Magical Readathon 2019 — N.E.W.T.s TBR

magical-readathon

Hello There

I am beyond excited that August is around the corner, because with August, the Magical Readathon is coming back and it is time to sit for my N.E.W.T.s!

The Magical Readathon was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts, which happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is so much fun. I already participated in April for the O.W.L.s and adored it, so I’m really excited to pass my N.E.W.T.s. I’d recommend to check G’s video announcement for the N.E.W.T.s, it has all the information you need.

Without any surprise, I am studying to become a Magizoologist and I need to study Care of Magical Creatures (I need an Optimal to pass), Charms (I need an Exceeded Expectations) and Herbology (I need an Exceeded Expectations as well). Overachiever as I am, I really want to try to get an Optimal in everything, so we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, here’s my TBR for the N.E.W.T.s!

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A: book title that starts with a letter AArchenemies by Marissa Meyer

I read Renegades last year and absolutely adored it: I loved that it was about people with superpowers and the two main characters are amazing. I had been aching to read its sequel, but hadn’t found the perfect occasion to do so yet (so many books, so little time), so when I saw this prompt, I knew I had to finally get to it. I am so looking forward to going back into this world and well, at least I won’t have too long to wait until Supernova‘s release.

♡ E: book under 300 pagesThor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder  by Jason Aaron

I’ve been planning to read these comics for the longest time, but now that they have announced that Natalie Portman was coming back to the MCU to become the Goddess of Thunder, I have to. In this 2014 comics run, Thor is unworthy and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted, until… a mysterious woman grasps it and takes Thor’s mantle! It sounds so good and I mostly read comics about superheroines, so it’s perfect for me!

♡ O: read a book with a bird on the coverOnce Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale is one of my favourite books of this year and I am so looking forward to reading more by Diane Setterfield. Once Upon a River is her newest release and follows the discovery of a girl’s lifeless body, who later returns to life and is claimed by three families. It seems to be quite dark and atmospheric and it combines folklore and science, so I’m really intrigued about it.

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♡ A: read a book that you think has a gorgeous coverThe Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass was one of my favourite books of last year and helped a lot to get me into a huge fantasy slump, because I loved it too much. This fantasy book is inspired by Middle East folklore, set in 18th century Cairo, and follows Nahri, a con woman who accidentally summons a djinn. The Kingdom of Copper is the second book in the trilogy, its cover is stunning (it’s the UK cover if you’re wondering, it wins!), and I’ve been rereading the first book to be able to get to it, so I’m really excited!

♡ E: read a comic/graphic novel/manga — Thor, Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron

Of course, after reading The Goddess of Thunder, I will have to finish reading this comics run, as there are only two volumes! It is perfect for a month-long readathon, as I have longer reads like The Kingdom of Copper to get through.

♡ O: read a paperback book — The Door by Magda Szabó 

I won this book in a giveaway hosted by my friend Anna @ AnnaofBookingham on Instagram and I’m so curious to read it, because I know she adored it! This Hungarian novel follows Emerence, a domestic servant, that young writer Magda takes in, and the relationship they develop for the next twenty years. I can’t wait to discover it and to chat with Anna about it!

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A: listen to an audiobook — King Lear by William Shakespeare

I’ve been trying to read one of Shakespeare’s plays every month this year (I’m two plays behind though, oops), so I definitely have to read one of them in August and I adore to listen to them via audiobooks, as they have entire casts and sometimes background noises. They also are really quick to go by, as the audiobooks usually last three hours, so it’s perfect for a readathon. This time, I’m giving a try to King Lear and I’m really excited, I’ve heard amazing things about it!

♡ E: read a book between 350-390 pagesA Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

To be honest, the second I heard this book was set in Cornwall, I knew I had to read it. I’m fascinated with Cornwall (thank you for that, Daphne du Maurier) and I’m always really excited to read books set there. A Sky Painted Gold is also set during the 1920s and is about Lou, a young woman who stumbles into the world into the glittering world of the Cardew family. Lucy @ Lucy the Reader has been raving about it for months and she said it was perfect for summer, so I’m all about that!

♡ O: read a book with a flower on the cover The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

I read The Bone Season earlier this week and I really liked it, I found the world to be fascinating and I can’t wait to get back into it, because the second book, The Mime Order, sure sounds promising. This series is about Paige Mahoney, who is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, in 2059. Her job is to scout information by breaking into people’s minds, a power… which is illegal. I am so excited to get more into this series!

So that’s it for my TBR for the N.E.W.T.s! My Optimal reads for Charms and Herbology aren’t my top priorities, but fingers crossed I can get to them and maybe other books. In any case, I’m so motivated to prioritize reading in August.

What are you planning to read in August? Are you participating in this readathon?

lots of love

Pride Month TBR 🏳️‍🌈

pride-tbr

Hello There

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! 🏳️‍🌈

As you might remember, I dedicated all of June 2018 to reading LGBTQIA+ books to celebrate Pride Month and I had such an amazing time doing that! So this year, that’s what I’m doing again.

