Favourite Protagonists

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been revealing some of my favourite characters in books (characters I love to hate, favourite female characters and favourite supporting characters). Today I introduce you to some of my favourite protagonists. These are leading characters who stood out for me among the various I discovered throughout the years and that I keep remembering for several reasons. The books they feature in are not necessarily my favourite books of all time (although some of them may be), as when I like almost all of the characters, it’s difficult for one of them to stand out from the rest.

 

Mrs de Winter – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The unnamed narrator of the first book I read by Daphne du Maurier is quite an insecure young woman at the beginning, but that didn’t stop me from really liking her as a protagonist. The main reason why is her feelings being quite relatable, taking into consideration the situation she was facing. By the end of the novel I felt like I really knew her and missed hearing about her feelings and worries. Continue reading

Favourite Bookmarks

In the recent years I’ve been collecting bookmarks, although I only read one book at a time and, thus, having only one would be enough. Some of them I have been offered or got for free, but others I bought. I really can’t resist a beautiful bookmark and already have half a box full of them.

I particularly like the ones with tassels. I have four of those, three big and one small. I usually use them when I’m reading longer books, as they enable me to always be visually aware of how much I still have left to read. I first bought the one with the owls and found it so handy that I ended up buying three more.

The other two bookmarks you can see on the photos below were given to me. One at a tourism event and the other at a bookshop. I never say no to a new bookmark and am always looking for new beautiful ones. And, although I try to avoid to buy them, since there are so many being given for free, whenever I see a stunning one at a store I find it hard to resist the temptation.

Continue reading

Favourite Book Covers II

Who doesn’t like to have their shelves filled with beautiful book covers? We all probably do! There is nothing better than when a lovely cover is just the front door for a compelling story. That doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes we get disappointed, but some covers just deserve to be showcased nevertheless.

Last year, I presented to you for the first time some of my favourite book covers. After buying more books, I have new ones to join to that list. I am not going to make any comments on what I thought of the books or what the plot is about, because I haven’t read them all yet. In fact, I have only finished one, which I will link the review of, and am currently reading another.

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Cover design: Jordan Metcalf

Publisher: Virago Continue reading

Favourite Supporting Characters

The most famous or loved characters in books usually are the protagonists. However, a fascinating book wouldn’t be the same without captivating supporting characters. They have a significant role when it comes to add depth to the story and even to the protagonists. Being a supporting character doesn’t mean being secondary to the protagonist or less important. In fact, they usually help us to better understand the main characters.

When I first decided to write about this topic, I thought it would be quite easy to choose my favourite supporting characters. But I was quite wrong for a couple of reasons. First, it isn’t always easy to establish if a character has a main or a supporting role. And second, too many characters sprang to mind. Nevertheless, I managed to select six among the myriad of possibilities.

 

Levin – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The main story in Anna Karenina centres around Anna and Vronsky, so I consider Levin to be a supporting character. However, I could read an entire book just about him. He’s one of the most enthralling characters in my opinion, because it’s mainly through him that we get to know more about Russian society and politics, and his internal struggle to adjust to having a family (and it not being perfect) is rather thought-provoking.   Continue reading

Favourite Book-To-Film Adaptations: Atonement

Atonement, first released in 2007, is one of those films that I could watch many times over the years without ever getting tired of it. Based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, it is one of my favourite book-to-film adaptations, managing to accurately translate onto the screen both the characters’ feelings and misinterpretations that are part of the plot of the book.

The story starts in 1935. Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old girl from a wealthy English family, has just finished writing a play and is trying to stage it with the help of her three visiting cousins – a teenage girl, Lola, and the youngest twin brothers. Since they get bored and decide to go swimming instead, Briony finds herself alone in the room and witnesses a moment of sexual tension between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a long-time servant. However, she misunderstands what she observes, leading to a gloomy outcome, which she passes the rest of her life trying to atone for.

