My Penguin English Library Collection

The Penguin English Library editions of classics caught my eye a few years ago while watching BookTube videos. I can’t remember the first channel I saw them in, but I immediately fell in love with the beautiful covers and stripy spines, and now every time I want to buy a new classic, I check if it is available in these editions. Unless there is an even more beautiful book for sale (which is the case with the vintage classics editions of the Jane Austen’s books, for example), I go for the covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Presently I own ten books from the Penguin English Library editions. However, one of them, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, will not be part of my collection and is not mentioned in the following list, because I won’t keep it, as I really didn’t like it.

 

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip, the main character of Great Expectations, is an orphan who lives with his abusive sister and her husband. He tells the story of his life since childhood to adulthood. Living in difficult economic conditions isn’t a problem for Pip until the moment he meets Estella at Miss Havisham house and an anonymous benefactor wants him to become a gentleman. Although some parts of the novel got a bit monotonous, I still enjoyed my first taste of Charles Dickens’s works. I wrote a full review about it when I first started blogging. Continue reading

‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce

My rating: 3 stars

Dubliners was my first time experiencing a book by James Joyce. It presents the reader with 15 short stories focusing on specific moments in the lives of some of Dublin’s inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century. I had high expectations, but unfortunately they were not met.

The majority of the stories felt quite bland and not engaging. There is almost no background about the characters, and the stories usually start at a specific moment in their lives and develop from there. The reader instantly gets access to the characters’ thoughts or actions for a period of time and then the story ends. I also didn’t find the writing style appealing or particularly enjoyable.

However, there were some short stories that stood out positively from the rest of the collection, since I was either enthralled by the events being narrated or appreciated the conclusions drawn from them. One of them is ‘Eveline’. Eveline is a young woman who is struggling to decide whether or not she wants to leave her home country to get married, being thus a reflection on how hard it can be to make decisions. It left me wondering until the very end about what her choice would be. Continue reading

Books I Want to Read Before the End of 2016

I don’t usually establish to-be-read lists. However, now that we are in the last quarter of the year, there are some books that I really want to read before 2016 comes to an end. The list features books written by contemporary authors, some classics and Portuguese poetry.

The Dumb House by John Burnside is a book that I have been wanting to read for quite a while. The story focuses on a narrator that uses his own children as subjects of an experiment to recreate the Dumb House of Persian myth. I expect this novel to be quite dark and disturbing.

To continue my endeavour to read more books by female authors, I also want to read A God in Ruins. I don’t know much about this novel by Kate Atkinson, besides it being set around the time of the Second World War, which is usually a theme I am interested in reading about.

Continue reading