A few days ago, my best friend and I were talking about Pride Month and she told me that we should do a 24h readathon for Pride Month, which is an amazing idea, as I haven’t been reading as much as usual this year. I also discovered Eloise @ Eloise Writes‘ blog recently and she’s doing a Pride Month readathon called Reading it queer, so I got really excited about that and made a whole TBR for it (what a surprise). The goal is to read at least one book with LGBTQIA+ representation, but you can also pick what you want to read based on nine reading prompts, which is what I’m doing!

So without further ado, let’s talk about the books I’m planning to read this month!

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» f/f relationship – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

I really wanted to read this book for Pride Month last year, but I ended up running out of time and being quite intimidated by it, so I really want to get to it this year. Tipping the Velvet is a historical fiction novel set in the Victorian era and follows Nan King, an oyster girl, who is fascinated by music-all phenomenon Kitty Butler and eventually meets her, which lead them to start having feelings for each other. I’ve seen so many people rave about Sarah Waters’ novels and I cannot wait to finally discover her debut, it sounds absolutely amazing.

» own voices author –  Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This book has been all over the book community in the past few months and it got me quite intrigued! Girls of Paper and Fire is an Asian fantasy about Lei, who is chosen to become one of the King’s concubines and is being trained in the palace in order to do so. However, she does the unthinkable and falls in love with another girl and this forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that could shake the foundation of her country, Ikhara. I cannot wait to finally know what the hype is all about!

» bisexual character – The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I read Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek two years ago and I really enjoyed it, so it is time for me to continue reading her books. The Brightsiders is about Emmy, a bisexual teen rockstar, who has to pick her life back together after being labelled the latest celebrity train wreck. This is my first read of the month and while I haven’t read much, I’m really enjoying it so far!

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» asexual or aromantic character – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I was waiting for the perfect occasion to read The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and at last, I have found it! This novel is a follow-up to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but follows Felicity Montague, a young woman in the 18th century, who wants nothing more than to enroll in medical school. When  possibility opens, Felicity leaves on a ship for Germany with a mysterious girl and becomes part of a perilous quest. Mackenzi Lee is one of my favourite YA authors and one of my biggest writing inspirations, so finally reading this one is going to be amazing, I already know it.

» recommended by a friend – The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

I read The Abyss Surrounds Us a while ago, but never got around to continue, probably because I don’t read post-apocalyptic novels very often. One of my uni friends recently read and adored the duology, so she motivated me to continue and it’s happening this month! I mean, this is a f/f post-apocalyptic duology with lesbian pirates and sea monsters, what else do you need?

» a book with additional rep – The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

This novel set in 1826 follows Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, as she goes on trial because she was accused of her employers’ murder, but no one really knows the truth. Frannie then tells her story, which starts in Jamaica and continues with a forbidden romance in England. It sounds like such a gripping novel, so I cannot wait to dive into it and figure everything out!

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» a genre you don’t normally read – Going Off Script by Jen Wilde

It might not look like it in this post, but I rarely ever read YA contemporary novels. The last one I read was Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel and that was in… November 2018, so that’s why Going Off Script fits in this category. As I was saying, I’m trying to catch up on Jen Wilde’s books and the blurb for this one is “A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character”, so basically, yes, YES, I am reading this. I love the settings of Jen Wilde’s novels so much.

» m/m relationship – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This is everyone’s newest favourite book and I need to know why, it is everywhere. Red, White & Royal Blue is about Alex, the son of the President of the United States, who is forced to become friends with his nemesis, Henry, Prince of Wales, as it could help British/American relationship as well as his mother’s reelection bid. However, they end up falling for each other. *gasps* So we’re talking about enemies to friends to lovers, which is my favourite romance trope, I hope I’ll love it!

» trans or non-binary character – I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

Last but not least, I’m really excited to discover I Wish You All The Best, another book I kept seeing everywhere even before its release! This one is an own voices novel about Ben, who comes out to their parents as nonbinary and is thrown out of their house afterwards. Moving in with their sister, Ben wants to go by unnoticed, but meet Nathan, who becomes their friend, then their feelings for each other change as they grow closer. It’s been said to be both heartbreaking and joyous and has such amazing ratings on Goodreads so far, I can’t wait!

What are you planning to read in June? Are you participating in any readathon?

lots of love

Magical Readathon 2019: O.W.L.s TBR

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Hello There

Happy April! It’s time for the weather to feel like Spring, to wear lighter jackets, to see flowers in bloom and to participate in the Magical Readathon 2019: O.W.L.s, a Harry Potter inspired readathon! It was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts and it happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is really cool and that’s one of the reasons I had to participate. I’d totally recommend watching her video announcement of it if you want to know more/participate, because it’s truly going to be amazing! For this readathon, I decided I wanted to become…

*drum rolls*

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A MAGIZOOLOGIST!

