Back to the Classics 2018

I am horrible when it comes to finishing challenges. I am really good at starting them and I am truly awesome at coming up with reading lists 😀. But finishing them? Not really.

Every year-end I wonder if I should join challenges in the new year but the truth is, I cannot resist them! So here I am again, joining the Back to the Classics challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate.

This year, I’ve decided to try as much as possible to read books by women authors.

1. A 19th century classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

Adam Bede – George Eliot (1859)

2. A 20th century classicany book published between 1900 and 1968. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles (1943)

3. A classic by a woman author.

The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen (1948)

4. A classic in translation.

The Innocent Libertine by Colette (1909)

5. A children’s classic.

The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit (1907)

An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (1869-1870)

6. A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction.

Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay (1935)

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green (1878)

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction

A Voyage in the Sunbeam by Anna Brassey (1878)

8. A classic with a single-word title.

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1907)

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë (1849)

9. A classic with a color in the title.

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (1847)

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (1921)

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you.

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton (1958)

11. A classic that scares you.
The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (990s to 1000s)

12. Re-read a favorite classic

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (1908)

Advertisements

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

toptentues

Top Three Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you’d love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don’t read foody books.)

Sugarbread- Balli Kaur Jaswal

Chilli crab. Tofu with peanut sauce. Chinese vegetables with plump stalks and juicy leaves. Hainanese chicken rice with sweet soy sauce and ginger chilli. Noodles – both thick and thin – with fish cake and pork balls. Red-hot South Indian curries served with sticky bread and milk tea. Durians, longans, rambutans for dessert. Chendol. Ice kachang.

Delicious! – Ruth Reichl

She had fed me a fluffy cloud, no more than pure texture, but as it evaporated it left a trail of flavour in its wake.

“Lemon peel,” I said, “Parmesan, saffron, spinach.” She held out another spoonful, and this time, at the very end, I tasted just a touch of something lemony but neither lemon nor verbena. It had a faint cinnamon tinge. “Curry leaf!”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

“What a marvellous smell!’ answered Grandpa Joe, taking a long deep sniff. All the most wonderful smells in the world seemed to be mixed up in the air around them — the smell of roasting coffee and burnt sugar and melting chocolate and mint and violets and crushed hazelnuts and apple blossom and caramel and lemon peel.”

Best Books Read In 2017 So Far

toptentues

 

 

Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far

 

 

I am terrible at this kind of post! How to pick??? Especially since I’ve read 118 books so far.

I decided to just run through my list of books and see what stands out. I’ll try to break it up into some categories…let’s see!

Literature

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces – Isabel Quintero
I’m not much of a YA reader but loved this spunky determined Gabi


The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso
Great story of a reluctant friendship between two women in South Africa

Funny Boy – Shyam Selvadurai

So glad I read this coming-of-age story set in Sri Lanka.

Comics/graphic novels

El Deafo – Cece Bell
Such a great story for all ages about what it’s like growing up deaf

Captain Marvel – Kelly Sue DeConnick
I love DeConnick’s Captain Marvel!

Spider Woman – Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez
Coincidentally, Spider Woman is Captain Marvel’s best friend!

Audiobooks


Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
Wasn’t sure at first about this writer narrating her own book but I loved the passion she put into it.

Classics


The Dollmaker – Harriette Simpson Arnow
This classic really surprised me. Loved it.

Nonfiction


In the country we love: My family divided – Diane Guerrero, Michelle Buford
For me it was really interesting – and heartbreaking – to read of how Guerrero survived after her parents were deported.

Series I’ve been meaning to start

toptentues

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

I started with a few in mind then looked up some lists on Goodreads for more. And there are just so very many series out there that I want to read! Let me know which you’ve read and enjoyed.



Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 


The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson


The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay (I’ve loved some of his standalones!)


The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix (haven’t read anything by Nix before!)

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (haven’t read anything by Hobb before!)


Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs (another new-to-me author)


The Others by Anne Bishop (new-to-me author)


Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong

Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong (I love her Women of the Otherworld series but haven’t read her other books) 

Top classics covers done right

toptentues

Cover Theme Freebie: literally anyyyything about covers

I’m not very good with freebies to be honest! Anyway, after some consideration, I’ve decided to go with “classics done right” – that is, beautiful redesigned covers for classic lit. In other words, book covers I have been drooling over….

F Scott Fitzgerald collection by Penguin Classics

Virago Modern Classics Designer Collection

Penguin Clothbound Classics

Vintage Classics Woolf series

Puffin in Bloom – I own three out of four (except for the Anne of Green Gables – I’ve got the version below)

 

Puffin Classics

Penguin Drop Caps

Which ones have you been eyeing? 

This Will Make Me NOT Want To Read A Book

toptentues

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

  • “The next Gone Girl” or wait, something worse would be a book described as “the next Fifty Shades
  • Gendered book covers (especially see the two different covers of the same Alice Munro book above). I mean, I would still read the book, but ugh I do not need the “feminine” covers
  • Stereotyped POCs – like the nerdy Asian, the blonde cheerleader, the rat villain (see Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird series – actually wait, don’t go see that series, it’s just bad, take my word for it)
  • Written by James Patterson
  • Too experimental (eg Jesse Ball’s Silence Once Begun)

  • Covers that are too “Oriental”. I do kind of like chinoiserie but when books that are written by or about Asians/Asia are given the ‘Oriental’ treatment, it really puts me off. This also includes the use of fans on covers, dragons, and cheongsams (see above)

Instead, please see some simple yet effective covers done by East Asians themselves. 

Also here is a fascinating collage  of covers of books that feature South Asian or African settings)

 

What turns you off books?

This Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

toptentues

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

  • Works in translation – it always makes me glad to see more works in translation!
  • Own voices – I recently had a prompt on the photo challenge I run on Litsy, “set in Southeast Asia” and despaired a little at the very few books that showed up on Litsy that were by Southeast Asians (true, I did not say “written by Southeast Asians” as I thought that would have been too difficult for many participants). But my point is that if I were to read a book set in, say Thailand, I would prefer it to be by a Thai writer.
  • An unusual setting – countries I’ve never been to like Turkey, Russia, Iceland, Trinidad. Or something set in space or other worlds

  • Comics/graphic novels – the truth is, put something in comic form and I would happily give it a try. Even if it’s by a writer I’ve had no success with previously. Of course I recently had the reverse happen – a writer I’ve adored whose comic book debut was sadly very clichéd. 
  • A great cover – well, who doesn’t judge a book by its cover? Sadly that also works the other way – if it’s a terrible cover, I would tend to shun it, unless I read otherwise about it!
  • Retellings of myths and fairytales

  • International crime series – I am especially intrigued by Japanese crime fiction. Just don’t call Higashino the “Japanese Stieg Larsson”. Gaaaahhh….
  • Recommended by my favourite bloggers and Littens!

 

What are some things that would make you want to read a book?