5 Books To Read For Black History Month

October is Black History Month in Britain so I have added some books by black authors to my reading list that I would like to read. I am around halfway through my Classic book series, so after I finish these I will be reading the books on this list which I have heard are very good. Some are fiction, some are biographies and one is an exciting mix of poetry and photography.

Unseen: My Journey by Reggie Yates

Unseen, by Reggie Yates, is about his experiences as a documentary filmmaker and being a TV host. He has experienced embedding as a prison guard and in refugee camps and met/spoken to people in these situations about their experiences. The embedding of Journalists is involved with my course so this will be an informative read as well.

The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas

This is a fictional, young adult novel that addresses so many areas of racial tension that are relevant now. From police brutality to de facto segregation and the story is centred around a teenage girl and how she experiences these issues specifically. A film is being made of this novel that will star Amandla Stenberg.

Kink by Jay-Ann Lopez & Patrina Charles

This was created by bloggers, Jay-Ann Lopez and Patrina Charles, the imagery is of different hairstyles, hair textures and skin tones than those that are usually shown in the media. The about section of the website describes the book as containing “personal mantras and poetry” to empower and uplift black females.

God help the Child by Toni Morrison

This is Toni Morrison’s most recent novel. I have never read a book by Toni Morrison before so this will be incredibly interesting. This is about a girl who is described as having a ‘blue-black’ complexion and her experiences being raised by lighter skinned parents and in society learning to love her skin colour. The description regards this a ‘coming-of-age’ story for adult women.

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story by Elaine Brown

Elaine Brown was the only woman to lead the Black Panther Party. She chaired the Black Panther Party from 1974 to 1977. This memoir, published in 1992, talks about her experiences as a black woman in the party and the difficulties she faced leading it.


Britain’s Black History Month

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/m-proud-britain-black-history-050056830.html

De Facto meaning

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/de-facto

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë Review

Wuthering Heights is the only novel by Emily Brontë, one of the Brontë sisters and the others, Charlotte and Anne, were also famous authors. Wuthering Heights was published in December 1847 and Emily Brontë dies a year later of tuberculosis. The novel is based in Yorkshire in Northern England, where the author was from. It is a romance story that is as tragic as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with two star-crossed lovers. Wuthering Heights has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it, for example the rivalry between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s that Shakespeare wrote of.

The novel is told by the housekeeper, Nelly, who grew up with Heathcliff and Cathy and retells the story to a visitor, Mr Lockwood. Mr Lockwood travels to Wuthering Heights and to The Grange, where he finds out about Heathcliff. Heathcliff is found in Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw, who raises him at Wuthering Heights with his two children Hindley and Catherine. Heathcliff is disliked by all of the other characters except Catherine and even admits to Nelly that he opened her grave eighteen years later to see her. He is hostile to the others and is described negatively as being “avaricious”, “you’re a cruel man” and you were very wicked, Mr Heathcliff.” He is described as either ‘Heathcliff’ or ‘Mr Heathcliff’ as he was named Heathcliff when the family brought him in after their own deceased child, but not given a surname.

Heathcliff and Catherine fall in love, however he hears Catherine telling Nelly that he is beneath her, because of class “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now, so he shall never know how I love him.” Heathcliff disappears and Catherine marries Linton, so Heathcliff moves into Wuthering Heights, a few miles from the Grange to seek revenge.

“I AM HEATHCLIFF” -CATHERINE

It is apparent that Catherine loves Heathcliff, but does not feel that they can be together as she explains to Nelly “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it I’m well aware, as the winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! he’s always, always in my mind- not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” Heathcliff does not hear here say this so he becomes angry and leaves. Later on, Heathcliff and Catherine see each other again, to profess their love, but Catherine dies in childbirth shortly after. Eventually, Heathcliff marries Linton’s sister Isabella and treats her badly, which causes a rift between the two houses.