(what a surprise, I know, everyone knows how much I love Newt Scamander).

To become a magizoologist, I have to take four O.W.L.s and I *might* take other ones if I have the time, so I get better grades, we shall see! In the meantime, I have to pass care of magical creatures, charms, herbology and potions. Here is what I’m planning to read:

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Care of Magical Creatures (land animal on the cover) – Circe by Madeline Miller

I was supposed to read this one last month, right after The Song of Achilles, but once I heard about this readathon, I decided it could wait until April, especially since Madeline Miller is coming to Paris to talk about it tomorrow! This novel is based on Greek mythology and is a retelling of Circe’s myth, which I’m really excited about. I’ve read a few Greek myths retellings in the past few months and I’ve been loving it, so this one is totally my priority for the readathon and I’m hoping to finish it before seeing Madeline Miller. *fingers crossed*

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Charms (age-line: read an adult work) – The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

tw // suicide

I read Kate Morton’s The Lake House last summer (because it’s set in Cornwall, of course) and adored it, so I’ve been meaning to get to more of her works. The House at Riverton is set in 1924 on the eve of a glittering society party, when a young poet takes his own life. The only witnesses, two sisters, will never speak to each other again. Decades later, a one-time housemaid at Riverton opens up about her memories of that time and the mystery of what happened unravels. It *might* have been blurbed as for fans of Downton Abbey and I’m so intrigued by this synopsis, so I’m looking forward to discovering what it’s all about.

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Herbology (plant on the cover) – The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

I’ve been super excited to get to this historical fantasy novel, because it is written by none other than G. Willow Wilson, who also wrote the Ms. Marvel series (the Kamala Khan version!). This novel follows Fatima, concubine to the sultan, and her friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker, who can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. It is set in 1491, during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, and the two of them have to run away with the help of a jinn, as they realize that the new Spanish monarchy might see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian rule. This one sounds absolutely amazing and as I have studied this time period, I’m intrigued to see what it will be like in fiction form.

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Potions (next ingredient: sequel) – The Wicked King by Holly Black

Last but not least, I am planning to read The Wicked King by Holly Black, one of my most anticipated releases of the year, which I still haven’t read, because I was waiting for a discount of Book Depository (I was right to wait, haha). It is the sequel to The Cruel Prince, the story of Jude, who has been stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie with her two sisters. Ten years later, she wants nothing more to belong there, despite her mortality and as she gets caught up in palace intrigues, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. I adore the way Holly Black writes faeries and their wickedness and I’m so excited to get back into this world!

So that’s basically it for my TBR for this readathon! I’ll probably end up reading more than that during the month and to fit more books in different prompts, but that’s where I’m at for now.

Are you participating in this readathon? Are there any books you’re planning to read in April?

lots of love

#Victober 2018 TBR

Hello, beautiful people!


October is almost there, and with that, Victober is well on its way. I first participated in this amazing event last year and I was so excited for it, I’ve been making lists of books I really wanted to get to for months. If you don’t know what Victober is, it’s a month-long readathon hosted by Katie (Books and Things), Ange (Beyond the Pages), Kate (Kate Howe) and Lucy (Lucythereader), where the goal is to read Victorian literature. While you don’t have to read a certain number of books for this readathon (read one book? You did it!), there are challenges for those interested and that’s what I based my TBR off. Still, the whole point is to have fun and to share our love for literature of the period. 

Here are the challenges for this year:

  • Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  • Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e. a place name or person’s name) in the title.
  • Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period ‘i.e. 19837-1847 or 1891-1901).
  • Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  • Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.


1. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887) 

It won’t come as a surprise to you that Thomas Hardy is my favourite Victorian author, I’ve said it enough, so I’m beyond happy I had an excuse to pick up some more of his works. This time, I really wanted to read The Woodlanders and will do so with my friend Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame. This novel narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a loyal woodlander and a sophisticated outsider. According to the Penguin Classics edition, The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas. It sounds amazing, as all of the works of Thomas Hardy that I’ve read so far, I cannot wait to read it.


2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853) 

I am so happy I still have some of Gaskell’s works to read, because the last two novels I have left both have a proper noun in the title; I picked up Cranford, which title’s comes from the name of the town the story is set in. It was first published in several instalments in the Household Words magazine (edited by Charles Dickens!), before being published in book form two years later. Cranford is considered to be an affectionate and moving portrait of genteel poverty, as well intertwined lives in a nineteenth-century village. It also is a very short book, so I’ll be able to read it very quickly and I’m so curious as it’s one of Gaskell’s best-known works.


