Recent Favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers

Thankfully, there are a great number of people creating fantastic content online about books, although my bank account may not be as enthusiastic about this as I am. I’ve already mentioned some of them on two previous posts titled ‘Some of My Favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers’ and ‘More Favourite Book Bloggers and BookTubers’. Today I introduce you to four other favourites of mine. This time I’m focusing on those that I’ve discovered more recently.

 

Book Bloggers:

Rachel – What Rachel Did

Rachel creates a variety of content about books, including reviews, tags and wrap-ups. But she also writes about her travels on a feature appropriately titled ‘Travel Tuesdays’. I really appreciate this mix of content, after all reading feels somewhat like travelling, as by doing so we discover new realities and worlds.

 

Jay – A Nook & A Storybook

I quite like Jay’s in-depth book reviews. I always feel like I know if I’m going to enjoy a book or not after reading them, since he usually mentions what he did and didn’t like about a specific book. Continue reading

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Monthly Favourites – June 2018

June is over and July is already here. So, it’s time for me to reveal my newest monthly favourites. This instalment features a book, a TV series, music and a cheeky food reference. I didn’t watch a single film last month, but my ‘too-watch’ list keeps on growing. For whatever reason, I now find films too long. Nonetheless, binge-watching TV series feels totally acceptable (although I haven’t done that in a while either).

Last month I read three books and, without a doubt, my favourite was Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch. Through different perspectives, we are told two intertwined stories, that of Mr. M, a renowned writer who used to be more successful that he currently is, and that of his somewhat creepy neighbour. It mixes a crime story with a reflection on writing and fiction. Despite having finished it at the beginning of June, I still sometimes recall the characters featured in this book.

My favourite TV series from last month is the same as in May – the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale. I particularly loved episode 10. It got me so emotional that I cried. The plot is developing relatively slowly, but that is allowing the viewer to know more about both the main and the secondary characters. Continue reading

Favourite Short Books

Medium-size books are usually at the top of my preferences. I love to fully immerse myself in the characters’ world and find that easier when a story lasts for longer than just a couple of hundred pages. Nevertheless, shorter books can also be utterly compelling and stimulating. I consider a book to be short when it is less than 250 pages long.

If you are looking for some quick reads (albeit not necessarily easy ones), you may want to try some of my favourites. I decided not to include short story and poetry collections in the list below, seeing that they overwhelmingly fall into the less than 250 pages category.

 

The Dumb House by John Burnside

The Dumb House is short but not sweet. It is a twisted story revolving around Luke, who has performed a cruel experiment on his own children. We know this from the outset, and the following pages are an account of how he got to that point and why. While reading, I was in awe of the writing style. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – May 2018

Another month has come to an end, and, as it’s now usual, I have some favourites to share with you. Carry on reading to discover which books, TV show, songs and shoes (a novelty) have enliven my month of May!

I read three books last month – S.: A Novel about the Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic, Nada by Carmen Laforet and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I would recommend all of them, but the one I appreciated the most was S.: A Novel about the Balkans. It tells the story of S., a woman who was repeatedly raped during the Bosnian war, while delving into a variety of extremely important and still relevant issues.

In spite of having only watched the first three episodes so far, I decided to choose the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale as my favourite TV series from May. I’m particularly relishing knowing more about the past of some of the secondary characters. For those who haven’t watched the first season or read the book yet (I recommend you do both), it is set in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian, repressive and puritanical state established in the US, where some women are used by men to breed. Continue reading

Favourite Not So Popular Books

A long time passed since the day I started blogging and the moment when I created my Goodreads account at the beginning of this year. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to finally decide to set it up, though, because I’ve been finding it quite useful. Besides being a good tool to keep track of the books that I own but haven’t read yet (previously I only used a spreadsheet to list the books that I had read), it also made me realise that some of the books I really liked haven’t been read by that many people.

Some of the books that I really cherish have less than two thousand ratings on Goodreads. So, in comparison with other books, they are not particularly popular. Nevertheless, they are still really worth reading. These are the five that I wish more people would read:

 

The Dumb House by John Burnside

The Dumb House by John Burnside deals with quite uncomfortable topics, but that didn’t prevent me from being in awe of the way sentences were crafted. From the outset we know that Luke has performed a cruel experiment on his own children. He was fascinated by the tale of the Dumb House, so he wanted to know whether language was learnt or innate. His obsession not only with that story but also with the matter of life and death and the existence of a soul takes him down a dark path. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – April 2018

Unfortunately, I haven’t got many favourites to share with you today. After Easter, which I used as an excuse to eat far more chocolate than usual, April was for the most part an uneventful month. I read some books that I truly relished. However, I don’t remember doing or watching anything remarkable. So, brace yourselves for my shortest and perhaps most boring monthly favourites so far.

I finished four books last month – Through the Woods, Seeing People Off, Uma Vida à Sua Frente and Nutshell. My favourite, because it stayed with me the longest, was Uma Vida à Sua Frente (The Life Before Us) by Romain Gary. I really recommend this heart-warming book narrated by Mohammed, a young Muslim boy, who lived with Madame Rosa, a former prostitute and Auschwitz survivor. I smiled and almost cried while getting to know the common story of a motherless boy and the woman who took care of him.

Music-wise, I’ve got a really strange favourite, since it’s neither a song nor an album. It’s the promo video for the Arctic Monkey’s new albumTranquility Base Hotel & Casino – which will be released next week. I’m so excited for it that I listened to the promo countless times last month. I also really hope to like it, seeing that the latest albums and songs by some of the bands whose music I tend to enjoy (Muse, Arcade Fire and Franz Ferdinand) have been a disappointment lately. Continue reading

Favourite Book Covers IV

As you can infer from the Roman numeral on the title, I love beautiful covers and like to share them with you. When it comes to books, there is just one thing more thrilling than a bookcase filled with them – a bookcase full of books with beautiful covers!

The fourth instalment of my favourite book covers features one book that I’m currently reading, two I’ve already read and one that I probably won’t start delving into for a few months. The title of the two books that are now safe on my read shelves link to the respective reviews, in case you want to know more about them. You can also see my other favourite book covers here.

 

Uma Vida à Sua Frente by Romain Gary

Cover design: Henrique Cayatte Atelier

Publisher: Sextante Editora Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – March 2018

I feel like March has flown by particularly fast, maybe because I didn’t manage to do everything that I wanted to. Nevertheless, I still found the time to finish four books (it helped that I had already started reading one of them the previous month), watch some Netflix and listen to new music.

My favourite book from the ones that I read this month was O Homem Duplicado (The Double) by José Saramago. It tells the story of a quite peculiarly named man, Tertuliano Máximo Afonso, who discovers, while watching a film, that there is an actor that looks exactly like him. What this novel primarily conveys is that some people want to feel like they are unique and so find it difficult to accept that they’re not particularly original after all.

This month, I continued to watch Peaky Blinders. If you’ve read the February instalment of my monthly favourites, you’re aware that I loved the first two seasons. I was a bit disappointed by the third season, though, as the first episodes felt too rushed and, in general, I found it a bit confusing. But season 4 was great! I particularly enjoyed all the tribulations within the Shelby family. Continue reading

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