Directed by Joe Wright, the film achieves to exceptionally convey important actions and details that make the story move forward. The difference between what really happened between Cecilia and Robbie near the house’s fountain and Briony’s erroneous interpretation is translated onto the screen through the shutting of a window. There is also the bee on the room, the wrong letter and the hair adornment falling on the floor close to the library. Continue reading

Favourite Female Characters

Tomorrow, the 8th of March, we celebrate the International Women’s Day, not only to honour the women who fought for equal rights and celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements, but also to highlight the importance of continuing the path to gender parity. Unfortunately, I haven’t read enough books about female rights to give book recommendations focusing on the topic. So, instead I decided to choose my favourite female characters.

The characters I’ve selected as my favourites are not necessarily women that fought for equality of the sexes or that advocated for any kind of change. They are solely characters that stood out to me for their characteristics or actions throughout the books they are part of.

In no special order, these are some of my favourite female characters: Continue reading

Favourite Children’s Books

There are books that we have only read during our childhood years but that we will always fondly remember throughout our adult lives. Nevertheless, children’s book can also be appealing during adulthood, when we need to return to a world full of fantasy and hopefulness. I took a walk down memory lane and chose some of my favourite children’s books, although I have read some of them for the first time in more recent years.

 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

This is one of the children’s books that I’ve read as an adult. It tells the story of Peter Pan, a boy from Neverland who doesn’t want to grow up, and Wendy, who assumes the role of the grown-up, despite being also a child. It is a tale full of adventure that focuses on the differences between childhood and adulthood.

 

Tales of Hans Christian Andresen by Hans Christian Andresen

I read some of Hans Christian Andresen’s fairy tales for the first-time last year. I was acquainted with several of the stories thanks to Disney adaptations, but the originals are far darker. I still haven’t overcome the sadness I felt while reading The Little Mermaid. I own the Walker Illustrated Classic edition which features beautiful drawings by Joel Stewart. Continue reading

Favourite Love Stories

To celebrate Valentine’s day, I decided to reveal some of my favourite love stories featured in novels. I usually don’t read books that focus solely on a love story with nothing more happening throughout the plot besides the couple trying to get together or solve any problems they may have. I enjoy books featuring loves stories, but they have to be accompanied by a compelling plot, witticism, an interesting historical background, an epic adventure, or an array of complex characters.

I will try not to reveal many significant plot points about the books I am about to mention, but in order to convey my thoughts on some of the relationships I can’t completely avoid spoilers. So, if you haven’t read the following books and really don’t want to know too many things about them, it’s better not to read the short texts under my choices.

In no special order, these are some of my favourite love stories featured in books: Continue reading

Favourite Classics

What is a classic? There isn’t a single definition, but there are some common characteristics among the ones put forward by authors and scholars. Classics are books that are widely accepted as noteworthy throughout a long period of time. However, they are not classics only because they are old. Books considered as classics feel fresh even centuries after being written.

I have read quite a few classics. Ones I loved, some I only enjoyed, while others I just couldn’t see the reason why people kept on reading them after such a long time. My five favourite classics are:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is my favourite Jane Austen’s heroine. She is intelligent, playful and witty, but tends to judge people after first impressions. She is the second child of a family of five daughters, whose mother is eager to get them married. After all, “it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. Is there a better opening line? Continue reading

Other Favourite Stories of 2016

Stories are one of the things that I love the most. Although I have a special place in my heart for the written word, I sometimes just fancy sitting on the sofa watching great TV series or going to the cinema to watch a film. 2016 was the year of TV series for me, as I started watching many new ones and continued watching some of my old favourites. On the other hand, I didn’t watch as many films as I used to in previous years.

Game of Thrones continued to be my favourite TV series of all time. This is quite a bold statement to make, but I’ve never enjoyed a show so much as I do Game of Thrones. Enjoy is probably not the most appropriate word to use when talking about such a show. So, let’s just say I have never been so enthralled and amazed by something on TV before. And season 6 was no exception!

Last year, I loved seeing on screen actions and revelations I was already expecting to happen, but also being surprised and heartbroken. The combination of great acting and directing created some of the greatest moments on television. As I am not a book purist (I don’t mind changes on adaptations, as different mediums require different things to make a compelling story), I am fine with the majority of the things that were changed from the books, written by George RR Martin, and how we are getting main plot points revealed before the last books are published. For more on my thoughts about Game of Thrones, you can read my post on why it is my favourite book-to-TV adaptation here. Continue reading