Annual Austen Binge & Rearranging My Top 3

Emma collage2

** Contains spoilers for most Austen novels ** (Do I still have to warn you when a book is 200 years old?)

It is one of our family traditions to love Jane Austen. With a grandfather who has re-read Pride and Prejudice every Christmas for the last 50+ years to set the tone, how could we not? My mum showed me Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (the film with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman) when I was 14 years old, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I regularly watch adaptations of each of the ‘great six’ and started reading the books as soon as I had learnt enough English to understand them. I even used to have a habit of watching the 2005 BBC mini-series of Emma every time I got my heart broken by some boy, because “let us think of superior men, there are plenty more suitable suitors around”.

I’ve recently been listening to Austen’s novels as audio books. I found a recording of Pride and Prejudice on Librivox, an app with public domain audio books that I cannot recommend enough, and listened to it over the Christmas holidays. I had to get used to the American narrator for a few chapters, but after that it was very enjoyable. A few weeks ago I listened to Persuasion, then Sense and Sensibility and I’m currently listening to Emma. Someone has just gifted Jane Fairfax a pianoforte, but who could it be?! Continue reading “Annual Austen Binge & Rearranging My Top 3”

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Insightful and Lovely: A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

A Room With A View 2My favourite read this January was A Room With A View by E.M. Forster. It was one of those books that had been on my TBR for ages but I never actually sat down to read. (I still didn’t, to be fair. I listened to it on my Loyal Books app, an app full of public domain, free audiobooks that I cannot recommend enough.)

In A Room With A View Lucy Honeychurch travels to Florence with her cousin Charlotte and ends up in a pension full of curious English people. They switch rooms with a father and son, the Emersons, because as they say, ladies appreciate a nice view and men don’t. The son, George Emerson, makes rather an impression on Lucy and throws all of her ideas about her rigid, organised life off balance. Can she ever fully go back to her old ways? Continue reading “Insightful and Lovely: A Room With A View by E.M. Forster”

Book | Halfway Into Vanity Fair (And A Bit Stuck)

Vanity FairA few months ago I felt a sudden urge to read a classic. (My taste for them was quelled for a while, but apparently it does return some two years or so after completing one’s English degree.) Fortunately, my love for books and my very well-read grandfather have supplied me with a decent collection (see below) so I only needed to take the two steps to my book cupboard and pick a volume off the shelf. Having heard it praised quite often throughout my studies, decided to read Vanity Fair by W.M. Thackeray. Continue reading “Book | Halfway Into Vanity Fair (And A Bit Stuck)”

Book | The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prince of MistIn an attempt to evade the war that is sweeping through Europe in 1943, Max Carver’s father moves his family from the city to an old wooden house on the coast. As soon as they arrive, strange things begin to happen. Max discovers an overgrown garden where the statues appear to move, clocks seem to go backwards and his father unearths a stack of mysterious home videos from the previous owners.

Together with his sister Alicia and their newfound friend Roland, Max begins to draw connections between the wreckage of a ship that sunk twenty years ago, Alicia’s bad dreams and the drowned boy who used to live in their house. Continue reading “Book | The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón”

Book | The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Art of Fielding

I know nothing about baseball. Nothing. For this book I had to look up what a shortstop is, how many bases there are and why the field is called a diamond. Well, they say there is a first time for everything.

Despite my ignorance I spent many happy hours working my way through the dozens of games Henry Skrimshander and his teammates play. Why? Because of the parts in between. Continue reading “Book | The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach”

Book | Why I Adore The Help

Great books give you a feeling that you miss all day, until you finally get to crawl back inside those pages again.

― Kathryn Stockett

A few weeks ago I was feeling a bit tired of all the new books I was reading, so I decided I would re-read an old favourite to give myself a break. The Help was every bit as wonderful as I remembered it and I became so enthused by it that I wanted to write a review of it – but who are we kidding? I don’t have anything critical to say about this book. So instead: a list of the things that make this books such a treasure. Continue reading “Book | Why I Adore The Help”