Tag Archives: books

the brontë sisters

The Brontë Sisters: Anne, Emily and Charlotte were some of the greatest contributors to the literature we love. Their books didn’t abide by the norm. Instead they were original and creative. The sisters had a talent for giving their characters depth and complexity which only few writers could pen down. They created a legacy which has been passed down for generations. Yet, their lives weren’t always perfect. Tragedy was regular for the Brontë’s, with the deaths of first their mother, and then of their two older sisters.

Emily Brontë

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

-Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Emily is best known for her only piece of work ever published- Wuthering Heights, an original and exciting book, portraying the dark and twisted face of love.  She published her works under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. Her inspiration could be found in authors like Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. Emily was described as the shy and mysterious one in the family. The second youngest, she found occupation as a teacher in Law Hill School.

Yet, she had to return due to her fragile health. Her book, Wuthering Heights, was published in 1847, yet she didn’t live to see the success of her novel. She died at the age of 30, a few months after her brother Branwell’s death. It is said that she had grown so narrow and small that her coffin only measured 16 inches wide. Her work is now regarded as literary classic.

Charlotte Brontë

“’I am not an angel,’ I asserted; ‘and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.”

-Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Charlotte was the oldest of the surviving Brontë sisters, who published her works under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, to veil her gender from the public. She was employed as a governess, a job she didn’t like, due to the abysmal treatment she received from her employers. Her first manuscript, The Professor, never found a publisher, but her second one, Jane Eyre, was her most famous and well known work. She was one of the few authors, who wrote the book from a female perspective. A governess, who falls in love with her employer, yet discovers that his crazy wife has been locked up in the attic the whole time. It was dramatic and ground-breaking, and found great success as well as positive reviews from critics. She published her last book, Villette, in 1853. The last surviving member of the family, she lost all remaining siblings within a span of ten months Brontë died at the age of 38, along with her unborn child.

Anne Brontë

 “What a fool you must be,” said my head to my heart, or my sterner to my softer self.”

-Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne was the youngest member of her family, and the least known, partly due to the delay in the re-publishing of her book The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She too worked as a governess, but was later dismissed by her employers. Her debut novel, Agnes Grey was published in 1847 under the pseudonym Acton Bell, which was based largely on her own experiences as a governess. She drew inspiration from real life for her writing. This concept of realism was common amongst the sisters. Her second work, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is described as a shocking and disturbing contemporary Victorian novel. Yet, it was well received and an instant success. Anne died at the age of 29, shortly after her sister Emily’s demise.

all the light we cannot see

So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?” 

Anthony Doerr, All the Light we Cannot See

World War 2 has been one of the most written about topics. Over the years, we have seen a lot of books, movies and documentaries about it, each more intriguing than the previous. It was a dark moment in our history, and it is obvious why all of us can’t stop reading about it. Just when we thought that we have read it all, fiction and non-fiction, we were proven wrong. In 2014, Anthony Doerr released his “All the Light we cannot see”. This book highlighted how both the sides tried to survive the devastations of the war.It went on to become New York Times Bestseller, and even won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015.

This book talks about the war, but not just in the way you think. Often times, literature about World War II focuses on its soldiers and leaders. Seldom it is when a book talks about its impact on the common folk. The book shifts between two points of views, one of a blind French girl trying to escape from occupied France, and another of a German boy, who gets recruited at an extremely young age. For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of 6, life hasn’t been easy, with her father as her only support.For Werner, an orphan, initially destined to labour in the mines, life takes a turn when he fixes an old broken radio, and tunes into a a radio show by a Frenchman who awakens a life long interest for science in him. Doerr’s impeccable vocabulary, and the smooth transition from Marie’s life to that of Werners makes it completely worth it to read the book. 

We all know what a difficult time that was. However , after reading about the many trials and tribulations they both had to face at extremely young ages, we come to realise exactly how cruel it was. How it stopped at nothing to take away every possible shred of happiness they possessed. Another theme constantly highlighted throughout the book is family. Both of them eventually lose all their family. This was a detail which couldn’t have been overlooked, as it was crucial to prove to the reader how innocents will always suffer when two sides fight. Doerr perfectly managed to capture the desperation one feels when losing their family, with the incapability of being able to do anything. It tugs at one’s emotional heartstrings, and definitely does the fail to provoke a tear or two.

