ISFP (Myers Briggs and Fictional Characters)

A while ago there was a little craze for taking Myers Briggs personality test (I like this one) and working out which fictional characters have the same type as you. I’m INFP, so you can read mine here, but today I wanted to talk a bit about ISFPs!

My little sister is an ISFP, which means she favours Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Percieving. It’s a really interesting personality type.

ISFPs live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas. ISFP personalities take joy in reinterpreting these connections, reinventing and experimenting with both themselves and new perspectives. No other type explores and experiments in this way more. This creates a sense of spontaneity, making ISFPs seem unpredictable, even to their close friends and loved ones

Source

I had a look through this website to see which literary characters might share her type, and I wasn’t disappointed!

Edmund Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Edmund Pevensie

When I took my test, I got Lucy! I’m feeling very secure in our sibling-ness right now.

Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Buttercup (TPB)

Of all the characters in The Princess Bride, I think Buttercup has to be one of the nicest one to be matched with. Great job!

Cinna from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Cinna

While Cinna’s not the biggest character in The Hunger Games, he plays a really pivotal part in the story, and he is genuinely quite a wonderful person. I think this is one to be happy about!

Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter

This probably means that you are going to be famous, change the world, and become the face of an international franchise. Oh, and you should watch out for bald, noseless men.

Legolas Greenleaf from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Legolas

To be honest, this is the match I can understand the most for my sister. I know long, flowing locks, great height and proficiency for drawing blood aren’t really to do with personality type, but…

Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Leisel Meminger

The Book Thief is one of my all-time favourites, so obviously I’m thrilled to be related to a Liesel!

Soos Ramirez from Gravity Falls

soos ramirez.png

I felt I would be failing my duty as a sister if I only found you lovely matches. So you’re Soos Ramirez, you’re welcome.

So, how about you? What’s your Myers Briggs type, and which fictional characters match up with you?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

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Read the World: Australia

This Oceanian monster of a country is the sixth largest country in the world. It was inhabited for at least 40,000 years by indigenous tribes, and then Britain happened, and Australia changed forever. It’s a really interesting history, and I love reading books set in this intriguing country. Here are seven books I’ve enjoyed that are set in Australia!

The Rosie Project and the Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie effect

This contemporary romance duology is really quirky and funny – it’s the story of Don Tillman (who I believe has Asperger’s?) and his quest to find the perfect romantic partner. I think it’s really refreshing to read a book like this that’s a) not about perfect protagonists, and b) not set in America.

I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak

I Am the Messenger

This one’s also a contemporary, and it follows the story of an underage taxi driver who is forced to learn the value of selflessness in a creative way…it sounds so lame when I try and explain it! Here’s a post I wrote about it when it was a bit fresher in my memory. This is one of my favourite books though!

Snakehead – Anthony Horowitz

Snakehead

I used to be a huge fan of the Alex Rider series! It’s a ‘middle-grade’ spy series, and I thought it was pretty great. It’s at about this point in the series that things get a little bit maturer. I included it on this list because how many chances do you get to read about the Australian Secret Service? It’s cool!

Wildfire – Chris Ryan

Wildfire

This is a young adult contemporary action novel, and it’s the second book in the ‘Code Red’ series. Again, I was obsessed with these books! In this book, our protagonist is holidaying in Australia when…well, I think it’s self explanatory. It’s such an exciting story, and what I love about this series is that you believe every word (at least, I did.)

Red Centre – Chris Ryan

Red Centre

Why, yes, I did include two Chris Ryan books. I really like his young adult stuff! This book is from another series. called Alpha Force. The series is about a team of five youths who tour the world, fighting injustice. It sounds a little out-there, but you need to give it a chance! This one’s about terrorism in Australia, and I think it also involves fire.

Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea – Michael Morpurgo

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea

This is the only book I’ve read that even touches on Australia’s history. The protagonist is a little English boy who’s shipped off to Australia after World War Two. It tells about his new life in Australia, and how he rises above the situation. This isn’t my favourite Morpurgo book, but it is pretty good!

And that’s all the books I’ve read set in Australia. Have you read any of them? Can you recommend me some more?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

My Top 5 Literary OTPs

For the uninitiated, ‘OTP’ stands for One True Pairing; this post is basically going to be outlining my five favourite romantic pairings in literature!

