Favourite Books Written by Women

Ahead of International Women’s Day, on 8th March, I put together a list of my favourite books written by women. Although I believe that unintentionally I still read more books by men than by women, it wasn’t difficult at all to come up with these five magnificent books by female authors. In fact, I could have mentioned many more books than the ones below, but I wanted to keep the list short.

In no special order, these are some of the books written by women which were a delight to read:


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

One of the most captivating books I’ve ever read, Rebecca was my first foray into Daphne du Maurier’s work. It is narrated by an unnamed woman who recalls meeting Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo. She accepted to marry him, and they went to live at Manderley, his family home. There, the shadow of his deceased first wife, Rebecca, was even more present. Apparently, she had exceled at everything, so the narrator’s doubts and insecurities became overwhelming. The characters are complex, and the prose is utterly atmospheric. Continue reading


Monthly Favourites – February 2018

February is the shortest month of the year and there is still an entire day left, nevertheless I already have some favourites to share with you. I was hoping to read many more books this month than I did in January, but a rather exasperating cold prevented me to do so. Therefore, I ended up dedicating the majority of my free time to other interests.

I started watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix and, so far, managed to finish the first two seasons. To be honest, I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. It’s as an action crime drama focusing on the Shelby family, who ran a gang called the Peaky Blinders in Birmingham after the First World War. Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory are superb as Thomas Shelby and Polly, respectively. The soundtrack is also fantastic. It comprises contemporary songs, mainly from rock bands and artists like Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood, which surprisingly fit rather well with the pace of the story. I also got some Sherlock Homes vibes from it, not in the sense of trying to figure out who was responsible for a crime, but of looking forward to discovering how Thomas managed to solve the complicated problems he was involved in.

After a really long time without truly loving a film, I spent two great hours watching The Shape of Water. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, it tells the story of how Elisa, a mute woman who worked as a cleaning lady at a government’s laboratory in the 60s, fell in love with an amphibian creature that was being kept in a tank. If you haven’t watched it yet, you really have to. The premise may seem strange, but the feelings depicted are totally convincing, mainly thanks to Sally Hawkins and her fantastic performance. Continue reading

Favourite Portuguese Authors

Do you want to start reading (more) books by Portuguese authors, but don’t know by whom specifically? I have some recommendations for you! Before deciding to write about this topic, I had never reflected on whom would make their way onto a list about my favourite Portuguese writers. So, I was surprised to realise that all of them had already passed away. This doesn’t mean that I don’t read and enjoy books by more contemporary Portuguese authors. I just didn’t like all of the books I read by them, as was the case with the following four so far.


Eça de Queirós

If you are a fan of classics, then Eça de Queirós (also spelt ‘Queiroz’) may be the author for you. Born in 1845, he wrote some of my favourite Portuguese classics – Os Maias (The Maias) and O Crime do Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro). His books are rich in instances of social criticism and irony. Some of the thoughts he put onto the page are still quite relevant today. In case you want to know more about his work, I wrote a more in-depth feature on him when I first started this blog.


José Saramago

José Saramago is the only Portuguese writer to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature so far. His writing style is pretty recognisable. In the majority of his books, you won’t find any quotation marks. The dialogues and the characters’ thoughts are differentiated from the rest of the text by using a comma followed by a capital letter. But as soon as you get familiar with the style, his books become quite readable and flow really well. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – January 2018

January hasn’t been a particularly remarkable month generally speaking. It was a strange period during which I was both disappointed Christmas was over and eager for spring to finally come. Nevertheless, I have a few favourites to share with you concerning books, music and TV series.

At the end of last year, I watched the first season of The Crown and surprisingly quite enjoyed it. This month I watched the second season, but unfortunately ended up not liking it as much. However, there was one episode that stood out from the rest: Dear Mrs Kennedy. Immediately after watching it, I proceeded to search for information about the events mentioned to know whether the meeting between Elizabeth and Jackie Kennedy was true or fiction.

I haven’t read that many books this month. In fact, so far, I’ve only finished one, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, and am currently forcing myself to get to the end of Sibila by Agustina Bessa-Luís, mainly because she is one of the authors featured in my list of 100 women writers to read in my lifetime. All things considered, Alias Grace deserves a place among my favourites from this month. This is a novel about Grace Marks and the role she played in the murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery. While reading it, I felt like a detective looking for clues that would make sense of the events surrounding the crimes. Continue reading

Other Favourite Stories of 2017

To complete my recap on 2017 I present you to my favourite stories told through a medium other than books. When I first thought about doing such a list, I had in mind films, TV series, magazines and newspapers features, etc., that I loved during a year. However, 2017 was definitely the year of TV series for me, as none of the films I watched for the first time or features that I read stood out from the rest.

