Authors I Want to Read Every Year

There are some authors that I really want to read more books by, in order to get even more familiar with their work. So, I decided that I’ll try to read at least one book by each of the authors mentioned below every year, starting in the next one, since 2017 is fast coming to an end. I don’t intend to read the entirety of their back catalogue, but there are quite a few books by these writers on my wish list.

While I’ve only read one book by some of these authors, I’ve read various by others. However, all these writers have one thing in common: the books I have read by them left me curious enough to continue delving into their published work. I may even end up reading more books than I’m currently planning to, since some of these writers are still alive and continue to work on new material.

There are obviously more authors that I want to read additional books by, but these are the most predominant ones on my wish list. The only way I believe I’ll ever get to read them all (and at the same time continue to enjoy books by other writers) is if I commit to read at least one once a year.    Continue reading

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Books I Want to Read Before the End of 2017

There are only three months left in 2017 and there are still a few books I really want to read before the year comes to an end. These include fiction and non-fiction, novels and short stories. I’m expecting to love some of them, while others I have more doubts about. Nevertheless, I’m curious about what all of them have to offer.

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula is the book I have saved for Halloween. This is a horror story told through letters and diary entries. Count Dracula employs Jonathan Harker to advise him on a London home and, sometime after, alarming incidents start unfolding around England.

 

Ensaio sobre a Cegueira (Blindness) by José Saramago

I haven’t read a book by the Portuguese author and Noble Prize winner José Saramago in quite a while, but I plan to change that soon. Ensaio sobre a Cegueira, Blindness in the English translation, is a sort of allegory about how the population of a city becomes blind and is confined to an asylum. Continue reading

Orphans as Protagonists

I’ve recently realised that orphans are protagonists in numerous books, thanks to a video on YouTube where Simon from SavidgeReads interviews E. Lockhart. They can be characters who are on their own, forced to look for a place they can call home. But they are also used to showcase either strained or loving relationships with other family members besides parents. When there is really no family member left to take care of them, they are a window to the difficulties faced by children who are institutionalised.

Glancing through my shelves, I found some books whose protagonists are orphans of both parents at the beginning of the story.

 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter

Probably the most famous literary orphan, Harry Potter lives, at the beginning of The Philosopher’s Stone, with his horrible uncle and aunt unaware that his parents were two famous wizards killed by the evil Lord Voldemort. I’m sure there is no need for me to tell you more about his story. Continue reading

Book Unhaul

My shelves are, at the moment, jam-packed with books, and I’m having trouble to find space to store the last ones that I bought. They are just dangerously piling up on the top of my other unread books. In order to mitigate that problem, I decided to take from my shelves some of the books that I’m sure I won’t be reading ever again.

Currently, I still keep on my shelves the majority of the books I read when I was a teenager. But I’ve now decided to donate the majority of them to my local library. I’ll just keep a few of those I loved the most. Those that I won’t keep any longer are by four Portuguese authors, two of them being co-authors:

 

Maria Teresa Maia Gonzalez

Estrela à Chuva

A Viagem do Bruno

Parabéns, Rita!

Poeta (às vezes)

Dietas e Borbulhas Continue reading

Bookish Talk

Since starting my book blog I’ve been paying more attention to the different ways in which books are published and their prices both in Portugal (where I live) and the UK, and have some random thoughts to share. Don’t expect to read a well-thought-out essay, though. This is more of a collection of musings about my personal experience as a book buyer, since I have no real inside knowledge about how the publishing industry really works in neither of the countries.

When I first started buying books from online UK sellers, more or less six years ago, I didn’t immediately realise that new books are usually first released in hardback and only sometime after a paperback edition is made available. As I much prefer paperbacks, I just instantly chose those editions. From my now limited understanding, books are released in hardback first because they are sold at higher prices and generate more profit per unit. Only when hardback sales start to wane, a paperback edition is released.

