Books to Read During Twixmas | 12 Days of Blogmas

Twixmas n.

The time period between Christmas and New Years where you have lots of opportunity to sit around and read books.

I’ve heard a lot about “Twixmas” this year, mainly because my dad is obsessed with the word. I love Twixmas – we often don’t do much aside from going to look at Christmas lights, and it means I often have lots of time to read the pile of books I received for Christmas! Most people in my life know me as a huge book lover, which means that most presents I receive are something bookish related. I even received a book-themed soap from my work Secret Santa this year!

So obviously I had to start my 12 Days of Blogmas this year with a list of book recommendations!

For someone who loves epic tomes…

The Priory of the Orange Tree

This one has to be Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. This book is chunky but is perfect for Twixmas as you probably have lots of undivided reading time! This epic fantasy novel has dragons and battles, and queens and heroes. I actually only got half way through this one before I put it down – not due to the novel but due to life happenings – so I think this might be the perfect time for me to start again!

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1)

For someone who loves reflective fiction…

I don’t read much adult fiction, but if you love it, you might be interested in Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This book will make you feel sadness and joy, and reflect on your own life. It’s also the first in a series so there’s more to read if you enjoy it! This is a book you’ll want to read slowly to enjoy every moment of it.

For someone who loves to read about others…

Down in the Valley by Laurie Lee

For something delightfully Christmassy, Laurie Lee’s Down in the Valley is perfect. This is an adaptation of Lee’s BBC TV show, about his life and his memories of growing up in a valley. The acclaimed writer of Cider with Rosie takes us on a journey through his memories. I read this one in January 2021, and it was a great antidote to the cold outside!

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

For someone who loves a tear jerker…

Okay, Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is one of my favourite books of the year. Every time I pick it up to flick through, I can’t help but let me eyes get glued to the page and sucked back into the world of the story. Every word has been meticulously picked without seeming like she tried too hard. The story will make you consider what you knew at twelve and what it means to you now. It will make you consider outsiders and insiders and everyone else you thought you knew.

Howards End

For someone who loves accessible classics…

Howard’s End by EM Forster is accessible and desirable for anyone. This is proclaimed as his finest work (though I really enjoyed A Room with a View!) and follows three English families in the 1900s. I’ve not seen it, but I do know there is a TV adaptation too, so that might help with the long winter nights!

What books would you add to this list? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and maybe pick up one of these books to add to your TBR for the Twixmas period!

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Until next time

Hannah x

Books I’m “Currently Reading” On Goodreads

I swear whenever I do this post, the same books crop up again and again because I never actually finish them. Well, despite that I thought I would do an updated version to see how things have changed!

Goodreads currently says I am 4 books “behind schedule,” and this Easter I’m hoping to read a bunch. I’ve been in a reading slump for a while, so here’s hoping I can change that ASAP! I miss reading!

I currently have seven (!) books on my CR shelf, so here’s a little tour of that…

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

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This has been on my currently reading for a few months, and I’m reading a specific copy that I’m actively writing in. I’ll finish this one sometime this summer, honest!

Facing Up and Facing the Frozen Ocean by Bear Grylls

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My CR shelf wouldn’t feel like mine if I didn’t have this monster on it. It’s become an inside running joke with, uh, myself, since 2015.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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I have been reading this for a while now, and I’m determined to finish it soon! I’m about half way through it, I think, and I’m actually reading it for university so I need to get a jog on.

Autumn by Ali Smith

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To be honest, I think I might DNF this book. It’s just not for me, but I’m almost exactly half way through it and I did find it really different… I don’t know. I have, however, actually been reading this since autumn.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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The difference between this one and the one before is that I’m actually really enjoying this one, and I can’t remember why I put it down! I definitely need to pick it back up again and finish it…

Flirtology by Jean Smith

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This is an eARC from NetGalley (non-fic), and I really need to finish it! The reason I haven’t yet finished this one is because I transferred to a new phone, from where I was reading it, and haven’t yet downloaded it to my new one. I’ll get on it! Although, to be honest, I’m not really learning anything so it may be a DNF.

