Top Ten ~ Books I Recommend the Most

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

New series – inspired by The Broke and the Bookish for their inventive and interesting themes.

Ten is quite a lot, so I can’t promise I’ll make it that far every time – plus, there might be a lot of repetitions… Because when you like something, well, you like it a lot and for several reasons. But I thought I’d give it a try. Lists are what I normally do best after all.

A word of warning though – apart from the first one, I would say they are in no particular order.

1. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman ~ Because it is not a children’s book. Because it is. Because I read Paradise Lost and it helped me see this trilogy’s greatness. Because of Will. Because of the sheer ambition of its message. Because of Oxford. Because of the style. Because of Lyra, who is a determined, independent, modern, but also human heroine – and there are so few of these. And because no other book’s last pages were ever as physically painful and yet wonderful to read.

2. Anything Jane Austen ~ To boys who stay away because they think it’s all about girly sensitivity. And to girls who’ve only read Pride and Prejudice I suppose, because she’s about so much more than that.

3. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morisson ~ For its wonderful wonderful style. The story may be heartbreaking but it is indispensable reading. This is not a novel; this is poetry in book form.

4. The Help, Kathryn Stockett ~ I was swallowed by this book, to an extent I hadn’t imagined I would be. My review was only the first example of trying to convince the world they should read it. It is the one I read most recently on this list. Perhaps To Kill A Mockingbird should be there in its place.

5. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte ~ I will let Virginia Woolf praise this book because she can do it much better than me (more on that soon). Suffice it to say it is a true embodiment of the word Passion and for that alone it should be read. It is also the perfect symbiosis of nature and love – I couldn’t ask for more.

6. La Chamade, Françoise Sagan ~ Because French literature should be on here too – at least the books I love that have been translated, otherwise Marie-Aude Murail would probably be near the top of the list. Pretty much all of Sagan’s books are the same. Which is great when you loved the first one you read.

7. War Horse, Michael Morpurgo ~ I probably lent this book to every single one of my friends when I was in high school I loved it so much. That book was a great discovery.

8. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith ~ Light reading that is gripping, witty but also reflective and refreshingly different.

9. The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe ~ Because gothic novels like this one should be read.

10. The Girl Who Played Go, Shan Sa ~ I recommended this book a lot after reading it a few years ago. If I’m truly honest, I can barely remember the story now. Interesting, isn’t it?

Quotation #15

March 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

royAny great stories you feel that way about?

Have a great week!

Book Cover ~ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

March 13, 2013 § 6 Comments

caged bird

I read this back in January/February and never wrote a review. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I really did enjoy this book – the contrast between the quiet, pious, traditional life in a small city of the South with her grandmother and the exciting, fast-paced, violent one of the West Coast. The hardships of a life truly lived, the reflections on lesson learnt the hard way, the too real suffering of events so hard to write about. The honesty.

I find autobiographies truly admirable and brave because of their honesty. Perhaps it scares me. Because I find it so hard myself to uncover aspects of my own being – especially via such a public, faceless medium as a blog or a book. This might be why I never wrote about this very good book. Because it felt too personal – she was writing it to me, and it is not my place to repeat what she wrote. You’ll just have to read it for yourselves.

And you should read it.

So I will focus on the cover. I like its cover, deceptively innocent and happy in deep blue with flowers in the background  – and the words hanging like notes would in the air. And yet the title is so sad. And so beautiful.

Would I read the sequels? Maybe. Probably. But not now. Not yet. She is such a great lady that I feel it’d be interesting to learn about her relationship with her son and what she taught him. She is certainly someone I could learn a thing or two from.

If you still doubt this, go and listen to this beautiful, inspirational speech she gave in front of a bunch of very lucky students, some years ago.

~ Back to Reality Once More

March 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

I took a week off.

I barely went on the internet and read in the sunshine on the one day of sunshine we had.

I took pictures of flowers.

I said hello to a semi-wild horse.

Went on a wonderfully sunny walk – and a rainy one too.

I felt warm and happy from seeing beautiful familiar faces.

I took a week off.

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