Tag: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Impact These 2 ‘Coming of Age’ Novels Had on Me

How do books touch us in such profound ways?

The impact that books have on readers has a lot to do with the time in their lives at which people read them. When the narrative of a book aligns with or mirrors the experience a reader is going through, a powerful lasting impression is left upon that person. When I first read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in my sophomore year of high school, I connected with the main character Holden Caulfield immediately. His mental dilemma regarding the authenticity of the adult world was a topic I identified with so easily. Holden is a character that is the embodiment of genuineness, and made The Catcher in the Rye one of my favorite books of all time.


It’s hard not to wonder how differently someone would react to a book if they had simply read it in a different time in their life. These are the two books that had the most profound impact on me growing up and have taught me essential lessons.


The Giver by Lois Lowry


Image Via Amazon

The Giver is set in the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, Jonas, living in a world devoid of war, hatred, pain, and fear. Because everybody acts the same and looks the same, there is no prejudice. There is no color. The world is also devoid of choice, as when every child turns twelve, they are assigned a job based on their talents and abilities. This book is generally part of middle school English curriculums, and is perfect for students at that age as it emphasizes the value of the contrast between pleasure and pain, and the importance of individuality.

I first read this book when I was thirteen years old. As a kid, I never knew the importance of pain and suffering, until I read The Giver. It put into perspective how crucial grief, heartache, and unhappiness should be in my life. A world without pain is ultimately a world unable to advance. Emotion is the foundation of individual growth, and this book played a big part of my maturation. As I got older, and experienced emotionally burdening moments, I would always think back to this book and what it taught me about how dealing with your sentiments is so vital. Somebody on the verge of their teenage years will truly understand why pain and suffering in this world is necessary for individual growth after reading this classic novel.



The Adventures of HuckleBerry Finn by Mark Twain


Image Via PBS

The foundation for bildungsromans, or ‘coming of age; novels, this book follows the protagonist, Huck, maturing as he goes through different experiences in his life. The novel primarily presents him as an immature boy, goofing around and playing tricks with his good friend Tom Sawyer. He has good intentions, but a moral sense that is misshapen by the society in which he was raised. He is constantly in a battle with himself, as he is constantly hard on himself when he does not turn in a runaway slave, Jim, as though that would be the right thing to do. Yet, as the novel progresses, so does Huck’s conception of what is right and wrong. He learns that many codes of conduct such as Christianity don’t necessarily produce good actions. By the end of the book, Huck is realistic and mature, while Tom still has a lot of developing to do. This book is the embodiment of independent self growth, and arguably the most perceptive coming of age novel of all time, especially taking into consideration its 1884 release date.


This book taught me that questioning every aspect of life is essential in creating your own unique frame of mind. Mark Twain shows the reader from the beginning of the novel that Huck is a boy who comes from the most dire conditions of white society. His father is a drunk who constantly vanishes for months on end. Furthermore, Huck himself is continually homeless. Although characters throughout the book attempt to reform Huck, he resists their efforts and maintains his independence. His experiences and instincts as he continues his adventures make him question everything he has learned from the society around him. According to the law at the time, the runaway slave Jim was Miss Watson’s property. But Huck’s judgment and fairness allowed him do the right thing and help Jim out. His actions go against the basic foundation of his society at the time, but in context they are faithful. Questioning is essential to intellectual growth, especially at a young age, because it allows you to develop your own personality. This book taught me to live, rather than to merely exist, or to become a critically thinking human being, rather than just a pawn in society.



Featured Image Via Inquiries Journal


"Happy Hour": 3 cartoon alcoholic beverages smile, as if not knowing they will soon be consumed

Booze & Books(tr): 7 Cocktail Pairings to Get You Lit(erary)

It’s Thirsty Thursday, and Bookstr is bringing you Booze & Books, our newest weekly feature dedicated to drinking games and booze-book pairings. This week, we’re bringing you another booze & book pairing. Our recommendation? Any booze and any book. Since that’s a little too general, we’re going to be paring classic & popular novels with cocktails to help you get what all the buzz is about. Admittedly, some of these cocktails are pretty vile. But since vile people often feature heavily in books, the drinks make for appropriate pairings. (That is, these cocktails are nasty unless you actually WANT to put milk into beer. If you do, you may be one of the aforementioned vile people.)

So, friends, read up & drink up. By the end of this list, these pages won’t be the only thing turnt.