3. The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (1891-1895) 


I am beyond excited to finally get to Oscar Wilde’s plays, this edition featuring The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome, An Ideal Husband, which have all been published between 1891 and 1895 (during the end of the Victorian period!). I’ve been meaning to read more plays for a while and as I adore Oscar Wilde (I still haven’t recovered from the exhibition about him in Paris two years ago), I thought it would be a great place to continue with his works. I’m particularly excit
ed about The Importance of Being Earnest, as it’s so famous, but also about Salomé, as it was written in French (and I’ll read it in my language, of course <3). I'm really curious about other readers' picks for this challenge, and if I still have enough time to read more books, I'll try to pick up a book from the early Victorian period!

4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860) 

I’ve been meaning to try to read George Eliot’s works for ages and this year… I finally read Middlemarch and adored it! George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, so the fourth challenge is giving me an excuse to continue reading more of Eliot’s works, starting with The Mill on the FlossI have heard from several readers that The Mill on the Floss was more approachable than Middlemarch, but I got through that one, so I’m confident I’ll enjoy it as well. This one follows Maggie Tulliver, who is always trying to win the approval of her parents, but her personality often brings her into conflict with her family. It is said to have an interesting portrayal of sibling relationships, which is something I adore in literature and that it’s considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel. Moreover, I’ve heard such amazing things about the heroine of this novel and I cannot wait to meet her. 


5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

Vanity Fair is quite an intimidating novel because of its length and how famous it is, but I’ve been meaning to get to it for so long. There is an adaptation of it currently airing in the UK, and as the last challenge is to read a Victorian novel and watch its adaptation, I thought it would be the perfect time to motivate myself to read it. I’ll be buddy reading this one with my friend Anna, I’m sure we can do this! Vanity Fair follows the lives of two women: Becky Sharp, an alluring and ruthless woman from an impoverished background, who wants to clamber up the class ladder, and Amelia Sedley, who comes from a wealthy family and longs for a soldier. We’ll see how it goes!



Are you participating in Victober?


Lots of love,
Lucie

Books I really want to get to this Fall | Top 5



Hello, beautiful people!


As you may know by now, Fall is my favourite season and there are so many books I always want to get to during that time of the year, that I add on Goodreads specifically for that purpose. It’d be great if I could read twenty books per month to get to them all, but well, that’s not going to happen. Today, I wanted to share with you the top 5 books* I want to get to this Fall**.

*it started as a top 10, but as I don’t know how much I’ll be able to read in the next few months, I kept only half of that list, I don’t want to be too ambitious and to limit myself to the books I picked. I also have a TBR coming up for Victober very soon, as well, so that also explains it.
**fun fact: I started writing this post in July, because I am that excited.


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Last year, I discovered Shirley Jackson’s writing with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I adored it so much. Since then, I’ve been quite interested to read more of her works and thought they would be great for Fall, especially The Haunting of Hill House, which is a supernatural thriller. This novel, considered a modern classic, was published in 1959 and tells the story of four characters who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”, his assistant, a young woman well acquainted with poltergeists, as well as the future heir of Hill House. Their stay first seems to be a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but the house is simply gathering its powers… and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. This seems like such a Halloween read and as I haven’t read a lot of American classic literature, it’ll be good for my literary culture as well!

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

The Diviners series is absolutely perfect for Halloween as well, I actually recommended it around this time last year. The third book came out in 2017, but I have yet to read it, considering that I did reread The Diviners last year, but have oly started my reread of Lair of Dreams this week. Anyhow, this series is set in 1920s New York and follows several characters, most of them being Diviners, aka they have different types of powers. This time, the Diviners have to fight against ghosts, while cases of possession and murder are everywhere in New York City. This series is so much fun to read, because it’s beautifully complex, has a chilling but glamorous atmosphere and the characters are so much fun. I cannot wait to finally know what happens next.


If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

During the Fall, I also love to reach for mystery thriller novels and If We Were Villains fall in that category. It’s about a man who spent ten years in jail and after all that time, he’s finally ready to tell the truth about what happened ten years ago. At that time, Oliver was one of the seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. On and off-stage, they played the same roles over and over, until the balance of power shifted in their fourth year and real violence happened on opening night. In the morning, the students have to convince the police, each other and themselves that they are innocent. Apparently, it’s been compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt (!!) and I really want to read more of Shakespeare, so maybe this one will motivate me in a way, we shall see.


The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman 

Fall also is the perfect season to read about witches, it’s a known fact. I am particularly excited to get to The Rules of Magic, because I saw many people raving about it a few months ago on Instagram. For the Owen family, on which the book focuses, love is a curse that began in 1620, when an ancestor was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Centuries later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, Susanna Owens knows that her three children, Franny, Jet and Vincent, are dangerously unique, so she sets down rules for them: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no cro
ws, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. 
But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. Apparently, it’s a prequel to Practical Magic – that I haven’t read yet, but will give a try after it – and it sounds right up my alley!



