I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I kept procrastinating and adding more books so here we are. I'll add covers when I'm not on mobile.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.
Summary taken from Goodreads
So I started this book a little over a week ago and I'm still on page 137 of 373. Despite my slow progress, I absolutely adore this book. I'm not very far in but it's shaping up to be one of my favorites. I'm in love with the writing and I fully intend on reading Eugenides' other books, The Marriage Plot and The Virgin Suicides. I highly recommend this book but I cannot specify what genre because this is the first time I've ever read a book like this. Do give it a try.
Also if you're put off by incest, don't force yourself to read this.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty. A compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society, Les Misérables is a novel on an epic scale.
I haven't gotten very far with this one either, sorry. It's 1000+ pages are very intimidating. So far, I feel very disinterested in the book, but not enough to completely stop, just take very long breaks. It's a tad slow paced but that's to expect from a book of this size. I'll edit this later with my final thoughts if I ever decide to stop procrastinating.
Peter Pan by James Matthew Barrie
Peter Pan, the book based on J.M. Barrie's famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children--Wendy, John, and Michael--who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks. Renowned children's-book artist Michael Hague has brought the amazing adventures of Peter Pan to life. His beautiful illustrations capture the wild, seductive power of this classic book. This newly designed edition will be enjoyed by fans young and old alike.
I'm very frightened by this book, more so than I have been with any other. Initially, I believed the original Peter Pan would be somewhat like I envisioned him to be (influenced by the Disney animation). I find that Pan is far more selfish in the book. The scariest part is his lack of concern for others, I think. He's very playful and plagued by the belief that he is invincible. Well, why should he think otherwise? He's the boy who never ages! I used to admire Peter Pan, what with his perpetual youth and freedom, but I realize now that maybe we were supposed to despise him. Not despise, per se, but understand why Wendy had to leave Peter, which was a point poorly executed by Disney imo. Perhaps I was just too young to grasp it. I'll have to rewatch it.
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
At the turn of the century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a celebrity—acclaimed as a leader in the feminist movement and castigated for her divorce, her relinquishment of custody of her daughter, and her unconventional second marriage. She was also widely read, with stories in popular magazines and with dozens of books in print. But her most famous short story, the intensely personal "The Yellow Wallpaper," read as a horror story when first published in 1891 and lapsed into obscurity before being rediscovered and reinterpreted by feminist scholars in the 1970s, and her landmark feminist utopian novel, Herland, remained unavailable for more than sixty years.
Well, that summary isn't much of a summary so I'll explain it as briefly as I can:
A scientist (Vandyck Jennings), a doctor (Jeff Margrave), and an heir (Terry Nicholson) are on an expedition somewhere in South America. They hear rumors of an all-female land and decide to see it for themselves as no man who has ever gone to see it has returned. They discover the country that is Herland and learn of their culture while also attempting to respect it. The three men represent the three common views men had of women at the time it was written. Van is the one who believes only in science and less so in the stigma against women. He's the rational one. Terry is explicitly sexist, believing women are inferior and only exist to please. Jeff is implicitly sexist. He believes women are fragile and tends to coddle the women of Herland, often stating they are without flaws in their society.
So, this is my second time reading Herland because I wanted to read Feed but I lent the book to someone and never got it back. Herland was my substitute. This is, again, one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind misogyny and attempted rape. There are parts when Van is narrating their daily life in Herland that were very boring and felt very detached, I guess, from the writing. My copy came with other short stories by Gilman, such as The Yellow Wallpaper and If I Were a Man which I recommend you give a read if you enjoyed Herland.