Favourite Supporting Characters

The most famous or beloved characters in books are usually the protagonists. However, a fascinating book wouldn’t be the same without captivating supporting characters. They are crucial to add depth to the story and even to the protagonists. Being a supporting character doesn’t mean being secondary to the protagonist or less important. In fact, they usually help us to better understand the main characters.

When I first decided to write about this topic, I thought it would be easy to choose my favourite supporting characters. But I was wrong for a couple of reasons. First, it isn’t always easy to establish if a character has a main or a supporting role. And second, too many characters sprang to mind. Nevertheless, I managed to select six from among the myriad of possibilities.

 

Levin – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The main story in Anna Karenina revolves around Anna and Vronsky, so I consider Levin to be a supporting character. However, I could read an entire book just about him. He’s one of the most enthralling characters in my opinion, because it’s mainly through him that we get to know more about Russian society and politics, and his internal struggle to adjust to having a family (and it not being a perfect experience) is rather thought-provoking.   Continue reading

Favourite Children’s Books

There are books that we have only read during our childhood but that we will always remember fondly. Nevertheless, children’s books can also be appealing to read for the first time during adulthood, when we need to return to a world full of fantasy and hopefulness. I took a walk down memory lane and chose some of my favourite children’s books, although I have read some of them for the first time in more recent years.

 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

This is one of the children’s books that I’ve only read as an adult. It tells the story of Peter Pan, a boy from Neverland who doesn’t want to grow up, and Wendy, who assumes the role of the grown-up, despite being also a child. It is a tale full of adventure that focuses on the differences between childhood and adulthood.

 

Tales of Hans Christian Andresen by Hans Christian Andresen

I read some of Hans Christian Andresen’s fairy tales for the first time last year. I was acquainted with several of the stories thanks to Disney adaptations, but the originals are far darker. I still haven’t overcome the sadness I felt while reading The Little Mermaid. I own the Walker Illustrated Classic edition which features beautiful drawings by Joel Stewart. Continue reading

Longest Books I Have Read

Long books can be more intimidating than short ones, as they take longer to read and require more commitment. However, once in a while I quite like to immerse myself into a long book for a few weeks. It feels like an alternative life that complements our real one, since the characters are usually more developed and the plot more detailed.

I turned my bookcase upside down to discover which are the longest books I have ever read.

 

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – 1006 pages

The story of two practical magicians, who restore magic to England during the time of the French Invasions, is quite an entertaining read. The amount of details on magic and the various footnotes transform this novel into an alternative history tale. You can read my full review here. Continue reading

Most Owned and Read Authors

Every time I read books by authors who are new to me and I enjoy them, I proceed to search for other books they may have written, in order to know more about their work. So, I own more than one book by many different authors. But who are the most prevalent writers on my shelves?

When I was perusing the books that I have read, I realised that during my early teenage years I used to read many books by the same authors. Since I keep the ones I remember liking the most back then, the following list features some authors who I probably won’t be reading any more books by. On the other hand, I will continue reading some of the authors I am about to mention in the future, as I am still interested in their currently published books and upcoming work.

As my list of read books continues to grow, I plan to do a similar blog post every year to see how it changes. I intended to mention five authors. However, since I read the same number of books by the last two authors on the list, it features six. Continue reading

The Time and Place Book Tag

The Time and Place Book Tag was created by Jen Campbell more than a year ago. I decided to do it, rather belatedly, after considering the possibility of giving away my three horrible Jane Austen’s Wordsworth Classics editions, but deciding to keep them because I associate two of them with a specific time and place in my life.

I decided then to write a blog post about the books that I remembered reading at a specific point in my life. However, I recalled having already seen a similar type of content around and, after some research, I rediscovered Jen’s video on YouTube. The Time and Place book tag consists in choosing 10 books from our shelves that we associate with a specific time and place in our lives and explaining the story behind the choices and what the books are about. I’m going to cheat a bit, since I’ve only chosen seven books.

 

Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I bought these two novels at an independent bookshop in Soho when I was visiting London back in 2010 and read them one after the other. So, my memories of buying and reading them are quite similar. One day I was strolling through the streets of Soho with my friends and some weeks later I was back in Portugal commuting from University to home, after attending my master degree’s classes, while enjoying these two novels by Jane Austen. I clearly remember those being rainy days, when I had to wait for trains for ages. Continue reading