Project Bookshelf: Grace Jenkins

The most accurate description of myself that I could give to anyone is that my cats, coffee, and fantasy books are all that matter to me. I would say that that pretty much describes my top reads.

I have to give credit to my first fantasy love, the Harry Potter series. I have read this series three times in my life, and every time it comforts me and excites me at the same time. Perfectly written and set at the perfect pace, my love for this series is neverending. Fun fact, Ginny is the reason I am a redhead! I tend to get attached to my favorite characters, as many avid fantasy readers do.

Another book that I hold near and dear is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I read this for the first time in the fourth grade, and it perfectly fueled my fantastical dreams. Growing up and reading it now, it has become more of a literary masterpiece in my mind rather than a fairytale, which will forever make this book a favorite.

Because I need to break the fantasy pattern at least a little, I must mention my all-time favorite book to annotate. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the most insightful and brilliantly thought-up book that I have ever read. I suppose it could be considered a kind of fantasy novel, though, to me, it feels more like a comment on the world and the meaning of life. It was assigned to me as a project in high school, and since then, I have annotated it for a second time and am currently working through a special copy for my fiancé. In one of my favorite lines in any book, Coelho writes, “the most important part of the language that all the world knows– the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.” This line is beautiful in and out of context and is the reason why this book is one I could talk about for hours.

A tabby kitten is sitting on a copy of Crescent City.

My current fantasy favorites are any of Sarah J. Maas’s books. I devoured the Crescent City series, specifically, purely because of how fast-paced and action-packed the two books are. With turns at every corner and the potential *SPOILER* multiversal crossover, I had the biggest book hangover of my life.

On the topic of Maas’s series, my sweet kitty, Gwyn, was a big fan of the Crescent City series. And, yes, she was named after Gwyn from Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series (as was my other fur baby, Elain). Clearly, Maas’s works have me in a chokehold.

A girl poses with a the book Outlander held in front of her face.

My current fantasy read is (finally) the Outlander series. I am about halfway through the first book, and though it is not quite as fast-paced as my usual books, has a more mature and intricate writing style that I adore. It was recommended to me by a dear friend who is dying for me to get further ahead so we can gossip about the characters.

I will admit, fantasy and romance novels (more like fantasy romance) have me in a chokehold, but with the school semester starting up, I am turning my focus to my class-assigned books. First up is a re-read of The Great Gatsby (hopefully in tangent reading with Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald). A semester starting signals an end to my personal reading, but, lucky for me, The Great Gatsby is an all-time favorite with an intriguing history.

Grace Jenkins (she/her) is a student at UTK majoring in English and minoring in Religious Studies and Political Science. Her cats, coffee, and fantasy novels are the best things in life.


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