emily brontë

Booking Through Thursday: Siblings

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks:

“Do you have siblings? Do they like to read?

I do have a baby sister. She isn’t a bookworm like me but she does enjoy reading. She was (and is) more into playing sports and watching reality shows like The Amazing Race, Fear Factor ; etc. When she showed an interest in books (as I was always lazing around the house with one tome or another) I gave her books that I thought would appeal to her nature.  I recommended books like Wuthering Heights and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and she seemed to enjoy them all. She has actually become quite addicted to Agatha Christie! She has already devoured more than a dozen titles and has currently taken away my ‘only’ copy of The Mysterious Affair at Styles. So, I think I have managed to ‘infect’ her a bit with my love for reading!

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Musing Mondays (Apr.9)

This week’s Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading asks…

“This week’s musing asks…

What do you think are the top 5 books every woman should read? “

Oh this is a tough one! Most of my life, save for my body which is more Seyfried than Knightley, I have felt quite ‘unwomanly’.  Especially when it comes to things like social behaviour, relation with the opposite sex and fashion; etc. When I read a book this attitude remains. So, picking books that every woman should read is a bit difficult for me. Anyway, I have tried and have come up with the following ones,

 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – A lot of heartache could have been saved if Maxim and his new bride had been open and honest with each other. In a relationship, keeping everything bottled up and assuming the worst can only lead to trouble.

 Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie – In this play (*spoiler*), a woman incriminates herself to save her husband (*end spoiler*). No one should become so blinded by love that they forget what is right and what is wrong. In the end, needless to say, it turns out badly for all concerned.

 The Art of War by Sun Tzu – The most important lesson The Art of War gives is that it is important for everyone to be really conscious of their surroundings and of other people’s intentions. Having experienced first hand how traumatizing something like stalking can be, I am more than aware of the need to be alert all the time. Every woman should take this lesson to heart.

 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – This is one of the most well known fictional love stories so picking this one for female readers was obvious.  Some say that the people in Wuthering Heights are unpleasant. Some are destructive, some are stubborn and some are weak. In my opinion the characters are close to our  real world, Emily Brontë just upped the melodrama a bit. None of us in the real world are perfect. Just like many of us, the characters of this book make bad choices and suffer the consequences.

 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – No, not for the romance, not even for Mr. Darcy (blasphemy, I know) but read it for Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth is one of the very few literary characters I aspire to be like, strong, assertive but also loving and tender.

Welcome Home: Books that Arrived in January & February 2012

“The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

“Which literary character/hero/heroine do you most identify with?”

This is definitely a ‘frequently asked question’. Many readers I know identify with Anne from Anne of the Green Gables, Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, some with Hermione, Ron or Harry from the Harry Potter series of books, others with the characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy; etc, etc. Whoever you identify with, the fact of the matter is that most readers identify with someone. But being the weirdo that I am, I almost never have identified myself with any literary character. Rather I have identified with the people behind the words and the characters, the writers.

The author I most identify with is Emily Brontë. I grew up in a place that is quite similar to Haworth, Yorkshire. Not only do I have the same birthday as her but I also share a lot of her characters traits. Shyness and suffering from severe bouts of ‘social awkwardness’ are only two of them. I, of course, do not have her talent. She wrote about raw and unrestrained human emotions without the fear of meeting with the disapproval of the 19th century audience. She is probably one of the most honest writers I’ve ever come across.

Alright, enough of comparing myself with one of the greats of literature. Here are the books I bought in the months of January & February 2012.

January 2, 2012.

The Agony and the Ecstasy. Irving Stone.

The Day Of The Jackal. Frederick Forsyth.

The Railway Children. E. Nesbit.

Measure for Measure. William Shakespeare.

Cranford. Elizabeth Gaskell.

I have been wanting to read Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy for a long time. I have seen this book on shop shelves but never picked it up till now. I have recently started it. Lets just say I shall reserve my judgement till I write my review of it.

The Day Of The Jackal, classic suspense from the 60’s. Do I need any other reason to pick it up?

I have been making up for lost time for the past two years. Growing up, I have missed out on a lot of children’s classics. Even though I may have enjoyed children’s books such as The Railway Children more as a child, I do still find joy in these books.

I bought Measure for Measure while participating on the Shakespeare Reading Month this January. I have always been kind of intimidated by the Bard but after breaking the ice with two of his comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, I felt much more confident. And Measure for Measure didn’t disappoint.

I have been watching this battered copy of Cranford lie neglected in a book shop for over a year now. No one seemed to be interested in it. I felt sorry for the book (yes, I quite often feel sorry for books) and having never read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell decided to bring it home.

Feb 18, 2012.

A View from the Bridge and All My Sons. Arthur Miller.

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is one of my all time favourite plays. I had been eying this Penguin edition of two of Millers most famous plays f0r a while. I hope to enjoy A View from the Bridge and All My Sons as much as his Death of a Salesman.

Musing Mondays (Mar.12)

This week’s Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading asks…

“This week’s musing asks…

What book do you wish you were reading right now? Where would you take it to, if you could go anywhere to read for a while?

I wish I were re-reading Wuthering Heights right now.

I would take it to where the book is set, the Yorkshire Moors.

It would have to be a rainy or at least a cloudy day. The gloom of the weather and Heathcliff and Cathy’s doomed love would suit my current mood.

Booking Through Thursday : Mystery Or Love Story?

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks:

“All things being equal, which would you prefer–a mystery? Or a love story?”

Oh this is a no-brainer ! Mystery will always trump love story for me. I find most love stories unpalatable. There are, of course, a few exceptions. Jane Austen’s novels and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights come to mind. But that’s about it. Even in mysteries if the love quotient is a bit high I begin to dislike it. Case in point, Georgette Heyer’s They Found Him Dead or John Dickson Carr’s The Emperor’s Snuff-Box. In that case even my favourite Agatha Christie cannot save the day! In short, I don’t like love stories. It is definitely mysteries for me.