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

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WHY HAVE I NOT FINISHED THIS YET?! I do not know. I LOVED Moxie by the same author, and for some reason I just haven’t finished this one. It might be because I’m reading it on my phone, so I’m reading it slower and I’m less inclined to pick it up, but I really do want to finish it ASAP!

So there is an updated currently reading shelf tour from Goodreads! I’ve actually just started reading Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett too, so that might be making a late addition to this article… although I think I’d like to finish Alice first! My goal for the end of May is to have my currently reading down to 2 – my Bear Grylls’ book, and the book I’m actually reading!

What’s on your currently reading shelf? Do you have many, like me, or just one? Let me know in the comments! PS – follow me on Goodreads if you’d like to stay up with my out-of-control shelf!

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Classics on my TBR

I really would love to read some more classics in the new year. I tried to take part in a couple of classics challenges this year… but it just didn’t really happen.

With that being said, here are some classics on my TBR (to be read). I am doing a module at university next year called Austen and the Brontes, so I have excluded any of their novels that appear on that module list – all bar Pride and Prejudice are on my TBR! – so here are some that I want to read without them being prescribed reading!

Image result for howards end penguin english libraryHowards End by EM Forster

I believe that this has been adapted by the BBC and broadcast in the past couple of weeks, but I would love to read this novel. I read A Room With a View by Forster over summer, and absolutely loved it, so I’m so excited to get to this one!

Image result for dracula penguin english libraryDracula by Bram Stoker 

I’ve wanted to read the original Dracula for a long time, especially as I’ve recently read Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco (incredible series, btw). My incredible friend Natalie bought this for me recently, and I’m so excited to tuck myself up in bed, make sure there’s no vampires hiding in my room, and read it!

Image result for i capture the castle vintageI Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 

I actually got this for Christmas… last year… and have not read it yet. This is a children’s classic, but that is not stopping me from wanting to read it! I have a beautiful edition too, with a cute cat on the spine (yes, I’m looking at it right now, and wanting to dive right into it) so I’m excited to read it!

Image result for fahrenheit 451 bookFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

I reaaaaaaally want to read this book (sadly, however, it is at home right now). It’s a relatively short book too, so theoretically I should be able to devour it quickly. It’s one of my friend’s favourite books, and she keeps bugging at me to read it, so I should probably get around to that one sharpish.

Image result for down and out in paris and londonDown and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell 

I’ve read a few pieces by George Orwell – Animal Farm is one of my all-time favourite books – and I would really love to read Down & Out. Others on my Orwell TBR include basically the rest of his books! Homage to Catalonia is also high on my Orwell TBR.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this list! What’s on your classical literature TBR? I would love to know! and if you have any recommendations for me, I would love those also.

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Back To Classics Challenge 2017 | TBR!

I want to read more classics this year, and although I was planning to read classics anyway, I thought that this challenge would be a great way to hook up and read a greater array of classics! I want to read at least 1 classic a month, and hopefully these will be those, but if I read other classics as well/instead of, a) this list might change, and b) I may read more than just 12! All books are pre-1967, 50 years ago.