  1. Aravis and Shasta from The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis – This is probably an obscure one, because their story is not explicit: we’re told that they fight and make up, and get married “so as to do it more conveniently.” Firstly, that’s hilarious, and secondly really really cute! I love these guys.
  2. Alex and Rosie from Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern – Need I say more? If you’ve read this, you know that they are the loveliest, and you can’t help but root for them.
  3. Jane Bennett and Mr Bingley from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I know this isn’t the most popular couple from this book, but these two really are my favourite. There’s none of this impractial ‘proposal in the rain and admitting stuff in really long letters’ drama, just pure cuteness. I would happily read a book just about these guys; I don’t give a toss about the Darcys. (I do really, but I wanted to leave that sentence in because it sounds like I know what I’m talking about.)
  4. Leisel and Rudy from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I can’t talk too much about this because of spoilers, so let’s just say they’re so sweet it hurts and leave it at that.
  5. Day and June from Legend by Marie Lu – Again, I can’t say too much, but these two are so perfect (together, not in general) and they just had to go on the list somewhere. They’re opposites in terms of social standing, but their personalities just click. They’re great characters in a really great story.

I’m assuming this is some sort of tag somewhere, so if you fancy taking up the ‘challenge’, consider yourself tagged.

Let me know your favourite pairings – do you agree/disagree with any of my picks?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Book of the Month 2014 Summary

Basically, I’ve chosen a favourite book that I read in each month of 2014. Some I wrote posts for, most I really didn’t, but we’re going to let that slide.

JanuaryThe Help by Kathryn Stockett – Five stars and a lot of love from me. It’s about racism and justice and family and…just read it.

February: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak – Oh look another five stars. The author of The Book Thief, in case you didn’t pick up on it. It’s a contemporary and it’s fantastic.

March: Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – The classic Dystopian about books and ‘firemen’. Beautifully written, and a real thought-provoker.

AprilGone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Five stars for creepy, twisted psychological thriller-iness. Read it before you watch it!

MayThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Another one of those classics that I felt pressured into reading. It’s okay though, because this one’s really good.

June: Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson – So much love for this book! It’s a children’s novel about a little British girl who’s sent to live in the Brazilian Amazon. Amazing.

July: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – Kind of a cross between The Help, The Secret Garden and The Thief Lord. I liked it.

August: The Protector by Danielle Lenee Davis – I wrote a review here! It’s a detective/crime/mystery novel and I think it’s great.

September: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein – I freaking love this little fantasy novel. It’s a kind of prequel to the Lord of the Rings, and it’s just lovely. I wrote a little post about it here.

October: It Shouldn’t Happen to a Missionary by Alf Cooper – The humourous and really inspiring autobiography of a British Christian who ends up in Chile.

November: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer – The first non-fiction book on this list, it’s more of a Christian, theological thing. I really loved it!

December: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein – What a book to finish the year with! I love it all.

So these are my twelve favourite books of the year – what are some of your picks? Have you enjoyed any of the books I mentioned?

Happy Almost-New-Year, and thanks for reading!

~Dani

The Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Em from Alwaysopinionatedgirl – don’t forget to check out her blog. Thank you so much – I’m really excited to be a part of this!

The basic idea of the Liebster Award is that it comes from one ‘small’ blogger (i.e. 200 followers or less) to another, so we’re supporting each other and letting our readers know what great content we read ourselves.

Here are the instructions:

1. Link & Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers
4. Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

These are the questions that Em set:

Which fictional character are you most like?

I’m going to go with Skeeter from The Help by Kathryn Stockett. She’s the headstrong writer who is a little awkward in social situations but passionate about justice. Skeeter is what I aim to be like, anyway!

Which fandoms are you in?

In all honesty, I try to steer clear of fandoms just because I don’t know if my emotions can take it! I dabble in the Dr Who, Infernal Devices/Mortal Instruments, Marvel, Disney, Sherlock, and Lord of the Rings fandoms.

What is your favourite book cover?

I don’t know about my favourite, but I definitely have a lot of love for this one.

The One Hundred Year Old Man...

Which 5 books would you take with you to a desert island?

I would take the Bible, Paul Muldoon’s ‘New Weather’ (because you get so much out of it every time), ‘The Shack’ by William P Young, ‘Mr Gum and the Power Crystals’ by Andy Stanton (just for the laughs) and ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak (for imaginary friend purposes.)

What is your favourite children’s picture book?