In Portugal, books are not published in this way. From visiting bookshops, I believe the vast majority of books are only published in paperback, irrespective of being new releases or not (don’t quote me on this though, since I have no actual numbers to provide that confirm my perception). The dimensions and paper quality of paperback books available in Portuguese bookshops are varied, some have French flaps, others don’t. Continue reading

Books I’ve Been Delaying Reading

There are some books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, but that I haven’t even bought yet for various reasons. Every time I see someone mention them I remember that I have them on my wishlist. However, when the time comes to buy new books (I don’t tend to keep many to-be-read books on my shelves), they end up not being the ones I choose.

 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

As far as I know this dystopian novel is about a group of teenage friends who commit a series of crimes. One of them is arrested and the State tries to reform him. The idea behind the book interested me straight away, but then I grew afraid of not understanding it, since I learnt that the language used is supposed to be an anglicised form of Russian. I still want to read it, though. I suppose I just need a bit of encouragement.

 

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro   

One thing that keeps happening to me is to unintentionally watch the adaptation first and read the book afterwards. I don’t really have a huge problem with that. I usually can easily distinguish the book from the film, and I ended up discovering great books and authors I had never heard of through adaptations. Continue reading

Forgotten Authors on My Shelves

A few years ago, whenever I discovered new authors that I enjoyed, I would read various books by them in a short period of time, instead of venturing into the unknown again. However, some of those authors I just then stopped reading books by for no particular reason and almost forgot about them. After a quick look at my shelves I discovered three authors in that situation.

 

Paul Auster

The first book I read by Paul Auster was The Book of Illusions. It tells the story of a man obsessed with the life of a silent film star. I don’t remember much about the book, besides quite enjoying it to the point of buying and reading Timbuktu soon after. The hero of that novel is Mr Bones, a dog that is the best friend of a homeless man from Brooklyn. We accompany their emotional journey to Baltimore in search for a new house for Mr. Bones.

I then read The Story of my Typewriter, which came as an offer when I bought Timbuktu. This is quite a short non-fiction book where Paul Auster tells the story of how he formed an attachment to his typewriter. It is accompanied by gorgeous and colourful paintings of the typewriter by Sam Messer. Continue reading

My 5 Star TBR Predictions

I always expect to at least enjoy the books that I have on my to-be-read pile. But for some of the books which are awaiting to finally be read I have even higher expectations and assume that I will love them and, thus, award them a five-star rating. Inspired by Mercedes at Mercys Bookish Musings on YouTube, I decided to share the unread books I have on my shelves that I believe I will love.

I don’t rate many books with 5 stars, as I can’t fault them on anything in order to do so (you can read my post on why I rate books with 5 stars here). But when I do I rarely change my mind afterwards.

Whenever I’m debating whether to buy a certain book or not, a possible rating doesn’t usually spring to mind, that is something I only consider while or after reading it. So, I see this exercise as a new and exciting challenge. I’ve chosen four books among my unread ones that I plan to read before the end of the year. When I finally read all of them, I will write a wrap up post discussing my actual ratings. Continue reading

2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist: To Read or Not to Read

I usually don’t pay much attention to literary prizes and don’t read a book just because it was nominated or won an award. However, after the announcement of the 2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist, I realised that I was already familiar with many of the titles. So, I thought it would be interesting to see which ones I plan to read, not just because they were nominated, but because I truly believe I may really like them.

I don’t mean to necessarily pick up the books I choose to read before the winner is announced or even this year. I will probably read them throughout the following years, without establishing a deadline.

 

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

“On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives.” Continue reading

Shortest Books I Have Read

Do I prefer reading long or short books? To be perfectly honest, neither! I tend to go for medium-length books. However, there are books of all sizes on my shelves. Since I already revealed the longest books I have ever read, I decided to introduce you to the shortest books I have read and that I still keep on my shelves. Some of these books I read when I was still a child, while others are far more recent reads.

 

Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov – 56 pages

Gooseberries is a Penguin Black Classics edition featuring three short stories by the Russian writer Anton Chekhov. They feature characters who reassess their lives after a transformative event occurs, and are at the same time thought-provoking and easy to read.

 

Vinte e Cinco a Sete Vozes by Alice Vieira – 70 pages

This book by the Portuguese author Alice Vieira gathers stories, told from different perspectives, about the Carnation Revolution, which took place in Portugal in 1974. It’s aimed at children and young teenagers.   Continue reading