So, without further ado, these were the favourite TV series I watched in 2017:


Game of Thrones – Season 7

I can confidently say that Game of Thrones is my favourite TV series ever. It’s exciting and keeps me on the edge of my seat. It’s not only visually astonishing, but also features complex and memorable characters. Season 7 felt a bit different from the previous ones, because many of the characters were now at the same locations, whereas before their paths didn’t cross. Some people complained about how everything seemed to be happening really fast with no much regard for the needed time to travel from one place to another. But as the characters are more than developed now, in my opinion it would have been extremely boring to follow them during their travels. And we as viewers are supposed to know that time passes off-camera, not everything is shown. Continue reading

Favourite Books I Read in 2017

When I started reflecting on my reading experience in 2017, the first word that sprang to mind to describe it was ‘inconsistent’. It wasn’t a particularly extraordinary year, but it was also far from bad. A couple of the books that I read I ended up loving, a few I quite liked, and others were satisfactory. However, I really didn’t like three books, having rated them with 2 stars, and also gave up on reading two books without even reaching 1/3 of their length, and thus can’t really make a fair assessment about them.

In terms of numbers, I’ve read 33 books so far, and will probably finish another one before the actual end of the year. I do know that this is a really small number for many people, but for me it’s a great one, since I’ve only managed to read 19 books in 2016, and not that many years ago I was probably not even reading more than one book a month.

My favourite books among the ones that I read this year, in reverse order, are: Continue reading

Favourite Books with a Historical Backdrop

Whenever I’m book shopping, one of the many things that catches my attention is the time period in which a story is set in. I tend to like books which either the entirety or only part of the action takes place at the time of an important historical event. These are books whose fictional characters and events end up being embroiled in a real historical episode in one way or another, and that can be labelled as historical fiction or not.

I categorise as historical fiction the books that not only are set in the past, but which were written by authors who were born after the time period in which their novel unfolds. In these cases, authors don’t have a first-hand experience of the period they depicted in their novels. Books with a historical backdrop, on the other hand, can be written by authors who lived during the time period the story is set in or not. But, and more importantly for this distinction, besides depicting the manners and other details about a particular time period, these books feature an important real historical event. So, for me, a novel with a historical backdrop is not necessarily historical fiction.

After explaining how I describe books with a historical backdrop, I can now reveal which ones are my favourites. Continue reading

More Favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers

Some months ago, I revealed some of my favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers, but that list didn’t cover all the ones I like the most (and neither will this one). So, welcome to the second instalment of the people who help me fill my room with books which are a joy to behold and read.


Book Bloggers:

Emma – Book Around the Corner

Emma is a French blogger who writes in English and reads mostly literary and crime fiction. I’ve only recently discovered her blog, but really like reading her in-depth and thought provoking reviews.


Izzy – Thinking and Inking

Izzy is the youngest blogger I follow, but that doesn’t mean that her blog features many Young Adult novels, on the contrary. I really enjoy the tone of her reviews, which besides enlightening can also be quite funny. Continue reading

Favourite Book Covers III

I’m a beautiful book covers lover. I admit to sometimes even buying a book just because the cover appealed to me, although that may turn out to be a terrible idea if the words inside don’t serve as instruments to achieve a compelling story featuring interesting characters. I particularly love paperback editions, and when stunning book covers are complemented by French flaps.

This is not the first time I reveal some of my favourite book covers. You can see the first two instalments here and here. I have now other five covers to add to the previous lists. Two of the following books I’ve already read and reviewed, the others I’ll probably only read next year.


The Good People by Hannah Kent

Cover design: Rachel Vale, Pan Macmillan Art Department

Publisher: Picador Continue reading

Favourite Book-To-Film Adaptations: Pride and Prejudice

Being Portuguese, Jane Austen is not an author we hear about at school, despite having started to learn English when I was 10 years old. I was introduced to Jane Austen’s work by watching the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It is a British-American production directed by Joe Wright and staring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr Darcy.

The film is not altogether faithful to the book, as the story had to be compressed into a two-hours film. But, as I don’t mind when adaptations don’t stick to all book plot points, I love it nevertheless and still watch it once in a while. Although many people don’t seem like to like this film, it also got four nominations for the Oscars.

We first become acquainted with the Bennet family. Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughters (Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia), hence their house is going to be inherited by their cousin, Mr Collins. Mrs Bennet is hilarious and openly shows her eagerness to marry off all her daughters. So, she becomes quite ecstatic, when she hears that wealthy bachelor Charles Bingley has recently moved into Netherfield, a nearby estate. He is introduced to society in a ball, which he attends accompanied by his sister and his friend Mr Darcy. While Mr Bingley becomes smitten by the shy Jane, Elizabeth instantly dislikes Mr Darcy. But first impressions are not always accurate. Continue reading