Family Tree:Doc1

Background information on Wuthering Heights

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emily-Bronte#ref153056

Biography of Emily Brontë

https://www.biography.com/people/emily-bronte-9227381?_escaped_fragment_=

Wuthering Heights Review in The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/16/emily-bronte-wuthering-heights-100-best

Character list

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wuthering/characters.html

BBC Radio 4 Wuthering Heights discussion panel

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095ptt5

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights – Official Music Video

August Book Haul

We’re now in August and I was recently walking along the high street when I approached a small book shop. I went inside and picked up a few more books that were on sale. This is going to be a small break from my 2017 reading list that I will link below. I will finish Dracula and then begin reading the new books I have bought because they are not as long.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This is described on the blurb as an “unconventional ghost story” it was written by an American author, who later acquired British citizenship. He Is a key figure of 19th century literary realism. The book was published in 1898 and is a horror and gothic fiction. It is open to different interpretations.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This has been on my reading list for a while as I have heard about it for several years and I have seen the film released in 2009 that is based on the book. This is the first book I will have ever read by Oscar Wilde and I am looking forward to reading one of his most popular works. Published in 1890, The picture of Dorian Gray caused outrage in the Victorian era for its portrayal of London life.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I have heard of Harper Lee’s classic novel numerous times and it explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South in the 1930’s. It concerns the prejudice, violence and hypocrisy of a town in Southern America.

The Hobbit by J.R.Tolkien

This is a modern classic and is also the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, the popular fantasy novels. In the blurb it is described as ‘One of the best-loved children’s books of modern times’ and I think it will be similar to Narnia which I really enjoyed. Published in 1937, it is still very popular. I also noticed that there are lots of adaptions for stage, screen, radio and video games.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is a modern fantasy novel written in 2011 that was long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. It is a fantasy novel set in Victorian London and is about a fictional circus that only appears at night, and disappears in the daytime. It is slow-moving, but once the story gets underway it could be an interesting read.

 

Links

Ban on reading To Kill a Mockingbird in schools in Virginia

‘To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn banned from Virginia schools for racism’

The reading list for 2017

2017 reading list

Dorian Gray film review

Dorian Gray (2009) film review

 

 

Views from the Harbour

‘afterwards we took a short walk down Poole Harbour’

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Arrival

In the past couple of weeks, I had the fortune of joining my mum on a long weekend visit to see her friends who live in Dorset, on the South coast of England. With me slightly unprepared for the lengthy coach journey, we boarded a coach setting off at 9 o’clock in the morning but did not reach Poole until around 5 o’clock in the early evening.

However, when we did it was very worth the while, we were greeted at the coach station by my mother’s friends, who then drove us to their extended Bungalow style home. Upon arrival, we were given a house tour, before unpacking and settling down for dinner. We were also introduced to their two cats Billy and Mila, who were brought from Brazil.

 

 

Fun-filled second day

Honestly it escapes me what time we began our journey, possibly around 10 o’clock. This was Saturday morning and we began by exploring Poole beach and the harbour. Unfortunately, we had just begun our walk along the beach when it began to rain, slowly at first and then pouring. So we raced back to the car and waited for the rain to layoff. Then we went on the ferry to take more pictures.

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After spending around ten minutes, we came off the ferry and went to Swanage, a coastal area, to take in the scenery and go for lunch at a local pub. The views of the ocean from the hills at this point were amazing, so we took pictures and videos here and I took a panoramic image of the Sea view from where I was standing. Afterwards we took a short walk down Poole harbour past a row of Yachts that have an estimated cost of over £1 million pounds to take pictures of them. A short while later we went for another walk around the park, which was beautiful with a fountain but had limited floral displays.

Sightseeing

The third day was more complicated, we started off going to Bournemouth beach and then we explored the views of Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Hengistbury Head, from which the Isle of Wight can be seen.

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We visited the beach huts along Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth harbour and Christchurch Priory and its ruins, before returning to the house for a late dinner.

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The final day

It was a much later start to the day and a longer breakfast than usual, we did not leave until around 10:30 and drove through Poole for a while, reflecting on the places we had visited. Then we looked at a final harbour nearby the coach station and stopped to take pictures for a short while, and to reflect on our journey. Unfortunately, we could not go the entire way so we returned back down the hill before leaving for the coach station.