This one. Partly because it’s fantastic and partly for nostalgic reasons.

Ladybird Stories for Bedtime

What do you like most and like least about book blogging?

The thing I like most is being prompted write something every day. The thing I like least is…having to write something every day! In all seriousness though, I love interacting with other bloggers and chatting about our mutual interests.

When was the last time you cried reading a book?

In July I read Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (the second in the Darkest Minds trilogy), and that got pretty emotional.

Which book are you most embarrassed to say you haven’t read?

I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings series. I’ve wanted to for ages, don’t get me wrong, I’m just…busy?

Why and when did you decide to start your blog?

I started my blog just over a year ago for posting the odd review, in the hope of finding like-minded people to connect with. Over the last few months I’ve started putting more effort into the content, and have been producing more posts and interacting with more people.

What are three things about you that not many people know?

a) I am allergic to cats.

b) I play guitar and piano.

c) I love musicals, action songs and traditional African church.

What one book would you recommend I read?

I’d recommend Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I feel like there’s a lot to get out from it and a lot of adaptations and interpretations you can dig into once you’re done. Also it sounds really cool to say you read Jane Austen.

These are the blogs I tag (and recommend that you check out!):

Amy from Shout Ame Reads

Adira from On the Shelves

Emmie from Another Night of Reading

Fien at Touched by the Page

Casy at Today’s Literature: My Thoughts

Lorna at Suddenlylorna

Bernadette from The Bumbling Bookworm

Majoring in Literature

Jada at My Pleasure to Burn

Liana at Liana Skrzypczak Writing

Annie at Book Hunger

And here are the questions for anyone accepting the award:

1. What was the last book that made you laugh?

2. What amazing book do you think has a horrible cover?

3. When did you start blogging?

4. Do you have a favourite author (or authors)?

5. What’s your favourite movie adaptation of a book?

6. Is there a book that has changed your life, or the way you see the world?

7. Do you have a favourite genre to read?

8. Opinion: should people bend covers and dog-ear pages?

9. Where do you get most of your books?

10. What music (if any) do you listen to while you read?

11. What book will you force upon your kids (whether your kids are hypothetical or real)?

And that’s the Liebster Award! Thanks again for my nomination, and I hope you all enjoy checking out the blogs I mentioned.

Are there any other bloggers you think I should read?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Books that Made Me Cry

I’ve narrowed down my list to ‘5 books that made me cry the most’, just because a less specific list was going to be a bit lengthy! This isn’t so much a list of books that are hugely sad; rather a list of books that I connected with strongly on an emotional level. In short: if you haven’t read any of these books, consider this a recommendation!

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo Set in World War 1, the story follows two brothers who go through loss, pain and love together. A really fantastic book.

Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo In which a ship-wrecked boy finds himself on an island that is inhabited solely by an elderly man who doesn’t really speak English. I thought it was better than the Life of Pi, but that may be just me!

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green I think we all knew this book would be on the list.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak I know I’ve talked about this one a lot…but it’s so wonderful! Set in Nazi Germany, the story follows a little girl called Leisel as she grows up in the political turmoil and finds her feet with her adoptive parents.

The Knife of Never Letting Go and Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness These are the first and third installations of the Chaos Walking trilogy. It’s a crazily original and creative post-apocalyptic/sci-fi series written with all the sensitivity and understanding of nuanced humanity that I’d come not to expect from the genre. It’s YA, but I’d recommend it for adult-lit readers too.

So tell me – what books make you cry? Is there anything on this list you’ve loved, or something you’ve yet to read?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Social Networks Book Tag

Just in case you’re not aware, BookTube is the little corner of YouTube where people create videos and channels completely related to books. A popular feature of these videos is ‘tags’, so I thought I’d translate a few onto my blog, as a fun way to share some different books.

Today’s tag was originally created by faultydevices, and is made up of questions based around a few social networking sites.

Twitter: A book you want to share with the world

My choice for this one has to be one of Markus Zusak’s lesser known novels: I am the Messenger. It’s a contemporary and is – in a way – maturer than the Book Thief, but it’s just as fantastic (and a little shorter!).

I Am the Messenger

Facebook: A book you really enjoyed that was recommended to you by someone else

Christopher Paolini’s Eragon! I’d already seen the movie, but was a little put off by the size of the book. It wasn’t until my friend literally pressed her copy of the book into my hands that I got down to reading it – and it was completely worth it! A juicy fantasy series that is both thoughtful and action-packed.

