“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Like most people, the first time I encountered Zora Neale Hurston‘s Their Eyes Were Watching God was in my AP Literature class. It was a required summer reading and weirdly, I enjoyed every minute of it. I recall my teacher discussing it on the first day. She read the passage on the pear tree and the bee and asked what it meant. No one raised their hand. It seemed that though we knew what the pear tree and the bee symbolized, we were too embarrassed to say it. I raised my hand and tentatively answered that I think it symbolized Janie’s first sexual experience. The teacher replied that I was almost correct and went on to further explain.

Apart from the moment when Janie and Tea Cake first meet, the pear tree passage is my favorite part of the book. Indeed, Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of my favorite novels. I love it for its imagery and poetic language. I love it because it’s like a play at times, what with the exaggerated personas that certain villagers take on when they congregate at Joe Starks’ shop, the stage, and the fact that they are sometimes represented as a chorus, their voices, feelings, and thoughts represented as one for all of them.

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“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling

Available on Pottermore and at your local book store.
Available on Pottermore and at your local book store.

I now realize that I should write about the books I read soon after completing them. If I wait, I will forget important things that I wanted to mention. Such is the case with this read. All I can recall of my immediate reaction upon completing it is that it’s still my least liked book in the series.

The first time I read this book, years ago, I was turned off by Harry’s angst and hardheadedness. This time it’s because of the same reasons plus the fact that Harry refused to do his homework and practice Occlumency, assuming that he knew best and could prowl around Voldemort’s mind without Voldemort being aware. Of course, this reason could also be attributed to his immense hardheadedness.

Quick summary:

Many things happen in this installment, afterall, it is a pretty big book. Things become more serious and though there are a few comical moments, the tone of the story is more mature. Harry and his pals are teenagers and are learning the ways of the world, including the fact that adults can’t always be trusted. In this installment, Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, blatantly refuses to believe Lord Voldemort is back. He believes that Dumbledore simply wants to take his position as Minister of Magic. Fudge retaliates by discrediting Dumbledore and Harry Potter in the newspaper The Daily Prophet and places an informant, Dolores Umbridge, at Hogwarts to keep an eye on Dumbledore’s activities. Dumbledore simply sees Fudge as a nuisance because he has more important things to worry about—the return of Lord Voldemort.

Continue reading ““Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling”

Sharing My Instagram Pics: Transportation and Travel

pirate ship, train, horse...
pirate ship, train, horse…

I saw these wrought iron sculptures while travelling yesterday. I’ve never paid them much attention before, thinking they were just some iron bars that were supporting the beams at the bus stop. But since I had some time, my eyes drifted around and stared at them until I realized that they were sculptures. They portray different modes of transportation and travel.

See them individually on my Instagram.

Intimidated by the Personal Statement

personal statement cartoon
personal statement cartoon

I am intimidated by the personal statement that I must write for my graduate school application. For some reason every time that I sit to write, I seem to forget who I am and why I want to go grad school. My mind draws a blank and I no longer know what the answers to the questions are. It is so annoying because as soon as I walk away and begin doing something else, the answer pops up. I know exactly why I want to attend and what it is that drew me to the program. Excited at regaining my answers, I would rush back to jot them down and again they would disappear and the rush of anxiety returns.

What am I to do?

I would really like to get this essay and the application over with so that I can move on to more important worries: Will I be accepted? What should I do if I’m not accepted? I’ve decided that if I’m not accepted I should take time off to recuperate from the rejection and go to Trinidad for the 2014 Carnival and dance my pain away. It’s a great plan. After that, I will move to New York to work and reapply for the grad school.

I wish my thoughts would take pity on me and flow the way I want them to. I hope my anxiety will give up on torturing me and fade away.

Name Change

name plate

From “Zezee’s Link” to “Zezee with Books”

I’ve decided to change the name of my blog. When I began this blog a few years ago, I did so not knowing what I wanted to talk about, hence the tagline “random as my thoughts go.” It was fitting at the time because I had decided that I would discuss whatever popped into my head.

