June 29, 2015

The Reading Book Post, June 29th

The Reading Book Post with the most interesting literary news of the previous week

Hello, everyone! I'm back from the mini-break I had, in order to attend my cousin's wedding. I'm still tired since I arrived late last night. I'm also very preoccupied with the situation in Greece these days. But let's take a look at the literary news of the previous week.

  • The 2015 Locus Awards Winners were announced last Saturday. Among the winners were Ann Leckie with her novel Ancillary Sword and Katherine Addison for her novel The Goblin Emperor. Also, The Betty Trask Award was given to Ben Fergusson for his debut novel The Spring of Kasper Meier. Finally, the Miles Franklin Literary Award was bestowed upon Sophia Laguna for her novel The Eye of the Sheep.

  • The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a project that includes true stories about love, sex, and dating. For this project, there are more than 40 female contributors, among those is Margaret Atwood. The Kickstarter campaign has already gathered $52,624 CAD, which is more than the original goal and 25 more days remain for its completion. 

  • Fight Club for kids? The author, Chuck Palahniuk, reads it on camera. Too bad, that this book it's not actually true. 

  • Columbia University Press will make new translations of several Russian modern literature novels, as well as classics. The first publications are estimated to be made in 2017.

  • Some Harry Potter news! Look how the illustrations came to be as we all know and love them. Also, J.K. Rowling has revealed on Pottermore why the Dursleys dislike Harry so much. 

  • An alternative ending was discovered by scholars at Cambridge University for the novella that inspired the film Eyes Wide Shut. The novella by Arthur Schnitzler is called Traumnovelle or Dream Story was first published on 1925. The alternative ending suggests that the doctor rather than observing the masked orgy, participated in it.

  • Since Grey has just been published this week's quiz will have to do about the fictional billionaire. Can you guess who said each quote: Christian Grey or a Disney villain?

June 25, 2015

Thursday Quotables: Women in Love

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

This week I was in the mood to read for another time Women in Love (1920) by D.H. Lawrence, which is one of my favourite books. To be honest, this novel influenced me a lot. The following passage is from a very emotionally charged scene.

   'I love you right enough,' he said grimly. 'But I want it to be something else.'        'But why? But why?' she insisted, bending her wonderful luminous face to him, 'Why isn't it enough?'                                                                                                 'Because we can go one better,' he said, putting his arms round her.                   'No, we can't,' she said, in a strong, voluptuous voice of yielding. 'We can only love each other. Say "my love" to me, say it, say it.'
  She put her arms round his neck. He enfolded her, and kissed her subtly, murmuring in a subtle voice of love, and irony, and submission:'Yes -my love, yes- my love. Let love be enough then. I love you then -I love you. I'm bored by the rest.'                                                                                                                    'Yes,' she murmured, nestling very sweet and close to him.

Have you read Women in Love? What do you think about the passage?

June 24, 2015

Review: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Review of the novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Title: Good Omens

Author: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Publisher: William Morrow

Date of Publication: 2006 (first published 1990)

Number of Pages: 491


‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…


During the centuries, there have been many prophets, who foresaw the end of time. From all those prophesies the most accurate and nice (with the archaic meaning of precise) were the ones of the witch Agnes Nutter. The irony is that her book never became popular. So, no-one suspected that the end was very near.

Or the ones that were aware of the end of the world were only a few entities and perhaps a human. The descendant of Agnes Nutter, Anathema Device, had in her possession the only copy of Agnes' book. Also, Crowley and Aziraphale, a demon and an angel, knew very well that this was to be expected as a part of a bigger plan. Indeed, Crowley was the one that changed a human baby with the baby Antichrist. But, a little problem occurred: both Crowley and Aziraphale came to like the Earth and the people on it. As a result, they didn't want for it to end and to go into a war between Heaven and Hell. 

This is one of the most interesting stories I've read about the end of the world. To have an angel and a demon be friends for many centuries and unite in order to save Earth was a brilliant idea. I liked the fact that every little action did matter for the outcome of the story. Even when a new character was introduced very close to the end, it was immediately obvious that he would make a difference. Eventually, the story was as crazy as I'd expected it to be.

