Bookshelf Tour, Part One – Featuring Austen, Dickens, Woolf, and More

Hello lovely readers! As I’ve spent this morning reorganizing my bookshelves rather than writing blog posts, like I was supposed to do, I thought now would be the perfect time to give you a quick tour of my shelves. 🙂

To give you a bit of overview, I have two bookshelves in my bedroom – a large, pretty white one from Ikea, which is my main bookshelf and the one that gets featured on my Instagram account quite frequently, and a smaller, brown bookshelf that is extremely messy and serves as a place to put all the books that don’t fit on my main shelves. My second bookcase is extremely disorganized, so I’m not going to show you that one, but I am rather proud of my white shelves so that is what you’ll see on this tour today.

My main bookshelf has six shelves, and as I don’t want this post to be massively long I will be breaking my bookshelf tour up into a six part series, one part for each shelf. By breaking it up this way, I can give you an overview of the shelf and talk a bit about all the different books on that shelf without feeling like I’m bombarding you all with information. Without further ado, let’s get to the books!

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Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Part One – Featuring Austen, Dickens, Woolf, and More”

My Birthday Book Haul: Dickens, Hamilton, GWTW, and More!

birthday book haul

Hello, hello, hello! I apologize for my lack of activity this past week; I had my orientation at university and, since I’m not one of those blogger who writes posts in advance, when I’m not home posts don’t get written (note to self – work on organization!). This book haul is my offering to keep the gods of book blogging appeased until I have time to sit down and write an actual review post. 🙂

For those of you who didn’t know, a couple of weeks ago I turned 18 (woo!) and to celebrate my family and I took a trip to Ann Arbor for the day to scour the bookshops there. This haul is a combination of the books I was given as presents and the books I bought myself while I was out shopping on my birthday. All of them look absolutely wonderful, however, and I can’t wait to dive in and get reading them! Continue reading “My Birthday Book Haul: Dickens, Hamilton, GWTW, and More!”

Sex, Drugs, and Show Business: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Valley of the Dolls’

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Title: Valley of the Dolls

Author: Jacqueline Susann

Publisher: Virago Press

Pages: 417

Summary (from first page): Dolls -red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there’s nowhere left to go but down – to the Valley of the Dolls.

Valley of the Dolls is one of those books that I’ve known about for a while but I’ve never felt motivated to pick up and read. Truth be told, until a few months ago I didn’t actually know what Valley of the Dolls was about. I knew it was supposed to be quite scandalous, that it had a pink cover, and that I was 95% sure it was made into movie. It wasn’t until I discovered that this year, 2016, is the 50th anniversary of Valley of the Dolls (it was originally published in 1966), however, that I finally took the plunge and decided to buy a copy for myself and check it out (it does help that it came in the gorgeous Virago Modern Classics edition you see above.) Continue reading “Sex, Drugs, and Show Business: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Valley of the Dolls’”

Revolutionary Road: A Novel of American Disillusionment and the Dangers of Suburbia

revolutionary roadTitle: Revolutionary Road

Author: Richard Yates

Publisher: Vintage Books

Pages: 355

Summary (from back of book): From the moment of its publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road was hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs. It’s the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who lied on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

“That’s how we both got committed to this enormous delusion – because that’s what it is, an enormous, obscene delusion – this idea that people have to resign from real life and ‘settle down’ when they have families. It’s the great sentimental lie of the suburbs, and I’ve been making you subscribe to it all this time.”

If The Great Gatsby and the television series Mad Men had a love child, I am almost 100 per cent convinced that the result would be Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Continue reading “Revolutionary Road: A Novel of American Disillusionment and the Dangers of Suburbia”

Mid-Year Wrap Up: My Favorite Books of 2016 Thus Far

2016 Mid-Year Wrap UpI’m in denial that I’m writing this post, because that would mean I have to acknowledge that we’re actually over halfway through 2016 and that’s something I refuse to do. 🙂 But, deny it all I want, we are in July, so I thought that now would be the perfect time to write my mid-year reading wrap-up. Continue reading “Mid-Year Wrap Up: My Favorite Books of 2016 Thus Far”

A Wilde Time: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories

oscar wilde**Note: I wrote the majority of this review back in December of 2015, right after finishing this book. Life got in the way, however, and I never got around to finishing this post, so it has sat in my drafts until now. I want to publish this post because it seems a waste not to, as I had 90% of the review already written, however since it was long ago that I read this collection I have forgotten a majority of the last story, “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” For that reason, and because I do not think that I could accurately review that story now, it is not included in this review. All of the other stories in this collection are individually reviewed, however, and I hope you enjoy this rather delayed review of an excellent collection. 🙂

After finishing A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (which you can read my thoughts on here), I immediately went out and bought some more Hemingway, or, to be more exact, I went online and ordered The Sun Also Rises. I knew I would want to pick that up as soon as it came, so while I was waiting for it to arrive I wanted something short to read. Since I have never read any of Oscar Wilde’s short stories I thought that now would be the perfect time to start! Continue reading “A Wilde Time: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories”

The Hemingway Files: A Moveable Feast

A couple weeks ago I read “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain, which is a historical fiction novel set in Paris during the 1920s about Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to his first wife, Hadley. To tell you the truth, I mainly picked “The Paris Wife” up because I love reading about artists and writers and I was aware that Hemingway was a good friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, another literary giant who I have loved ever since reading “The Great Gatsby.” I knew nothing about Hemingway, other than he was this huge literary presence who readers either seemed to love or hate.

I finished “The Paris Wife” in a mere number of days. I was completely entranced by the atmosphere and climate of post-war Paris. The scandal, the passion, and, most importantly, the tragic love affair of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway. I was eager to learn more about the couple’s relationship and their time in Paris so I dove straight into “A Moveable Feast,” which is Hemingway’s own account of the same time period. (Side note: if you do not know anything about Hemingway, his wife Hadley, or 1920s Paris, then I highly recommend you read “A Paris Wife” before picking up “A Moveable Feast” because it more fully explains a lot of the events Hemingway writes about in his account.)

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You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

Continue reading “The Hemingway Files: A Moveable Feast”