So, here I am, and I am excited to share with you the delicious and exciting array of books I
General warning to the inhabitants of this universe, and to the travellers in far off galaxies, that this post is going to be LOOOONGGG! Your decision of pursuing to read this post is entirely on your head, and I'm not responsible for any time wasted from your precious lives. So, if you're still super keen on this procrastination (which, to be totally honest, in this instance, I don't really object to), then please, pull yourself up on a comfy couch with a hot cocoa and some yummy short-bread biscuits and enjoy! :)
Some of my forays into the world of classics last year included reading authors I had been eager to read for a long time, like P.G. Wodehouse (he's my firm favourite comedy writer now!), confirming my love of Elisabeth Elliot through her books Let Me Be a Woman, and Through the Gates of Splendour, reading my first book for Anne Bronte (her novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall left me with a lot of thoughts!), finally enjoying Harper Lee's renowned To Kill a Mockingbird, and then totally falling in love with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (folks, just go read it, okay? Okay!)
|Isn't he cute?|
Secure in the Everlasting Arms inspired and challenged my faith and Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot helped me put in perspective things facing the overwhelming feminist worldviews I've been bumping into in novels and my literary studies; Death by Living by N.D. Wilson - this was one of those books that left a truly lasting effect on me, and was simply so powerful and convicting.
P.G. Wodehouse was such a beautiful surprise of 2015, and SO REFRESHING! My favourite was Right Ho Jeeves, but The Code of the Woosters was equally a delight. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was my favourite re-read of 2015 - I love those 4 little women so much :). The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte left me with a rage of emotions but I actually really loved it.
I had heard a lot about Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, but reading it was something quietly beautiful and bittersweet - I loved it! The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge was another favourite just because Goudge writes so beautifully and refreshingly and with the simplicity of faith that I treasured a lot.
. . and I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and jolly! What a powerful and special book - I loved the writing, Atticus and Scout and Jem and the story so much. . . no wonder it's such a favourite modern classic.
But I think if you'd put me to the spot and ask me which book was my absolute favourite of 2015, what book left the greatest impression on me and was the greatest thrill to read? It would have to be Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. That book! It's just so brilliant, haunting and beautiful.
|The happiness I feel when a friend picks up a book|
that I love and enjoys it as thoroughly as I did!
|Oh my squishy darling baby! I devoured books like that in 2015.|
6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2015?
“Grace has a grand laughter in it.” ― Marilynne Robinson,The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee were all written so beautifully, they left me broken with the bittersweet beauty and ache of it, but also touched and refreshed in such a healing way. If I can write anything like those books one day, get a grasp of the power and beauty of words, and how to break and heal and enrich with that sort of strength and tenderness of writing, it would I think see my writing aspirations fulfilled.
I was also greatly challenged and inspired by Death by Living by N.D. Wilson.
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” ― Daphne du Maurier,
“The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.” ― Daphne du Maurier,
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ― Harper Lee,
“Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” ― Harper Lee,
“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” ― Harper Lee,
“What is the scent of water?""Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.” ― Elizabeth Goudge,
“Because I believe that this too shall be used by God. Somehow, this story He is writing will live on.” ― Kristy Cambron,
“There was carpet under Blanchefleur’s feet and the scent of clean and delicate things in her nostrils—perfume, babies, soap, and tea. Homesickness hit her like a clenched fist; this was worse than memory.”― Suzannah Rowntree,
“Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life.” ― Marilynne Robinson,
“I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you.” ― Marilynne Robinson,
"We shall have made such a blaze that men will remember us on the other side of the dark." --Rosemary Sutcliff, Road to Camlann
“But smiles and tears are so alike with me, they are neither of them confined to any particular feelings: I often cry when I am happy, and smile when I am sad.” ― Anne Brontë,
“Janet! Donkeys!” ― Charles Dickens,
"Do you mean you want a secretary or something?""No, I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool.” ― Daphne du Maurier,
“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” ― Harper Lee,
“It was like listening to the universe in motion. Planets spinning on their appointed courses, the lives of men intersecting and parting, the unimaginable harmony of the human body itself in hierarchy and order, were all implied in the song, but something greater as well: the genius of the composer, which must surely approach the miraculous. Perceval closed his eyes and was lost in the weaving music.” ― Suzannah Rowntree,
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” ― Daphne du Maurier,
"Under her feet Margaret felt Plenilune tremble-with fury and with colossal ecstasy..." - Plenilune
