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

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 // Reading Bucket List of 2018


Hello, beautiful people!


With the beginning of a new year, I realised there were so many books I wanted to read in 2018. Making lists of them motivates me a lot to read them, that’s what I’ve done twice in the past on my blog; I actually read all of the classics on the first list and I’m still making my way through the second one that focused on 20th century literature. As I last did one of those in November, I thought that doing one at the beginning of 2018 would be perfect to get through all of these books. Once again, you will notice a trend in the books I want to read the most in 2018: all of them are quite lengthy as I’ve been meaning to get to all the big books I have never read and I am so excited! As a matter of fact, War and Peace would have been first on the list, but it was the very first book I read in 2018 and I’m sure it will shape my reading year.


Side note: I’m going to scream that I really dislike Napoléon a little too much in this post, I don’t know how it happened, but now you’ve been warned.


1. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871)

I will confess that I was first attracted to Middlemarch for its cover, as it is one of the most beautiful covers in the Penguin English Library collection (everyone knows I am completely obsessed with it). After doing some research, I discovered that George Eliot was considered to be one of the greatest English writers and she seemed to have led quite a life. Middlemarch is set in a provincial town and is about diverse lives and changing your fortunes within your community. I am not sure if it’ll be my very first George Eliot, as The Mill on the Floss has been eyeing me a lot and I’ve seen people saying it was easier to start with that one, but we’ll see. In any case, I am so looking forward to discovering George Eliot’s writing in 2018!


2. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004)

If there was one book I could buy right now, it would be this one. It is set during the Napoleonic Wars, so I will cry a lot* because I truly don’t like Napoleon (and I’m French…), but it’s about two magicians who reveal themselves when people thought magic was long dead in England. They join forces in the war against France (yayyyy, let’s defeat Napoleon! Okay I’ll stop), but one of them is drawn to more perilous forms of magic, which is straining his relationship with the other magician. *dramatic music playing* A book set in the 19th century with magic is my kind of thing and I’ve only heard amazing things about that one. Besides, I’ve heard that it almost reads like a history non-fiction book, I need it even more.

*I like being overdramatic, as I know it’s set during that time period, I’m prepared and, in any case, I’m so siding with the English for that.


3. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

The reason I still haven’t read The Three Musketeers is quite stupid and presumptuous, I have to say. I studied history for three years and one of my professors criticised The Three Musketeers a lot, because it was set in the era he was teaching us – he also hated Napoléon, and that however, I’m completely here for – and after some time, I didn’t want to read this book anymore, since I knew so many things about the reign of Louis XIII. As a matter of fact, I didn’t read a lot of historical fiction when I was studying history, because I would have yelled at any inaccuracies (that’s the curse of history majors really). However, I’ve thought of the book a lot lately and talked about it in several conversations on bookstagram, which made me realise that yes, some of Dumas’ choices might pisses me off in his historical interpretations, but I really want to read it anyway, because it sounds so entertaining and it would make me see how that part of French history was seen in the 19th century. I also read one of Dumas’ lesser-known novels in high school, Pauline*, and I had absolutely loved it, so it’s time for me to discover the rest of his works.

*I’m not sure if that one has been translated into English, but I adore it and it has Gothic elements, I definitely recommend that one!


4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (1996)

I’ll confess it straight away: I’m up to date with the show, but I still haven’t read any of the novels. Oops? To be honest, the A Song of Ice and Fire series has always intimidated me, I was scared I wouldn’t like it and I told myself the show would be enough – as I’ve had my ups and downs with it – until I decided lengthy books didn’t scare me anymore and realised that I would have to wait two years for the last season (I loved seasons 6 and 7 so much and I need more). I’ve seen many people saying the show had erased some characters they loved, that they were better (of course!) and eventually, I got convinced. I think that it’s been a while since I read epic fantasy, and I truly miss it. I adore the world I have seen in the show and I really need to see more of it, so this is it, 2018 is the year I will read the A Song of Ice and Fire series (but I only put A Game of Thrones on the list, one book at a time haha).


5. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë (1849)

I’ve only ever read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, but never got around to read the rest of her novels. Last year, I read both Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë and told myself 2018 would be the year I read the rest of Charlotte’s novels (which means I’ll also get to Villette and The Professor soon). I didn’t know where I would start, even though I’ve owned a second-hand copy of Shirley for the past two years (bless my mom for finding me this one), until my favourite BookTuber Lucy @ Lucy The Reader read it and it became her favourite book. Truth be told, I don’t want to know too much about this one*, I know it’s by Charlotte Brontë and that Lucy adored it, that’s all I need to finally jump right into it.

*I actually do know it’s set during the Napoleonic wars, which is ironic as you’ve gotten it, I don’t like Napoleon, but this time period is so interesting in other countries (I’m so sorry for all the anti-Napoleon comments haha).


Have you read any of these books? Which books are on your reading bucket list for 2018?


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

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