involuntary summer book report.

Over the past 6 weeks, I've been reading like crazy. And not by choice trust me. I'm not a big reader, but sometimes I wish I was. Guess I haven't found the right type of books I enjoy. Over the summer one of the classes I had to take was Topics in Literature : Literary Monsters. (side note: in case you didn't know, I am half way through the program of Organizational Leadership! In May 2015 I will have a Bachelor's Degree and I couldn't be more excited.) Okay soooo, Literary Monsters? Just the name of the class sounds terrible. We had to read a total of 6 books in 6 weeks, and each book was about some type of monster. OMG. Seriously was not looking forward to this. 6 books in 6 weeks = a book a week! It was rough but I got through it.
Book #1 : *Duel by Richard Matheson. This was a short story that starts out with a guy who is traveling to San Francisco for business. He is on a two lane highway the entire trip. The guy encounters a big semi-truck on his journey, and does what most people do when they get stuck behind a big truck on a two lane highway, he passes the truck. A few minutes later, the guy is taking in the scenery when the truck flies past him and cuts him off. The guy and the driver of the semi-truck start to battle on the road. Throughout the story, the guy realizes this is more than a case of road rage; this is a case of him fighting for his life. Very easy read, and very short hence it's a short story.
Book #2 : *Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. After having never read this book, I was quite shocked when I found out that Frankenstein wasn't the actual monster, he was the person who created the monster. In the book they kept calling it "Frankenstein's monster."  It's amazing what you learn when you read a book huh? lol This wasn't a favorite at all, not really a fan of this particular monster book.
Book #3 : *Dracula by Bram Stoker. The book begins in a ruined castle, a traditional Gothic setting. The place is dark, dusty chambers with secret passages. The carriage ride to Dracula's house was very dark, and the mood seemed very dooming. This was a difficult read for me, the story is written in the form of diary entries and letters by different characters so it was sometimes confusing to remember who is writing the story. After we discussed the book in class we watched the 1992 version of Dracula. Oh my was it weird! Keanu Reeves was in it and the image of Dracula was not what I thought it was going to be. See below...
Not what I picture Count Dracula as at all! Not a favorite again. Just weird.
Book #4 : *The Collector by John Fowels. Out of all 6 books, this was my favorite. I feel kinda weird saying that because the story was very weird, but I was intrigued and read the entire book in 2 days. This book was about a lonely guy named Frederick who wins the lottery, buys a big house in the country and kidnaps a girl named Miranda. Miranda was a young pretty twenty-one year old art student whom Frederick had been obsessed with for some time. After a long time of preparation, he forcefully brings Miranda to the cellar in the basement of his house, in which he alters to keep her in his house for a long time. He treated her very nice, buying her all the things she wants like books, food, clothes, music, and art. He holds her captive without any connection to the outside world, in the hope that she will eventually grow to know and love him. In the end, Miranda gets very sick and ends up dying. We watched parts of the movie version of the book, the dude Frederick was odd.
Book #5 : *The Shining by Stephen King. This was the book I was least looking forward to reading. I've seen images of Jack Nicholson in the movie, but never read the book or have seen the movie. I'm not really a fan of horror movies. But having to read this for class, I read it anyway. This book is freaky! It's about a guy named Jack who takes a job at a hotel called The Overlook, set high in the Colorado mountains, as a caretaker during the winter months while the hotel is closed, hoping the time of seclusion will act as a healthy retreat for him and his family to reconnect and rebuild. But The Overlook hotel has a violent history as Jack begins to discover. The demons in the hotel are particularly interested in Danny, who is Jack's son. Danny has a gift he calls "the shining" - a telepathic gift that allows him to read people's thoughts, communicate telepathically to others with the gift, and see the future.

In class we watched parts of the movie, and not being a fan of horror movies I had to close my eyes for some of the parts. I get nightmares big time! Just the thought of having to watch a movie like this in class seemed absurd to me!
Book #6 : *Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. Another least favorite out of this list. The character Elaine spends much of her childhood on the road with her family, but when they settle down and Elaine attends a regular elementary school, she discovers how very different young girls are compared to young boys. Elaine was used to hanging out with her brother, but the girls she met were different. They were manipulative and mean. They intentionally tried to hurt Elaine's feelings. As she grew into an adult, she had to come to terms with that event, along with the way that she was treated by her classmates as a little girl. Cat's Eye is about bullying among girls. No movie for this book thank God. After watching The Shining, I was about done with scary freaky movies.

I would love to find a good fun happy interesting book to read next. One of my August goals is to read a non-horror book for fun. Something that isn't scary for sure. Anyone have any good suggestions?

* each book title is a link to Amazon.

(All images via : Google)

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