Doerr’s hauntingly beautiful description of events not only helps you visualise the scene, but also feel the emotions the characters were going through. When Werner wins a spot into the Hitler Youth Academy, his only escape from a life in the coal mines, you can visualise exactly how he must have been feeling, being presented with two options for his future, neither of them better than the other. Both these options will lead to his separation with his only family alive, his sister. You can sense his inner turmoil at this very moment. This book is also a great read for those fond of science. Every page in this 634-page work of art is bewitching. This is one book you won’t be able to put down.

how to read more

We live in the golden age of content.Nowadays, there are a lot of entertainment options. A click of a button can bring you thousands of shows, videos, podcasts and movies. But, amidst all this, it seems as if we have forgotten about our former favourite, books. People probably don’t love books as much as they used to, which is indeed saddening. A lot of the times, even if one wants to read, they find themselves constantly distracted by something or the other. Reading can be extremely relaxing, and has multiple benefits. It can enhance creativity, boost your vocabulary and so much more. So, here are 4 ways to read more

  • Pick up your reading material.

Yes, this might sound obvious , but often people have trouble just getting started on reading. Pick up any reading material, whether it is a book, an article, a newspaper, anything that interests you. Start by reading short segments or paragraphs, then gradually work your way up from there. This can help develop a habit from reading, especially if your reading habits are a bit rusty. Remember, every little step counts.

  • Reading what interests you

Often times, we hear our friends or family talk highly of a particular book or book series.So we give it a try.  But when we read it, we might not find it compelling or interesting . Still,  we force ourselves to finish the book, no matter how much we hate it. After we’re done, we lose our interest in books and don’t read for days or months on end. My advice on this is that if you don’t find your reading material interesting, then don’t read it. You are under no inclination to finish a book that you don’t find captivating.Find something that genuinely absorbing. Whether it be YA novels, classics or plays, it doesn’t matter.Literature is not just limited to Shakespeare. An interesting book will not allow you to put it down and will motivate you to finish it, maybe even start a new one.

  • Set up reasonable goals and deadlines

Procrastination is a huge waste of time, and it is more common than you would think. To stop wasting time, set up goals for yourself which you would like to accomplish in a day. For example, try setting up a goal of reading 50 pages, or one chapter in a day. It gets the momentum going, and allows you to not put off reading. Slowly, but surely you will see progress. Remember to set up reasonable goals, and not aim to finish the whole 850 page  book in one day (unless of course, you can do that. In that case I say go for it.)

  • Always carry a book with you

You might not realise it, but the 10 minute breaks you take throughout the day, or the time you spend between classes, is time which can be put to efficient use. In  such cases you should try carrying a book with you, and read it in any free time you find. Even reading 2-3 pages in between breaks can really add up throughout the day. Now of course I’m not saying to spend every minute away from work reading. You definitely should know when you want to read, or when you just want to watch Netflix.

Happy Reading!

How Books Influence Our Lives

Reading something is like giving food to your brain. Your brain then analyses, contemplates, and absorbs the information it deems worthy of knowing. And the best way to feed your brain is by reading books.

library

Those of you who have a taste for literature will vouch for the fact that a book changed their life during a dark hour or an idle point. It provided them with a sense of direction and taught them a lesson. For some, books help them articulate their thoughts and emotions and helped them find a voice.

Books, especially the good ones, have a sort of magical power. If you let them, they can change your whole life, give you an interesting outlook on things and help you grow as a person. Here are four ways in which a book can make you feel at home and simmer down your anxious minds.

  1. A sense of belonging

When you slowly build up your interest in a book, you begin to connect to the words on the paper. The book you are reading could have been written decades ago or maybe it is a second-hand book and many people have read it before you. You start to feel as if you have known the characters all your life. You begin feeling connected to the previous owner of the book. While reading this book, you are having a conversation with the said author. It is like your dreams and emotions are understood by someone else too. You finally feel like you belong somewhere, you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

  1. Widens your mental horizons

When you read more books, you travel to places mentally all the while exploring new places, vistas, and emotions in the fine print. You begin expanding the horizons of your mind. You learn more about the individuals and their customs, culture, traditions, and laws. All the great personalities have drawn inspiration from a character in a book at some point in time in their lives, whether it was knowingly or unknowingly.

  1. Self-confidence

Reading a book challenges your mind. It makes you question everything you know. The conviction with which a carefully crafted book will shake your beliefs to your core will demand you to stand up and rethink those flabby truths in your life. Your truth will be put to trial many times, inevitably forcing you to defend it and in the process making you stronger than before.

  1. Feeling of joy

If you start a book and don’t have any interest in that particular genre or that author’s writing style, you eventually keep the book down without reading it. You only prefer to keep reading a book that interests you with its plot or the delivery of its contents. This happens because you are reading a book to find pleasure. You look for a return on investment in every book you read, some sort of joy that you experience while reading it, or some sense of knowledge that you gain from it. Life is too short to read what doesn’t matter to us. So read what gives you joy and enriches you, letting it take you to new heights along with it.

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