Other Favourite Stories of 2020

I feel that in 2020 I spent more time watching TV series and films than reading books thanks to the pandemic. That doesn’t mean that I have a higher number of other favourite stories (those that I watched on a screen) to share with you than in previous years, though. The majority of the films that I watched were not particularly remarkable and many ended up just being background noise while I absentmindedly scrolled through social media feeds. There are four TV series, however, that I’ve highly enjoyed and wholeheartedly recommend.

 

Dark – Season 3

For sure one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched on Netflix, Dark is a German science fiction thriller about time travel and various families dealing with loss, grief and love. It can be quite complex, so viewers have to pay careful attention, which it’s not much to ask, seeing that the series is engaging and compelling. In season 3, all strands are convincingly linked together in a way that I didn’t see coming. I’ll definitely re-watch the entire series sometime in the future.

 

Dracula

A new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula was the first TV series I watched in 2020 on Netflix (it was originally created for the BBC, though). Claes Bang is flawless as Count Dracula. The first and second episodes are exquisite, terrifying and compelling. The third episode feels very different from the others, primarily because it’s set in modern-day England, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I liked how the creators of the show tried to present a reason for Dracula being afraid of certain objects. 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

Favourite Protagonists

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been revealing some of my favourite characters in books (characters I love to hate, favourite female characters and favourite supporting characters). Today I introduce you to some of my favourite protagonists. These are leading characters who stood out for me among the various I discovered throughout the years and that I keep remembering for several reasons. The books they feature in are not necessarily my favourite books of all time (although some of them may be), as when I like almost all of the characters, it’s difficult for one of them to stand out from the rest.

 

Mrs de Winter – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The unnamed narrator of the first book I read by Daphne du Maurier is quite an insecure young woman at the beginning, but that didn’t stop me from really liking her as a protagonist. The main reason why is her feelings being quite relatable, taking into consideration the situation she was facing. By the end of the novel I felt like I really knew her and missed hearing about her feelings and worries. Continue reading

Favourite Bookmarks

In the recent years I’ve been collecting bookmarks, although I only read one book at a time and, thus, having only one would be enough. Some of them I have been offered or got for free, but others I bought. I really can’t resist a beautiful bookmark and already have half a box full of them.

I particularly like the ones with tassels. I have four of those, three big and one small. I usually use them when I’m reading longer books, as they enable me to always be visually aware of how much I still have left to read. I first bought the one with the owls and found it so handy that I ended up buying three more.

The other two bookmarks you can see on the photos below were given to me. One at a tourism event and the other at a bookshop. I never say no to a new bookmark and am always looking for new beautiful ones. And, although I try to avoid to buy them, since there are so many being given for free, whenever I see a stunning one at a store I find it hard to resist the temptation.

Continue reading

Favourite Book Covers II

Who doesn’t like to have their shelves filled with beautiful book covers? We all probably do! There is nothing better than when a lovely cover is just the front door for a compelling story. That doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes we get disappointed, but some covers just deserve to be showcased nevertheless.

Last year, I presented to you for the first time some of my favourite book covers. After buying more books, I have new ones to join to that list. I am not going to make any comments on what I thought of the books or what the plot is about, because I haven’t read them all yet. In fact, I have only finished one, which I will link the review of, and am currently reading another.

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Cover design: Jordan Metcalf

Publisher: Virago Continue reading

Other Favourite Stories of 2016

Stories are one of the things that I love the most. Although I have a special place in my heart for the written word, I sometimes just fancy sitting on the sofa watching great TV series or going to the cinema to watch a film. 2016 was the year of TV series for me, as I started watching many new ones and continued watching some of my old favourites. On the other hand, I didn’t watch as many films as I used to in previous years.

Game of Thrones continued to be my favourite TV series of all time. This is quite a bold statement to make, but I’ve never enjoyed a show so much as I do Game of Thrones. Enjoy is probably not the most appropriate word to use when talking about such a show. So, let’s just say I have never been so enthralled and amazed by something on TV before. And season 6 was no exception!

Last year, I loved seeing on screen actions and revelations I was already expecting to happen, but also being surprised and heartbroken. The combination of great acting and directing created some of the greatest moments on television. As I am not a book purist (I don’t mind changes on adaptations, as different mediums require different things to make a compelling story), I am fine with the majority of the things that were changed from the books, written by George RR Martin, and how we are getting main plot points revealed before the last books are published. For more on my thoughts about Game of Thrones, you can read my post on why it is my favourite book-to-TV adaptation here. Continue reading