Last Ten Books Tag

A week ago, I saw the Last Ten Books Tag on Marina Sofia’s blog (I couldn’t unearth who the original creator was) and decided to give it a go, although I don’t tend to do tags very often. I always struggle to come up with answers for numerous of the questions asked on tags for some reason, so forgive me if my replies are not particularly remarkable and insightful.

 

Last book I gave up on

This one is easy! I gave up on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy early on in January after reading less than ten chapters. In 1805, Anna Pavlovna organised a soirée where various characters discussed not only their lives, but also Napoleon and his political and military movements. I just couldn’t memorise whom any of the characters were or their connections with one another. For that reason, I lost all interest in this massive novel, which I had been meaning to read for years.

 

Last book I reread

After deciding not to finish War and Peace, I figured that it was a good idea to read an old favourite. I reread Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and loved it as much as the first time around. The dystopian society it portrays is well known for its telescreens and being ruled by the Party, whose face is the Big Brother. Winston, the main character, works in the Ministry of Truth, where he rewrites past information. His life gets progressively more complicated as he becomes involved with Julia. Continue reading

The Inside and Out Book Tag

I’ve been meaning to write about some of my reading preferences for a long while, but I was struggling to turn my ideas into a coherent blog post. This week a solution presented itself when I discovered the Inside and Out Book Tag, thanks to Marina Sofia and Elisabeth van der Meer. Unfortunately, I don’t know who is the original creator of this tag. Though I don’t do tags often, my answers to the majority of the questions are just what I was interested in writing about.

 

  1. Inside flap / back of the book summaries: too much info? Or not enough?

It depends on the book. Some blurbs just give too much information away, while others fail to entice me into reading, since they don’t properly explain what the stories are about. I like a blurb that arouses my curiosity without spoilers. Some Portuguese editions, for example, have appalling “summaries”, as the only information they provide is a quote from the book and nothing else.

 

  1. New book: what form do you want it in? Be honest: audiobook, eBook, paperback or hardcover?

Paperback! It’s my favourite format by far. Very rarely do I buy hardbacks, because they are too heavy, usually more expensive, and I don’t like dust jackets. I only go for hardbacks in case I have been waiting for the release a book in a series for a couple of years, or when their covers’ design is far more appealing for some reason. I found the hardbacks of Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet eye-catching, since they only have a small dust jacket, for example. Audiobooks and eBooks are not for me, as I have a terrible listening attention span when I’m not taking notes of what is being said and I don’t like reading long-form writing on a screen. Continue reading

The Translated Literature Book Tag

I’ve only done a couple of tags since starting this blog around three years ago. For no particular reason other than most of the times I can’t come up with answers to the questions, it’s usually not the type of content that I write. But when I was tagged by Callum to do the Translated Literature Book Tag, created by Diana, for once many books started to spring to mind to answer almost all of the queries.

In the context of this tag, I think it’s important to mention that I can read fluently in Portuguese and English. So, I now only read translations of books originally written in other languages besides those two. But, without further ado, let’s get into the questions.

 

  1. A translated novel you would recommend to everyone

No book can please everyone, so I can’t promise that you will all like my pick for this question. However, as Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch (translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett) mixes a crime story with musings on writing and fiction, I believe that it’s a book that readers of a wide variety of genres may appreciate. A murder is used to justify why reality and fiction have to differ. The story is told from various perspectives, and certain elements are introduced at specific moments to surprise the readers. 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 to a specific time and place in my life.

I decided then to do 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 content around and, after some research, I rediscovered Jen’s video on YouTube. The Time and Place book tag consists on choosing 10 books from our shelves that we associate with a specific time and place in our lives, and explain 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 in 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