March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books at the Top of My Spring 2013 TBR List

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about books that we'd like to read this spring. Some days ago I finished Tom Jones by Henry Fielding at last. Even though it's one of my favourite classics, it's a chunkster and a rather difficult read, especially if you're a non-native English speaker. Thus, it took me a long time to finish it. But now I'm done reading it and can devote myself to reading other books.

This year, I finished five classics from my Classics Club list and am going to read five or six more. But, I also want to read some contemporary fictions—adult and young adult. The Top Ten Books at the Top of My Spring 2013 TBR Pile reflect these plans:

01. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Originally, this book had been scheduled for reading in another year, but then I played the Classics Club Spin game, and fortune, fate, or whoever wanted me to read it now. To be honest, I wasn't very happy that this book got selected, because tragic stories keep depressing me and I was looking forward to a more cheerful year. But now that I'm halfway through it, I must acknowledge that this book is fantastic. Of course, the story IS tragic; however, Oscar Wilde writes so beautifully that I'm truly enjoying it.

02. From Notting Hill with Love... Actually by Ali McNamara
This book landed on my TBR pile for several reasons: First, I assumed that after finishing The Picture of Dorian Gray, I will need some kind of comfort reading. And, what could be more comforting than a good chick-lit? Second, I wanted to read this book because of the title. Notting Hill (1999) and Love Actually (2003) are two favourite movies of mine; thus, a book the title of which is apparently a reference to those two films is a must read for me. Moreover, the picture on the cover seems to imply a connection between this novel and Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) too! Finally, I want to read this book simply because I love romances and it counts towards the Romance Challenge 2013 too.

03. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
I confessed more than once my obsession with Regency-Era England. Regrettably, there weren't many authors who actually lived in that era and wrote books that suit my taste. For this reason, I usually have no option but to re-read dear Miss Austen's works. However, upon joining Goodreads, I soon learned that there was an authoress who wrote historical fictions set in the Regency Era and whose books are highly praised by fellow Janeites. So, I decided to give Georgette Heyer and her most popular book a chance; that's why it is on my spring TBR list.

04. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
To be honest, the love story of Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram is one of those that I consider implausible. I truly believe that in reality (in mine and Jane Austen's as well), Edmund would never have recognised his stupidity and fallen in love with Fanny, but ended up marrying Mary Crawford. Their marriage of course would have been an unhappy one, but that wouldn't have prevented him from making this mistake. And, Fanny Price would have never married. Due to this firm belief of mine I don't really like Mansfield Park, but maybe it will surprise me this spring, when I will be re-reading this novel for the Classics Club challenge.

05. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey is not really a favourite with me either, mainly because I am no fan of gothic novels. Also, I found it too short and the romance lacking in depth, when I read it the first time. But more recently, I saw a new movie adaptation of this novel and I really liked it. Hence, I look forward to re-reading it this spring and who knows, maybe I will discover that, after all, I like it more than I thought I would. And even if it won't be the case, I will, at least, have finished one book more on my Classics Club list.

06. Persuasion by Jane Austen
This will be the second time that I've read Persuasion, and to be honest, I didn't like it that much upon my first reading 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. 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 is enthusing about it and explains its story so well that she truly makes me want to re-read this classic. In addition, this book is on my Classics Club list too.

07. Emma by Jane Austen
Emma is a heroine who might very easily annoy some readers. In an earlier Top Ten Tuesday post of mine about the most frustrating characters ever, I confessed that even I've had my issues with her. Nevertheless, I love this book just as much as P&P and S&S. Even though I'm neither rich nor very handsome, I must admit that some of her weaknesses are good "acquaintances" of mine; that is to say, I share some negative character traits with Emma. So, I can absolutely relate to her story and love to regularly re-read it with the aim of being reminded how not to behave. This spring, however, I will also re-read it because of the Classics Club challenge.

08. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
As I told you in last week's Top Ten Tuesday post about series I want to read, I like and read young adult fictions, even if my blog's emphasis is on classics. However, I usually read YA fictions that are set in this reality and where the characters are "normal" human beings. That doesn't mean, however, that I would have a dislike for books about angels. (What I particularly dislike are books about aliens and UFOs.) So, when YA bloggers' enthusiasm with this series bubbled over, I became intrigued to read it. I truly hope that I won't be disappointed!

09. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
This book landed on my spring 2013 TBR pile for the same reason as The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer: I'm in desperate need for some new books set in the Regency Era. This book has got many good reviews, the blurb sounded perfect, and the cover is simply beautiful. But, there is also one very bad review, the author of which has even implied that Julianne Donaldson must have written some fake good reviews for her own book, because it's impossible that this book could be considered praiseworthy by anybody. Needless to say, there have been some sharp reactions to this person's review. Ultimately, it was this bitter controversy that tempted me into wanting to read Edenbrooke and form my own opinion about it.

10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw the trailer for the movie. And, upon actually seeing the movie, it became clear that I MUST read this book. But, there were some other books that somehow managed to "overtake" this book on my wish list and on my TBR pile. I really can't give any plausible reason why it took me so long to purchase Stockett's book, but now ain't no book mountain high enough to keep me from delving deep into it. Hurray!

So, that's how my spring 2013 TBR pile looks like. And what about yours? Do you plan to spend the spring with cheerful stories or rather with tragic? And which genres/books are your current obsessions?


  1. You have quite varied choice (that's how I like it as well). I finished "Persuasion" in the beginning of this month (my first and only Austen so far - ssh :D) and I thought that this novel definitely benefits from reading it in older age. Somehow it yelled "maturity!" in so many places. I'm glad you are enjoying Wilde, I have good memories of this book from high school, but since it was so long ago, I have added it as re-read to Classics Club list as well.

    This spring I intend to move on with some of the classics (reading Hemingway now for "Modern March" event and also started "Arrowsmith" for Classics Spin; April is reserved for Zola). I think I have to take some "lighter" books on the side, so I might try Mantel's "Wolf Hall" or "Night Circus" by Erin Morgernstern.

    1. Dear Riv! Thanks for stopping by! And, I am happy that you liked Persuasion. I'm very much looking forward to re-reading it! In the meantime I've read The Picture of Dorian Gray and I rather liked it. (Review coming soon!) But, of course, Austen is and always will be my favourite. I haven't read any Hemingway ever; I don't believe I would like his writings. But, I should read something by him sometime...

  2. I hope you get to all of these his spring, and enjoy them all. The Help is amazing! The book is so much better than the movie - and if you can listen to the audiobook, then that's even better.

    Tanya Patrice

  3. The Help is excellent! And I love all the Austen on your list. :-)

    1. Thanks! I love the Austens on my list too! This will be a very merry Spring!

  4. The Picture of Dorian Grey is one of my favorites! We had to read it in high school, and its one of the few books I actually purchased later on because I just liked it that much.

    The Help is also a good read!

  5. My reading of the classics is sadly lacking. I would LOVE any recommendations!

    Re: Unearthly - I am not usually a big fan of paranormal romance type books, but I have to say this series completely (and pleasantly) surprised me!

    - Carissa

  6. I love all the Jane Austen! The Help is a wonderful book, and I have just started The Picture of Dorian Gray (it is my Classics Club spin book, too.) I really want to read Georgette Heyer.

    1. Dear JoAnn! Thanks for stopping by! And a big YEAH for Austen! I am so happy I can re-read them for my Classics Club challenge. In the meantime, I've finished The Picture of Dorian Gray and I'm glad I did. It was really good, even though I don't believe, I will ever re-read it, because I had some sleepless nights... I wish you luck with it! :-D

  7. You have a great list here!


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