The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


The Thirteenth Tale keeps intriguing me, it follows an enigmatic writer who spent decades creating outlandish life histories for herself, which brought her fame and fortune, but have kept her past a secret. As she gets older and is ailing, Vida Winter wants to at least tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, and who takes the commission (okay, it has nothing to do with it, but THAT kind of reminds me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, even though they sound like completely different books). It turns out that the story of Vida is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire, but Margaret remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity, which will lead to the real story. This novel is also said to be a love letter to reading, with amazing storytelling and as it has gothic elements, it sounds perfect for Fall (there is a trend in this TBR now, isn’t it?).

Et voilà, those are the books I am the most excited to get to this Fall, but there are so many more I’d love to read: we shall see how it goes! I’m also planning on doing a Halloween 24h readathon at some point and to have a TBR focused on that, then of course there is Victober happening in October.

Have you read any of these books? 
Which books are you most excited to read this Fall?




Lots of love,
Lucie

On having destroyed my TBR

(this baby was the very last book in my TBR)

Hello, beautiful people!

As you might have seen on social media, I recently destroyed my TBR (to be read) pile once and for all. Wait, what? I know that most people in the book community have TBRs, so I thought I would talk a bit about destroying my TBR and what it means for my reading life again. It might have looked like a weird decision for some people, as it means that *gasp* I don’t have a single book to read anymore, so there we go.



WHY DID I DECIDE TO DESTROY MY TBR ONCE AND FOR ALL?

Like some readers, when I was much younger, I didn’t have a TBR. My parents either bought books for me, or I’d borrow anything interesting the library had, read the book straight away, then repeated the process over and over again. Then, as a teenager, I started watching BookTube videos, before joining Tumblr, where it was all about the popular fandoms, such as The Mortal InstrumentsThe Hunger GamesVampire Academy and so on. Thanks to all of this, I learnt about so many books and kept making lists of all of those I wanted to read (that was my pre-Goodreads days). 

Discovering the online book community sure changed my life on many levels, and with that came the beginning of having a TBR. It was so reassuring to know that I would always have a book I could pick up next and knew I wouldn’t run out of them, especially as I was reading in English more and more, while living in France (meaning I had to buy everything online). I have never been one to have a huge TBR though; from memory, my TBR never exceeded twenty-one books. Well, the fact that I mostly read on my ereader also helped tremendously with that… That, and not being able to afford buying physical copies that often.

And then, came 2017. Last year, I joined bookstagram, started buying way too many books because there were so many books I wanted to read and own*, but after a few months… My reading tastes changed a lot, to say the least. Well, there was something else… I didn’t really want to have a TBR anymore. Of course, it was nice to have many books to have to pick up from, but some of them were staying there so long that my excitement for them was lessening, and I didn’t want that to happen. Back then, I still had twenty-one books in my TBR and spent last summer getting through them, until I only had three of them left. Ahem. After that, I went to London twice and bought a lot of new books, most of them classics, because that’s all I wanted to read. But ever since that happened, I have managed my TBR really well and it only went beyond ten books after Christmas and my birthday, because I asked for books. So you see, I still had a manageable TBR, it wasn’t stressing me out or anything.

*I am absolutely not blaming bookstagram for this, of course, just the fact that I, Lucie, bought way too many books and it wasn’t the wisest decision. I just was attracted by shiny new books, please don’t judge me.

But for a while… I had been thinking how much I missed not having a TBR. How I missed going to the bookstore, picking a book up and reading it straight away. Like I was saying before, I stopped doing that because I was reading in English and there weren’t any English bookstores nearby. But it’s not true anymore, for I have moved to Paris since then, my favourite bookstore sells English books for a reasonable price and they have so many books I genuinely want to read (thank you very much, changes in reading tastes). That’s how I came to read all the books I had left in my TBR this summer, destroying my TBR once and for all in August.



How do I feel about not having a TBR, right now? I am the happiest. Now, I just go on Goodreads, browse my to-read shelf, looks at what I’m most excited about, get it, read it and start all over again. This is all I wanted, after all.

AND SO NOW… WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

For now, I do not want a TBR anymore. I want to have the freedom to pick one book after another for a while. Like I was mentioning before, I can’t afford to buy physical books that often, but I have my e-reader, which is a way cheaper solution. My book buying habits have changed very much: I’d rather buy really long books, classics and non-fiction, because that’s what takes me the longest to get through, so it’s more encouraging to own them as physical copies (maybe it doesn’t make sense, but for me it does). The rest, I pretty much get as e-books already, except for when they’re written by my favourite authors.

I’m also very excited to go back to the library soon. We have so many of them in Paris and you can even find books in English, if you know where to look for. I also get my free fix of audiobooks thanks to libraries, so they’re pretty much perfect. I’m also going to start borrowing more books from loved ones. I am so eager to read Robin Hobb’s books and my boyfriend owns the beginning of the series (for now), so I’ll have those! I have also mentioned recently that historical fiction might be my favourite genre again and it’s my mom’s as well, so I’ll be able to borrow so many of her books*. It does mean reading a bit more in French once again, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I know that destroying my TBR is also linked to what my reading tastes are like now, there are so many books I want to discover and I will do so, one at a time.

