Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday's Five

I'm back after a weeks absence with another day of my top 5 picks for Friday's Five from Steph's Stacks. Mixing it up again this week. Instead of the usual novels, I have even thrown in a childrens book.

1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

This is a classic story set in Puritan Boston in the 17th century. It is a story about Hester Prynne, who had a child through an affair with a minister. What would have been a huge scandal at the time, as Hester was also married to a man named Roger Chillingworth. Hester struggles to start a life with her daughter as the whole town is against her and she is forced to wear a letter A which represents adultery - It is the symbol of her sin for everyone to see and judge her.
It is a rather powerful story, where we learn more about sin through Nathaniel Hawthornes point of view in 1850.
I was given this book during highschool and absolutely loved it.

2. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood

My first childrens book in the selection. I have loved this book my whole life. It's a funny story of a little mouse that is trying to hide a strawberry from a hungry bear. When I was younger this made me laugh every time, and funny enough it still does. For parents with children, I highly recommend this book. It would be a great one to read with your children.

3. A Simples Life by Aleksandr Orlov

If you are based in the UK, you may recognise this funny little meerkat from the television, most commonly known as Aleksandr Orlov from compare the market ads. The country has fallen in love with this adorable little guy and it was no surprise when a book came out. If you are not familiar with the ads, it is a fun and entertaining series of ads about the life of a talking meerkat, the escape of his ancestors from the Kalahari desert and how he came to own a business called compare the meerkat. The actual company he is advertising is compare the market, a website for comparing insurance.
The book isnt about the making of the ad, it is a hilarious, detailed and illustrated autobiography of Aleksandr. It is extremely enjoyable book to read and even if you havent seen the ads, it still makes for a great light read.

4. Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

I rarely hear this book ever mentioned but it is one of my favourites. The story focuses on racism in the south and how a slave named Roxy switches her baby Chambers who is at risk of being sold down the river, with her masters child Thomas. While I do hate to use the word slave, It is how they are referred to in the story.
The title of the story on the other hand derives from a young lawyer named David Wilson who moved to the town on the banks of the Mississippi River, where he is given the name "pudd'nhead" which means nitwit/idiot.

The great thing about this book is that it shows the way children were raised by their parents and surroundings that shaped their attitudes in the south. While you think Roxy's son would appreciate his new life as an aristocrat, it only makes him spoilt and selfish.

5. A Greater Love by Olga Watkins

I actually bought this book for my mum as she had been talking about it for a while. It tells the true story of a woman and her amazing journey during world war II to find her true love. Unfortunately for her, she hits so many walls with her fiance being taken away, a war, border guards being unreasonable... Its just an excruciating long search through Nazi occupied Europe, all for love. The story is written by the woman, Olga which is what it makes it such a great read, as its all written in first person from her memories and life.
While I have not been through anything like this, my family is from the city where her story began and I have heard from my grandparents the horrible times people had to go through in order to be with their families and make it through.


  1. I'm so glad you had time to post this week! I've missed your picks :)

    Is it bad that I've never heard of Pudd'nhead Wilson? Now that I have, I'm going to have to check it out! I also love anything World War II related. So, I'm going to have to check out A Greater Love. Love The Scarlet Letter too!!

  2. Thnx, glad to be back.
    You arent the only one, it tends to go unnoticed as its not Mark Twains most popular novel. I only know about it because it was on my reading list in English at highschool.

  3. Greetings from Southern California

    God bless and have a Nice Day :-)