  1. A 19th Century Classic
    A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. (1887) I’ve wanted to read Sherlock pieces for a long time so I may as well start now!
  2. A 20th Century Classic
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. (1963) This is a book I want to read for my book club (join usss…) as it is a feminist book, but also I have wanted to read it for a long time.
  3. A classic by a female author
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. (1868) A book I should’ve read in childhood, but one I definitely want to read now!
  4. A classic in translation
    Medea by Euripides. (431 BC, first produced) After reading Jason and the Argonauts (The Argonautica), I wanted to read more. I already know what happens in the story, but I would really like to read it for myself!
  5. A classic published before 1800
    Inferno by Dante. (c. 1308-1320) Do you really want me to explain this one?! *heart eyes*
  6. A romance classic
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. (1817) Because I think if I didn’t put a Jane Austen on the list, a) mum would look at me weirdly, b) most people would look at me weirdly, and c) I would be disappointed in myself.
  7. A Gothic or horror classic
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. (1847) Technically, I’m already 57 (ish) pages through this, but I think I’ll either start it again or just count it for this year, as I haven’t picked it up in months!
  8. A classic with a number in the title 
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. (1953) And I may have completely messed up the spelling of ‘Fahrenheit’ because what even is that word. Anyway. Not only is this already on my shelf, it is a classic I want to read ASAP so yay.
  9. A classic about an animal or with an animal in the title
    Charlotte’s Web by EB White. (1952) DON’T SHOOT ME, BUT I HAVEN’T READ THIS! I know! It’s awful! I don’t even think I’ve seen the film. But this is the year to read what I want, eh?
  10. A classic in a place you’d like to visit
    Beowulf by Unknown. (c. 700-1000 AD) This is set in Scandinavia, and I really want to visit all of the Scandinavian countries. (Generally speaking, these are Denmark, Sweden and Norway, although Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands are also sometimes included.)
  11. An award-winning classic
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. (1952) I’ve actually never read a Hemingway novel, and this one should be a good place to start! It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953.
  12. A Russian Classic (because it is the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution)
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. (1955) Is this worthy to be the Russian Classic of the list?! Probably not, but I am by no means ready for the humongous Russian classics. That might be next year…

So there you have it. This list has taken me a while so I hope it’s worth it! I can’t wait to read a more diverse set of books this year what with the #DiversityBingo2017 already, so hopefully this is a great list of classics to get me going too!

Are you doing the Back to Classics challenge, or even just reading more classics in 2017? What do you think of my list? Anything else you would add? I’m always looking for recs! 😀

Here’s to the classics.

DNF’ing Books?

Nowadays, I strive to always finish a book, no matter how long it takes. Pride and Prejudice famously took me three months and a few days to read, and there is only one (or maybe two) books on my bookshelf which I haven’t read. However, as I write this, I am struggling through George Orwell’s A Clergyman’s Daughter. Even though I’ve just got to the good bit.

Continue reading “DNF’ing Books?”

Book Discussion: Classics

During your time at school, you probably read a few classical books. Personally, I read Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men and Romeo and Juliet. In my first year at college, I read In Cold Blood and the fairly recent True History of the Kelly Gang. This year, it’s Macbeth, Pulp Fiction and Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays. 

Outside of school, you may not, however, have read many classics. I’m sure most people nowadays have read Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings or even some Charles Dickens.

Some people prefer classics, some more modern literature, but often they don’t know why (unless it’s, “Because it’s more high brow” or “college”).

Why classics?

  • Escapism – not that modern literature doesn’t have it, but this has a contemporary view on a now historical world and takes you to another time, often.
  • The poetic language – a lot of literature nowadays consists of short sentences, mundane adjectives and universal spellings. Classics have long, flowing, poetic sentences, archaic spellings (connexions is a personal favourite) and brilliant words like, “Alas!” which are used almost as often as “Oh!” is nowadays and otherwise the only two “people” I’ve found in modern times to use this is Albus Dumbledore and Frank Turner.
  • The plots – they’re often with intriguing, different characters, lavishly layered with subplots.
  • And come on. It’s classics. The characters. 

What are your opinion of classical literature? Do you read classics? Do you like them? Comment & let me know!

Top Ten Classics I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

So I thought I’d try Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, because I’ve always wanted to and therefore I am!

Classics have always been high on my list to read – and a couple of days ago, I went on a massive ‘buying’ spree on Amazon Kindle Store (they were all free, because they’re in public domain – and, if you don’t have a Kindle, you can always download the app! Free books, guys. Free books.), and downloaded loads onto my Kindle for the summer when I’m away for four weeks and can’t take any books with my *sob*. So I thought I’d make this week’s TTT apt to what I’m wanting to read!

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – okay, all Jane Austen books (except Pride and Prejudice)
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
  5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 
  6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien
  7. The Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 
  10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

And one for luck I just remembered: Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

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What’s yours?