Remember: drink responsibly and read voraciously!


1. The Great Gatsby – Long Island iced Tea


'The Great Gatsby' & Long Island Iced Tea

Images Via Amazon & liquor.com


Ingredients: Gin, white rum, silver tequila, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lemon juice, cola. Alternatively, whatever you found in your mom’s cabinets dumped into the sublte water bottle that clearly no longer contains water.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I pair The Great Gatsby with a classy beverage, like a Tom Collins or anything with an umbrella in it? It’s pretty simple—Gatsby’s not all that classy of a guy. He may have some serious panache, but in the end, he’s new-money who likes to show off what he’s got: the biggest house, the best parties, the hottest ride. It all seems romantic because it’s set in the roaring 20s, but if this were the 2000s Gatsby was after a girl who went to the Ivies while he got a practical degree at State, you know he’d be trying to impress her with his McMansion and excessive Instagram stories of his house parties. ESPECIALLY given that the novel is set on Long Island, a place that may as well have been named after the drink.

Also, a Long Island Iced Tea will get you drunk, which is maybe the only thing you’ll have in common with this cast of high-society characters.



2. Landline – 1-900-FUK-MEUP


'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell & 1-900-FUK-MEUP

Images Via Amazon & Drinking.land


Ingredients: Absolut Kurant, Grand Marnier, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Midori melon liqueur, Malibu rum, Amaretto, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, whatever tears you have left to cry. 

‘1-900-FUK-MEUP’ is an accurate description, both of the story and what the story does to our fragile little hearts. If you’re not familiar with this newer release from #1 bestselling author Rainbow Rowell, the gist is that Georgie, a TV writer in a failing marriage, discovers a way to communicate with her husband—a phone that makes calls to the past. It seems like a second chance, an opportunity to talk to a younger Neal and fix the problems in their marriage before they begin. But maybe fixing the relationship isn’t the thing Georgie is supposed to do. Maybe she’s supposed to prevent it from happening. Emotional, right? Drink up.


3. The Metamorphosis – A Short Trip to Hell


'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka & A Short Trip to Hell

Image Via Amazon & Relish.com


Ingredients: Peach, strawberry, and wildberry Schnapps, Red Bull, Jägermeister, profound existential pain.

At only fifty-five pages, Franz Kafka’s novelette is a short trip down into the blackest depths of human consciousness. If you can for a moment forget that you’re alone in the world and strapped to a mortal body that may never reflect your internal self-perception, Kafka is here to make sure you remember. We’re all just bugs on this Earth, baby!


4. Equus – Horse Jizz


'Equus' & Horse Jizz

Image Via Amazon & PROOF.MEDIA


Ingredients: Beer, milk, a sudden loss of dignity.

Whether or not you’ve read Equus, just look at that cover and tell me the pairing doesn’t work.

Also, don’t Google search ‘horse jizz.’


5. The Old Man and the Sea – The Old Man and tHE sEA 


'The Old Man and The Sea' & Drunken Sailor

Image Via Amazon & Chilled magazine


Ingredients: Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, lime juice, grapefruit juice, years of substance abuse.

Of course Hemingway, literary icon and known drunk, would have a cocktail named after his own work—an accomplishment that, while less impressive than naming a university wing after yourself, may or may not be cooler. Back in 1935, a mystery man in a Cuban bar downed a daiquiri that was left sitting unattended (classy move, E.H.). His response was as to-the-point as his dialogue: “that’s good, but I prefer it without sugar and double rum.”

Apparently, the reason Hemingway wanted less sugar was so he could drink more of them—which makes him as relatable as he was talented.


6. GOOD OMENS – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


'Good Omens' Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett & The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse



Ingredients: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi 151, at least one bad idea.

Listen: a flaming shot is a beverage that was not created for the flavor. If you start your night off drinking one of these, you’re going to be getting into some shenanigans. And shenanigans is basically the plot of Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett’s Good Omensshenanigans and the End of Days, which are, apparently, exactly the same thing. So why not drink this one at the end of the world? When you wake up the morning after, it’s going to feel like the apocalypse anyway.



7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Fearless Redneck


'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' & Fearless Redneck

Images Via Amazon & Inside Tailgating


Ingredients: Jim Beam Black Label Bourbon, Sobe No Fear energy drink, a blatant disregard for your own mortality.

You’ve got to be pretty fearless to start smoking at the age of eleven.



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Featured Image Via Giphy.