Reading Ladder: August 29 – Jan 21

In no specific order:

Ray Bradbury’s  Fahrenheit 451 – 159 pages

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – 280 pages

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad- 188 pages

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – 148 pages

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – 464 pages

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – 331 pages

Macbeth by William Shakespeare – 249 pages


1819 (total number of pages) / 19 (number of weeks) = 95 (pages per week) / 7 (days in a week) = approximately 13 pages per day.

My reading rate is clearly not something to be proud of. However, I admit that this semester was a much heavier workload than I expected. I honestly did not get as much time to read as I had anticipated, however, I will try to manage my time better for the new semester.

Top 3 books:

1. Things Fall Apart by China Achebe:

This novel was an unexpected favourite. I suppose that was because short novels are often fairly dense, however, the say aspect of this piece was fairly simplistic in comparison to its matter, which is much heavier. Personally, what I loved about this piece was the motif of unity exemplified through a community that I have never before experienced. The community presented in this piece was reliable, supportive, and true to their morals. It is true that some aspects of their lifestyle were savage–heads as trophies (representative of strength)–however, if such customs bring a group of people closer; if such savage acts create a sense of belonging for young men, are they really doing more harm than good? Furthermore, within this piece, the one weakness hidden within the festivities and customs of this community was how these people, men specifically, were harming their spiritual state unknowingly. For instance, Okonkwo had killed Ikemefuna so that he would not be seen as weak. Such an act wounded him internally, however, he did not care to reveal or share his pain in any form. He simply said that if he had more work to do he would be fine. That is to say, that these men drown the pain of killing through mindless work. They distract themselves to the highest extent, in order to subdue the pain of hurting their loved one’s on the word of a God that they worship. Such a phenomena fascinated me. This was one of many. Ultimately. this piece caught my attention as it made me evaluate the importance of a community, as well as on what foundation  a community must be built and maintained in order to prevent the breakage of strong bonds amidst the people of said community. Balance is key. It is vital. Maintaining it, however, is a much simpler theory than reality.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:

Throughout this novel, Emily Bronte has expertly presented the notion that two people of the same origin are in love in ways that appear obsessive in nature. However, Bronte redefined the silver lining between obsession and love, by rooting said love in origin. When it comes to why Heathcliff never acted on this love in the physical realm, but rather the evil he harboured inside him, the conclusion is simple: he was suffering. That is to say, it is not obsession that drives the forces of good and evil within one’s soul, but rather suffering; the suffering that comes with separation. Throughout this novel, Heathcliff and Catherine were never together, at least not in the physical realm, thus causing Heathcliff to act on the worst of his nature as he was consistently separated from Catherine. He only found piece in the afterlife, in which he was reunited with Catherine, and society was not longer a barrier in their union. I loved this concept. I loved the idea that when one is separated from the other half of their own soul, they act on the evil inside them, for the good inside them seems to serve no purpose.

3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

Frankenstien was a very intelligent piece. I feel as though romantic literature often is. That being said, the most enchanting aspect of this piece was the idea that pain and love are universal. They exist within all life. The Monster that Frankenstein had created simply desired the kind of love that he had witnessed through the careful observation of the De Lacy family. However, the lack of said love resulted in him acting on the rage within him rather than the love. That being said, if one is not given love throughout their life, they see no point in acting on the love that they harbour within themselves, therein allowing rage to consume them. At one point the Monster had understood the value of love, but seeing that he could never attain said love in return, based on such a fundamental principle –looks– enraged him. Not only could he not have love, but the only individual responsible for giving him said love rejected him (Frankenstein). Such an intricate relationship redefined the power of love and pain in the most beautiful of ways. Thus enchanting me to no end.

Goal for next semester:

My goal for the following semester is to read excessively. Candy books, AP literature, and especially plays. I have not read a lot of Charles Dickens, and so, even though I have promised to read this multiple times, I will commit to reading A Tale of Two Cities this semester. I want to get into more plays simply because I truly appreciate them, however, it seems that I do not have a good grasp in understanding the matter behind the stories they present. I have a novel titled Great Plays and intent to complete it over the course of the next semester. I have also been dying to read the Cinder series. Lastly, I have a deep love for historical literature, and therefore need to read more novels by Kristin Hannah.

Currently reading: Us Conductors by Sean Michaels.


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