Tag: mary shelley

Killer Book Recommendations from Joe Goldberg

Warning: Spoilers for You are up ahead!

Netflix’s You has truly taken the world by storm. With a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes for season 1 and an overall score of 90%, it is not hard to see that the show is a good watch. And with a show centered around a book-loving serial killer, it only makes sense that we get a glimpse into the books Joe Goldberg enjoys enough to recommend them to other people – before he kills them.



Image Via Amazon


In the first episode of the series, Joe recommends this book to Beck, his primary target. The novel itself follows a couple, Otto and Sophie. After Sophie gets bitten by a stray she had been trying to feed, trouble begins to follow the couple. A series of small disasters magnify the issues in Sophie and Otto’s marriage as well as society.


Image Via Amazon


Joe, as a means to educate his young next-door neighbor, constantly lends Paco books. The classic story of Don Quixote is one of four recommendations Joe lends to the boy. Joe explains to Paco that the story is “about a guy who believes in chivalry so he decides to be an old school knight.” Joe also lends Paco The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Frankenstein.


Image Via Amazon


As part of an equal exchange, movie recommendations for book recommendations, Joe recommends a list of books to Ellie, the younger sister of his newest target in season 2. A book from Joe’s list is Bulgavok’s The Master and Margarita. The dark but comedic story takes place in the atheist Soviet Union and centers around a visit from the devil himself. Alongside a talking cat who likes vodka, a fanged hitman, a female vampire, and a valet, Satan wreaks havoc on Moscow’s elite.



The show also plays homage to some Honorable Mentions. These are books that Joe doesn’t actually recommend, but are referenced/seen in the show by him or other characters.


Image Via Amazon

As he questions Beck’s kind-of-boyfriend, Benji, Joe casually references Kerouac’s On the Road. This 1957 novel, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends, follows two friends (narrator Sal Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty) as they road trip across the United States. The story is broken up into 5 parts, three of which detail Sal’s road trip escapades with Dean.


Image Via Amazon

Throughout season 2, Joe can be seen reading the Michael R. Kats translation for Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s novel tells the story of a thief who wallows in the depths of his guilt after he plans to, and subsequently kills a shop owner. It can be assumed that Joe’s reading of this story reflects his guilt for killing Beck in season 1.



Image Via Amazon

After meeting Love, the woman recommends Joan Didion’s work to Joe. She describes the book as “a little dark,” and should make Joe feel “right at home.” Love’s sharing of this novel alludes to her own involvement with murder and mayhem. So, it comes to no surprise when Love shows her murderous side as season 2 comes to an end.



Image Via Amazon

While being trapped in the basement of Mr. Mooney’s bookstore as a child, Joe had ample time to read. So, when he sees an original edition of Ozma of Oz at Peach Salinger’s party, he quickly steals the book, as it reminds him of his time in the basement. The story, the third of Baum’s Oz series, details Dorothy’s second trip to Oz.


Feature Image via Elle.


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‘Frankenstein’: More Than A 200 Year Old Classic

Celebrating a little over 200 years of life, Frankenstein is one of the classics that you can’t get enough of, and not just because it is required in the school system. As one of the most famous Gothic thrillers out there, Frankenstein has been adapted in seventy different ways through short films, short cartoons, and hitting the big screen.



Image Via The Vintage News


The first movie adaptation was a short film created by Thomas Edison in 1910. Although it was the first adaptation created, “it is one of the most striking.” The scenes do their best to stay true to what Mary Shelley intended in her book, but like all movies, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. There were more that followed, leaving only a few to be recognized as good. Syfy’s article, The Best Worst and Weirdest Adaptations of Frankenstein, suggests that the good representations of Frankenstein include; James Whale’s Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, The Curse of Frankenstein and Rocky Horror Picture Show.



Watching a movie is all well and good, but the true representation of Frankenstein is in the words.


Image Via Barnes and Nobles


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells a story of a science student, Victor Frankenstein, who has become obsessed with discovering how to create a life with lifeless body matter. Once Frankenstein assembles the body parts, he becomes terrified of the hideousness of the creature. Hurt by Frankenstein’s fear, the creature retreats to isolation where he “turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator.”



Frankenstein continues to be an important part of the horror and science fiction genres, as it raises questions on the nature of life and humankind’s place in the world.


Featured Image Via Nebraska Today


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What Makes Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ Relatable to Us

We all look for literature we can relate to.  Sometimes, we’ll read something that unfortunately doesn’t quite connect with us, and we may up wondering why we picked up the book in the first place. But one book that was published in 1818 and is still relevant today is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.


image via origins


Mary Shelley was someone who had a difficult life from the moment she was born.  Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died shortly after giving birth to her.  So, her father, William Godwin, and her stepmother, Mary Jane Clairmont, were the ones who raised her.



Mary experienced a lot of hardships in life.  Her stepmother never sent her to school, never appreciated her, and tried to get Godwin to focus more on her biological daughters.  She even lost her own three children after childbirth!  These painful experiences didn’t stop Mary, though, as she went on to write the famous novel we all know today.


The atmosphere in Frankenstein has elements of Mary’s own world: her passion and knack for detailing the natural world, the mountainous Swiss region, and loss.  The things that Mary writes about in her novel are things she has experienced herself.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein relates to us because of how much the characters lose.



image via study


Victor Frankenstein, the main character who creates the Creature (whom pop culture incorrectly calls Frankenstein!) experiences loss through the death of his loved ones.  The same applies to the very thing Frankenstein made; the creature loses his child-like innocence of the world and his unconditional kindness.  The novel itself embodies love and loss. Both are mutually exclusive, and something everyone knows all too well.


