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

‘Alias Grace’ by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 4 stars

While reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood I felt almost like a detective searching for clues that could shed some light on the role of the main character, Grace Marks, in the murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper. This book is based on a true story, and I became rather intrigued by it while reading the fairly mysterious first chapter.

The narration of the book starts in 1851, when Grace is 24 years old. She has been in jail for eight years, since she was found guilty together with James McDermott of the two murders. While James was hanged, she is serving a life sentence at a penitentiary in Canada. They both worked at Thomas Kinnear’s house, Grace as a serving maid and James as a stable hand.

One day in 1859 she is at the parlour of the Governor’s wife, where she spends some time helping with the chores, when a doctor arrives with the aim of measuring her head. However, as he approaches, she starts screaming and is afterwards taken to solitary confinement. While there, she receives a visit from another doctor, Simon Jordan, who wants to hear everything she has to say, since he focuses on the “diseases of the mind and brain, and the nerves”. Continue reading

Book Haul – November / December 2017

I don’t know if you remember, but I was trying not to buy any more books until the end of the year. Obviously, I was unsuccessful! I blame Black Friday and other random discounts. I probably won’t even manage to get to some of the books mentioned below during the following twelve months or so, thanks to a reading plan I have for next year (I’ll reveal it on a future post about my bookish resolutions for 2018). But it’s really hard to resist a bargain.

So, without further ado (and pointless excuses), these are my most recent acquisitions:

 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of the authors I plan to read a book by every year. So, I needed to buy a new one for 2018. It was quite easy to choose Alias Grace, because I’m rather curious about the TV series adaptation and don’t want to watch it before reading the book. Inspired by the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada, it delves into the story of Grace Marks through a “tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery”. Continue reading