March 2019

 Pages/book & Ranking

~Listed from favorite to least favorite~

The Help: 530 → ★★★★★

The Glass Castle: 288 → ★★★★

The Lottery: 9 → ★★★

The Notebook (Finished): 15 → ★★★

The Lady with the Dog: 15 → ★★★

Night: 120 → ★★★

Hamlet prose Version: 31 → ★★★

For Whom the Bell Tolls: 58 → ★★

The One About Coyote Going West: 9 → ★★

Miles City, Montana: 30 → ★★

Pages/day → 35.65

Pages/week → 276.25


This month, I read less than last month, but this is a more realistic reading rate for me.  I usually read around 40 pages, because I do not reread books, as I did last month.  I am still content with my reading rate, but I did not read two of the books I planned on reading.  My goal of reading 30 pages every day went well for the first week, and it became irregular again.  I am still working to make that a habit.  In April, I want to focus on learning new words from the books I read.  I will do this by writing down any word I do not understand, and search it up later.  It will allow me to learn words in context so I can use them properly in the future.  Additionally, I want to read more for my own enjoyment, as a lot of the books I read were from English class.


The Help (★★★★★)

This book is written by Katheryn Stockett that depicts the lives of three women during the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi at a time of segregation of black and white people.  Skeeter was one of these women who wanted to publish a book with experiences of being a black maid for white families.  Minny and Aibileen agree to help and strive to have their voice heard in a society that does not want to hear it.

My favorite line from the novel is, “Wasn’t that the point of the book?  For women to realize, we are just two people.  Not that much separates us.  Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”  For the entire novel, the women separate themselves into categories predetermined by the society that they reside in.  The book that Skeeter is writing is slowly creating a tear within the divide, so people can see how similar they actually are.  This quote depicts all of that in a couple of sentences.

A friend recommended this book to me, and I have never read anything like it.  The author focused on characterization rather than the sequence of events, which is why it did not seem like a cliche story of segregation.  We were able to feel for the characters and their struggles with the context of the setting rather than focusing on it completely.  In general, this story showed that people during that time were still human, living their life to the best of their ability with whatever situation is considered normal.  What I loved the most was that it represented our society today.  There are still unsolved problems in this world that we have no control over as an individual.  Therefore, we continue to live, while change comes slowly.

The Glass Castle (★★★★)

“The Glass Castle” is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls about her unique childhood, and how it impacted her both positively and negatively.  She and her three siblings grew up constantly on the move, and independent – they could not always rely on the erratic behavior of their parents, and often had to earn money to feed themselves.  As they grew, they drifted from their parents, and fit into their own lives, while their parents still chose to live in poverty.

I love the narration the most for this story.  By using the first-person point of view, we were able to focus on how one of the kids dealt with their situation, rather than confusing the reader with many perspectives.  The author was very vivid in her description and honest in her storytelling.  The last scene brought closure to her overall incomplete lifestyle, and I was able to appreciate her journey to get to that position.  For me, this story showed that even though someone may be born into a disprivileged position in society, hard work and determination to do something in life can pull them into a life they could have never imagined.  However, once they get to that position, they should never forget their roots and those who supported them in the process. 

My favorite line in this story would have to be, “Sometimes, you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”  This depicts the phrase, “Mistakes are your best teacher.”  Although cliched, it holds great truth.  When an individual is faced with adversity, they are forced to act accordingly to defeat it.  When they do so, they unearth their true potential and can reach further. 

Overall, this story was very well written, and emotionally evoking.  I would read this book again.

The Lottery (★★★)

This is a short story by Shirley Jackson about a small town that has an annual ritual known as “the lottery”.  In summary, everyone takes a slip paper from a box and the individual with the black dot wins.  However, this is not a lottery that someone would want to win.

Shirley Jackson was very deliberate in her word choice.  Readers are oblivious to what is going to happen and breeze through the story until they get to the end.  It comes as a surprise at first read, but when reread, we are able to pick out the foreshadowed scenes that are carefully laid out within the story.  All the conversations have a hidden meaning which is understood when the ending is read.

For me, it took too long to get to the point.  I feel that reading out all of the names was unnecessary and damaged the suspense and build up of the story.  The added suspense in certain areas was what was lacking personally.