myedits:books

As I looked out my window, the sun was setting and it reminded me of you.

It was beautiful. I can see the sun just slightly peeking over the clouds. The sky was filled with all these lovely colours - it was breathtaking. But slowly, the calming and beautiful colors turned to nothing but darkness.

And it hit me - it was you. You rushed into my life and lit it up. You showed me a glimpse of life’s beauty. You made me happy. And I fell for it, god I did. I loved you with everything I had. And with the snap of a finger, you were gone. You disappeared behind the gloomy clouds and my world was dark once again.

—  LA // excerpt from a book I’ll never write

BOOK OF THE DAY:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, but Little Women retains a special place in the heart of American literature. Her warm, realistic stories, sense of comedy and tragedy, and insights into human nature make the romance, humor and sweet stories of Little Women come alive.

The four March girls – practical Meg, rambunctious Jo, sweet Beth and childish artist Amy – live in genteel poverty with their mother Marmee; their father is away in the Civil War. Despite having little money, the girls keep their spirits up with writing, gardening, homemade plays, and the occasional romp with wealthier pals. Their pal, “poor little rich boy” Laurie, joins in and becomes their adoptive brother, as the girls deal with Meg’s first romance, Beth’s life-threatening illness, and fears for their father’s safety.

The second half of the book opens with Meg’s wedding (if not to the man of her dreams, then to the man she loves). Things rapidly go awry after the wedding, when Laurie admits his true feelings to Jo – only to be rejected. Distraught, he leaves; Amy also leaves on a trip to Europe with a picky old relative. Despite the deterioration of Beth’s health, Jo makes her way into a job as a governess, seeking to put her treasured writing into print – and finds her destiny as well.

There’s a clearly autobiographical tone to Little Women.“ Not surprising – the March girls really are like the girls next door. Alcott wrote them with flaws and strengths, and their misadventures – like Amy’s embarrassing problem with her huge lobster – have the feeling of authenticity. How much of it is real? A passage late in the book portrays Alcott – in the form of Jo – “scribbling” down the book itself, and getting it published because it feels so real and true.

Sure, usually classics are hard to read. But “Little Women” is mainly daunting because of its length; the actual stories flow nicely and smoothly. Don’t think it’s just a book for teenage girls, either – adults and boys can appreciate it as well. There’s something for everyone: drama, romance, humor, sad and happy endings alike.

Alcott’s writing itself is nicely detailed. While certain items are no longer in common use (what IS a charabanc anyway?), Alcott’s stories themselves seem very fresh and could easily be seen in a modern home. And as nauseating as “heartwarming” stories sometimes are, these definitely qualify. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, Alcott is a bit too preachy and hamhanded. But her touch becomes defter as she writes on.

Jo is the quintessential tomboy, and the best character in the book: rough, gawky, fun-loving, impulsive, with a love of literature and a mouth that is slightly too big. Meg’s love of luxury adds a flaw to the “perfect little homemaker” image, and Beth just avoids being shown as too saintly. Amy is an annoying little brat throughout much of the first half of the book, but by her teens she’s almost as good as Jo.

Little Women is one of those rare classic novels that is still relevant, funny, fresh and heartbreaking today. Louisa May Alcott’s best-known novel is a magnificent achievement.

guest review by E. A Solinas

Read excerpts from the book here!

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charlie’s list of 2016 book recs

here are some of the fave books i’ve read in 2016 

  • aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin alire sáenz - this book destroyed every inch of me and then rebuilt me into something better. it’s beautiful, a story of sexuality and culture and self wrapped into the narrative of aristotle mendoza, a mexican teenager who just wants answers for a lot of things in his life. (also the audiobook is narrated by lin-manuel miranda)
  • six of crows and crooked kingdom by leigh bardugo - this is a completed duology that will have you mad there isn’t gonna be a 10 book series about these characters. prepare yourself for the 6 new children you’re gonna adopt by reading these. it’s a mid-fantasy series set in a fantastical world and all our protagonists are criminals but like, with hearts mostly of gold. 
  • the serpent king by jeff zentner - this book will stick with you after reading it. it’s a boy stuck in a town and a situation that he’s accepted he’ll never get out of as he sees his only friends preparing for a life outside of it and the realities of life that come with it. it has an ultimately postitive ending, but don’t go in expecting a hallmark rise to happiness
  • simon vs the homosapiens agenda by becky albertalli - imagine the fluffiest but cutest but not like cavity-enducing sweet ya book you ever read - this is that book but with a gay lead character. it literally made me smile throughout reading the entire thing and it’s just so cute 
  • if i was your girl by meredith russo - this book got a lot of attention because it was a popular ya novel that was about a trans woman written by a trans woman and honestly, it was just so good i read it in one sitting
  • the lunar chronicles (cinder, scarlett, cress and winter) by marissa meyer  - these books are…so damn good. they’re long and the series is complete but they’re so good. expect to adopt 8 new children. it’s a mix of a high tech/high fantasy ya epic adventure that’s kind of loosely based on fairytales for each lead female character.
  • dumplin’ by julie murphy - i have some…issues with this book as a whole, the climax was kind of lost on me and some of the comments the character make are a little iffy - but it’s one of the first ya novels i’ve read memorably with such a nice narrative that includes body positivity 
  • everything everything by nicola yoon - this book is a nice quick read with a wonderful lead and a good story, it gets a little predictable but if you’re looking for a fun way to kill a couple hours, this is it 
  • eligible by curtis sittenfeld - pride and prejudice but set in cincinnati ohio, liz(zie) bennet is a 40 something who goes home to visit and meets (dr.) darcy - it’s a nice twist on the original story, darcy eats religiously at skyline chili and they have hate sex, i lived for this 
  • before i fall by luaren oliver - this is an oldie but a goodie. the movie is coming out in march, go emotionally hurt yourself with this one 
  • the woman in cabin 10 by ruth ware - if you like gone girl and the girl on the train, this book is it’s half-cousin separated by marriage. it’s a decent thriller though so i thought i’d give it a shout out 
  • rebel belle by rachel hawkins - this book by itself is super cute, very typcial supernatural romance-y ya novel, a nice hate-to-love romance, but the rest of the series kind of falls off, but the first book was fun af

and in total i read like 71 books this year and these are just some of them. a few that i really enjoyed i don’t feel comfortable publicly recommending due to their content and possible warnings and such, but here are some carryalls that i really enjoyed and i hope ya’ll enjoy and let’s talk about them if you ever feel like