Sunday Post #16

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

First Sunday Post of the year! I took a little break at the end of the year because I was with my fmily in France and really wanted to make the most of it. I am back this week, and I have some ideas for new articles on my blog… I hope you will like them!

I think we can all agree that 2021 did not start in the best way possible, so I hope everyone is okay out there. I will try my best to focus on the positive this year – no matter how hard it might get.

This weekend I baked galette des rois, which is a traditional French dessert we eat during the first weekend of January to celebrate the arrival of the Kings who came to visit Jesus. It’s basically puff pastry and frangipane, so it’s very easy to make – here’s a recipe if you’d like to try (no need to put liquor in the almond cream). There is always a little figurine (originally a broad bean) inside the cake, and the one who finds this little present in their slice is crowned the King or Queen for the day. I am not religious but this dessert is one of my favourites as it brings back great memories, so I love to bake one every January. It didn’t look beautiful, but tasted delicious:

I’ve read and finished

Currently Reading

Damian Albarn – Everyday Robots (arguably not the happiest song to start the year, but it is so beautiful!)

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Sunday Post #15

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

This week was especially rubbish at work, but it made me even more motivated to apply for publishing jobs. I am also really looking forward to be back in France with my family next Wednesday, and enjoy a soothing Christmas break. I say ‘soothing’ but my teenage siblings seem to have planned a whole schedule of things to do together so I might not have much time to rest! But being with them and our pets will be perfect to get energised before the new year.

I’ve read and finished

This is the French translation of stories by Junji Ito, incuding ‘The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel’

Currently Reading

Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer (I’ve been exclusively listening to my disco playlist this week because there is no better remedy to low mood!)

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Let’s Talk Bookish – The Writing Styles of Classics & Contemporaries

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

You can find more details about it here.

I haven’t read lots of classics this year, but this is actually what I tend to prefer reading. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I love history, and so there’s no better way to immerse yourself in a historical period than to read a book written then. There is also something about the language that is completely different. Yes, it is a little trickier to read but I find the writing style so much more beautiful, in general. It’s often that I read a chapter from a Victorian novel and don’t really pay attention to the plot because I’m too engrossed in the lyrical quality of the text. Of course, this is not always true and I can feel the same way for book that were recently published. Also, I love descriptions, context, backstories, and lots and lots of insignificant details – which is something that I can really only find in classics, in general.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

That being said, I love reading contemporaries as well but for different reasons. I get different things from different books, which sounds obvious I know, but it’s so true! Contemporary novels allow me to find characters I can relate to a little bit more, and they allow me to get in touch with the world that surrounds me. I like to read them to make sense of my own experience as well, and understand why I feel the way I do. They also enable me to see our society through someone else’s eyes, someone from a different background or country. 

Even though classics are my absolute favourites, I don’t think they should necessarily be prioritised at school. Literature should be made enjoyable to students, and I know that it’s difficult to get enthused about books after studying the same five old dead white men all your life. Of course, authors like Shakespeare and Dickens are at the basis of the English-speaking world’s pop culture, but would it not make sense to also study more contemporary writers who represent another part of the population? We need to introduce more varied texts in the curriculum, written by women, working class and BAME authors. I think we also need to make sure that each of this text is compelling and thought-provoking. Reading is so, so important and needs to be promoted a lot more at school because it teaches us to think critically – something more important than ever.

Well, I got a bit carried away there, but this is  a topic I’m really passionate about! I was really thinking about this when I read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, earlier this year. I think it would be such a great book to study at school since it tackles so many important topics. I think this is a book that could potentially become a classic in a few decades, but maybe I’m biased because I loved it so much.

Do you prefer classics, contemporaries or both? I would love to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic and if you do too, you should definitely check Rukky’s and Dani’s posts to find out more.

Sunday Post #14

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

I have really struggled with my blog for the last couple of weeks, so I am very sorry for the lack of consistency over here. It’s been a very stressful and frankly disappointing time for me, and my mood has been much affected by it. Oh well, Christmas is near so let’s rejoice!

Wednesday was my birthday and it might sound silly but it felt so lovely to hear from all my friends and family, and spend some quality time with my boyfriend. I feel energised and stronger thanks to everyone’s thoughts and well-wishes. One of my special treats was an afternoon tea at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, and it was quite amazing! Their afternoon tea is actually a tipsy tea, so your teapot is filled with a deliciously indulgent cocktail. I posted a picture below, I would highly recommend for a special celebration – the cocktails and food were scrumptious. Restaurants have re-opened in London, so my boyfriend took me there and I had the best afternoon – although I definitely can’t drink anymore as I was waaayyy tipsier than I’d like to admit). It was also very nice to dress up, something I hadn’t done in months!

I’ve read and finished

Currently Reading

These are the books I bought in November. They’re mostly secondhand but I couldn’t resist Foyles’ Black Friday sale of 25% off on selected paperbacks!

Already read and loved!

Elton John – Step Into Christmas (definitely stepped into the festive period with Elton this week!)

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Monday Post #13

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

I think this will be a good week: I found a pound coin outside my front door yesterday, and I think that this is a nice sign. Every little thing, right? Last week was really stressful at work, and not for the good reasons. I did have a lovely weekend though! We made homemade burgers, and I baked some pecan chocolate chip cookies that we ate while watching Parasite – a film definitely worth the hype.

