Chrissi Chat: Unhauling Books

I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been so busy with university and everything going on in my life right now, but I’ve got to the stage where…dare I say it…I just can’t be bothered with some of the books on my bookshelves right now.

I know, I know. Bad bookworm. The problem is, I have so many books to read and so little time to read at the moment, that when I have time to read, I want to read something I really can’t WAIT to read. I have quite a few unsolicited review copies that I’m trying to get through and I just thought ‘Why am I bothering when I don’t want to read this?’ It’s the same with some of the books that have been waiting for me to read for over a year now.

So, I took it upon myself to unhaul some of my book collection. I’ve decided that someone else will get much more pleasure out of these books that are just collecting dust on my shelves. I always donate my books to a charity or some of my bookish friends! (Or my sister :D!)

How do you deal with your massive book collection? Do you ever unhaul or do you dedicate your time to all of your purchases/library books/review copies? Let me know!

Chrissi Chat: Religion in books. Does it affect your opinion?

I’m going to start the post by stating that I am an open-minded person, and I personally don’t mind what religious beliefs a person has. I respect that not everybody thinks the same as I do. The reason why I’m discussing opinions on religious characters in literature, is because I’ve recently read a book where religion really affected my opinion of the book. I want to know if you feel the same way, or how religion affects you in literature.  I don’t mind religious characters, but in the particular book, I felt like the religion was constantly forced upon the reader. Most of the time, I don’t mind if a book has religious characters. It is when it is written in a way in which the given religion is presented as fact or appears to have an agenda that I have an issue with it.

It got me thinking about different ways religion is used in books, and how sometimes it’s not always effective. I think a big bug bear for many readers is hypocritical religious characters. You know the sort, those that are highly religious, but do something completely against their morals and values (by the way,  hypocritical characters as a whole really annoy me, not just those that are religious).  Take the famous The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The townspeople force Hester to wear an “A” for adultery, forgetting that forgiveness is part of their Christian beliefs. Something like this grates on me, but then I think on the other hand, not every Christian practices every value identically.

Some might say, that there is a lack of religion in Young Adult literature. Is this because it turns people off? Is it not marketable? Is it because I don’t read a lot of religious based books that I find it hard to connect with?

Books written before the 20th Century seem to be much more religious. They’re a stereotypical ‘good’ family who attend church regularly. The children in the stories look to their parents for guidance.  It seems to be completely different now. Religion doesn’t seem to have a place as much in YA literature. I think those looking for religion in literature have to look to specific religious publishing companies. I wonder if this affects those looking for some guidance. Does religion seem undervalued in popular YA reads? Replacing God seems to be more fantastical characters like vampires/werewolves. I guess some might say that God is fantastical?

Where do you stand with religion in literature? Does it affect you? Do you think it is undervalued in modern reads, or do you think times and people have just changed? Let me know!

Chrissi Chat: What books would you recommend for ages 7+?

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I need your help bookworms! As you may have seen on Twitter, I’m starting a Primary PGCE to be a primary school teacher (4-11 years old) from September this year. I’ve been thinking about literature that I want to share with the children. I’m all for reading to children. I currently work with 4-7 year olds, so I’m quite aware of books for that age range. I’m also going to share with the children the awesomeness that is Roald Dahl. But what I want to know is…. what shall I read, or look into reading for children from 7 years up?

I have a few questions:

What sort of things did you like to read at 7 years old or older?

Did you have a favourite author?

Can you recommend any recent books that would be suitable for this age?

Any information you could give me about children’s literature from the ages of 7 + would be fantastic and very helpful. Thank you 🙂