Monthly Favourites – July 2018

July hasn’t been a particularly noteworthy month when it comes to my reading accomplishments. Nonetheless, I fortunately still have some genuine favourites to share with you today, including a film, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while.

I’ve only read two books this month, seeing that it took me forever to finish The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, which was slightly disappointing. So, obviously, my favourite book from July has to be the other one that I read – The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. It may not be a phenomenal book, but I was honestly interested in the expedition that the main characters embarked on to prove the existence of a lost world where dinosaurs were still alive. I also really appreciated the fictional exploration of alternative evolutionary theories.

At the beginning of the month, the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale came to an end, so this is the last time for a while that this TV series will be featured on my monthly favourites. I wasn’t expecting that particular ending. It answered some questions and raised a couple of others more, which obviously left me eager to watch the next season. But what I found exceptionally great about it this year was the character development. Continue reading

‘The Lost World’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 4 stars

Arthur Conan Doyle will forever be remembered as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, one of the most famous characters in the literary sphere and popular culture. But he also wrote other stories, including The Lost World, which served as inspiration for the film Jurassic Park. This crossover novel mixes a perilous adventure in South America with an examination of alternative evolutionary viewpoints.

The story is narrated by 23-year-old Edward Malone, a reporter for a newspaper in London. He was sent to interview Professor Challenger, who had been to South America on an expedition which he had given up talking about, since no one believed in his discoveries. During their meeting, Professor Challenger confirmed himself to be an arrogant man prone to violence. Malone’s black eye attested to that. However, he didn’t lose his time entirely. He ended up having a glimpse of the evidences collected by Challenger at the time of his infamous expedition. They could prove the existence of a lost world where dinosaurs, such as the pterodactyl and stegosaurus, still lived.

Malone believed what Professor Challenger told him, but other people made him start pondering his position. After a subsequent public presentation by Challenger, he volunteered to go on an expedition whose aim was to prove the veracity of his claims. He chose to embark on an adventure! That was particularly significant for him, seeing that he had been wanting to pursue one to please the woman he loved, Gladys. In this quest for a lost world, he was to be accompanied by Lord John and Professor Summerlee, who was particularly sceptical about the current existence of any prehistorical creatures. Continue reading

Book Haul – June / July 2018

Ahead of my birthday (which is today!), I bought some books as a gift to myself. I have had almost all of them in my possession for a while now, as I ordered them online and they arrived much earlier than I had anticipated. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until today to reveal my new acquisitions to you. Some of them are representing certain countries at the ‘EU still 28’ reading project, others felt like the perfect books to delve into this summer, and a few were on discount and caught my attention.

Without further ado, these are the eight books that I bought recently:

 

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

This is the third book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. After reading and enjoying the first two books (A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents) last year, I plan to read the Voyage of the Basilisk really soon. I am eager to be absorbed in another adventure of the famous dragon naturalist, Lady Trent. Continue reading

My Summer Reading Plans

Summer is just around the corner and, although I’m not much of a seasonal reader, there are some types of books that I tend to read during the hottest season. For no particular reason other than that I associate them with past holidays, I’m more inclined to read fantasy, adventure and funny books during summer. Below are some of the books that I plan to pick up throughout the following months. The weather has been extremely erratic in Portugal (it has been awfully cloudy and much cooler than usual), but I can already imagine myself reading these while the sun shines on a blue sky!

 

The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirahk

Seeing that this is a book about the arrival of outsiders into a forest full of ancient traditions, myths and legends, I believe that it must have at least some fantasy or magical realism undertones. I’m not really sure what to expect from it, though, since I had never heard of this book before searching for Estonian authors online.

 

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

I don’t know much about the plot of this book by the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson, but I’ve heard that it features quite a few funny moments. According to the blurb, it follows Nombeko Mayeki, who is on the run from a secret service. Continue reading

Book Unhaul

My shelves are, at the moment, jam-packed with books, and I’m having trouble finding space to store the last ones that I bought. They are just dangerously piled on 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

Favourite Book-To-TV Adaptations: Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes is an extremely popular British icon, so there are many film and TV adaptations of the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve watched 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 has 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 the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I didn’t even start reading it 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