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  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

    One of my goals for this summer was to read one of the best American novelists, Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937). I was torn between two of her most famous novels The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920), but I was keen on making use of the school’s library during the summer semester. One last hurried visit to the library helped me make the decision, as The House of Mirth was available on the public section and ready to be brought home. The House of Mirth has been a controversial and shocking novel ever since its publication in 1905. It tells the story of Lily Bart,…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

    We all have that one author we can always go to when we do not know what to read, or when we need some quality comfort reading. For me, that author is Margaret Atwood. I fell in love with her novels when I found Alias Grace, and although I have had some trouble with some of her other works – such as The Robber Bride – she never disappoints. I bought Cat’s Eye (1988) at my local bookshop a few months ago after a particularly bad morning at work. If there is anything that makes life beautiful, that is beautiful books, and I could not resist this paperback edition that…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    I had long wanted to read East of Eden by John Steinbeck, for several reasons, the most important one being that you all love it. I read some Steinbeck back in college, some selected chapters from The Grapes of Wrath and although I thought the writing was really good – I could almost feel sand coming out of the pages – it was suffocating. However, last summer I read Confessions of a Sociopath, by E.M Thomas where the author said that Cathy was the quintessential sociopath. So, I was giving a copy of the book by Mr. B&R last Christmas and I decided to wait until summer, so that I…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    Nada by Carmen Laforet

    As many of you know, I am Spanish, but I am not a huge fan of Spanish literature. However, I had to take a subject on national identity and one of the professors teaches Spanish literature. That is how I discovered Nada by Carmen Laforet, a very inspiring, complex and overlooked book in 20th century Spanish literature. I fell in love with the excerpts we read in class so much, that I borrowed it from the school library and got ready to read my first Spanish novel since high school. From Book Depository: Eighteen-year old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    The Cazalet Chronicles: The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

    I had never heard of The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, but after seeing Sophie’s tweets and everyone recommending the saga, I asked her for a review copy and she kindly sent me the first installment. Then, as I was immerse in the Cazalet world, Elizabeth Jane Howard passed away and despite her wonderful works, she was referred in the press as “Amis’ ex-wife” although she had had two other marriages. I devoted a Feminist Sunday to this issue – click here to read it – and now I am reviewing The Light Years. From Goodreads: In 1937, the coming war is only a distant cloud on Britain’s horizon.…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

    The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood had been on my TBR pile for almost two years now. After reading some novels I expected to love but did not, I decided it was time for an Atwood novel. I had bought it at a local bookshop mainly because of the gorgeous cover and its wonderful price: it was a paperback, but the combination made it irresistible. From Goodreads: Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride is inspired by “The Robber Bridegroom,” a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    Summer In February by Jonathan Smith

    I first heard of Summer in February ([1995] 2013) by Jonathan Smith as a movie, thanks to a suggested trailer at IMDB starring the lovely Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey) and Dominic Cooper who I had previously seen in the film Tamara Drewe. So, seeing that it was based on the acclaimed novel by Jonathan Smith and seeing that Penguin was publishing a movie tie-in edition, I asked for a review copy and they kindly sent it to me. From GoodReads: While making a speech attacking modern art, Sir Alfred Munnings is taken back 40 years to a special time and place. Major Evans, listening to him on the radio,…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    Behind The Scenes At The Museum by Kate Atkinson

    Behind The Scenes At The Museum is Kate Atkinson’s first novel – originally published in 1995 – and winner the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. The following is a SPOILER FREE review. Enjoy! From Book Depository: Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn’t married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patricia aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused…

  • 20th century,  General Fiction

    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

    I have long wanted to read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, mainly because one of the bloggers I trust the most, Leah from Books Speak Volumes, loves it so, so much. It’s very easy to find a quote from Plath’s novel on her Quotable Fridays. So, when this week I attended a congress at my college library, I went to the English and American literature floor to take a look at it and after toying with it for some hours, I decided to borrow it. My initial intention was to read it all through my Easter break and blog about my discovery of Sylvia Plath. Impossible: I read it in…

  • 20th century,  Film Adaptations,  General Fiction

    Howards End (Film)

    One of the reasons I was first attracted to E.M Forster’s Howards End was the movie. While spending an evening at IMDB, they suggested me, according to my recently visited pages, the 1992 movie by James Ivory. I must admit I am a huge fan of Mr. Ivory: when I was 12 I used to spend the evenings watching The Golden Bowl trying to decipher the symbolism and completely fascinated by Kate Beckinsale’s talent. Last month I read the novel and I couldn’t wait to watch the film. I did last week and although I don’t like reviewing films for this blog, I think literary adaptations are an exception. The…