Eragon

Tumblr: A book you haven’t raved much about on your [blog]

I really enjoyed The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, although I’m pretty sure I’ve yet to mention it here. It’s a YA post-apocalyptic novel that is mind-blowingly creative and incredibly powerful.

The Knife of Never Letting Go

MySpace: A book you don’t plan on re-reading

Hmm…there are quite a few! I read The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho and really didn’t enjoy it. I found the story a little lame, and wasn’t feeling the philosophy. That’s not to say it’s a bad book; just that it definitely wasn’t for me.

The Alchemist

Instagram: A book with a gorgeous, picture-worthy cover

I love my copy of Breakfast with the Nikolides by Rumer Godden – just look at those colours! This one’s about a European family moving to India, and how they adapt.

Breakfast with the Nikolides

YouTube: A book you wish could be made into a movie

Again, there are a few! I’m going to go with Obsessed by Ted Dekker, just because I think it’s so original and has the potential to be really screen-friendly. It’s the story of an American Jew who is called back to Europe to re-discover his past. (I realise that synopsis doesn’t make it sound very original – you’ll just have to trust me on this one!)

Obsessed (TD)

Skype: A book with characters you wish you could talk to instead of just read about

My pick is going to be The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. This is historical fiction mixed with urban fantasy, but for me it was the characters that made these books shine.

Clockwork Angel

And that’s my first tag! If you’ve read any of the books I mentioned, let me know your thoughts! f you fancy doing the tag too (or have already done it) feel free to link your post, I’d love to read it.

Would you have chosen similar books to answer these questions, or do you disagree completely?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Can I Change the World?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

-Anne Frank

We live in an imperfect world. That’s not really debatable. We can argue over the whys and wherefores another time, but we all look around and know that many things are just not right.

It stands to reason, then, that change is not only necessary but inevitable; humans don’t always make the best decisions, but there’s always someone who burns with justice, and who will stand up and tackle serious and – if we’re honest – intimidating issues.

I don’t know about you, but for me great people like William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King Jr spring to mind when the topic of changing the world crops up. What I love about this Anne Frank quote is that she not only assumes that everyone wants to change the world, but that everyone can.

 I’m going to go ahead and be honest here: I’m bad at public speaking. Big groups of people make me nervous. I’m not great at arguing or debating, I have a quiet voice, and I can barely spell ‘committal’, let alone put it into action. I’m a reader. I like writing, and watching movies, and chats over hot chocolate. I’m not exactly cut out to be a ‘world-changer’.

Cue some wise words from Persian poet Rumi:

Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows the flowers, and not the thunder.

Words are POWERFUL. Non-fiction books have played a huge part in sharing knowledge and combating ignorance.

My real passion, though, lies in fiction, and I’m a firm believer that novels can have just as much impact on society as purely informative books. 

I could list so many books that are comments on society: ‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo, ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens, and ‘Trash’ by Andy Mulligan to name but a few, and don’t get me started on the Dystopians! Literature is practically defined by its power to challenge the way we think and view things.

It’s not just blatant social comments that can be challenging; books like ‘I am the Messenger’ by Markus Zusak and ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth offer ethical messages that provoke readers to double check what they stand for and strive for in the realms of personality traits and how they relate to other people.

Writers like V.E. Schwab (Vicious) and Ted Dekker (Showdown, Burn) force us to look carefully at our stances on right and wrong, and inspire us to keep fighting.

All of this is incredibly inspiring (and, I would argue, essential), but where do books like ‘The Rosie Project’ (Graeme Simsion) fit in? How does a sweet, humourous and fun piece of literature in any way contribute to society?

Did you know happiness is really important? “A joyful heart is good medicine”, as Proverbs 17:22 will tell you. As a writer, and in ‘real life’ as well, I can tell you that there is nothing I find more up-lifting than to make someone else smile, especially if they’re going through a hard time. This summer I’m going to be heading to South Africa, where I’ll be partaking in charity work among people affected by AIDs, and I’m being completely honest when I say that if I can make one orphaned kid smile, the entire trip will be worth it.

As a famous (fictional) author once said:

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. 

(That was John Green as Peter van Houten, by the way)

So no, I don’t think a reader/writer like me is ever going to impact every single individual on this planet, but I don’t think that was ever expected. I genuinely believe that giving a pep talk, buying someone hard on cash coffee, and even just being with someone who’s struggling changes their worlds, and the individuals matter so much.

