Stratford-Upon-Avon // Visiting Ol’ Shakespeare

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Though not being the most prolific reader of Shakespeare, I couldn’t resist a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon when offered. As always, my love for literature and history found themselves closely tied, and walking around what used to be a medieval market town fascinated me to no end.

The town itself is stunning, full of beamed buildings for even the most standard shops, something I was glad to see because lord, how I hate modern buildings in comparison. Quaint, cobblestoned streets bustling with people going about their day to day lives, we probably couldn’t help looking like the tourist types the locals are no doubt used to by now.

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Favourite university reads | What a mix of eras

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“Canonical writing is born of an originality fused with tradition.”

– Harold Bloom

At long last – but seemingly all too soon – I’ve reached the end of my first year at university. A long summer awaits, and so it’s time to bid farewell to the reading list of first year and anticipate the list for next year. But before doing so, the favourites of the bunch await their highlight.

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Penguin Moderns: Part 1 | Otherwise titled “The death episode”

Penguin Moderns

If you’ve followed me on any social media in the past month or so, you just *might* know how excited I’ve been about the new little Penguin Moderns. At £1 each, these tiny books seem to be a fab way of trying new authors or bumping up your Goodreads goal, or even – if you’re like me – giving yourself a tiny confidence boost as you still manage to finish a book within your busy schedule (even if it is only 50 pages long, but shh). And so after eagerly anticipating these gems, I promptly bought 4 of them the day of their release.

…And then went back and bought 3 more. Oops.

But having acquired a little collection, and with the likelihood of me buying more in the future, I thought I do a little review series for them. Since they’re so tiny, I’ll be combining together 3 mini reviews for each post, this first one covering The Vigilante by John Steinbeck, The Breakthrough by Daphne du Maurier, and Four Russian Short Stories by Gazdanov and Others. Without realising, they can all be connected with one common theme: Someone, at some point, dies in each of these lil books. We’re morbidly kicking things off with a death episode. Still, let’s chat books…

Continue reading Penguin Moderns: Part 1 | Otherwise titled “The death episode”

Haworth ~ Bronte Country

I’ve wanted to visit the Bronte Parsonage for years. Though I’ve read a pitiful amount from the infamous Bronte sisters so far, the history and literature lovers inside me bound together and willed me go. And so after all those years of waiting, I went.

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‘…when the setting sun shone on it and the topmost heights, and the whole extent of landscape besides lay in shadow.’ {Emily Bronte}

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The books I gave a home, but not a read (yet)

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“How many books do you have on your shelves that are unread?” is probably a question that’s better left unanswered (although, I’ll have you know it’s not as many as I thought…it’s bad, but not as bad). And when it comes to my good old phrase of “I’ve been meaning to read this one for years!” you can guarantee I’m not exaggerating. But it had me thinking – which books have I been meaning to get round to the longest?

I actually loved doing this post and unearthing the lost treasures on my shelves. Not that they were ever hidden…they just became vastly overshadowed by at least 3 or 4 years worth of shiny new books (yikes). But since I log all the books I own on Goodreads, I managed to trace back the ones I’ve had on my shelves the longest quickly enough. And so here’s the books I gave a home to all those years ago, but have still yet to read…

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte |Ignore 10 year old Jane, and all is good

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• Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository  •

Despite being one of the most popularly known pieces of canonized literature, I still struggle to explain what this book is about beyond “it follows the life of Jane Eyre”. Honestly, I don’t feel like all that much happens for the length of it. But that’s not to say it doesn’t deserve it’s high acclaim. It’s just that when you read a lot of fantasy, you come to expect a lot of events (and numerous opportunities to wield your magic slaying-powers, of course).

So we start off with Jane as a child – a state I can just about manage. It’s far from my favourite stage to read about. To me, the language just seems rigid and almost wrong for her age. I’m well aware that the story is being narrated through an older Jane Eyre’s perspective, recounting her story and being able to add intelligence and hindsight beyond her focused years. But when that language and voice doesn’t change at all in recounting the dialogue of a ten year old…it’s strangely jarring. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, no matter if it was true to the time period or character. So we’ll just ignore ten-year-old-Jane, okayy? Okayy.

Saying that, Jane Eyre soon grows older – as nature requires – and from that point on I can barely find anything to fault in the book. Because ohhhh it gets intense.

But how can it get intense if not all that much happens?

Well.

Continue reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte |Ignore 10 year old Jane, and all is good

Book Haul Spotlight | Plucking out my priorities from one heck of a haul

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A few days ago I uploaded a huge collective book haul to my channel – and while it’s just so much easier to fawn over all the books in actual speech form over there, I also figured...hey, why not spotlight some of the ones I’m really looking forward to reading on my blog? There’s so many books listed in that video (it’s linked at the end if you’d like to see them all!), but some really stand out to me as top priorities for the upcoming months and I basically just want another reason to chat about them all the more.

This list is…a varied one. Honestly I should probably stop giving that warning before any form of book list I provide, because it’s starting to get repetitive 😆 BUT if you want to see everything from the myth retellings and freak cosmic events I’m eager to pluck from my shelves – well, here they are spotlighted

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The Iliad by Homer | A lengthy read, but totally worth it to me

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And with this review, you see the beginnings of my exploration into ancient classics. If you have me on instagram or twitter you many have heard me mention buying a few ancient greek inspired books recently, but my reviews have a bit of a backlog and so finally, the first is coming to my blog.

spoiler free

Let’s dive right in!

Iliad

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Continue reading The Iliad by Homer | A lengthy read, but totally worth it to me

Top 5 Classics On My TBR | Because actually, I’m not as brain-dead when it comes to classics as I always think

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Not going to lie, I totally stole this idea off Aimee @ The Literary Wanderlust. Though I guess it doesn’t count as stealing, considering I asked her if I could do my own…

Anyway. Definitions of words aside.

Fun Fact: I’ve been getting into classics ever so gradually. “Ever so gradually” because quite frankly, I have this bizarre notion that I’ll never understand what the hell is going on. Which…probably stemmed from the fact that classics are, indeed, a hit or miss with me when it comes to understanding and enjoy…abilty? enjoyableness?

But like with 90% of the books on my bookshelves, I’ve heard so much about these books that I just HAVE to read them. One day. Eventually.

Here are the top 5 classics on my TBR!

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Continue reading Top 5 Classics On My TBR | Because actually, I’m not as brain-dead when it comes to classics as I always think

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen | A long book with a lot of toing and froing, but a good read nonetheless

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Yes I know there’s a typo in the title image. Yes it bothers me immensely. Yes we are just going to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. 

Sense and Sensibility. The last Jane Austen novel I needed to read to be able to proudly say “I’ve read Jane Austen’s entire works”…kind of. I still have a book of short stories by her. But you know. I read all her full novels so it counts.

I recently made a video of mini-reviews for Jane Austen, going through each of the books in order of least favourite to favourite. So if you’ve seen that, you might remember where this one came. But now, it’s time for the full review.

Let’s dive into Sense and Sensibility!

*Sorry the image looks weird. My phone camera doesn’t get along with clothbound books, apparently?*

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Title: Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Penguin

Series Status: Standalone

Genre: Classic, Romance

Number of Pages:  448

Continue reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen | A long book with a lot of toing and froing, but a good read nonetheless