Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Ten Book Pairings

  Hosted by The Broke and Bookish

OH MY GOD THIS WAS A FORMATTING NIGHTMARE.  I had to redo this like 432029342 times!!!  ..which begs the question why I kept trying.  I kept hitting the wretched command z key to fix things which made the pictures move and aghghhhahsldk;alkd.  I've given up.  Just completely given up.  I am incapable of putting two pictures next to each other.  I am so inept at blogger hahahaha.  At least my posting date is working again (for some reason it was three days off for my last post...so weird...)  So FINALLY...here's my TTT!  

Both novels feature children with no adult supervision, no social structures, and their fight for survival.

Both deal with a woman's silence, perceived virtue, and how it affects her social status.

Both use off the wall humour and ridiculous situations.  While I don't expect Hitchhiker's is taught in school, it is a classic sci-fi novel, and it should be!  The Eyre Affair is set in classic literature, so it would also be easy to pair with more standard school novels like Jane Eyre of Great Expectations (although now that I think about it I'm not entirely sure which book Miss Havisham first appears in)

 Wide Sargasso Sea is a sort of prequel/retelling of Jane Eyre with Bertha as the protagonist, so it is easy to link these two novels, although WSS is a classic in its own right.  The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is more directly connected to WSS due to their link in "madness".  It explores what was considered madness in the past, how it was dealt with, the role gender played, and how long this awful system remained in place.  You'll be shocked.

 Dracula is considered the father of the modern vampire.  Interview with the Vampire drastically changed our perspective on vampires from creatures of horror to the creatures of romance we find in current literature.  Peeps crosses from paranormal into the sci-fi genre, where vampirism is caused by a parasite.

This is similar to The Scarlet Letter/Speak one, but this more closely relates virtue to status, rather than silence to status. 

 This connection is a bit more obvious since Tiger Lily is a retelling of sorts.  It is also one the best written stories I've ever read...the writing is beyond beautiful. This definitely deserves a place in school literature!

 Both are a coming of age story, from preteens to powerful adults who change the face of their nations, and both are fantasy novels (and both are quartets).  However, the Alanna quartet features a female protagonist.  I think more fantasy should be featured in schools - I don't think I had had any required fantasy reading. I also feel there is a severe lack of empowered women in our required school reading, or at least how we would relate to them today.  I'm not saying there aren't any, and I understand a good bit of that is because female independence is a relatively new concept in comparison to the history of literature, but even the relatively groundbreaking characters (like Jane Eyre) are still tightly held by social standards of the time.  Characters like Alanna make their own destiny, and I think it's important to showcase that in our school literature as well.

This is similar in concept to #8 in that they are both fantasies, but with reversed gender roles.  But this combo has islands!  And I really wanted Abarat on this list...

I think this would be a fascinating way to study religion!  Studying The Bible is more common than one would think in public schools, so I think its only fair that if you read about The Bible, you read about other religions as well.  Of course, this would never pass The Bible Belt (in fact I'm pretty sure it's banned in a lot of libraries haha)

I found it interesting that I didn't use many of my favourite classics in here (like 1984 which I probably would have matched up with The Giver, but that's already required reading in a lot of schools), but I did use a lot I hadn't read (The Once and Future King, Dracula, I've only read parts of the Bible) and almost all of the classics I HATED (Tess of the D'Urbevilles and The Scarlet Letter.  All I would have had to do was use Heart of Darkness, and that is literally every classic novel I despised).  I think the only classics I listed that I liked AND read for school were Lord of the Flies and Jane Eyre!  And in fact, I don't think I did read Jane Eyre for school (I was a weird kid...I'd read all but a few of the classics required for school before I'd hit high school haha).

In any case, that's it for my TTT!  What's on yours?


  1. Very brave choices! Good for you.

    Here are my thoughts on the Best Required Reading!

  2. I haven;t read Gone but really want to. And since I haven't read Lord of the Flies, I might as well tackle them both. Great list! Thanks!

  3. I love love love all your choices! I've read Just Listen and am currently reading Tess, and I never even though of putting these two together - but it would work, wouldn't it? I didn't like Lord of the Flies, but I would have much preferred studying it alongside Gone.

    Happy Tuesday!

    My TTT

  4. They're really great books, and despite both being marketed for younger audiences, they really don't shy away from the dark things!

  5. Thank you! Just Listen WAS my favourite Sarah Dessen novel until two days ago - I just read Lock and Key and OH MY GOD IT WAS SO GOOD.

