My Year in Books

I have to say that 2017 has been a very, very tough year. One of the very few things I’m saving is my year in books.
I had set a goal of 30 books back in January, and I’m very proud of myself for having reached 51 books read!

Thank you to Goodreads for helping me achieve this goal. I find that setting a reading challenge is very stimulating, and it makes me feel twice as good once I’m done with my reading.

Cattura

Here, in no particular order, are some of the books I have enjoyed the most reading this year, I definitely recommend them:

  • Lauren Graham, Talking as Fast as I Can
  • Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
  • Mara Wilson, Where Am I Now?
  • Affinity Komar, Mischling
  • Graham Moore, The Last Days of Night
  • Matthew Sullivan, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Audible version read by Thandie Newton)
  • Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Paul Tremblay, A Head Full of Ghosts
  • Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History
  • Ruth Ware, The Lying Game

I can only hope 2018 is going to be as good, books-wise, and I wish the same to every single reader out there! ♥

Advertisements

Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace – Thoughts

72579⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another mesmerizing work written by Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace is based on a true event. Sixteen years old Grace Marks is found guilty as an accessory to the murder of a man and his housekeeper (and mistress).
Grace is accused of having helped the murderer since it was assumed she was his lover. Marks was sentenced to death, changed later to a life sentence.
Thanks to a group of people who petitioned in her favor, Grace was pardoned thirty years later. Thirty years spent behind bars, without any kind of prospect or hope.
Finally, a woman in her forties, Grace Marks leaves for New York, and since then all traces of her life have been lost.
It is yet to be determined if Grace was really an accessory to murder, or if she was rather trapped inside a story too big for her to handle.
Margaret Atwood goes through her life based on facts, adding her own fascinating touch to it.
I read the last 150 pages in a single session and in a heartbeat. A mysterious, strange, and incredible story. Grace will keep you on edge throughout all the book, she will make you question her every move, she will make you wonder: is she just an innocent young girl? Too innocent to stand for herself? Or is she a cunning murderess? Up until the end you will ask yourself that.
Margaret Atwood has a truly unique, incomparable talent.
There is a quote I particularly love:

“To go from a familiar thing, however undesirable, into the unknown, is always a matter for apprehension, and I suppose that is why so many people are afraid to die”.

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson

22636.47794I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

22636.47793

Emily Dickinson’s bedroom where she composed many of her poems.

Upon her death, Dickinson’s family discovered forty handbound volumes of nearly 1,800 poems, or “fascicles” as they are sometimes called. Dickinson assembled these booklets by folding and sewing five or six sheets of stationery paper and copying what seem to be final versions of poems.

Sources: poets.org – theclio.com

 

Crooked House – Agatha Christie – Thoughts

16315⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love reading a good Agatha Christie mystery from time to time, they never disappoint.
They are always genuinely entertaining and keep you guessing until the very end.
Crooked House was no exception. Even without the presence of Poirot or Miss Marple investigating the crime, this mystery was very satisfying.
Christie, in her introduction to the book, has written that Crooked House is one of her best works. She wrote that the Leonides family just came to her head, they have grown, and that she was merely her scribe. I believe there’s no better way to describe this book.
The patriarch of a rich family dies. Anybody in the family could be the murderer. Is it the young, pretty wife? Or one of his sons? It wasn’t until towards the end that I started guessing who the culprit could be, and still, Christie manages to end her novels in a way that leaves you amazed.
Yes, an Agatha Christie’s mystery is always a good idea.

William Sieghart – The Poetry Pharmacy – Thoughts

34726141⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart is a collection of poems suitable for a lot of situations which might present in our lives: depression, anxiety, need of reassurance, stagnation, guilt, fear of the unknown, relationships that create all sort of problems, grief. Every one of us has encountered at least one of those situations in life.
I found a lot of comfort in many of those poems, I even cried reading some of those, they really resonated with me.
Reading Sieghart’s introduction to every poem is very important, and his words are equally beautiful and meaningful.
It is a precious book to keep and to go back to when one needs to.
Some of my favorite poems are: Although the wind, by Izumi Shikibu; All That is Gold Does Not Glitter, by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Way It Is, by William Stafford; Everything is Going To Be All Right, by Derek Mahon; from My Brilliant Image by Hafez; The Guest House, by Rumi; The Ideal, by James Fenton; It happens all the time in heaven, by Hafez; Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye; My Funeral by Wendy Cope.

 

I’d Rather Be Reading- Guinevere de la Mare – Thoughts

33606660⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would describe I’d Rather be Reading by Guinevere de la Mare as a cozy Autumn morning spent under covers with a hot cup of coffee, reading your favorite book.
It’s a sweet little corner for everyone who, like myself, is a passionate bookworm.
There are nice images dedicated to books, to the love and pleasure derived from reading. In between, there are essays about books, about how to find more time for reading.
I particularly liked the introduction written by de la Mare, how she discovered the love of reading.
It’s a very fast read, an enjoyable one, aesthetically pleasing.

Will Pfeifer, Rodney Buchemi – The Librarians #2 – Thoughts

TNLibrarians02CovAMolineNOTFI⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Librarians #2 comic book continues right from where we were left on the first issue (you can read my thoughts HERE ).
Flynn, Eve, Cassandra, and Jacob are ready for a fight to save Ezekiel, only they will find out no fight is actually needed. They also make a shocking discovery about the movie producer whose death they are investigating. As they unravel some mysteries, new ones surface- bigger and more dangerous mysteries.
This second issue takes place basically in just one location, and serves as an explanation and set up for the third issue. It’s more of an explicatory issue, with some action preserved for the last few pages.
The writing is still spot on for every character, with a focus on Flynn and Eve in particular.
The illustration is impressive as usual, the colors and facial expressions are impeccable. I especially loved the New York’s skyline, and the illustration of the very last page is truly beautiful.