LaShell Brown – Guest Post

I am happy today to feature a post by LaShell Brown, who goes by Shell. I came across Shell’s cozy Instagram account recently and was immediately drawn to her taste in books, particularly the classics, not to mention her obvious love of tea.  Shell writes thoughtful reviews, her passion for reading is contagious, and she’s wonderfully kind to boot. You can learn more about Shell on her blog and in her answers below. Thank you so much for agreeing to be a guest on Imaginary Book Stack, Shell!

“Marian Holcombe is smart and not the typical demure lady waiting to get married.  She’s sharp and cunning and without her, the mystery of The Woman in White would not have come to light. Without Marian, her sister would have been doomed forever.”

LaShell Brown

Marian’s Book Stack

Gone With The Wind
I believe Marian would enjoy this book because Scarlett, the young heroine, is willing to fight for what she at first didn’t  appreciate, but by the end, is willing to die for.

Middlemarch
Marian would pick this book as a lesson for herself, and for any of her nieces and nephews, to help them understand why someone should choose a marriage mate wisely.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Marian would read this book because she could sympathize with Henrietta in some respects.  Marian is a woman who had no rights or voice because she was a woman and Henrietta is a black woman who had no voice or rights because of the color of her skin.  I think Marian would champion Henrietta’s story and find solace in their similar yet different struggle for equality .

Excellent Women
There is an abundance of Excellent Women, Marian among them.  Marriage is not the final or only destination for a sensible, mature woman.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series
I think Marian would choose a few books from this series to enjoy the humor and kindhearted Mma Ramotswe who, can you believe it, starts her own successful detective agency.  She might even pick up some of Agatha Christie’s book to unravel a few mysteries herself.  Marian’s lived through her share of schemes and plots, so I’m confident she’s sharp enough to solve some of the mysteries herself.


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A Little More About Shell

Please tell us a little about yourself and your reading life

I’m Shell (short for LaShell) and my love for reading was nurtured at a young age by 2 of my aunts, one who always had her nose in a book, she always encouraged me to read for enjoyment not just for school.  Another aunt would happily take me to the library every summer to check out as many books as I could carry for summer reading.  But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my 7th grade (substitute) Language Arts teacher.   She would often ask me what I was reading (in class and at lunch time) and by the end of the school year, I’d found a friend, who loved to read.  All of them cultivated and nutured a love for books and the incomparable value of reading.  As I’ve gotten older, making time to read is an integral part of my life.

Over the last few years my appetite for reading seems to be insatiable.  I remember the day I realized reading more than one book was like (or better than) watching multiple TV shows, you keep the plot and characters straight in your mind until the end of the season for your,favorite shows right?  Why hadn’t I taken a similar approach with books?

Light bulb moment and I begin to read a book on my eReader and a hard copy of my choice.  Fast forward to a few years ago when a friend suggested audiobooks and my reading life changed again!! I usually have a couple audiobooks in the mix, so I can be reading 3-5 books at any given time.  Sometimes this works well and other times I think I might be a bit crazy for books.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading:
Homegoing by Yaa Gysai (reread)
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
Beartown by Fredrik Backman

What’s a book you wish everyone would read?

One book I wish everyone would read is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. This was the first classic book, I had EVER read that made me sit up in my chair and reading to the wee hours of the morning.  I didn’t read many classics prior to this book; it was a pivotal read.  Collins is brilliant in his use of “narratives” from various characters, each conveying what they know about the mysteryious ‘Woman in White’ .  It’s also the reason I chose Marian Halcombe as my character for this post.  She’s sharp and observant, not the typical demure lady of her time period waiting to get married.  Marian is devoted to her sister Laura, but the dynamic of their relationship and their future changes when Laurie marries.  Marian was an integral part in unraveling the mystery and…well, you have to read the book to find out.  Without Marian, the tone of this book would have been completely different.  I imagine Collins has several lost narrative of Marian’s undiscovered somewhere.


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