The characters were a little problematic for me. Crowley and Aziraphale, as well as Anathema Device and Adam Young, were all very likeable and well-developed. But, there were also numerous other characters that appeared in a very small part of the story and thus I couldn't relate or care about them. Those, in fact, were the parts that I had difficulty to get through.  

What I really liked about Good Omens is the idea that nothing is purely evil or purely good. This is the human nature and every single character in this novel proves that. Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good ot fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.  

All in all, Good Omens is one of the funniest books I've read. So funny that I couldn't even keep myself from laughing out loud while reading it in public. If you are familiar with the other works of sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, then you'll have an idea what to expect. I would recommend it to everyone!

So, my advice is...

Find out of the end of the world is part of the ineffable plan! 

June 22, 2015

Cover Characteristic: Cars

This meme is hosted by Sugar & Snark.

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favourite covers with that characteristic.

This week's characteristic is cars. So, here are my picks:

5. A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) by John Irving

Book cover for A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This isn't actually the well-known cover for this book, but I rather like it. The old truck in front of the barn creates an amazing image.

Book cover of We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live by Joan Didion

This is a collection of the author's nonfiction. I like very much this cover, especially the colour.

3. The Long Goodbye (1953) by Raymond Chandler

Book cover for The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Philip Marlowe has always been one of my favourite detectives. So, when I saw that this week's characteristic was cars this cover came into my mind. I like that it shows only a detail of the car, it suits a mystery novel.

2. Mobile Library (2015) by David Whitehouse

Book Cover of the novel Mobile Library by David Whitehouse

What an amazing cover is this! I love the colours, I love the books that are shaped like birds.

1. The Hundred-Year House (2014) by Rebecca Makkai

Book cover for The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

Ok, the car is on the background but this cover is gorgeous! 

What are your favourite book covers with cars on them?

The Reading Book Post, June 22nd

The Reading Book Post with all the literary news of the previous week

Hello, everyone! I'm finally back in my hometown, but I'm still tired from the travelling. But let's take our weekly look at the most interesting literary news of the previous week.

  • Can reading make us happier? Bibliotherapy is not a new thing and can take many forms. What do you believe about this science? 

  • The next article is ideal for all the authors, as well as the readers who want to dig a little deeper into writing. It contains some very useful tips on how to construct a horror narrative. I found this fascinating and helpful.

  • Spiderman embraces diversity, since a mixed-race teenager named Miles Morales will wear the mask of the popular superhero. Morales has been the Spiderman since 2011, but the writer Brian Bendis confirmed that he will become officially the superhero this fall. 

  • Another superhero will return changed into the information age. The new Superman will bring a roguishness into the character of Clark Kent. In the new issue, we will learn the story of what led Lois Lane to reveal Superman's secret identity.

  • Grey was published this week. As was expected, there were many fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy who were ecstatic about it. But all these years numerous fan-fiction stories have been written about Grey's perspective of the story. In some cases, the readers prefer these versions than the E.L. James one.  

  • Knopf has confirmed that the author James Salter has died at the age of 90. Salter published his first novel The Hunters in 1957, but he gained his reputation as a novelist in 1967 with the book A Sport and a Pastime.

  • Graphic designer Daniel Britton has created a font that will bring awareness about dyslexia. There is still much miscommunication and misinformation about this learning disorder and this font shows what it is like to read with the condition.

  • Amazon has announced that from the beginning of July self-published authors will be paid according to how many pages the readers have actually read. So, if you want to help your favourite authors read as many pages of their books as you can! 
  • Artist Michael Mandiberg has created the project Print Wikipedia, for which he will transfer wikipedia into a print reference which will contain 7,600 volumes. 

  • There are a lot of quizzes about famous first lines. But this quiz is all about the second lines. Can you guess from which novel they are? 

June 18, 2015

Thursday Quotables: De Profundis

Thursday Quotables is a weekly feature with quotes from the novel

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

Quotes from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

This week I decided to pick the quotes from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde. This is a heartfelt book and very touching. Wilde wrote it while he was in prison and comes into terms with the things that happened to him and his own emotions. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. 

Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return.

Sorrow is a main theme in De Profundis. Wilde returns to this emotion various times.

Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.

It's so moving to read this change happening to the author, to finally understand himself.

But while there were times when I rejoiced in the idea that my sufferings were to be endless, I could not bear them to be without meaning. Now I find hidden somewhere way in my nature something that tells me that nothing in the whole world in meaningless, and suffering least of all. That something hidden away in my nature, like a treasure in a field, in Humility.

I am completely penniless, and absolutely homeless. Yet there are worse things in the world than that. I am quite candid when I say that rather than go out from this prison with bitterness in my heart against the world, I would gladly and readily beg my bread from door to door.

Have you read De Profundis? What did you think about it?

June 17, 2015

Play(list) by the Book: Good Omens

Play(list) by the Book with all the songs and artists mentioned in the novel

I always enjoy creating Play(list) by the Book. So, when I come across a novel that gives me the chance to compile another playlist I'm very happy. Good Omen: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a book that was perfect for this kind of post. It's actually one of the longest playlists I've created so far, with a lot of classical pieces of music. I hope you'll enjoy it! 

As usual, I included all the music tracks mentioned in the novel. In the cases where just a single artist was named I just picked a song that I liked. You will find that in this list there are a lot of tracks by Queen. This is because Crowley liked them a lot and turned every other piece of music into a random song by this group. Many of the artists were included in previous playlists as well, so I tried to put different songs. The exception in this rule is Born to Run, which was mentioned in the novel.

Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

June 15, 2015

The Reading Book Post, June 15th

The Reading Book Post with all the literary news of the previous week

Hello, everyone! I was so happy that this week I was nominated for the Beautiful Bloggers Award. This Thursday The Reading Armchair will also be featured in Melissa's blog, Around the World in Books, so be sure to check it out! But, as usual, let's see what happened in the literary world during the previous week.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has its 150th anniversary this year. To celebrate it, some new translations will be published. Among them, there will be a translation in emoji, Gothic, as well as Scouse (the dialect of Liverpool) and Pashto (Afgan language).

  • David Mitchell was selected to be the next author to write and deposit a new novel in Katie Paterson's Future Library. This is a project, in which the selected authors will have one year to write a book without any rules or restrictions, and an anthology will be published with these works in 100 years. The first author to contribute was Margaret Atwood. 

  • Rhianna Pratchett confirmed that The Shepherd's Crown will be the last Discworld novel. She said the series was his father's legacy and it was sacred to him. The Shepherd's Crown is due on August 27th.

  • John Cleese has written an autobiography, So Anyway. Read an excerpt from it, in which Cleese talks about his father. 

  • Corey Pressman has a new project called Poetry for Robots, in which he questions the result of using poetry and metaphors as metadata. This is very interesting and I'd like to see the actual results.

  • During the Agatha Christie festival, recipes from the famous author's novels will be recreated. It will be held in Christie's own kitchen, and the guests are advised to taste the samples with extreme caution!

  • What character are you like when you're angry? Take the quiz to find out! I got the Wicked Witch of the West, how about you?

June 12, 2015

Beautiful Bloggers Award

Beautiful Bloggers Award Nomination

Thank you so much Ana @ Book Addict for the nomination!


  • Link to the blogger who nominated you
  • List seven random facts about yourself
  • Nominate seven creative, beautiful bloggers
  • Notify the people you nominated

Seven Random Facts 

  • My favourite tea is green tea with jasmine. Either hot or iced it's amazing!
  • I am a huge Darren Hayes fan. The first time I traveled to London it was in order to attend his concert. 
  • I've just finished playing Bioshock: Infinite.
  • One of my favourite board games is Love Letters.
  • My new hobby is colouring books.
  • I can't wait to watch The Martian.
  • Strawberry ice-cream is the best!

My Nominees

Can't wait to read at your random facts!

June 11, 2015

Thursday Quotables: number9dream

Weekly Feature Thursday Quotables

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

Quotes from the novel number9dream by David Mitchell

This week I chose a book that I reviewed at the beginning of the year, number9dream by David Mitchell. In this novel, a young man, Eiji Miyake, moves to Tokyo in order to find out the identity of his father. I can't really give anything more of the plot because it would be a spoiler. But, as a Mitchell novel, it's unique and thought-provoking. 

It would be so much simpler if you would just drop by her for a sandwich and a coffee. I will recognize you, introduce myself, and persuade you that natural justice in on my side. How do daydreams translate into reality? I sigh. Not very well, not very often. 

In this novel, Mitchell explores many themes and ideas. It's sure to think about it a long time after you've finished it.

A single night is stuffed with minutes, but they leak out, one by one. My capsule is stuffed with Stuff. Look up 'stuff' in a dictionary, and you get a picture of my capsule above Shooting Star. A shabby colony in the empire of stuff.

The part about memories is probably one of my favourite in number9dream.

'I took her literally at first, too.' Mrs. Sasaki speaks carefully, the way she does. 'But I think she's talking about her memories.' We watch her disappear in the shimmer. Cicadas wind up and wind down. 'All we are is our memories.'

And a quote about us gamers.

All these people like my mother paying counsellors and clinics to reattach them to reality: all these people like me paying Sony and Sega to reattach us to unreality.

Have you read number9dream? What do you think about these quotes?

June 10, 2015

Mini Reviews: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, Il Duro and Woman Much Missed

The Little Black Classics have turned out to be some excellent and quick reads. Moreover, they are great because they offer a chance to read some lesser-known works of these authors. Indeed, I wasn't familiar with none of these three works, although I admire all three of them. There is at least one novel by Oscar Wilde, D.H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy in my all-time favourite books list. So, I was eager to read Little Black Classics #59, #71 and #14.

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime by Oscar Wilde

Mini review of Lord Arthur Savile's Crime by Oscar Wilde
This is a funny, but also a quite dark short story. Lord Arthur Savile has his fortune told at a social gathering. The palm reader informs him that in his future he will murder someone. But Lord Arthur is due to get married and in order to save his wife-to-be from the future distress, he starts planning a murder right away.

Oscar Wilde can write a comedy like no-one else. I first observed this in The Importance of Being Earnest, then in Lady Windemere's Fan and now in this short story. As usual, Wilde's writing style is brilliant. It's witty, fast-paced and full of irony. Lord Arthur is touched by what is written on his palm, but he doesn't do anything to prevent it. He just accepts that this is a fact and so he wants to get on with it, so he can continue his life. In fact, there wasn't a single moment in the short story when Arthur didn't have a choice. The ultimate question is whether our destiny is predetermined or we create it.

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime is a quirky and enjoyable read. I recommend it to everybody!

Il Duro by D.H. Lawrence

Mini review of Il Duro by D.H. Lawrence
This little book contains four short narratives about Lawrence's travels in Italy. In these narratives, the author describes mostly the people he met, their conversations and his thoughts. I liked it that it wasn't a typical description of the scenery.

From the four of them, I liked best the first one, The Spinner and the Monks. In this one, I could find the Lawrence I learnt to love from his novel.  Her world was clear and absolute, without consciousness of self. She was not self-conscious because she was not aware that there was anything in the universe except her universe. In her universe, I was a stranger, a foreign signore. But, the main problem for me was the lack of a story. These weren't short stories, a creation of the imagination of the author, but the stories of the people he met and those weren't that interesting. 

All in all, this is not D.H. Lawrence's best work. That's why I would recommend it only to those who are familiar with his other works.

Woman Much Missed by Thomas Hardy

Mini review of Woman Much Missed by Thomas Hardy
This Little Black Classic was a surprise to me. I've read Far for the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but I wasn't familiar with Thomas Hardy's poetry. Now I realise what I was losing all this time!

This selection of poems includes among others the Poems 1912-1913, which were inspired by the loss of Hardy's wife. They were all heartfelt and very moving. The pain and loss of the poet are apparent.        

The poems I liked the best were The Voice, We Sat at the Window, He Prefers Her Earthly, She Did Not Turn, If You Had Known and Days to Recollect.

If you are in the mood for some poetry, this is a book for you. It's highly recommended!

June 8, 2015

The Reading Book Post, June 8th

The Reading Book Post, a weekly feature with all the literary news of the previous week

Hello, everyone! Another Monday is here bringing a new week, I've been reading some interesting news and I enjoy very much the funny books theme. But, for the time being, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The 2014 Nebula Awards Winners have been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Among the winners are Jeff VanderMeer for his novel Annihilation and Nancy Kress for her novella Yesterday's Kin. Also, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction was awarded to Ali Smith for her sixth novel How to be Both. You can watch the winner announcement here.

  • One of the things that have divided the literary world is the distinction between literary and genre fiction. In this talk, authors Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro, try to find the answer why, by talking about the politics of storytelling.

  • Ursula K. Le Guin posted recently on Book View Cafe, asking all of the readers to stop buying books from Amazon. She argues that Amazon takes no risks, that's why it's ideal book is a safe commodity. Does Amazon really influence the way the books are written and which books are read?

  • A library in Japan, in order to promote the establishment, has planned a book dominoes event, where they will try to break the world record. But this has caused controversy because some believe it is disrespectful towards the books. The event will be held on July 12th.

  • The past week the internet was full of the news that a fourth Fifty Shades of Grey book will be published from the point of view of Christian Grey. The book is due on June 18th, Christian's birthday.

  • A first edition of The Hobbit with a Tolkien's elvish inscription was sold for the record price of £137,000. The first estimate was only £50,000-£70,000.

  • Georgette Heyer has been honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque at her birthplace, in Wimbledon. Famous fans and family gathered to honour the queen of Regency romances. 

  • A group of scientists, drawn to The Lord of the Rings, make thorough scientific studies about the conditions and races in Middle Earth. Some of the studies include if there is higher Oxygen content and the mental illness of Gollum. 

  • This week's Reading Book Post has two quizzes. With the first you can find out in which dystopian world you would survive. I got Panem. The second informs you of your age depending on your literary tastes. According to this quiz, I'm a teen.

June 7, 2015

Cover Characteristic: Cigarette/Smoking

Weekly bookish meme Cover Characteristics

This meme is hosted by Sugar & Snark.

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favourite covers with that characteristic.

This week's characteristic is with cigarettes or someone smoking. So, here are my picks:

5. Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami

Cover of the novel Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami

I like this cover because it's like a painting. It's a little abstract, but the colours are great. I also like that it's a scene from a bar.

4. Neuromancer by William Gibson

Hungarian cover of the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson

The Hungarian edition of the Neuromancer has this amazing cover, where we see Molly smoking outside of a car. 

3. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy 

Cover of the noir novel LA Confidential be James Ellroy

In a list where the main characteristic is cigarettes, it was obvious that one of the picks would be from a noir novel. The femme fatale smoking and looking mysteriously is a little standard, but in this cover it works perfectly. 

2. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Cover of Sherlock Holmes by Artur Conan Doyle

There are a lot of editions of Sherlock Holmes. This one by White's Books has this amazing cover. The pipe is one of the things that distinguish the great detective and here is the main characteristic of this cover. 

1. Slaughter on Fifth Avenue (The Sandman #32), by Neil Gaiman and Shawn McManus

Cover of Sandman #32 Slaughter on Fifth Avenue by Neil Gaiman and Shawn McManus

My #1 pick is the 32nd issue of The Sandman, Slaughter on Fifth Avenue. Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Shawn McManus, this issue, like the rest of The Sandman, is compelling. 

Have you read any of these? What do you think of this list? Which are your favourite covers with cigarettes/smoking? 

June 5, 2015

10 Miniseries Adaptations of the Classics Worth Checking Out

Hello, everyone! Miniseries adaptations of the classics have always been a favourite of mine. We all know those novels, even if we haven't read some of them. A number of them are huge, but the miniseries format means that there is enough time for the story to fully develop. There were a lot of such adaptations through the years and some classics have been adapted several times. In this list, I will count my favourite miniseries adaptations. But, in order to include everything, I will put only one title per author (otherwise it would be a Jane Austen list). 

10 Miniseries adaptations worth checking out

Miniseries adaptation of the classic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles, a novel by Thomas Hardy, was first published in 1891. It's the story of a poor girl, whose family finds out that they have noble connections. At the time of its publication. this novel shocked the readers. The adaptation was made by Dave Nicholls and stars Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne.

9. Les Misérables (2000) 

Miniseries adaptation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo's novel was adapted for the big screen and the television numerous times. But, my absolutely favourite is this one from 2000. Both Gerard Depardieu and John Malkovich are ideal for the roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert. Plus this miniseries is in French and this gives a lot to the result. 

8. The Pillars of the Earth (2010)  

Miniseries adaptation of The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This novel is actually a new classic since it was first published in 1989. It's an epic story that takes place in 12th century England. It revolves around the construction of a Gothic cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge and the struggle between good and evil.

7. He Knew He Was Right (2004) 

Miniseries adaptation of He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope's drama about a man who cannot trust his wife is considered by many his greatest novel. The miniseries was directed by Tom Vaughan and the adaptation was made by Andrew Davies. 

6. Daniel Deronda (2002) 

Miniseries adaptation of Daniel Deronda by George Elliot

Daniel Deronda is the last novel that George Eliot completed and the only one set in the Victorian society. It's a social satire and a moral searching, as well as a sympathetic rendering of Jewish ideas. The novel was adapted by Andrew Davies, the miniseries was directed by Tom Hooper and starred Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai.

5. Jane Eyre (1983)  

Miniseries adaptation of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

One of the most adapted novels is without a question Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. My favourite adaptation is this one, of 1983. It's longer than the rest of the miniseries, having 11 episodes. Timothy Dalton's is by far my favourite portrayal of Rochester. 

4. Parade's End (2012)

Miniseries Adaptation of the novel Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford

Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford takes place during the World War I. A love triangle is formed between the old-fashioned Christopher Tietjens, his vindictive wife Sylvia and the young suffragette Valentine Wannop. The show cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher, Rebecca Hall as Sylvia and Adelaide Clemens as Valentine.

3. Little Dorrit (2008)  

Miniseries adaptation of the novel Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens satirizes the shortcomings of both government and society, especially the institution of debtor's prison. The miniseries adaptation is critically acclaimed and won seven Emmy Awards, including the Outstanding Miniseries Award. It's the longest show on the list with 14 episodes. 

2. North and South (2004)  

Miniseries adaptation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell's great love story is one of my favourite novels of all time. Margaret Hale is forced to move to the north town of Milton after her father decides to leave the clergy. There she meets the Thorton family, who ran one of the biggest cotton mills of the town and despise their inferiors. This story, apart from the romance, explores the themes of gender and class.

Miniseries adaptation of the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

This was the most difficult decision I had to take. There are so many adaptations of Jane Austen's novels! So, I decided not to include one the well-known, like Pride and Prejudice (1995) or Persuasion (1995). Instead, my number 1 pick for the miniseries adaptations is Sense and Sensibility from 2008. This show was so beautifully directed, the cast was so suitable for the characters, I can't really have to say much, apart from urging you to watch it.  

Do you watch miniseries adaptations? Which ones are your favourites? If you have any other suggestions for future lists, please feel free to let me know!

June 4, 2015

Thursday Quotable: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Weekly feature with book quoets Thursday Quotable.

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

A small passage from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

This week's book is Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. According to these prophecies, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. This book is hilarious and with the small passage I've chosen I hope to show you the humorous style, without giving away anything from the plot.

Current theories on the creation of the Universe state that, if it was created at all and didn't start, as it were, unofficially, it came into being between ten and twenty thousand million years old. By the same token the earth itself is generally supposed to be about four and a half thousand million years old. 
These dates are incorrect. 
Medieval Jewish scholars put the date of the Creation at 3760 B.C. Greek Orthodox theologians put Creation as far back as 5508 B.C. 
These suggestions are also incorrect. 
Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testaments in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004 B.C. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004 B.C., at exactly 9:00 A.M., because God liked to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh. 
This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour.
And what conclusion do we make out of this passage?

...the Earth's a Libra.

Have you read Good Omens? What did you make of this small passage? 

June 3, 2015

Review: Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, SunNeko Lee and Crystal Silvermoon

Review of the manga adaptation of Les Miserables (Manga classics)
Title: Manga Classics: Les Misérables

Author: Victor Hugo

Illustrator: SunNeko Lee

Adaptation: Crystal Silvermoon

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Date of Publication: September 14th, 2014

Number of Pages: 345

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo's classic novel of love and tragedy set in the 19th century France in reborn in this fantastic manga edition! Gorgeous and expressive art brings to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables


After Pride and Prejudice and The Scarlet Letter, I was searching for a chance to read yet another adaptation from the Manga Classics series. So, I can't explain my happiness when I got this edition of Les Misérables, a novel that I'm particularly familiar with. In this novel, there are many important characters and I was curious to see if each of them would have sufficient time for development in the change of medium. 

The story is one of the most beautiful stories ever written. It illustrates the human nature in the most suitable way. Humans are neither purely evil nor purely good. This means that a convict like Jean Valjean can do good deeds and be a good man all of his life. It also means that people of the law like Javert can become blind and have wrong judgment. Right and wrong, honour and treachery are all things that sometimes are hard to be distinguished.

The adaptation of this manga satisfied me. I was aware before I start reading it that it wouldn't be possible for every scene in the novel to be included. Besides this classic work is massive and it would take several volumes, in order to contain everything. But this adaptation managed to select the scenes in a way that the story was consistent. It also gave the atmosphere of 19th century France in an effective way. The dialogs were clear, although sometimes they were more modern than I would prefer them to be.

The portrayal of characters, as far as the writing is concerned, was very good. We learnt a lot of backstory for all of them, their motives were transparent and it was easy to connect with them. Fantine's story was very touching and it was saddening to read of her misfortunes. The character that was problematic to me was Cosette. In the end, she seemed almost ungrateful towards Jean Valjean and this wasn't the case in the novel.

The art style was for another time impressive. The scenes on the barricades and the revolution had an amazing atmosphere. The expressions on the faces of the characters are unforgettable. The pain in Fantine's face when she is forced to sell her body for a few francs, the stern expression of Inspector Javert and his inner conflict about his morality, are just a few examples. However, I didn't quite like the image of Cosette. Her face when she has grown up, is almost he same as when she was a little girl. I'd like to see her more mature, both in the face and in the character.

The Manga Classics adaptation of Les Misérables is worth reading. Apart from the gorgeous cover, the story is told in a way that even those who haven't read the actual book would understand and love it. It's also highly possible that by the end of it, tears will be running from your eyes. I would recommend it to everybody, the story is beautiful, the characters deep and the art amazing.

So, my advice is...

Can you hear the people sing?

June 1, 2015

The Reading Book Post, June 1st

The Reading Book Post with the most interesting literary news of the previous week

Happy first day of June everyone! The summer is officially here and I can't wait to go to the beach. I've started the funny books themed read and it couldn't be a better theme for the season. But, as every Monday, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Get to read the new exclusive excerpt from Purity by Jonathan Frazen. The author's long-awaited novel will by published on September 1st. Also, read an exclusive extract from Something to Hide by Deborah Moggach. The author's new novel will be published on July, 2nd.

  • David Mitchell talked at the Hay Festival. In his talk, he compared the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series and The Fault in Our Stars to crack cocaine, but in a good way. More specifically, he argued that novels such as these help the young audience get addicted to reading. For this reason, he is also very optimistic towards the future for books. Another great idea from one of my favourite authors!

  • A new graphic novel adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomson will be released in October 2015. The adaptation will be made from Troy Little and the graphic novel will be published by Top Shelf Productions.

  • Marian Keyes, the author of Watermelon, Sushi for Beginners and Saved by Cake, posed her objection about the tag "chic-lit", in her recent talk at the Hay Festival. She claimed that this term mocks women and maintain the gender gap. This is a very interesting and thought-provoking point. What do you think?

  • A new James Bond novel will be coming on September 8th. Along with the famous spy, Pussy Galore will return, after 50 years. The story will take place in 1957, after the Ian Fleming's original novel Goldfinger. Trigger Mortis will be written by Anthony Horowitz, who has used an unused Flaming storyline called Murder on Wheels.

  • The British Library will be re-issuing the crime novel The Incredible Crime by Lois Austen-Leigh, a relative of Jane Austen's. The novel was first published in 1931 and at the time was critically acclaimed. The edition is due to appear in early 2017.

  • A rare proof of the novel The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath will go up for an auction. The proof bears the pseudonym of the author, Victoria Lucas, and includes about 70 textual changes. The auction will take place on June 24. .

  • This week's quiz is a little challenging. Can you guess these two-word novel titles?