Favourite Books Written by Women

Ahead of International Women’s Day, on 8th March, I put together a list of my favourite books written by women. Although I believe that unintentionally I still read more books by men than by women, it wasn’t difficult at all to come up with these five magnificent books by female authors. In fact, I could have mentioned many more books than the ones below, but I wanted to keep the list short.

In no special order, these are some of the books written by women which were a delight to read:

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

One of the most captivating books I’ve ever read, Rebecca was my first foray into Daphne du Maurier’s work. It is narrated by an unnamed woman who recalls meeting Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo. She accepted to marry him, and they went to live at Manderley, his family home. There, the shadow of his deceased first wife, Rebecca, was even more present. Apparently, she had exceled at everything, so the narrator’s doubts and insecurities became overwhelming. The characters are complex, and the prose is utterly atmospheric. Continue reading

Favourite Books I Read in 2017

When I started reflecting on my reading experience in 2017, the first word that sprang to mind to describe it was ‘inconsistent’. It wasn’t a particularly extraordinary year, but it was also far from bad. A couple of the books that I read I ended up loving, a few I quite liked, and others were satisfactory. However, I really didn’t like three books, having rated them with 2 stars, and also gave up on reading two books without even reaching 1/3 of their length, and thus can’t really make a fair assessment about them.

In terms of numbers, I’ve read 33 books so far, and will probably finish another one before the actual end of the year. I do know that this is a really small number for many people, but for me it’s a great one, since I’ve only managed to read 19 books in 2016, and not that many years ago I was probably not even reading more than one book a month.

My favourite books among the ones that I read this year, in reverse order, are: 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

‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier

My rating: 5 stars

In Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier exceled at creating what I would call a compelling character study elegantly wrapped up in a looming mystery. Throughout the book, we see the unnamed narrator slowly evolving from a timid and insecure young woman, living under Rebecca’s shadow, into a more assured person. To discover the motivations of the other characters is a helpful impetus to the narrator’s growing process.

From a later period in time, the narrator remembers Manderley and what led her there. She met Maxim de Winter at Monte Carlo, where she was working as a companion for Mrs Van Hopper, who is inconvenient, intrusive and far from discreet. She managed to forcefully get acquainted with Mr de Winter, a moment the narrator, who accompanied her, recalls as embarrassing. During that first encounter, Maxim de Winter is remembered by the narrator as fascinating, although slightly sardonic. His remarks really made me laugh.

Once, Mrs Van Hopper fell ill and the narrator had lunch alone with de Winter by chance. A familiarity developed between them and the hardness she had previously perceived in him disappeared. But any mention of Manderley, his house, and his face clouded over. After lunch, they spent the afternoon together and drove to the summit of a mountain where Maxim had been before. For a moment, he was in kind of a trance, like he wasn’t really there. Continue reading

Which Book Should I Read Next?

I’m a book monogamist. I tried to read more than one book at a time once, but quickly discovered that I can’t split my attention between two books, since I left one behind and just continued reading the other. So, whenever I’m almost finishing a book, I start thinking about what type of book I am feeling like reading next.

As I’m now unsure about which book to pick up next, I decided to ask for your help! The four books below are the subjects of my uncertainty. All of them sound like books I would like to read sooner rather than later. It would be fantastic if you could take a little time to help me by voting until Sunday in the poll at the bottom of the page (after the books’ blurbs), regardless if you’ve read any of these or not. You may have read and liked one of them, or you may just be curious about my opinion on it.

 

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

“As his tale begins, Orlando is a passionate young nobleman whose days are spent in rowdy revelry, filed with the colourful delights of Queen Elizabeth’s court. By the close, he will have transformed into a modern, thirty-six-year-old woman and three centuries will have passed. Orlando will witness the making of history from its edge, dressing in the flamboyant fashions of each era, following passing customs, and socialising with celebrated artists and writers. Continue reading