Favourite Dystopian Books

Lately the real world seems to be getting worryingly more similar to the ones portrayed by some dystopian novels, and my desire to read books from that genre is also increasing. By showing a regression of political, environmental, economic or social standards, they draw attention to real-world issues that should concern us all.

I haven’t read many dystopian novels, but I quite enjoyed the vast majority of them. There is something strangely appealing about reading a book which focus on a community being plagued by an undesirable and frightening state of affairs. Today I reveal my three favourite dystopian novels, all delving into different types of societies.

 

1984 by George Orwell      

1984 takes place during a time of perpetual war, government surveillance and public manipulation. Power is on the hands of a single party, which is personified by the Big Brother. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, works for the Ministry of Truth as a rewriter of historical events. He has an affair with Julia, who shares his animosity towards the Party. Continue reading

Some of My Favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers

Book Bloggers and BookTubers are the main culprits for my continuously growing TBR pile and wish list. So, I decided to publicly display my appreciation for their good work, although they pose a serious threat to my bank account. This list is not at all exhaustive. I could have mentioned many more blogs and YouTube channels that I love and follow, but I tried to keep it short. I also plan to share some of my other favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers in the future.

 

Book Bloggers:

Rosie Arscott – Rosie Reads the World

Rosie is reading a book from all 196 countries of the world and shares her reviews on her blog. I really like keeping up with her journey and discovering books I would probably never hear about otherwise. Her reviews feature quite noteworthy background information.

 

Ashleigh – Ashleigh’s Bookshelf

Ashleigh is quite an eclectic reader. She sometimes mentions books I’ve never heard of before and always makes good recommendations on classics. Continue reading

Favourite Book-To-TV Adaptations: Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes is an extremely popular British icon, so there are many film and TV adaptations of the works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve seen quite a few, but my favourite by far is the BBC television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Although it isn’t set in the 19th century but in the present day, it follows the same premise: Sherlock is a private detective who solves crimes with the aid of his friend and flatmate doctor John Watson.

To be perfectly honest, I’m cheating a bit by choosing Sherlock as one of my favourite book-to-TV adaptations, because I’ve only read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I’m not that familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works. I didn’t even start my reading by the first Sherlock Holmes book, only realising that afterwards. However, I loved the TV series, mainly the first two seasons, and from the stories I’ve read I think they did a fantastic job at bringing Sherlock to the 21st century.

Sherlock is magnificently portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. He is not a perfect hero, not being affable, nice or friendly. He is direct, sharp and highly intelligent. Solving crimes is more than a profession, it’s an addiction. Despite his arrogance, as time passes he becomes far more likeable and human. Continue reading

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