Wow, that’s a long title. But hey, it’s that time of week again where we start breaking down awesome things about books. This topic is interesting…and really hard to actually think of answers. Still, let’s have some fun!
Top Ten Things Book Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn About After Reading Them
1. Learn French – Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
I’ve always joked that I learned French from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Lumiere is always peppering his speech with French.) But it was a combination of things that made me want to learn French, not the least of which was this book/TV show. I know rudimentary Spanish from high school, which has helped me a lot in trying to learn French. They share many grammar rules. I’m by no means fluent, but it’s a work in progress. And it helps out in more books than you’d think.
2. Become a Dreamer – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Ok, you knew this was coming. Be serious. (Or should I say Be Sirius? *cymbal crash*) The most influential series of our generation was bound to make the list…but I couldn’t figure out what exactly it had influenced me to do. “Become a wizard” was my first joking answer. But the more I got thinking about it, I think this was the book that showed me how so much is possible if we try, no matter what odds are against us. Good can conquer evil. Smart girls get stuff done. No one is purely good or evil. Friends can be your family. This was the first book, I think, that truly caught my attention and turned me into a reader, a dreamer, and eventually, a writer. If I keep this us, I’m going to start rambling.
3. Write my own Robin Hood Story – Scarlet by A.G. Gaughen
This is true. I have been fascinated by the story of Robin Hood for many, many years. It’s a classic tale of the little guy overcoming a corrupt authority. I’d tried on and off for a while to write a Robin Hood story, but nothing was really working. This series was the first time that I really started looking at Marian as a fierce character, someone who doesn’t need Robin to save her. I’m actually astonished that it took this long, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten there. And I loved the idea so much that I’m currently working on turning it into a story. (Later, we can discuss whether or not it’s actually any good.)
4. Play Football – Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, or at least the girl who hung out with the guys. I grew up with football and playing it in the backyard with my cousins. So reading this book reminded me of those good times and made me want to get back out there. It’s amazing how averse people become to playing outdoors once they hit like, 16. Still, if anyone wants to take me up on it, I’m always up for a game.
5. Travel to London – SO MANY BOOKS
This is a bucket list moment. I want to travel to London desperately. From all the historical novels I’ve read about the Tudors (Brazen, Gilt, or Tarnish by Katherine Longshore) that mention castles and towers to modern stories set in London (like The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson) all just convince me more and more that I need to go. I love the accent, the culture, THE HISTORY. Ok, let’s not pretend I wouldn’t be going for the castles. Just leave me in the Tower of London for a couple of days and then come pick me up and take me to the next castle. We’ll be good friends then.
6. Eat Chocolate – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
As if I needed an excuse. Also, PSA here for you: do not look up pictures of chocolate when you’re hungry. It’s a bad idea and I’ll just save you the time and heartache now.
7. Rewatch my favorite movies – My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows / As You Wish by Cary Elwes
I am in love with Cary Elwes, who starred in both Lady Jane and The Princess Bride before I was even born. Alas, he is much too old for me now, but I so enjoy rewatching those movies. Actually, the same day I finished My Lady Jane, I had to watch Lady Jane again. And it’s so much fun to read Elwes’s account of all the stuff going on behind the scenes of The Princess Bride in his book. If it was possible, I think I love this movie even more now. Another PSA: feel free to look up pictures of Cary Elwes whenever you feel like it. Whoa, he is hotter than I remembered.
8. Read the original Sherlock Holmes stories – A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Admittedly, Sherlock also plays a large role in this. This is a case of loving someone else’s interpretation of the original story and wanting to actually see what the big whoop is. Cavallaro does a lovely job making Charlotte as neurotic and brilliant as Sherlock and making Jamie as lovable as John, as I’ve come to understand their characters. I still haven’t actually finished a story, but I have made it a goal to read 2 Sherlock stories soon. It’s a sticky-note on my goals board.
9. Speak up – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson / The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
This sounds a little silly, but it’s true. In both of these books, the girls are near mute–one by choice and one by necessity. It’s true that I’m an introvert and far more likely to sit back and let someone talk at me than for me to talk back. But these books highlight what is lost by not communicating and just how important it is to speak up. It’s that idea that you don’t understand how important your voice is to you until you’ve been silenced. And I won’t let anyone silence me.
10. Embrace being the intelligent woman that I am – basically every book
Again, it may seem silly, but it’s probably partly because of books that I am unapologetic about being intelligent. There are girls I grew up with who dumbed themselves down for guys or whatever, and I refuse to do that. When I grew up with role models like Hermione Granger and Sydney Sage from Richelle Mead’s Bloodline series, it’s impossible to see why I need to dumb myself down. Sure, they got made fun of occasionally for being so smart from weaker-minded characters, but those girls got stuff done. And for that, I own them so much.