But as I look over what I’ve written since my first post, I realize that I most often discuss books or topics relating to books. I’ve decided to continue with this flow and rename my blog Zezee with Books. It’s possible that I might throw in something that’s totally unrelated to books every now and then so my tagline will remain “random as my thoughts go.” After all, I am a very random person.

“The Farthest Shore” by Ursula Le Guin

At first I didn't like this cover but then I saw it at a certain angle and the eye seemed to glow...SO COOL!!!
At first I didn’t like this cover but then I saw it at a certain angle and the eye seemed to glow…SO COOL!!!

Quick summary:

In this story, we are introduced to Arren, prince of Enlad, an island in the north of the Earthsea archipelago. Something is causing wizards, sorcerers, and others with magical propensities to lose their abilities. Arren is sent to Roke, the island where wizards are trained, to find out why. Ged Sparrowhawk, who is now Archmage on Roke, decides to go on a quest to solve this problem with Arren in tow. They visit various islands in the South and West Reaches of Earthsea where they try to figure out what is stealing the magic in Earthsea. Finally, with the aid of a dragon, Ged gets an idea of what the cause might be and travels to The Dragon’s Run and Selidor islands to find out. On Selidor, Ged and Arren travel to the land of the dead to resolve the loss of magic. The adventure is a success, Ged returns magicless and retires to his homeland, Gont, and Arren is crowned king of Earthsea.

My reaction:

This is the third book in the Earthsea series and I didn’t like it much. The first book was great, filled with Ged’s adventures as he runs from and then chases his shadow. The second book was not exciting but wasn’t a bore either because Tenar escapes and frees herself. This book too wasn’t a bore but it’s adventure was subdued. For most of the book, the reader is either in Arren’s thoughts or kicking it from a distance with the narrator, simply analyzing the actions of characters and their thought processes.

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Sync Read #1: Their Eyes Were Watching God (Start Reading!)

I’m so excited about this! I get to read one of my fav books and it’s a great opportunity to read a book from my Classics Challenge List.

The Classics Club

April 10 through May 30  – Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

— # —

All right, clubbers! Today is Day One of our first sync read, which is designed to be stress-free and place the focus on reading together, rather than completing assignments. (Unless that’s your thing.)

It’s also cleverly designed to keep your moderators from tearing out their hair doing research. So it’s about you, and the book. And you.

Are you reading? Weigh in below — chat, leave a link to your post if you wrote something, read quietly if you prefer to keep to yourself but love knowing you’re reading with others, even silently. Weigh in here and say nothing at your blog. Whatever suits your personality.

There is no Mr. Linky below because the point in this feature is to talk together in a central place, and list our blogs if…

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“The Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan

Cover of "The Eye of the World (The Wheel...
Available on Amazon and in your local bookstore.

I’ve just finished reading Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World and I am blown away. I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

I did not expect to like it as much as I did. My friend recommended it to me knowing that I enjoy reading fantasy novels. Since he has good taste in things, I decided to trust his judgment to try it but I was skeptical since many people likened it to the Lord of the Rings and though great, the Lord of the Rings can be a bore at times with the exception of The Hobbit. But I wanted to try something new so off I went to buy Jordan’s book.

I love Jordan’s style. It reminds me of Robin McKinley in how he takes his time to build his world, which he does by introducing us to the people who live in it. The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the story and also gives us a glimpse of the situation that the characters will find themselves in throughout the story.

Quick summary:

The story begins with Rand, a teenaged farm boy, battling strong winds with his father to get to the village to deliver brandy for the Bel Tine Festival. They walk guarded, on the lookout for wolves, so they are constantly looking over their shoulder. This tone continues throughout the story since Rand and his companions are always fighting dark creatures or on the lookout for them. They travel through the entire novel looking over their shoulder.

Continue reading ““The Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan”

Sharing My Instagram Pics: Random Pic of Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. (Zezee's Pics)
Washington, D.C. (Zezee’s Pics)

I’m looking forward to touring cities now that the weather is swinging to the temperatures that I like. I love walking around cities and taking pictures of buildings and whatever else that catches my eye…when it’s warm outside. The picture above was taken last year in Washington, D.C. I was newly introduced to Instagram and was playing with its features on my phone. I love this pic. It dazzles my eyes.