  6. Good choices. We read The Bible (or parts of it) as literature in high school because the stories are such a part of our culture - they were paired with mythology (since those stories are also foundational for so many things). I wonder if they still teach it now? I'm guessing no.

    I had to follow your blog just based on the title alone. (Check out my last entry on my TTT) :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  7. Thanks for the follow! Hitchhiker's fans unite!

    I know some places in the Bible Belt it's an option to leave school and go to a Bible class...which I'm not really a fan of. But I DO think studying the Bible from a literary standpoint is important because it is such a big part of our current culture AND it has influences on practically every classic novel ever. Which is why a lot of AP classes pull from it! Or at least they were...oh god I feel old. Hahahah they were 6 years ago

  8. I love your list! I haven't heard of a lot of the contemporary books, but now I really want to read "The Vanishing of Esme Lennox." And 3 cheers for Alanna! I *wish* I had discovered Tamora Pierce while I was still in school, rather than in just the last couple of years. She writes such great female characters.

  9. Oh man The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox was one of the best most mind blowing things I read last year. I think it was last year? In any case, yes go read it!!

    I'm so glad I found Tamora Pierce and basically grew up with her. Her characters shaped a lot of my values growing up...or if they didn't exactly shape them, they reinforced that my the direction I was growing up in and the beliefs I held were good ones.

    Have I already commented on your blog? If so, leave me a link to your blog so I can remember which one belongs to, and if not...leave me a link so I can comment on it! If I had one complaint about Disqus, it's that I can't just click on a name to look at someone's blog :(

  10. I didn't use many classics I liked in school either, but I think that was partly cause I thought I might have enjoyed them more if comparing to something contemporary. Stuff I liked obviously didn't need the help :)
    Love the pairing of Just Listen and Tess - I seriously thought about that possibility at work today (I love this topic!).
    BTW - I'm terrible at blogger formatting too - so frustrating. I spend more time getting posts to look decent than I do writing them.

  11. I'm glad I'm not the only one...especially since blogger is supposed to be the simplest one!

    I'm not sure if I've already commented on your blog or not, but I'd love it if you'd put a link either way so I can link a name to a blog or so I can see your TTT list! I haven't figured out a way to have Disqus send me to the person's blog if they don't have Disqus themselves :(

  12. You did! I'm at wanderinginthestacks.wordpress.com :-)

  13. You're in luck. I didn't know you could use Disqus in Blogger and ended up adding it after visiting your site - hopefully I added it right, Disqus said it could take up to 24 hours - fingers crossed.

    Yes you visited me earlier today:


  14. I have to warn you it messes with your comment format for everything before, but it's pretty useful! Except for the part where I can't easily figure out who left a comment unless they have Disqus too. If you figure out a way to fix that, let me know (because as I have clearly shown, I am inept at internet tools haha)

  15. Interesting choices/combination you got there. I'm not in love with Tiger Lily but it was interesting and unique take on Peter pan.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. :D

  16. I ended up loving Tiger Lily the more I thought about. It took me a while to get into it!

  17. Heather LittleBearriesSeptember 4, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I loooooove Abarat! Although admittedly, I almost stopped reading when I read the main character's name... LOL. I love that you put the Dark Materials series on here too... as you saw, it's also on mine XD I think comparing Narnia to the Bible would be pretty awesome too. Really though, so *many* stories we've read come from stories in the Bible... you could compare it to a good number of books XD

  18. Love your pairing of Speak and The Scarlet Letter. That would make for a fantastic class discussion! I've heard Tiger Lily is amazing- I really need to read it already! Hitchhiker's Guide would be such a fun school read. :)

  19. I'm so glad you love it! So few people have read it...I feel like public interest greatly tapered out when it took so long between books. And agreed...Candy is an awfully stripperish name for a YA lead haha (no offense to the Candy's of the world).

  20. Tiger Lily seems to be a divisive book - it's not action packed, but it is BEAUTIFULLY written and...well I won't rave about it. But as much as I need to read Beauty Queens, you need to read Tiger Lily!

  21. Very interesting pairings. <3 Tiger Lily with Peter Pan.

  22. I think you draw some good parallels here. I especially like your combination of The Scarlet Letter and Speak. I remember people in my class really despising The Scarlet Letter, but the issues it presents are still so important. We obviously haven't moved past blaming the woman for the choices of both partners.

  23. Yeah Tiger Lily is one of my favourite reads of the year, and of course Peter Pan is a classic!

  24. I am definitely one of the many who hated The Scarlet Letter, but I think if it had been paired with Speak I would have been more likely to enjoy it. (And it is absolutely upsetting that it is still relevant to our society today).


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