Currently Reading

Queen – Radio Ga Ga

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Monday Post #12

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

I took a few days off work last week and it was the best thing to do! Holidays during lockdown are little strange, but it was a nice occasion to do some reading and practice taking pictures with my new film camera. I got a Praktica Super TL from eBay, which is an old German camera and I as quite scared it wouldn’t work as it was quite cheap. But it does work very well! It will just take a little getting used to, but that’s part of the fun. Here are a couple of pictures I took last week of my neighburhood:

Over the weekend, I took part in a reading challenge organised by a French Facebook group – I wanted to read most of Les Miserables by Sunday night. Obviously, that didn’t happen (I read a little under 300 pages in total… out of 1254) but I’m thoroughly enjoying reading Victor Hugo’s words. It’s also quite nice to read in French as it’s something I hadn’t done for months. I’m at a point where I’m comfortable speaking English than French – my native language!

Currently Reading

This week I’ve read and finished

L’Impératrice – Erreur 404 (Staying in the French theme this week 🇫🇷 )

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Sunday Post #11

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog

You can find the original post here.

On Thursday, England went back into lockdown which should last until the 2nd of December (my birthday, actually!). Of course, it’s not a surprise and everywhere in Europe is pretty much the same. I only really hope we’ll all be able to spend Christmas with our families, this year!

Of course, the news of Joe Biden’s election was a nice way to brighten the weekend – I know it might not be great taste to talk politics on a book blog, but I am so relieved by the results of the US election I had to share it on here.

In reading news, I’ve found it quite difficult to read lately (especilly audiobooks after a rejection from an audiopublisher a couple of weeks ago). I find it hard to focus and I feel as if no book can satisfy me at the minute, so we’ll see how that works in the next few weeks. Hopefully I find a nice book to read to get me back on track!

Currently Reading

MAX – Blueberry Eyes (feat. Suga): this song makes me so happy!

Have a great week, and happy reading! x

Let’s Talk Bookish – Romance as a subplot

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

You can find more details about it here.

This week’s topic is very interesting, and not one I’ve ever thought about, to be honest. Love is such a central part of our lives, for most of us, that I never really thought of whether a romance subplot was always necessary in a story. I guess I never question the need for a romance if I think it’s well done. Also, I love love stories.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

There is something fascinating about people falling in love and I enjoy finding this in books – whether that’s the main story or not. I can’t think of a romance subplot that I didn’t enjoy… but then, I realise I read a lot of Victorian novels which are mainly to do with marriage. And it’s so natural to have a crush on someone or have feelings for someone you’re attracted to, so I’m okay to find it in books where characters go through crazy adventures together as they’re brought closer by the hardships they have to face.

That being said, I’m sure that there are lots of romances that feel forced and strange but I can’t think of any. I’ve either been lucky in never encountering one of those, or I have decided to erase them from my memory.

I don’t mind books where there isn’t any romance, though. Especially if the author is trying to make a political point, or verging on social commentary. Not that I don’t think love is serious, just that it can take the reader’s attention away from the main point of focus. In The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead for instance, there isn’t any romance –  a character gets married as he gets older, but that’s it – because the author is trying to bring our attention to something else. In The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson, which I reviewed last week, there’s the beginning of a romance, but it’s a sort of prop for the main character to question why men never challenge their elders and condemn their crimes openly. I thought this was very clever, and I did like the two characters falling for each other as it added to the plot, without becoming central to it.

I guess it’s important to show readers (especially young ones, and even more especially women) that characters can do amazing thing without the aid of a man and that love, and therefore marriage, is not the ultimate goal in life – you can do so many more things. But I still love romance as a a subplot, especially when it’s weaved in the narrative in a subtle way that doesn’t undermine a hero’s personal growth.

I’m sorry, I ended up rambling aimlessly about this topic! Anyway, I would love to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic and if you do too, you should definitely check Rukky’s and Dani’s posts to find out more.

Shelf-Control #13

Shelf Control is a weekly instalment created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. I love the idea of looking at my own bookshelf and getting excited to read what I already own. Here the little introduction from Bookshelf Fantasies:

Instead of always looking ahead to upcoming new releases, I thought I’d start a weekly feature focusing on already released books that I want to read. Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, books that are either on my shelves or on my Kindle!

You can find the original post here.

Title: Last Orders

Author: Graham Swift

Published: 1996

Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (from Goodreads):

Four men once close to Jack Dodds, a London butcher, meet to carry out his peculiar last wish: to have his ashes scattered into the sea. For reasons best known to herself, Jack’s widow, Amy, declines to join them. On the surface the tale of a simple if increasingly bizarre day’s outing, Last Orders is Graham Swift’s most poignant exploration of the complexity and courage of ordinary lives.

How and when I got it:

I think I found it in a book exchange on the Isle of Man.

Why I want to read it:

This sounds like a simple premise, but something I would absolutely love. Getting this book out my shelves reminded me of how much I want to read it.

Shelf-Control #12

Shelf Control is a weekly instalment created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. I love the idea of looking at my own bookshelf and getting excited to read what I already own. Here the little introduction from Bookshelf Fantasies:

Instead of always looking ahead to upcoming new releases, I thought I’d start a weekly feature focusing on already released books that I want to read. Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, books that are either on my shelves or on my Kindle!

You can find the original post here.

Title: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Published: 2013

Length: 578 pages

What it’s about (from Goodreads):

“Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?”

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfurled in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened….

Printz Award-winning and “New York Times” bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with “The Diviners,” where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.

How and when I got it:

I remember buying this book on a whim at 5am before starting my morning shift at the supermarket I worked at when I was a student.

Why I want to read it:

It honestly sounds like such a great story! I think it was quite popular on blogs and booktube back in the days, so I’ve always been scared of being disappointed. Also, it’s in France at the moment so I’m really not able to pick it up!