*by the way, she finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and adored it! I’m so happy we can share books we love like this again, I had missed it a lot.

However, it does not mean that I’m swearing off TBRs for ever. I have some exceptions to my absence of TBR wants, such as month-long readathons. In October, I’ll be participating in #Victober like last year, so I’ll get five books for my TBR, but they’ll all be read by the end of it. The same thing will probably happen for #NonFictionNovember. I love making TBR lists for these types of challenges and I still want to do that, so I’ll get all the books at the same time, it will be simpler. We’re also talking about a tiny TBR that will be read very quickly, so it’s not really the same as having a TBR of twenty books and I’ll be back to not having a TBR in no time.

Anyhow, like I’ve mentioned before, I am so happy I do not have a TBR anymore, as I’ve wanted it for quite a while. I know that most people here in the bookish community have TBRs and I think that it’s great, we’re all different, we all enjoy different things and that’s just my opinion on the whole topic. I think that TBRs are amazing, they just aren’t for me, at the moment.

What do you think about TBRs? Would you rather have a big or a small TBR? Have you recently been without one? 

Lots of love,
Lucie

TOP 5 // Classics I want to read this summer

Hello, beautiful people!


It’s been a while since I last wrote a ‘top 5 books I want to read’ post and I had really missed those, because I love talking about books I really want to read, especially when it comes to classics. Now that I’m almost on holidays, I have way more time to read classics and I couldn’t be happier about that, I feel like I haven’t read that much of them this year (sure Lucie, you managed to read War and Peace, Middlemarch and Shirley, which were quite lengthy ones, and others). So today, I’m here to talk to you about those I desperately want to read; funnily enough I found two of them second-hand yesterday, when that post had been drafted for a week.


Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (1848)

It has occurred to me that I haven’t read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell since Victober 2017 and I’m a bit mad at myself for that, especially since I have so little of her novels left to read (Mary BartonSylvia’s Lovers and Cranford, but I never know if that one is considered a novel or not). Granted, I also have her biography of Charlotte Brontë and some of the novellas and short stories left after that, but still, it’s not the same. Anyhow, Mary Barton was Gaskell’s first novel and I’m so looking forward to reading it. The main character, Mary, rejects her working class lover Jem Wilson, thinking of marrying Henry Carson, the mill-owner’s son, in the hope of making a better life for herself and her father, a trade unionist. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. It sounds so good and I still can’t believe I found the Penguin English Library edition of it (see the picture at the beginning of the post), as it’s out of print!


The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)

I recently read Middlemarch by George Eliot and adored it so much that I’ve been thinking about picking up the rest of the author’s works. I had heard from several readers that The Mill on the Floss was more approachable than Middlemarch, but I got through that one, so I’m confident I’ll enjoy the first as well. The Mill on the Floss follows Maggie Tulliver, who is always trying to win the approval of her parents, but her personality often brings her into conflict with her family. It is said to have an interesting portrayal of sibling relationships, which is one of my weaknesses in literature and that it’s considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel. Moreover, I’ve heard such amazing things about the heroine of this novel and I cannot wait to meet her. By the way, have I mentioned that I’m planning on getting the Penguin English Library edition? It’s absolutely gorgeous, but no one is surprised. 

Let’s take a moment to stare at it:




L’Œuvre by Emile Zola (1886)

You might not know that about me, but Emile Zola is one of my favourite French writers. I have a very special relationship with L’Œuvre (The Masterpiece in English), because I’ve been meaning to read it for almost nine years, ever since we had to imagine what happened after one of the scenes for a class. Yet, I never got around to read it, still telling myself, years after years, that I needed to get to it. This summer, I have no more excuses, because I borrowed my grandmother’s copy and I can’t wait to finally know what happened after that scene. L’Œuvre is the story of a young artist moving to Paris to find success and is conquered by the flaws in his own genius. While his childhood friend becomes a successful novelist, the artist’s originality is mocked at the Salon and he gradually turns to a doomed obsession with one great canvas. It is said to be a quite autobiographical novel for Zola and to provide unique insight into Zola’s relationship with the painter Cézanne. 

The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887)

I haven’t read anything by Thomas Hardy since The Mayor of Casterbridge in February (which was amazing) and I really miss his writing, so I have to read as many of his works as possible this summer, starting with The Woodlanders. This one narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a loyal woodlander and a sophisticated outsider. According to the Penguin Classics edition, The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas. It sounds amazing, as all of the works of Thomas Hardy that I’ve read so far, I cannot wait to get to it.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (1941)

Last but not least, we’re leaving 19th century to move on to modern classics and Daphne du Maurier, as always. I adore Daphne du Maurier, both as a writer and as a woman, she’s one of my biggest inspirations. Frenchman’s Creek is the only one of her most popular novels I have left to read and I’m so looking forward to it, I have missed Cornwall, her words, her characters and the atmosphere she always manages to create. It’s going to be my sixth novel by her, then I’ll try her short stories, because I’m so curious about The BirdsIn the meantime, this novel follows Lady Dona St Columb, who seems to be involved in every intrigue of the Restoration Court, but she secretly despises the Court life. She retreats at her husband’s Cosnish estate, but it used to be the base of a French pirate, hunted down by all Cornwall. Upon meeting him, Dona’s thirst for adventure has never been more aroused and together they embark on a quest, which will force Dona to make the ultimate choice, between sacrificing her lover to death, or risk her own life to save him.


