Book Haul: January

Ah, January is almost over. It's been quite the contrast to December with its stress and festivities. January has been calm and sweet and cold. Aaand, I've gotten a nice little stack of books. Here they are, in all their blue and green glory.

As usual, I hope you've all had a great month, and a good start to the new year.



Bookish Reflections: On Reading Classics

If you saw my post on 2015 Reading Goals, you will have noticed the one of my goals is to read 5 classics this year. Now, I often find classics intimidating, hard to get through, and it takes a lot of effort for me. So, the question is, why bother?

My first experience reading a classic was at school. Which was not, for me, a good introduction to classics, because I strongly dislike being forced to read. We had to read "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, and I remember thinking it was the most idiotic book I'd ever read. And when I finished school, I had this impressions that classics were bullshit.

Now, however, I have a whole different view of classics (and I've reread Lord of the Flies, and now I love it). Although I have not read that many, I desperately want to read many, many more. And as I know there are a lot of people out there, either intimidated, scared or that loathe classics, I thought I would tell you why I bother:

1. They provide a snapshot of history. When the books are written in the same time period as the story, I find things are usually described differently than when someone in present day writes about the past. I think this is a great way to learn about life in the past.

2. Classics are usually books that are highly treasured and enjoyed by many, so you know you're going into something that's probably worth reading.

3. They usually contain a universality, meaning the themes of the book dig deep enough that they're still relevant. Which means, even in present day, we can understand it and take something from it.

4. They expand our understanding of the world. Because they have universal themes, and look back on the past, we learn a lot. Which is both important and fun.

5. The writing. Because usually it's beautiful.

Personally, I haven't read all that many classics. And the reason for this is that I have to space them out so that I don't loose my joy of reading. This is often because I feel sort of a pressure to read them. It's almost always worth it though, but that's why I don't spend all my time reading them; reading should never be a duty. It should be fun!

What's your view of classics?



Book Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Title: The Bone Clocks
Author: David Mitchell
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 640
Rating: 3/5

Having fought with her mother, Holly Sykes runs away from home. But Holly is no typical teenager; she has voices in her head and sometimes she sees people who aren't there. But that summer, something happens, and the effects ripple through all of Holly's life and all those she loves.

This book was a pretty solid read. I really enjoy the writing style, and the supernatural elements.

I was expecting a little bit more of the paranormal bit though, and wished it wasn't all saved for the ending. I kept waiting for it to appear in the different story lines, and when it did, it was small and a little underwhelming sometimes. I also had a hard time connecting to some of the characters, but really enjoyed reading about the main one, Holly.

The story was good, but long. Sometimes you read books that have a lot of pages, but somehow it doesn't feel long, but this one did. The parts I loved the most was the beginning and the end. The middle was a little meh. I also thought the climax was extremely interesting, but it felt a little short for such a long build-up.

Overall, quite enjoyable. I would recommend this to people who enjoy science fiction.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads

Also; these endpapers are divine.



Top 5: Beautiful Titles

The title of a book is immensely important if you ask me, so today I thought I would share some of my favourite titles; some I've read, some I haven't.

1. The Secret Garden

Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 
This is, as you may know, one of my favourite books of all time. Not only is this title very fitting for the story, but it's just beautiful. I even named one of my photography projects at school because I love it so much.

2. The Fault in Our Stars

Written by John Green. 
A beautiful title, and originally from Shakespeare if I'm not mistaken.

3. Paradise Lost

Written by John Milton. 
I haven't read this book and I don't know what it's about, but I find the title beautiful and intriguing. 

4. The Old Man and the Sea

Written by Ernest Hemingway.
I haven't read this one either, but it is the Hemingway book I want to read most, all because of the title.

5. Memoirs of a Geisha

Written by Arthur Golden.
I just love the sound of the title when you say it. I also really love this book.

What are some of your favourite titles?



Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 333
Rating: 5/5

Switching between both before and after the fall of civilisation, this is the story of a Hollywood actor, his would-be saviour and a nomadic group of actors traveling around in the days after the apocalypse.

I really loved this book. It stands out in comparison to a lot of other apacolyptic fiction I've read, in the way that this isn't particularly fast-paced, it's sort of slow burning, and yet somehow never boring. It has this eerie, silently terrifying feeling to it.

I thought it was very interesting that the story switched between before and after the downfall of civilisation. I also very much enjoyed learning about the religious cult that's in this new world, because I always love that kind of stuff.

This story is more about getting to know the characters instead of character development. I thought that was quite interesting. I especially love how everything ties together at the end.

I would recommend this for anyone who wants to read a deep and beautiful apocalyptic fiction book. I also think adults who don't read a lot of these kinds of books would really enjoy this.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads


Pretty Spines

All book lovers know that covers matter - and so do spines.

Inspired by several videos on Youtube, here are some of my favourite ones from my bookshelf!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in the Clothbound Classics covers by Penguin.

Though I haven't read this one, I love the use of colours and the chandelier. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald by Penguin.

These are simple, shiny and beautiful. They also look great together.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, published by Candlewick Press.

Also shiny. I really like the font, and the rose gold feathers. Sometimes, when books have really long titles, they look a little weird on the spine, but I think they solved this beautifully.

Jane Austens novels by Vintage Classics.

There are six of these, but these are my favourites. They look great together.

Classics in the English Library covers by Penguin.

Though these spines don't look amazing on their own, together I really love the look of them. The more, the better!

So many beautiful spines!

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