Daily Prompt – Digging up your Digs

It’s been a while since I did one of these! Today’s daily prompt is:

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

 

What the archaeologist would find at the front of the house would much resemble what they would expect: technology. To the rear, where I am located, it would be similar to that found in the early 20th-century, the only difference would be the authors of the books and the printing and binging techniques of the books. This is what happens when a computer scientist lives with a Literature graduate and book enthusiast! Sorry Ms Archaeologist of the future, I ain’t making this easy for you!

But I can recommend literally anything from my bookcase, I’m just sad it got so damaged!

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Ten Special Books

This isn’t a post that I planned to publish, but I figured I would anyway. On Facebook tonight a friend requested that I post ten books that were in some way special to me, having been nominated herself to do so, and for me to pass this on (which I did to 3 of my book loving friends who I can’t wait to hear back from!)

So this is my post, all copied and pasted from my Facebook:

1. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – This is the book that made me want to study English Literature at degree level. It’s a novella of about 6000 words, but the way that it details simultaneously postpartum psychosis and women’s oppression is one that really drew me in. I also love the way that she sent this to Dr Silas-Weir, the doctor who prescribed her the “rest cure” (extreme bed rest) with her own condition, something that she describes as sending her to the very edge of insanity, so close she could see over. (I paraphrased, but “Why I wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” is a short and interesting article.

2. Blue by Sue Mayfield – Mostly just because my tatty paperback has been read so many times and it still moves me. There is a moment about 2/3 of the way through that makes me cry every time. I read it for the first time about 8 years ago.

3. Little Face by Sophie Hannah – This is the first Sophie Hannah novel that I read and it has stuck with me. Also, had I never got hooked on this series of books, I would never have picked up The Orphan Choir, which inspired my dissertation!

4. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – I first discovered the story as a two man play, and when I read the book for the first time I was genuinely spooked. Jenett Humphrey sits in a really interesting place between horror and terror and I also lost sleep over this book.

5. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – This is the book publication of the webcomic she is famous for. I mostly just like the way she describes depression. Also she is hilarious!

6. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling – This probably doesn’t need saying, but I grew up with these books, and they have shaped my life and will go on to shape the lives of my children (etc)! This one gets special mention because it came first!

7. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters – Again, this was a first by a favourite! I love Sarah Waters and all her literary goodness. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Paying Guests!

8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood – This got me hooked on dystopian fiction. I find the whole concept of the handmaids completely interesting. Had I not read this, I don’t think I’d have gotten so enthralled by the genre.

9. Secret Vampire by LJ Smith. I read this in about an hour when I was 11. It was my first vampire novel and probably the reason I didn’t become a Twilight obsessive!

10. Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark – My favourite crime writer, this book is actually chilling. It’s the manipulation element that has stayed with me, and whilst I am definitely not a crime writer, I would love to write something that has the impact on me as this did!

(Fun fact, all these are women, I didn’t even realise until I finished!)

 

Hopefully you can pick up a recommendation or two from these and get a bit more of an idea about me as a person or what I am into. I surprised myself with only on Late Victorian and two Neo-Victorian texts making the list! I decided to make it all fiction.

 

Comment below with your top 10 (or do me one of them awesome pingback things), and feel free to share this with your own followers/ friends. It would be awesome if we could get this going as a thing on WordPress so us Bilbliophiles can share a word or two!

 

But until then, I have to bid you all goodnight, it is unusual that you will get 3 posts in such a short space from me, and I do have to sleep now as work beckons me in just 8 hours!

Sue Mayfield – Blue (2001)

As a teenager, Sue Mayfield was one of my favourite novelists. Around the age of fourteen I developed and addiction to Young Adult novels that dealt with mental health problems such as self-harm and eating disorders, as well as those that dealt with the difficulties of adjusting to being a teenager. (I’m 22 and I still love Young Adult novels. I’m pretty sure that YA runs until at least your 40s).

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Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar (1963)

This book has been on my “to read” list for a very long time, however, due to the nature of Plath’s work, I set myself a “no Plath until graduation rule”, which means that my collection of her poems has collected dust, and my paperback of The Bell Jar has gone unread, until this week. (I must admit the rule had to be broken as I temporarily tutored an A Level student who was studying ‘Tulips’ for her coursework essay, but that’s okay, I guess).

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Capaldi’s Debut

Tonight Doctor Who fanatics were treated to 80 minutes of adventure. And it was an adventure!

A lot of fans of the show were initially hesitant about Peter Capaldi taking on the 51 year old character, largely because few of us have seen him in a long term role where he doesn’t swear every other word (The Thick of It). So whilst he was undoubtedly Scottish (never a bad thing) he was still The Doctor that we know, and I guess that was largely helped by Matt Smith and his surprise appearance where he reassured Clara, and the viewers at home, that this person that we saw, gallivanting around the TARDIS, was still him, still the Doctor.

But enough about him…

The Paternoster gang are perhaps my favourite regulars. Not only do I love the fact that there exists and inter-special, same-sex marriage in Victorian England (Madame Vastra and Jenny, in case you missed it) but Strax is undeniably the most hilarious character on TV. He is the only character that I appreciate mis-gendering other characters, his default setting is war and he has literally no tact. On my re-watch (hopefully on the train on Monday) I will make note of my favourite Strax quotes that I will share on a different blog.

But what I will say of Series’ 8’s start is that we are about to see the show take a turn that we are not familiar with. There is adventure and youth present, but there is also a darkness that we haven’t seen in Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant or Matt Smith. And I like it. I was laughing at the antics of Strax whilst my heart reminded me of my mortality as I tried to see if I could hold my breath as long as Clara and whether I would survive (would totally die in that situation).

So thank you for the episode Stephen Moffat et al. I look forward to many more brilliant episodes to come!

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

In case anyone noticed a dip in my publications I just wanted to apologise! If I am not writing here, you can rest assured it means I am working on my novel, reading, visiting my adorable little nephew or at work. Having recently graduated, I am looking for work and so this means I have travelled across the country to attend interviews and put some pretty long hours into writing job applications. I hope to get back to writing my daily prompts, but after the bank holiday I’ll be bidding adieu to Oscar (5 week old nephew) and working 8am til 6pm on the final summer residential at Edge Hill, with Friday being my potential last day on that beautiful campus!

 

I can inform you that next book I will review will be Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, followed by Sue Mayfield’s Blue and finally Piper Kerman’s Orange is the New Black.