|and my heart felt like this. . .|
"A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship."- The Book Thief
28. Book that Made You the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?
I'm pretty fond of my review for "A Sparrow in Terezin" on Goodreads, as well as "Draven's Light" by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I enjoyed writing a review for "The Hunger Games" mostly because it made me use my analysing skills, and allowed me to be critical and thoughtful in my writing. Reviewing a poetry collection - T.S. Eliot's Selected Poems - was pretty delightful as well.
Alas, I didn't write many discussion posts in 2015, but I did a lot of tags - and one of my favourite in-depth tag posts was "The Literary Tag" for my blog's 4th birthday.
I can't pin-point any one time, because there have been many special moments; but just before I went on that enormously long blog-break, I remember having a huge boost in blogging and it was just delight to experience the enjoyment of posting about literature and discussing with you all - it was fantastic! Every time I receive a comment from one of you, lovely readers, or receive any encouragement/emails//tips/notes I feel so blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude - you all mean so much to me, friends!
|That's right - we all huddle together, fangirl over classic tomes and snack on fish-fingers and custard like nobody's business - we're the hermits united ;)|
With blogging, it has mostly been to find the time to write all the posts I wanted to write, and largely failing to do so :(, but also juggling to maintain my own blog with staying up-to-date with my friends' blogs as well. . . it can be a challenge if your life is already busy, so I struggled with that a bit, but it was also a wonderful means of refreshing, so I want to work on that more in 2016.
In regards to reading, I think I struggled a bit finding the time and motivation to read the books on my official "to-be-read pile" that included the more in-depth and intense reads, or the larger novels; but instead I read an eclectic collection of books that I really loved!
Oh my goodness, I have been so blessed with all the many sweet notes and encouragements you all have so graciously poured throughout the year, oft' even in the most irregular and crazy posts I've written - I think some of the most popular posts this year were with my 4th Birthday Blog Celebrations when I did a week-long party sharing different literary tags and things, and so many joined in - that was such a huge highlight of my blog, I think. Also I'm pretty fond of my "Deserted Islands Tag", and I think many of you folks enjoyed it as well!
There was a lot of love for all the stuff I posted, but I suppose the least comments I got were for my book-review posts - tags are always popular!
The biannual Lifeline Bookfest in the city has been one of the absolute best bookish discoveries I've ever done in my life; I've collected so many wonderful second hand books and classics through stalking those aisles over the past year - oh my sweet gingersnaps, it is the BEST THING EVER!
Yes, I challenged myself to reading 50 books on Goodreads, and won it! Originally I'd challenged myself to read 40 books at the beginning of the year, but with the inclusion of a few smaller books, I made it to the 50 books *fist pumps* :D
Oh my, I am very eager to read a LOT of books this year!! I'll try to write up a 2016 TBR list sometime, but I think I am especially looking forward to the read The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron (to be released in 2016).
I am also really eager to find out what Anne Elisabeth Stengl's next novel will be!
I am really anticipating reading the last book in the Wars of the Realms series - The Light of the Last by Chuck Black - hoping it will be a good end to a fascinating trilogy!
4. One Thing You Hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016?
Lord willing, I hope to read a wider range of books from different genres and eras/authors, more intense and challenging classics; I'd love to delve more into poetry, read more non-fiction - especially devotional and theology/philosophy books. Also I'd like to try and read a bit more out of my comfort zone reads - potentially more science-fiction, dystopian and thriller. We shall have to see!
Plans for my blog? Well, in between lots of studying, I hope to be more committed in posting once a week or a fortnight at least, write more in-depth literary, life and faith discussions, create some fun literary tags, and work on analysing/writing more analytical reviews and topics on my blog and Goodreads for the books I read. What would you all like me to share more on my blog? Please share!