Review: Rebecca

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Book Review13047090Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Series: none

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publish Date: December 17th, 2013

Genres: Classic, Fiction


The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling read that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.

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Sunday Stumper #48: Ancient Classical Authors/Philosophers

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Sunday Stumper

Our 48th Sunday Stumper revolves around authors and philosophers from a variety of ancient civilizations from around the world.  While they may have preached contradictory messages, their works have survived for thousands of years and still remain timeless classics.  So hopefully you can remember back to your high school and college literature classes in order to complete this week’s stumper!

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Review: Lord of the Flies

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Book Review

84943Title: Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding

Publisher: Perigee

Publish Date: May 2006 (1st published 1954)

Genres: Classics, Young Adult, Dystopian

William Golding’s classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, “the boy with fair hair,” and Piggy, Ralph’s chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island’s wild pig population. Soon Ralph’s rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: “He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet.” Golding’s gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. –Jennifer Hubert

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Sunday Stumper #38: Fairytales

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Sunday Stumper

We’ve decided to introduce a new weekly meme here at Brewing Up Books…Sunday Stumper! Each Sunday, we’ll be posting a literary based challenge, puzzle, game, etc. that can be downloaded on a computer, tablet, or smartphone (or even printed out). The following week, we will post the correct solution to the puzzle, along with a new one. You can complete the puzzle at your leisure throughout the week, and, if you manage to finish it, you can email it to us (brewingupbooks@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured! The first person to correctly complete the puzzle and email it to us will have their blog or Goodreads account featured on our sidebar and will also be mentioned in our Sunday Stumper post the following week.

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Rave-Worthy Recommendations (2)

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With Christmas right around the corner, my friends and family have been peppering me with questions regarding which books they should purchase for me.  Therefore, I’ve begun searching Goodreads and the internet in general for works that are similar to some of my current favorites for ideas.  If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, hopefully these recommendations will come in handy!

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Discussion: I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie

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I have a confession to make – I absolutely adore enormous books.  In fact, they’ve managed to effectively take over my TBR pile.  I also blame them for rendering me four books behind schedule for my 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge.  I’ll put it this way, it’s a love/hate relationship.

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Rave-Worthy Recommendations (1)

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Whenever I finish an excellent book, I immediately wish that I could identify similar ones that I would also likely enjoy.  While Goodreads has a recommendation section, I find that it’s challenging to navigate and that not all of the books are specifically tailored to each reader.  Word of mouth is also an excellent option, unless it’s three in the morning and you are mid-fangirling about your new favorite book boyfriend.  Something tells me a very disgruntled friend would be hanging up on you if you tried to call them (I’m clearly not speaking from personal experience).  My apparent dilemma ultimately caused me to arrive at an idea for a new series of posts: Rave-Worthy Recommendations.  Hopefully this post will give you a few more books to add to your already lengthy TBR!

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Review: A Tale of Two Cities

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Book Review1953Title: A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

Series: none

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Publish Date: 1859

Genres: Classics, Fiction

‘Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!’ 

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

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Discussion: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Discussion

I’m sure that every reader can attest to feeling absolutely alone with respect to his or her love or hatred of a particular book.  I’ve decided to share a few of the books that I’ve disliked despite their recent popularity in the YA community with the hopes that some of you can relate!

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Discussion: School Reading and English Courses (Back-to-School Edition)

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Discussion

With school right around the corner, it’s time to finish up those summer reading books an get your hands on the remaining books that you’ll be reading during the upcoming semester.  And then comes the stress of restraining yourself from highlighting the entire page or trying to find the correct page in class when you seem to be the only person with a different edition of the book.

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Sunday Stumper #19: British Literature

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Sunday Stumper

We’ve decided to introduce a new weekly meme here at Brewing Up Books…Sunday Stumper! Each Sunday, we’ll be posting a literary based challenge, puzzle, game, etc. that can be downloaded on a computer, tablet, or smartphone (or even printed out). The following week, we will post the correct solution to the puzzle, along with a new one. You can complete the puzzle at your leisure throughout the week, and, if you manage to finish it, you can email it to us (brewingupbooks@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured! The first person to correctly complete the puzzle and email it to us will have their blog or Goodreads account featured on our sidebar and will also be mentioned in our Sunday Stumper post the following week.

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Sunday Stumper #11: The Bronte Sisters

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Sunday Stumper

We’ve decided to introduce a new weekly meme here at Brewing Up Books…Sunday Stumper! Each Sunday, we’ll be posting a literary based challenge, puzzle, game, etc. that can be downloaded on a computer, tablet, or smartphone (or even printed out). The following week, we will post the correct solution to the puzzle, along with a new one. You can complete the puzzle at your leisure throughout the week, and, if you manage to finish it, you can email it to us (brewingupbooks@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured! The first person to correctly complete the puzzle and email it to us will have their blog or Goodreads account featured on our sidebar and will also be mentioned in our Sunday Stumper post the following week.

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Review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Reviews 2

2956Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author: Mark Twain

Series: none

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Publish Date: December 1884

Genres: Classic, School Reading

Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy’s adventures in the Mississippi Valley – a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – the book grew and matured under Twain’s hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck’s and Jim’s voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.

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Review: The Great Gatsby

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Reviews 2

4671Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Series: none

Publisher: Scribner

Publish Date: April 10th, 1925

Genres: Classic, High School

A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, The Great Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–“Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout.

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Sunday Stumper #1: Classics

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Sunday StumperWe’ve decided to introduce a new weekly meme here at Brewing Up Books…Sunday Stumper!  Each Sunday, we’ll be posting a literary based challenge, puzzle, game, etc. that can be downloaded on a computer, tablet, or smartphone (or even printed out).  The following week, we will post the correct solution to the puzzle, along with a new one.  You can complete the puzzle at your leisure throughout the week, and, if you manage to finish it, you can email it to us (brewingupbooks@gmail.com) for a chance to be featured!  The first person to correctly complete the puzzle and email it to us will have their blog or Goodreads account featured on our sidebar and will also be mentioned in our Sunday Stumper post the following week.   Continue reading

Review: The Annotated Pride and Prejudice

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Reviews 2 110824

Title: The Annotated Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Series: none

Publisher: The Modern Library Classics

Publish Date: October 10, 2000

Genres: Classic, High School

This first-ever fully annotated edition of one of the most beloved novels in the world is a sheer delight for Jane Austen fans. Here is the complete text of Pride and Prejudice with more than 2,300 annotations on facing pages. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

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Review: Dracula

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Reviews 2Classics Challenge

January: Dracula, by Bram Stocker 

Original Publication Date: May 26, 1897

Publisher: Constable & Robinson

Dracula is a 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.

Dracula was my first classic novel that I read (well, actually listened to) for the classic challenge. The book is told through letters that each of main characters have written. Through these letters, Count Dracula is portrayed as a mysterious man. Continue reading

2015 Classics Challenge

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Classics Challenge

As the year comes to a close, we both came to the shocking realization that we’ve allowed our classics on our TBR shelf to get a bit out of hand.  To provide ourselves with some incentive to get a head start on these, we’ve decided to join the Grown-Up YA’s 2015 Classics Challenge.  To participate in the challenge, each of us will pre-select one classic to read per month.  We’ll have to stick to this schedule throughout the year to successfully complete the challenge.  Wish us luck! Continue reading