled his imagination with everything that he had read, with enchantments, knightly encounters, battles, challenges, wounds, with tales of love and its torments, and all sorts of impossible things, and as a result had come to believe that all these fictitious happenings were true; they were more real to him than anything else in the world.”
This quote I feel sums up what I’ve read from Don Quixote so far very well. This passage is within the first few paragraphs of the first chapter after the prologue and does a good job of describing the setting and conflict without having a long boring buildup. It also does a good job representing the style of Don Quixote, which is very eloquently written (because of the dialect of the time) but also is very humorous/quirky/entertaining. The fact that Miguel Cervantes can attach to a reader despite the enormous difference in time and culture shows how great of a writer he is.

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