When we see Victor’s loved ones die, or the Creature slowly spiral downward, we feel the same torment that plagued Mary Shelley in her life.  This is what we all can relate to: loss.  Even if our experiences of it differ.


Featured image via  oupblog


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Sex, Drugs and Greek Rock and Roll

George Gordon Byron, referred to these days as simply Lord Byron, was one of the leading poets of the English Romantic period. Born on this day 232 years ago in 1788, he died aged 36. Byron was known for being subversive, racy and more than a bit eccentric – and just wait until you hear about his pet in college.

Byron was born in London to parents Catherine Gordon and Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron. Mad Jack married heiress Catherine, allegedly for her money. He gambled most of her fortune and fathered George before then dying in 1791. Rumors circulated that he had a grisly end, but tuberculosis is more likely.


One thing that Byron was known for, both in the 1800s and today, was his rampant promiscuity and his hazy sexuality. Like a lot of other literary heroes (looking at YOU, Joyce), he got it on with many people, to the detriment of his own health, and he was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhea by the time he turned twenty-one. His romantic history includes a roster of relatives, like cousin Mary Chaworth and half-sister Augusta. While in education he experimented with young men, young women, not-so-young married women. Basically, he was busy.

thinkin’ bout boys (and girls) via wikipedia

Always the rebel, Byron was constantly breaking rules and basically being the O.G. Romantic Bad Boy. One of his lovers once described him as “Mad, bad and dangerous to know”. You know the type. He’ll write you poetry one day but break your heart two weeks later by asking your sister out (or his own, apparently). He is said to have enjoyed scaring people or making them uncomfortable. Allegedly, he had a tame bear during his time at Cambridge that he would walk around campus. This was in answer to his college denying his request to have a dog. Disclaimer: Bookstr does NOT recommend this as a method of working around your dorm’s pet allowances!


Since Byron was so busy ahem, dallying, with so many people, it should come as no surprise that he fathered a few children. He had some rumored, out-of-wedlock children, like Allegra Byron, alongside legitimate daughter Ada Lovelace. Allegra sadly died of typhus, aged 5. Ada, however,  grew to be one of the first software developers, having worked on very early computer software, a.k.a the Analytical Engine.

image via brittanica

Aside from writing, shocking and sinning, Byron’s other passion was Greece. No, not the 1978 classic film, the country. George donated a lot of his own fortune to the revolution in Greece. A War of Independence was being fought and Byron wanted to take part and fight alongside them against the Ottoman Empire. Sadly, he caught a terrible cold while abroad and it was a resultant fever that took him out in the end.


Bad Boy Lord Byron is celebrated today as a true Romantic poet. His narrative works Don Juan – all seventeen cantos of it!! -and Childe Harolde are renowned still. He moved in some seriously impressive circles, staying with the Shelleys in Italy as Frankenstein was being concocted. Despite his debauchery and his less-than-savory hobbies, he was passionate about his craft and wrote some beautiful poems which still resonate in a more modern age.

image via pinterest

Happy Birthday, Byron! Were he alive today, we have little doubt that his birthday bash would be of the strip club and shots kind. After all, he wasn’t Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know for nothing!

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Featured image via Poetry Foundation





Five Times SparkNotes Twitter Proved They Get It

Who hasn’t needed SparkNotes at some point? Who else can tell you that one character’s name you forgot? If you don’t know by now, I’m obsessed with SparkNotes‘ twitter. Every tweet is a work of absolute genius. From god-tier memes to incredibly hot takes, SparkNotes’ twitter never disappoints. As we look down the barrel of a new decade, let’s take a look at the most mindblowingly relevant of their recent tweets.


And it’s Gender Neutral!


Sure, the original context wasn’t explicitly romantic, but it’s really something you can make your own. Who doesn’t want to be cool, feared, and respected? Think about it. And the implication that your very own calamity is a dragon? I’d be incredibly flattered. How could you not be? That way you’re not just saying your lover is great, they know you think they’re great. You’re telling them they’re powerful and feared in the local land. Goals.



Who’s Who?


The only thing that matters – which person in your relationship tries to kill the king and then panics, and which actually just finishes the job? Because listen. It’s important that one of you be able to get things started and set the ball rolling, or you’ll never get things done. At the same time, some people just aren’t great at finishing projects. Conclusions are tough. Momentum isn’t going to get you there. Someone needs to be more detail oriented. Detail obsessed. Wash their hands over and over.



I Can Relate


Okay, so only two of those things are true about me, but all of them are said. Do you love the sea? Are you probably a ghost? Avoid making appearances, especially during the day. Congratulations! You might be the Flying Dutchman, or another legendary ghost ship! Actually, you could be a vampire. Or just English and Victorian. All three? That’s a dream. Maybe THE dream. I’m not a ghost hunter or anything, but I might BE a ghost.



Red Flags


As we approach the decade that has, in advance, been termed the ‘screaming’ 20s, let’s avoid the pitfalls of the roaring 20s. And especially any choice ever made by Daisy Buchanan. Consider her an object lesson, actually. Don’t take up with lying military men. Don’t bail on them to marry guys who suck. Don’t then STAY with those guys when no one even expects you to. Don’t lead said military man on again years later. Definitely don’t commit vehicular manslaughter.



Awareness is Key


Hey. We know better than to call him foul creature. We’re beyond that. We have to be. But the rest of these are real. The Kids use them all the time. I mean, I’ll double check with my baby sister, but I feel pretty confident. it’s the sort of thing The Kids would definitely text about. Especially the last one. See? SparkNotes is always relevant. This is the cutting edge.



All images via SparkNotes on Twitter



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