Part of being human means we are part of what is – for lack of better words – a team. Our stories interlock and twist and you don’t know how that fiver you put in the charity jar could make a difference for someone. You don’t know how that sentence you wrote, or that book you recommended could impact someone’s perspective of life.

After all, the definition of change is this: “to make the form, naturecontent, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.” Personally, I endeavour to be one of those people who don’t leave injustices alone. Yeah, that homeless guy deserves a sandwich today. Yes, that girl who sits alone should be offered company. Yes, I should treasure the people in my life because we’re all temporary and fleeting and brimming with the potential to be meaningful and live meaningfully, and I don’t want to just grow that in myself but in others.

I want to be part of a sharing world; a world that is communicative and connected, and I’d say literature is a fantastic place to start.

So thank you Anne Frank and Rumi: I’m going to add my raindrops to the river, and I’m going to start now. Whose little infinity can you impact today?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Month in Books: February 2014

Here’s my reading wrap-up for February!

  • Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – 4 stars This classic follows the story of a little orphan boy struggling to survive in nineteenth century England. A social comment that still holds moral relevance today.
  • Macbeth – William Shakespeare – 5 stars One of Shakespeare’s more famous plays, I kind of want to describe this as 11th century Scotland’s version of Game of Thrones. It gets messy, but the writing’s beautiful so read it anyway.
  • Breakfast with the Nikolides – Rumer Godden – 3 stars In which a family move to India and have to learn to adjust to the vastly different location…with varying degrees of success. I reviewed this here.
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekkyl and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson – 5 stars This is a creepy inner battle between good and evil…a fantastic read dealing with moral issues in the form of what could be described as a horror novel.
  • Vicious – V.E. Schwab – 4 stars This is a classic super-hero novel turned on its head. Profoundly twisted and beautifully complex characters flail in the spaces between clear-cut good and evil.
  • The Grace Awakening – Charles R Swindoll – 5 stars A non-fiction work urging Christians to abandon legalism and live with the freedom that grace allows. It’s heavy stuff, but worth a read!
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce – 3 stars An elderly gentleman hears of an old friend’s cancer and determines to cross England on foot in order to reach her and – hopefully – elongate her life.
  • I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak – 5 stars Zusak’s lesser-known novel is no less stunning than ‘The Book Thief’; nineteen-year-old Ed is led by an unknown person’s somewhat shady messages to…well, help people. It sounds less than exciting but it was my favourite book of the month, and I HIGHLY recommend it!
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – 5 stars This is another gorgeous classic that you’re probably aware of: a childhood experience of the racism-torn States during the 30’s.
  • Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton – 5 stars Dinosaurs! In this YA Science Fiction, blood found in amber-bound mosquitoes allows the cloning of dinosaurs on a modern South American island. Obviously, this can’t end well. A really exciting book that will also make you think.
  • Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi – 4 stars The third book in YA Dystopian series ‘Shatter Me’. My favourite book of the trilogy, this book broke the stereotype of disappointing series ends and blew me away with the character and relational developments. Great stuff!

February was a great month for me (especially in the area of classics). Were you inspired to pick up any of these titles? If you’ve read any I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani

Book of the Month: February 2014

February was such a good reading month for me! I got through 11 novels including Vicious (V.E. Schwab), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton). You can imagine it was a really difficult decision to pick a favourite! As I neared the end of the month though, I knew this had to be the one:

I Am The Messenger – Markus Zusak

Now, I had already read the Book Thief, so I was expecting great things. Luckily, I was not disappointed.

The story is told from the perspective of nineteen-year-old Ed, who leads something of a dead-end life. A person of unknown identity and intent stages an intervention, forcing him to start doing very specific acts of kindness and charity around the town. (I am aware that this synopsis makes the book sound lame at best, but trust me on this one!)

The writing (of course) is simultaneously beautiful and character appropriate; and the story really does pack the same deep emotional ‘punch’ that the Book Thief does, just without the perpetual crying. It’s just so wise and candid, with a hefty dose of inspiration thrown in there.

I feel like this book is more than a little underrated, and this review probably hasn’t helped! I think it’s one of those books you have to read to understand the genius of.

 

If you’ve read this too, I’d love to know your thoughts, and if you haven’t…you know what to do!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani