January 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a Top Ten list that they answer and invite every blogger to share their own answers.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is about the most frustrating characters ever. At the outset, I must emphasise that I have almost never been annoyed by stupid, mischievous, cunning, or even evil characters. I might laugh at them or even hate them, but I wouldn't throw a book across the room (metaphorically speaking) because of them. By contrast, there are sympathetic and tender-hearted characters who sometimes give me the feeling of frustration so much that I want to shake them...

A very wise person told me once that our feeling of annoyance with somebody might stem from our very similarity with the person in question. In other words, we are annoyed because in the other person we recognise our own weaknesses, bad habits, and negative traits, which we have secretly been battling against. There is,  I must admit, a grain of truth in what this person told me; why would I otherwise have chosen female heroines only?! And, I must confess my mistakes and these characters mistakes share certain similarities... Anyway, here are my Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever in no particular order:
  1. Juliet Capulet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  2. Romeo and Juliet (1968)
    Dear Juliet! I know that you are young and naive, and you think that your love for Romeo is so deep and great that it is inimitable, but trust me, there’s no love that is worth killing yourself. Even if you believe Romeo to be dead, you should cry and grieve for him, but for goodness sake, do not kill yourself! You are young and healthy, you will survive the loss of Romeo and you will be able to find love and happiness again! And don’t forget that there’s a strong possibility that Romeo isn’t dead at all! So, would you be so kind as not to commit suicide? Thanks!

  3. Scarlett OHara from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind
  4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
    Scarlett my dear! You know I love you, but why on earth would a strong and independent woman like you want to be wasted on a man who obviously doesn’t value her?!! What happened to your self-respect and self-assurance, dear? Ashley is such a bore anyway; you would doze off in his company. By contrast, Rhett loves you just as you are, with your good and bad habits. He wants you! So, please don’t treat him badly and unfairly, because you might lose him, and, believe me, that’s what you really don’t want.

  5. Meggie Cleary from Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds
  6. The Thorn Birds (1983)
    Dear Meggie! Let me tell you this: There is some kind of men whom you never should get involved with ever. So, you better avoid men who are (a) married or engaged, (b) gay, (c) living with their mothers, or (d) criminal. And, you should never ever fell for a man who wants to become a Catholic priest. I know what I’m talking about, as I’ve been there... But, believe me, you should not have s-e-x with but break away from men who are seriously considering taking the vow of celibacy or men who take the vow and break it (they’re not trustworthy). And, you should certainly not spend your lifetime grieving for such men! Get yourself together and go and find someone else who is worth loving and who is able and willing to return your love.

  7. Marianne Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
  8. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
    My dearest Marianne! We’ve got such a lot in common; hence, I truly understand how and why you could have fallen in love with Mr Willoughby. But, between you, the gatepost, and me we can agree that you shouldn’t have behaved so frivolously... Anyway, now that you know the real Mr Willoughby, do you really think he is worth of torturing, sickening, not to mention killing yourself? Don’t you think that the best way to “punish” him is to show him what he’s lost out and how contented you are, even without him? So, please take care! And, you shouldn’t envy Elinor; she guards a secret...

  9. Mercédès Mondego from Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo
  10. The Count of Monte Cristo (1998)
    Dear Mercédes! I have to admit that I am sympathizing with you, though at the same time I am terribly angry with you. I mean why oh why didn’t you follow the basic principle that you shall never marry your fiancé’s friend, even if your fiancé is dead? What good could have come from that? Moreover, how is it possible that you did not feel deep in your heart that the man who you’re going to marry is deceitful, self-centred, and arrogant? And, that he is prone to kill other people? You disappointed me, but what is even worse, you brought unhappiness upon yourself. I wish your love would have been more steadfast and you would have been more patient and didn’t marry so soon and the wrong person at that.

  11. Emma Wodehouse from Jane Austen’s Emma
  12. Emma (1996)
    Emma darling, you’re renowned for your cleverness and beauty, but I must be brutally honest with you: Because of your self-centred, stupid, and ugly behaviour in love matters, I began to think that you’re neither clever nor beautiful. First, why do you think that every handsome man should necessarily be in love with you? There are certainly many women in the world who are as attractive and kind as you are. Second, why do you believe that unattractive and stupid men know better than to have a crush on you? They might very well have feelings for you, even if you find the idea of marrying such a man ridiculous. But above all, please consider this: A man who tempts you into ridiculing a poor and middle-aged woman (who, by the way, he will be related to by marriage) is the very kind of human being whose company you should rather avoid. I feel truly sorry for the woman who marries such a cruel man!

  13. Anna Karenina from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
  14. Anna Karenina (2012)
    Dear Anna! I’ve just wrote a letter to Juliet Capulet in which I explain her how silly a woman is who kills herself because of love. But, I must tell you that Juliet’s suicide doesn’t annoy me as much as yours does. I mean how can a mother kill herself because of a man, however passionately she loves him, and not to care about the fate of her child?!! How stupid and selfish is such a woman! I’m so angry with you that words fail me!

  15. Bridget Jones from Helen Fielding’s  Bridget Jones’s Diary
  16. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
    Dear Bridget! You know that we are best girlfriends but sometimes I’m quite annoyed by your handling of love relationships. I mean I know that Daniel Clever is a sex god in your eyes, but do you really want to lose Mark because of Daniel?! Has nobody ever warned you to run away from men who are not able or willing to commit themselves? And, do you really think that a truly bad cheat will ever change? It’s absolutely OK to make mistakes, but one should learn from one’s own mistakes and not keep repeating them indefinitely!

  17. Corinne from Germaine de Staël’s Corinne, or Italy
  18. Madame de Stael as Corinne
    Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun
    Dear Corinne! I can only repeat what I told Scarlett and Marianne. First, you shouldn’t care at all for a man whose love “alters when it alteration finds,” who marries another woman who is “simple” as opposed to “complicated” and who therefore doesn’t value you! And you certainly shouldn’t grieve for him endlessly and make yourself that sick that you die in the end. He’s not worth it! God has given you exceptional talents and you should make the most of those and forget Oswald the coward!

  19. Rose Feller from Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes
  20. In Her Shoes (2005)
    My dear Rose! May I give you some good advice? I think it’s about time to speak up for yourself, because if you don’t, nobody else will do it for you! Your sister has to sort herself out on her own and you should concentrate your efforts on changing your attitude. You don’t have to be a “stick insect” to look attractive and sexy, some nice cloths and a natural make-up can do wonders! And, how do you dare to keep your Jimmy Choo shoes locked in in your closet? I mean some of us would die for being able to own at least one pair of those shoes and you own many and don’t wear them? Are you being crazy?!

January 26, 2013

The Classics Club: Meme #6

This month, The Classics Club asked us what the best book was that we had read so far for The Classics Club and why.  As I confessed at the beginning of this year, I haven’t made much progress with my Classics Club list so far. To be more specific, I’ve only read one book until now—namely, George Sand’s Fadette. I also have been reading The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding since October 2012, but I’m not done reading it yet. Nevertheless, if you have been following me and have read my first review for the Classics Club, it will probably be rather obvious to you that, as regards these two classics, my heart is leaning toward Fadette.

La petite Fadette (2004)
As I explained in my review, I love Fadette because even though it’s a short and simply written sentimental novel with an uncomplicated plot, it puts across valuable ideas about how to live life, about true love and friendship, and genuine faith. In addition, this book reflects George Sand’s rather positive view of human nature, despite the fact that at the time of writing her novel, France had experienced the horrors of civil war. Correspondingly, this novel contains everything that a romantic heart would and could wish for: characters who are able and willing to improve themselves, love between two lovable humans, and a happy ending. Those are the main reasons why I rated this book with five cherries and why it is a particular favourite of mine.

January 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I'd Like To See More Of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a Top Ten list that they answer and invite every blogger to share their own answers.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about settings we'd like to see more of. I think anybody could guess my favourite settings, it's so obvious, especially if you have read my post about my all-time favourite reads. Nevertheless, here are the Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of.

January 19, 2013

The Classics Club: Meme #5

In December, The Classics Club asked us about our favourite memory of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and whether we have ever read it. We should also explain why others should read the novel rather than relying on the film adaptions.

A Christmas Carol is a story that everybody has heard of, I believe. There have been countless adaptations; however, many of those don't even worth mentioning. Fortunately, I belong to the "race who knows Joseph"; that is to say, I’m one of those people who are keen to read the original story, even if there is a good movie adaptation. Hence, my favourite memory of Dickens’ short Christmas tale is when I actually purchased a book that contained it.

Interestingly, the book is entitled Karácsonyi Emlék, which means A Christmas Memory in English. And, it is a wonderful collection of short Christmassy stories by several classic authors. So, besides Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol you can read two other Christmas writings by him, along with Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, James Joyce’s The Dead, Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Thomas Hardy’s Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir, Eustacia Is Led on to an Adventure (Book 2, Chapter 4 of The Return of the Native) and The Tranter’s Party (Chapter 7 of Under the Greenwood Tree), George Eliot’s The Christmas Holiday (Chapter 15 of The Mill on the Floss), Ernest Hemingway’s Christmas on the Roof of the World (published in The Toronto Star Weekly, December 22, 1923), and Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. This book is truly a treasure trove, as you can see.

Even though not all stories in this book have a Happy Ending and despite being Christmassy, many aren’t merry stories either, I think it’s a good read, if you want to spend a thoughtful Christmas. I imagine what I would do if I had a family and a house on my own. In my imaginary family, my husband, me, the children and our dog would gather in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve, would drink hot chocolate/eggnog, and read out loud from this wonderful book. Wouldn’t it be lovely and much better than watching a movie adaptation?

January 18, 2013

The Classics Club: Meme #4

In November, The Classics Club asked us whether and what classic piece of literature most intimidates us, and why. I wish, I could say I've never been intimidated by any classics, or any books for that matter. But to be honest, there are indeed books that frighten me.

Why? It's because I am afraid that I'll have to go through pain. I don't mean some imaginary pain, but true physical pain. I'm either too sensitive or my imagination is too vivid, or both. Whatever the reason, when I'm reading a book and a character is suffering (I mean severely suffering), I'm feeling his or her pains in my body.
A particular page of a sensitive author may well have revived a prostrate soul: and I who read the page, I who am touched by it . . . by feeling similar emotions I enter into some sort of communion with those whose fate I so deeply grieve. (Germaine de Staël, The Influence of Literature upon Society
For example, I've recently read Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud and it was a very difficult and disturbing reading for me precisely because I was feeling constant pain. Do not misunderstand me. I truly liked Moran's writing style and I heartily recommend her book. But, her vivid description of the events of the French Revolution triggered my empathy for the innocent people and what they had been through which in turn was causing me instant pain.

So, poorly written books cannot frighten me; in worst-case scenario, I can simply abandon them. By contrast, well-written books with a lot of suffering can cause me sleepless nights and heartaches, especially if I can't get those vivid pictures out of my head. This is the reason why I'm particularly afraid of reading Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, which is number 27 on my Classics Club list.

And, what about you? Does your body aches sometimes, when you're reading tragic stories? Do you have restless nights?

January 17, 2013

The Classics Club: Meme #3

Regrettably, I wasn't able to post my answer to the Classic Club meme questions between October and December, because I had been under a lot of stress and had major worries over my dog's health. But now that my dog is recovering from a successful surgery, I have the time and am in the right frame of mind to reply to those questions. Let's begin with the question for October.

Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount

January 15, 2013

These Are A Few of My Favourite Reads...

Today is Top Ten Tuesday; a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. However, this week's Top Ten Tuesday is about the top ten 2013 debut books that we are most looking forward to read. To be honest, I am quite ignorant of authors to make their debut in 2013. Actually, I've just read in the Guardian that Carlos Acosta, principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet, is making his debut as novelist. Even though I was lucky enough to be able to admire Acosta's dancing skills in a performance at the Royal Opera House in 2011, I'm not sure I want to read his book. Anyway, I am simply ill informed as regards 2013 debut books. Hence, I am not able to compile this weeks top ten list.

January 12, 2013

Fadette by George Sand

Fadette is a pastoral novel, written around 1848 by George Sand, which is set in a small French village and tells the story of Francoise (Fanchon), alias the little Fadette, and the “twins of the Twinnery.” The novel begins with the birth of the twins—Landry and Sylvinet Barbeau—and with some wise advice on how to raise twins in order to ensure that both children become strong in mind and body. Regrettably, any of the parents follows the advice of the midwife, which mistake will prove almost fatal to the life of one of the twins later. Despite this serious error of judgment that their parents make, Landry and Sylvinet grow up in a loving family, which doesn’t lack financial stability.

By contrast, little Fadette’s childhood is anything but idyllic. Their wicked and mean grandmother is raising Fadette and her little brother, who is mentally and physically disabled, because their mother, a woman with a very bad reputation, abandoned them. They live in poverty and suffer domestic violence, but what is more, the people of the country do not treat them with compassion either. Everybody considers Fadette a bad and ugly witch, mainly because she isn’t clean and well dressed and she practices alternative medicine. Hence, people call her names, such as Fadette, meaning will o’ the wisp, and Cricket, after the insect.

The Barbeau family is no exception either; every member of the family is proud and prejudiced against Fadette. Some unfortunate events, however, force Landry Barbeau in asking little Fadette for help, becoming acquainted with her true herself, and learning to respect and love her. Of course, Fadette and Landry’s love is being put to the test, but I can assure every romantic among us, that this is a book with Happy Ending, with only a hint of unhappiness.

My Thoughts
George Sand’s charming story of Fadette is an easy and fast read. Sand’s writing style is simple; there are no complicated plots, no superfluous characters with names you are not able to memorize, and no lengthy descriptions. Moreover, no major tragedies occur in Fadette, which is one of the reasons why I recommend reading this novel when you seek comfort, when you are in the “depths of despair.”

Even though Fadette is a simple, natural novel, one should not come to the erroneous conclusion that George Sand was an untalented or uncreative writer. Sand deliberately wanted to write a work that provides the reader with comfort. At the time of developing the idea of Fadette, French people had been at war with each other; France was torn by civil war. Hence, sensitive human beings, Sand too, were on the brink of losing their faith in humaneness, their belief in a bright (or rather any kind of) future. As she explains in her preface to Fadette, “[a]t such a moment as this,” a serious and great (and male) writer “writes . . . a drama full of torments and of groans” (p. 6). But, Sand feels it is her duty to create an idyllic picture. She writes thus:

In times when evil comes because men misunderstand and hate one another, it is the mission of the artist to praise sweetness, confidence, and friendship, and so to remind men, hardened or discouraged, that pure morals, tender sentiments, and primitive justice still exist, or at least can exist, in this world. (p. 6)

Correspondingly, Fadette is far more than a 19th century chick-lit. The love story of little Fadette and Landry teaches us valuable lessons about compassion, humaneness, friendship, selflessness, and, of course, true love. Moreover, little Fadette’s relationship with God and her strong and genuine faith is an example to us all. That is why this novel qualifies as one of the best comfort readings I have came across and recommend it to every kindred spirit.

Favourite Quotes
God has written in the law of nature that when two people are joined in love or friendship, one must always give his heart more perfectly than the other. (p. 34) 
No place is ugly to those who understand the virtues and sweetness of everything that God has made. (p. 142) 
[I]t is that we are too apt to despise what appears to be neither good nor beautiful, and thus we lose what is helpful and salutary. (p. 142) 
God abandons only those who abandon themselves, and whoever has the courage to shut up his sorrow within his own heart is stronger to fight against it than he who complains. (p. 207)
Title: Fadette
Author: George Sand
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: 1893 [1849]
Format: Kindle Edition
Length: 295 Pages
ISBN: ----
Language: English
Source: Free Download from Internet Archive

January 09, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a Top Ten list that they answer and invite every blogger to share their own answers.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about our bookish resolutions for 2013. I'm a bit late, but, as I mentioned yesterday, I had difficult times. But better late than never. So, here are my Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013:

  1. Read at least 30 books or 12'000 pages
  2. Last year I challenged myself on Goodreads to read 30 books, but I wasn't able to complete my aim, as I read only 27 books. At least, that's how it seems, because Goodreads counts 2in1 and 3in1 books as 1 book only. Otherwise, the number of books I read in 2012 would be 33. Nevertheless, I'm somewhat disappointed with my achievement and want to try harder this year. According to my calculations, I read 9'715 pages in 2012 and I want to increase this number to 12'000 at least. This is not much, I know, but as I'm not a native English speaker and the books I want to read are all in English, this is a good aim, I think. I also hope there won't be any kind of injuries or illnesses in 2013 which would prevent me from achieving this aim.

  3. Read at least 10 classics
  4. As regards the Classics Club Challenge, I'm totally disappointed with my achievement in 2012. Even though I had read 5 classics in 2012, that had happened before I joined the Classics Club. I've been a member of this precious club since August and I should have read 3 to 4 classics since joining, in order to be on schedule and be able to achieve my aim. On the other hand, I was very sorry to learn that some people that inspired me to join the Club, doesn't belong to it anymore. Sometimes, it really isn't easy to stick to the schedule and there are so many other bookish temptations... But, I don't want to be one of those members who give up when difficulties arise. So, I must must must read at least 10 classics in 2013.

  5. Write at least 10 book reviews
  6. I'm very sorry to confess that my first review is still to be written, despite the fact that my blog was born on August 31, 2012. Things can't go on like this, that's pretty obvious. I don't have much time to write book reviews, and I certainly need more time to write a blog post than native-speaker need, but this is no reason to neglect my duties. I want my Classics Club challenge to be a success; thus, I must not only read 10 classics this year but also review them. Hence, I challenge myself to write at least 10 book reviews in 2013.

  7. Write at least one blog post per month
  8. As I mentioned before, I'm somewhat disappointed with my blogging frequency. So, I want to write not only more book reviews but also more posts generally. I'll try to participate in Top Ten Tuesday more often and to write other book-related posts.

  9. Read all books I acquired in 2012
  10. According to my records on Goodreads, I acquire approximately 30 to 40 books a year. But, I rarely read the books immediately and they often remain on my shelves for years. I want to change that bad habit and am going to read the books I acquired in 2012 and haven't read yet.

  11. Be less conservative and more open-minded when selecting books
  12. I confessed earlier on this blog that I'm not a book fashionista. That is to say, I usually avoid books surrounded by hype, such as the Harry Potter series. However, I also have a very conservative taste, as regards my reading. Hence, my pathological, albeit inexplicable, dislike for science fiction. But, this year I will take my first step towards reforming myself. Thus, I will read both the Harry Potter and the Hunger Games series at last.

  13. No re-reads, unless the books are on my list for a challenge
  14. I love to re-read my favourite books, but re-reading wastes precious time and prevents me from achieving my goals. Hence, this year, I try not to re-read any books, unless they are on my list for a challenge.

  15. Participate in my first read-a-long or readathon ever
  16. I was very sorry that I wasn't able to participate in the first Classics Club Readathon. And, I've also been flirting with the read-a-longs hosted by Wallace over at Unputdownables for long, but until now, I either hadn't the time or had other reading plans. I hope, however, that, in 2013, I will be able to enter at least one event, because I want to improve my connections with the reading community.

  17. Don't mark new books as to-read until I've significantly reduced my current to-read list
  18. Currently, I have 222 books on my goodreads to-read list. That's pathological and I must do something about that. So, I decided to stop looking for new books either on my favourite blogs or on Goodreads, until I've read at least 30 books from this list. That is to say, in 2013, I should rather not add anything new to my current to-read list.

  19. Catalogue all my owned books on Goodreads 
  20. I own approximately 700 books. No they are not on an e-reader or in the clouds. They are all sitting on my bookshelves. And, I'm a Goodreads addict because I love cataloguing my books there. In 2012, I catalogued 505 books, and many of those books hadn't been added to Goodreads before, because they're Hungarian or German editions. So, I needed to add them manually. But, I really love this task and want to catalogue the remainders too.

January 08, 2013

About the Depth of Despair and the Joyful Morning

Have you ever been in the depth of despair? Kindred spirits probably know what I'm talking about. As Anne explains to Marilla, upon learning that Marilla doesn't want her to stay at Green Gables, because Anne isn't a boy, the depth of despair is a state of mind when you can't do anything that you usually would.

"You're not eating anything," said Marilla sharply, eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed.
"I can't. I'm in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?"
"I've never been in the depths of despair, so I can't say," responded Marilla.
"Weren't you? Well, did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in the depths of despair?"
"No, I didn't."
"Then I don't think you can understand what it's like. It's very uncomfortable feeling indeed. When you try to eat a lump comes right up in your throat and you can't swallow anything, not even if it was a chocolate caramel.
(L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Ch. 3)

I'm a kind of person who completely understands what Anne is meaning. I don't need to try to imagine that because I've often been there... Maybe I'm hypersensitive or too passionate or both, anyways, in the past 3-4 weeks, I've constantly been in the depth of despair, because we learned that our family dog, Sunny, is suffering from spinal disc herniation and must undergo surgery.

(By the way, the whole story had began earlier, back in April 2012, when Sunny and I were taking our regular afternoon walk and a Rottweiler attacked us. It's a breed famous for its aggression, but, regrettably, it's not yet banned from Hungary. Sunny almost died, but, thank God and one of His Angels, in the form of a bodyguard, we were rescued. However, my right hand was seriously injured; I thought I would never be able to play the piano or knit again. And, as we recognised some months later, our Vizsla had been injured more seriously than we first thought.)

Thus, due to the worries about the Sunshine of our life, I wasn't able to eat normal and couldn't even read as usual. I was just browsing my bookcases, searching for some kind of comfort reading, and tried several books to read, but couldn't focus on the text, until I began George Sand's Fadette. That novel turned out to be a real comfort reading. (Review is coming soon...) Nevertheless, our family's Christmas and New Year's Eve weren't too merry, because we knew that Sunny's surgery would take place soon.

Yesterday was the day. And, I was sick worried. We took him to the hospital at 10:00 a.m. and we didn't know anything about him until 3:00 p.m. I just kept praying and praying and hoped that everything will be fine. Later we also learned that our Sunny is feeling better and was also able to walk a bit. But he had to stay at the hospital for the night and we weren't allowed to visit him so that he doesn't become agitated. It's been a hard day's night, believe me.

But, we are thanking God that today at 8:45 a.m., we got back our Sunny safe and sound. Of course, he's having pains, ought to take prescription drugs, and it will take several weeks till he's completely healed. In sum, we are praying together with Anne this beautiful sentence from Psalm 30:

"Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning."
(L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, Ch. 40)

And what about you? Have you ever felt the depth of despair? Were you able to read? And, what kind of books did/do you read in hard times? What are your favourite comfort readings?

January 02, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Resolve To Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a Top Ten list that they answer and invite every blogger to share their own answers.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about books we resolve to read in 2013. So, today I went to my Goodreads account and asked myself which books I'd like to read, in 2013, from my TBR list, which consists of 209 books currently and is growing perpetually... I also recognised that I had fallen far behind with my reading for the Classics Clubs challenge and something must be done about that... And, here are the results of my reflection, i.e. here are the Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read in 2013.

  1. Fadette by George Sand
  2. This is such a lovely book! It's about love, witches, about how to raise twins, and about how to survive unrequited love. I read it many years ago in Hungarian and have actually started to read it in English. (My French isn't that good, regrettably...) It is also on my list for the Classics Club Challenge.

  3. What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
  4. This is a non-fiction about Jane Austen's works and was a birthday present. To be honest, I very seldom read literary criticism. I somehow have this idea in my mind that the beauty of a novel and the pleasure of reading it is being lost to those who are reading the novel from a critical point of view. That's why I've never considered the idea to study literature. Anyway, a good friend of mine, who is actually doing research on literature and is also a Janeite, presented me with this book and I've started reading it in September 2012. The book isn't that bad at all; not that dry that theoretical works usually are. Nevertheless, I wasn't able to finish it yet. Let's hope I will tackle it soon, because I don't want to abandon it.

  5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  6. I've desperately wanted to read this book since I saw the movie, but I simply hadn't any time due to all the other books on my TBR list for 2012. But now, I can't wait anymore...

  7. A Conspiracy Of Friends: A Corduroy Mansions Novel by Alexander McCall Smith
  8. This is the third and final part of a series, which I've enjoyed reading in 2012. Do you know and love the movie Love Actually (2003)? The concept of the Corduroy Mansions series is very similar; there are many characters living in Corduroy Mansions and their lives are, in some way or another, connected. And, somebody has a very special dog (Freddie de la Hay) that embarks on interesting adventures. So, if you love dogs, England, and human stories, do read this series.

  9. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
  10. I love the Regency Era. Full Stop. The fashion, the literature, the architecture, the arts. Everything. And, of course, I am a Janeite. But, I shiver at the very thought of reading any prequel or sequel to any novel by Jane. So, I was searching for something I could read after Austen and The Grand Sophy was so highly recommended by kindred spirits that it must be worthy of attention.

  11. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin
  12. I am a fan of good chick-lit in general and Giffin in particular. I also am one of those few people who were able to sympathise with both Rachel and Darcy and didn't feel any hatred towards any of these characters. This novel is new to me, but the story seems very gripping.

  13. The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  14. This novel got very controversial reviews on Goodreads; maybe that's why I want to read it that much. On the other hand, both Hannah from So Obsessed With and Wallace from Unputdownables gave this book 5 stars, and I have trust in their taste.

  15. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  16. The first time I read Persuasion, I didn't like it. However, since then, much has happened in my life and I believe that I will understand Anne Elliot's feelings and story better now. Sometimes love doesn't comes that easily... And, I have also been keen re-reading this novel, since I saw The Lake House (2006). Persuasion is the favourite novel of Sandra Bullock's character, and there's a scene in which she explains the charm and moral of this story so well that it truly made me want to refresh my memories.

  17. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  18. I am no fan of science fiction. Actually, I've never read any science fiction. Upon reading The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, however, I started to get a bit uncomfortable with this fact. So, I decided that it's about time to have my first sci-fi experience. As this series got very good reviews even from other romantic hearts like mine, it has been chosen...

  19. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  20. I know, I know. Shame on me. But, please understand that I am a nonconformist at heart; hence, I rarely read books surrounded by hype. But Hannah convinced me that this series worth reading anyway. (And yes, I know, I am cheating again, as these are 7 books.)

Review: Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier My rating: 3 of 5 stars It isn’t easy to review this book. I have been a lo...