That’s it for the classics I want to read the most this summer! I also want to read more French literature once again, The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) by Alexandre Dumas and Guermantes’ Way (Le Côté de Guermantes) by Marcel Proust are also patiently waiting for me, but I’ve mentioned them on other ‘top 5’ posts and I haven’t forgotten about them.

Are there any classics you want to get to this summer?

Lots of love,
Lucie

TOP 5 // 20th century classics I want to read the most

Hello beautiful people!


For the last few months, I’ve read a lot of classics and I couldn’t be happier, because I had put them on the side since high school, when I used to adore them. I have noticed that I’m naturally going towards 19th century literature, because that’s the one I’ve always loved, but I would really like to discover more classics by exploring the 20th century. Actually, it will be one of my reading goals for 2018, but we’ll talk about that in a few weeks. Long story short, this is why I made a list of the five 20th century classics I really want to read in the upcoming months, because I know it will motivate me to read them as soon as possible (it worked so much when I last did this in August). If you have any recommendations for 20th century literature that I should read, please let me know!

Howards End by E.M. Forster (1910)

I studied E.M. Forster a little in one of my English classes a few years ago, but have yet to read a book by him. All I know about this one is that it’s about three middle-class families in the Edwardian era and I’m very curious to read more Edwardian authors (as I’m obsessed with Victorian literature, I need to move forward). Besides, there is an on-going TV series about this novel starring Hayley Atwell (it started last Sunday) and as I love her so much, I’m very motivated to finally read some E.M. Forster.

The Guermantes Way* by Marcel Proust (1920)

I read the first two books in the In Search of Lost Time series by Marcel Proust two years ago and absolutely adored them. Now, those books can be hard to read, because they’re made of very long sentences and most of the time, you don’t have any chapter to stop to (I hate stopping after a sentence and not having chapters, oops), which is why I’ve had that one on hold for more than a year. I have no idea where I stopped, so I’ll have to start all over again. I’m so excited to read Marcel Proust again and that one in particular, because it will follow the narrator in aristocratic and literary salons in 19th century Paris (!!).

*Le Côté de Guermantes for me, as I’m reading it in French

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927)

Virginia Woolf is one of those well-known authors I still haven’t read anything by. I’ve been meaning to read her books forever, but she intimidates me a lot, for she’s such an important literary figure! Mrs. Dalloway is probably her most popular one, but To the Lighthouse intrigues me a lot more. All I know is that it’s about a family and that it’s set on the isle of Skye. I don’t need anything more and I’m looking forward to finally discover this author.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1933)

I am fascinated by the jazz age and yet, I haven’t read many books set during that time period. I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald years ago and really enjoyed it, but never got around to read any of his other books. A few weeks ago, I met up with a bookstagram friend at Shakespeare and Co. and we talked about the Roaring Twenties, the Diviners and Francis Scott Fitzgerald; she ended up buying one of his books and it has stayed on my mind ever since. I really want to read Tender is the Night because it’s his second most popular work and it’s a tragic romance set in the late 1920s on the French Riviera. 
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (1969)

I couldn’t write a post about 20th century literature without mentioning Daphne du Maurier, could I? I’m so obsessed with her books, I want to read them all. While, as we speak, I still haven’t read Rebecca (because I saw the adaptation and still remember everything about it…), I read three of her books this year and absolutely loved them. The next one on my list is The House on the Strand, du Maurier’s take on time travel and I couldn’t be more excited because it is set in Cornwall (as always), involves a manor and the fourteenth century.


Lots of love,
Lucie

Victober 2017 TBR

Hello, beautiful people!

This year, I’ve decided to join #Victober, a read-a-thon focused on reading Victorian literature during the month of October and hosted by Katie (Books and Things), Ange (Beyond the Pages), Kate (Kate Howe) and Lucy (Lucythereader). While you don’t have to read a certain number of books for this readathon (read one book? You did it!), there are challenges for those interested and that’s what I based my TBR off (I’m very competitive with myself when it comes to readathons). Oh, and as October means Halloween, my TBR also is inspired by that because I want to get in the mood.

