Being brutally honest about books

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves 

 Stacking The Shelves is a meme created by Tynga’s Reviews. This is my first time participating, but I got some new books today and haven't posted in a while, so here we go! Links go to Goodreads.

This afternoon, my mum and I went into a second-hand bookshop we like but haven't been to for a very long time, and she bought these for me! The first I picked up because I have two other books by the author on my TBR list and it sounded very interesting, the third was on my TBR list, and the second my mum picked up because she has the same name as the title and enjoyed one of the author's other books.

Despite The Falling Snow  by

The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif's powerful second novel moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow. After an early career amongst the political elite of Cold War Russia, Alexander Ivanov has built a successful business in the States. For forty years, he has buried the tragic memories surrounding his charismatic late wife, Katya - or so he believes. For into his life come two women - one who will open up the heart he has protected for so long; another who is determined to uncover what really happened to Katya so long ago. The novel's journey back to the snowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow reveals a world of secrets and treachery. Shamim Sarif's elegant writing delicately evokes the intensity of passionate love and tragic violence.

Helen  by

Newly orphaned Helen Stanley is urged to share the home of her childhood friend Lady Cecilia. This charming socialite, however, is withholding secrets and soon Helen is drawn into a web of ‘white lies’ and evasions that threaten not only her hopes for marriage but her very place in society. 

A fascinating panorama of Britain’s political and intellectual elite in the early 1800s and a gripping romantic drama. Helen was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.
  Tipping the Velvet  by
This delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.
All of these are set in the past, but are quite diverse - there are 20th Century Russians*, Georgians, and Victorians. Being the history nerd that I am (who loves these 3 eras) I am very excited to read these 3 novels! (Unfortunately my bookshelf is already overflowing, so I have no idea where I'll put them.)

*I seem to be going through an unintentional 19th and 20th Century Russia phase. Stay tuned for my review of War and Peace whenever I finish it (I'm still not even halfway, though I'm making good progress!).

Have you read any of these? What have you added to your bookshelf lately? Or have you been good?

Monday, 12 September 2016

Lying about reading a book

I've read and watched a lot of things in which characters lied about having read a specific book (and eventually having it backfire). I've also come across people on the internet who say they've lied about reading a certain book. The books people lie about reading are usually classic literature and popular fiction.

I want to know why this happens. Why lie about reading a book? Do these people honestly think we care that much about what they read? That if someone says, "No, I haven't read Jane Eyre or Hamlet," we'll think they're unintelligent? 

Because we won't. One of the best things in the world is when you can talk about your favourite book with someone who has also read it. But that doesn't make you both more intelligent. Reading a particular book does not make you smarter than someone who hasn't read it. (Unless it's a textbook, which is designed to make you smarter.)

I have no problem telling people that I've never read and never want to read Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey. That I read all of Jane Austen's works by age 16. That I will probably never read The Silmarillion or Charles Dickens. Or that I'm currently reading War and Peace, one of the longest novels ever written, and am loving it.

Not every book is interesting to everyone. Not every book is accessible to everyone. It's okay to have your own taste in books. It's okay to not read at all. Just be honest. People will dislike you more for lying about it than for just admitting to not having read it.

Talk to me...

Have you ever lied about reading a book? Has someone ever lied to you about reading a book? How did it make you feel?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Top Ten F/F Relationships on TV

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is to do a television-related topic, so I've chosen to do my ten favourite female/female relationships on television, past and present. Some of these are ships, some are friendships, some are antagonistic relationships. Not a spoiler-free post.

1. Xena & Gabrielle

Xena: Warrior Princess 
This one's a given.

2. Xena & Callisto

Xena: Warrior Princess
Gif source
You hurt me, I hurt you back tenfold.

3. Eve & Varia

Xena: Warrior Princess
Gif source
Varia has good reason to hate Eve, but ultimately forgives her. Cue happy feels.

4. Ilithyia & Lucretia

Gif source
The best frenemies to ever frenemy.

5. Gaia & Lucretia

Gif source
They genuinely care about each other and Gaia is essential in Lucretia's character development.

6. Nicole Haught & Waverly Earp

Wynonna Earp
Gif source
No Bury Your Gays trope here!

7. Waverly Earp & Wynonna Earp

Wynonna Earp

Gif source

 Healthy family relationships are so rare in fiction. Given the end of season 1, let's see how long this lasts.

8. Cosima Niehaus & Delphine Cormier

Orphan Black
Delphine is alive!

9. Clara Oswald & Jane Austen

Doctor Who
Still a better love story than Twilight, and they don't even have any scenes together.

10. Alex Vause & Piper Chapman

Orange is the New Black
Gif source
Such an unhealthy relationship that sometimes it's hard to watch. But it's so good!

Talk to me...

Do you know all these relationships? Which are your favourites? Who would you add to the list?
I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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