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“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath

September 15, 2011
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Please don’t hate me for this.

Whenever I see this book in a shop, I have to pick it up and turn it around so the cover is not on display, such is my level of dislike for this book.

Literally every time I have ever heard The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel about mental illness, mentioned, it is always in a positive light. Women say Plath is an excellent purveyor of a strong, female protagonist. Stephen Fry, a brilliant man and openly bipolar, speaks how Plath was a “great woman” to have presented such symptoms in a public way.

Really, I couldn’t get through it because of how arrogant I find the main character, Esther, to be. Yes, she’s meant to be going through some traumatic events, but to be so self-involved! That’s what grinds my gears. Clearly, that’s just my opinion, and you’re more than entitled to form your own. In fact, I’d love for someone to come along and tell me why I should love this book, and how I’ve just not been approaching it in the right way. Anyone fancy a challenge?


“A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard

September 15, 2011
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I would gamble that almost everyone on the planet has heart of Jaycee Dugard, or at least a story like hers. At the age of 11, whilst walking to school, Jaycee was abducted. Tasered and bundled into the back of a car, she then had to endure being held prisoner for the next eighteen years. Forced to engage in unspeakable sexual acts, and eventually bearing two children to a man old enough to be her father, many people in Jaycee’s situation would be bitter. Resentful and miserable for the years that they had lost.

Jaycee Dugard is not. In this book, never once is Dugard malicious or vindictive, instead speaking of how she does not allow room in her heart for hate.

If you were ever in need of a tremendously inspirational book, this should be it. This book is written with unabashed honesty, from someone that is trying to relearn how to act in a world where she now has complete freedom, having been denied it for so long.

Naturally, many people will be curious as to how a person could go through such a traumatic experience and come out of the other side kind and well-adjusted. Honestly, I think she’s probably the strongest woman I’ve ever heard of. Dugard’s mindset is completely admirable, and within these pages may lie the key to becoming a better person, or leading a happier life. If you are going through a tough time, read this. You will see that you can get through anything. If you know of someone that is experiencing hardship, read this. Reach out to them so you can understand and help them – just as someone should have done for Jaycee twenty years ago.

“A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard is currently available for purchase.

The JAYC foundation aims to support families that have been through cases of abduction and other traumatic events. If you can, go to and donate any money you can spare. Thank you.

“ABC is for Circus” by Patrick Hruby

March 22, 2011
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We’re always taught to never judge a book by its’ cover. Well, that’s exactly what I did in the case of “ABC is for Circus”. It’s bright and enticing, with an incredible art style that made me want to see more.

The inside is no less impressive. With a background as an illustrator, it’s not difficult to notice that Patrick Hruby is exceptionally talented. His art is what makes this book so impressive, which is the key to its’ success.

As an exploration of the world of the circus through each letter of the alphabet, Hruby takes you on a visual journey around the most exciting parts of the funfair.

Each page is lovingly constructed, with such an attention to detail as to what will create the most visually stunning experience for the reader. From the flower-bedecked reins of the Horses, to the scales upon the Snake Charmers’ serpent, the author has done a superb job in capturing the importance of each tiny detail within a scene.

This book can be read throughout a wide spectrum of ages. Whether your child is young and just learning to read, or you’re a bit more mature and just want to see some incredible artwork with an interesting style, this is the book for you.

The illustrations are the crowning glory of this book, and Hruby carries out the execution of these with such charm, that it would be difficult to resist reading, and re-reading, this book. If in need of a colourful and entertaining guide for children, or simply fancy a stroll into the fabulous world of the circus for yourself, you should definitely check this book out. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

“ABC is for Circus” by Patrick Hruby is currently available for purchase.

If interested in Hruby’s art style, I suggest you look at his work HERE.