The challenges are:

  • Read a Victorian book by a Scottish, Irish or Welsh author
  • Read a lesser-known Victorian book (less than 12.000 ratings on Goodreads)
  • Read a supernatural Victorian book
  • Read a Victorian book that someone recommended to you
  • Read a Victorian book by a female author


1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde // Read a Victorian book by a Scottish, Irish or Welsh author

If you didn’t know, Oscar Wilde is an Irish writer and while I have yet to read what he wrote, I’ve been admiring him for such a long time and went to an exhibition about him in Paris last year. October is the month I will finally read The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I couldn’t be more excited, because I know I’m going to love it and it’s a short read, which is perfect for a readathon!

2. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell // Read a lesser-known Victorian book

Elizabeth Gaskell’s Gothic Tales is, without a doubt, the book I’m most excited to read for Victober. I discovered Elizabeth Gaskell last year with North and South, which I absolutely loved, and read Wives and Daughters this September. When I discovered she had written gothic short stories (and that they aren’t that known), I was over the moon. When I read the description of the contents of this edition, it made me so curious, take for example: The Poor Clare, which is about “an evil doppelganger is formed by a woman’s bitter curse”, or Lois the Witch is “a novella based on an account of the Salem witch hunts, shows how sexual desire and jealousy lead to hysteria”. It seems like a perfect read for Halloween time and I can read one of the novella whenever I want, which is also perfect for readathons.

3. Dracula by Bram Stoker // Read a supernatural Victorian book

I’ve been saving up Dracula for October, because I think it’ll be the best month to finally read it. I’ve been meaning to get to it for such a long time and I hope I won’t be too terrified (we never know with me). I’m very curious to finally read it, as I’ve only read about vampires in young adult novels (*cough* Twilight *cough*), but I want to know the real deal with vampires. My friend Clara loves this book and said it changed her opinions on vampires, so I trust her.

4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins// Read a book that someone recommended to you

I first heard about The Woman in White on my favourite blog (which is in French, sorry), and it intrigued me so much. Victoria (mangoandsalt) absolutely loved it and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. Andreea (Infinite Text) also said we could count this one as her recommendation, so it definitely fits in this category. Anyhow, once again, I thought it was a perfect read for October, as it’s a mystery novel and it is said to be “the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism”. Moreover, if you want to read The Woman in White for Victober, there is a Goodreads group, because it’s a popular choice for this year’s Victober and it’s way less intimidating to read a big book (around 700 pages) with other people.

5. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon // Read a book by a female author

Lady Audley’s Secret is a very famous Scandal novel and I have to say that the title intrigues me. From what I gathered, it’s about an anti-heroine, morality and madness in the Victorian age. Besides, this novel apparently established Mary Elizabeth Braddon established her as the main rival of the master of the sensational novel, Wilkie Collins. I’ll be reading Wilkie Collins for the first time in October, so I thought it would be interesting to be able to compare the two.

Are you taking part in Victober? What are your favourite Victorian novels?

Lots of love,
Lucie

TOP 5 // Classics I want to read the most



Hello beautiful people!


Lately, I’ve been in a huge mood to read English classics, which couldn’t make me happier, as classics used to be a big part of my reading life. Because I have so many of them on my wishlist – I’m going to London soon and I’ll buy tons of them – I thought I would share the five of them I want to read the most lately. 


Emma by Jane Austen


I still have three of Jane Austen novels to read and because of the YouTube channels I’ve been watching lately or my craving for period drama, I’m so excited to continue to read them. Emma is the one I’m the most excited to get to because many of my friends told me it was either their favourite or second favourite Jane Austen. That’s all I need to be excited. After Emma, I’ll also have to get to Mansfield Park and Persuasion, then to move on to her youthful writings.


When it comes to the Brontë sisters, I read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights six years ago, but as Anne Brontë isn’t well-known in France, I never got around to read one of her novels. I’m really curious to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and I’ve heard it was considered scandalous when it was published, but quite a sucess and that it was very mysterious and feminist. 

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Ever since I read Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee, I’ve been eager to read more of Tolstoy’s novels. I read Anna Karenina while I was still in high school and had absolutely loved it. I think I’ll reread it in the future, because I don’t remember it that well, but for now, I really want to read War and Peace, because I’ve had the 2016 mini-series on my laptop for a year, but also because I’m very curious about the way he wrote it, considering how huge it is (more than a thousand pages).

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Last year, I read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and really enjoyed it. I wanted to read more of her novels, but I didn’t know where to head next, until I watched Ellie Dashwood’s most helpful video. I really want to read all the books she mentioned, but I think I will to start with Wives and Daughters, because it sounded absolutely amazing when she talked about it. Besides, Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a biography about Charlotte Brontë and I need to read it.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

I don’t know anything about this one, except that it’s one of the first mystery and “sensation” novels and that some people consider it to be the first example of detective novels. Besides, this novel was written during the Victorian era (that’s my thing) and Wilkie Collins was a close friend of Charles Dickens, one of my favourite writers!


Have you read any of these books? What classics do you really want to read?


Lots of love,
Lucie