A New Challenge: Shakespeare

So I have decided a new challenge is in order and that challenge is Shakespeare. I will be honest I have only ever read Shakespeare for school but this year I have read Twelfth Night and Venus and Adonis for fun and really enjoyed them so I have decided to read everything by Shakespeare. I’m discrediting the ones I read for school and I plan on reading them again without the pressure of having to write an essay on them.

So here is the list. (If you click the crossed out ones you will go to the review)

Plays

  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • As You Like It
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Coriolanus
  • Cymbeline
  • Hamlet
  • 1 Henry IV
  • 2 Henry IV
  • Henry V
  • 1 Henry VI
  • 2 Henry VI
  • 3 Henry VI
  • Henry VIII
  • Julius Caesar
  • King John
  • King Lear
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Macbeth
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Othello
  • Pericles
  • Richard II
  • Richard III
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Timon of Athens
  • Titus Andronicus
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • The Winter’s Tale

 

Non Plays

  • Sonnets
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Lover’s Complaints
  • Passionate Pilgrim
  • Phoenix and the Turtle
  • Rape of Lucrece

 

I’m not setting a time limit on the challenge because I have a lot of studying to do this year and next so I’m not sure just how much reading I will get done. I am rather excited to get going on this challenge.

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First Line Friday: 18/09/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

Happy Friday!

It is time to guess that book. As per usual the answer is below the cats.

“Anna peered through the window of the gatehouse, watching the chariot trundling through below, enjoying the rich sensuousness of the new silk gown she was wearing, and conscious of her parents’ expectations of her.”

 

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ANSWER

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Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to insure the royal succession. Now forty-six, overweight and unwell, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses, but Anna of Kleve—a small German duchy—is twenty-four and eager to wed. Henry requests Anna’s portrait from his court painter, who enhances her looks, painting her straight-on in order not to emphasize her rather long nose. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. She is pleasant looking, just not the lady that Henry had expected.

What follows is a fascinating story of this awkward royal union that had to somehow be terminated tactfully. Alison Weir takes a fresh and surprising look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone in a royal court that rejected her from the day she arrived.

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

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Friday Poetry: Hugo Williams

Happy Friday!

Today is an unusual one for me because I have no teaching! Usually I have some lessons to teach but everyone is on holiday so that means I get an extra day off which is nice. Hopefully this means a little bit more reading.

The chosen poem for this week is by Hugo Williams. I must admit I hate a nettle sting hence why I have chosen this poem. I do like nettle tea though, very calming.

Joy

Not so much a sting

as a faint burn

 

not so much a pain

as the memory of pain

 

the memory of tears

flowing freely down cheeks

 

in a sort of joy

that there was nothing

 

worse in the world

than stinging nettle stings

 

and nothing better

than cool dock leaves.

 

Hugo Williams

 

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This and That Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Another busy week has gone by but still plenty of reading accomplished thankfully.

Birthday Celebration

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This week was my husband’s birthday which meant a special meal of pizza and a nice bottle of bubbly.

 

Jigsaw

It has been a while since I have done a jigsaw but a friend of mine has given me a load of jigsaws to do so I thought I had better make a start.

 

Future Learn

I’m back on my future learn courses to get my brain back in gear for studying ready for my Masters that restarts in October.

 

Parents Garden

On Sunday I went around to my parents’ house where we watched the church service online but before the service started I went for a wander around the garden because the flowers in my parents’ garden are gorgeous so I had to take some pictures.

 

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WWW Wednesday: 16/09/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

 

What I am Currently Reading

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I took a bit of a break on this but have now started reading it again. So far so good.

 

What I have Recently Finished

Loved both of these books and highly recommend them.

 

What I will Read Next

As per usual I’m never sure what I will read next. It all depends on my mood.

So there is my WWW Wednesday. Please drop me a message with the link of your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit. 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.

 

Hello!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie but must be cover related so I have chosen Book Covers That I Love. I will be honest I have chosen books because of their cover rather than their content but sometimes you just can’t help but be tempted by a pretty cover. I am really guilty of buying Christmas books due to their pretty covers but I will try not to have just ten Christmas books on my list, I promise.

So here is my list…

 

  1. The Everyman’s Library. This isn’t really a book but a collection of books but I love the covers and happily collect these books. I just love how uniform they all are.
  2. Dickens. I love my Dickens collection, they are early 1900’s and just beautiful and so tactile to hold.
  3. Magic Windows. Now people who have been reading my blog for a while know that I love this book and always read it on Christmas Eve. It just reminds me so much of Christmas as a child.
  4. Old Possum’s Book of Predictable Cats by T. S. Eliot. I love this book and when I went to buy a copy of this book there were quite a few different copies to choose from and I chose this one just because of the cover.
  5. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins. Oh dear now this was a book I chose because of the cover and was sorely disappointed with the actual story. I really should have learned a lesson from this book but it is doubtful.
  6. The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen. Read this book as a NetGalley read and then promptly ordered the book as I loved it so much and was even happier when I saw what an amazing cover it has.
  7. Five Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott, and Tobias Iaconis. Haven’t read this yet but have seen the film and loved it. I really love the cover of this book.
  8. The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith. My husband had this book sat on his bookshelf for ages and I was desperate to read it as it was so pretty. Thankfully I loved the book as much as the cover.
  9. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. I love the film so much! I was so happy when I discovered this book last year.
  10. Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls. I have this on my Ipad and have preordered the hardback which is due out near my birthday. The whole book is just gorgeous so I am really excited to actually own a physical copy.

 

There is my list! Please drop me a comment with your thoughts on my choices and of course if you have taken part in Top Ten Tuesday the feel free to drop a link and I will head over.

 

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The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva (Review)

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Blurb

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

Review

Firstly, a massive thank you to Lana Grace Riva for supplying me with a free copy of her wonderful book to review.

I will be honest this isn’t a book that I would have chosen to read on my own but I am so happy that I did read it and I definitely plan on reading more of Riva’s work.

Amy is a wonderful character and one that I loved and felt a rollercoaster of emotions for. Amy has a good group of friends, a fantastic job and what appears as a normal happy life. However, Amy is also plagued by her own mind, that little voice that insists she should live a certain way to survive, even though Amy knows this makes no sense. This almost double life for Amy is exhausting and upsets her greatly because she realises she is missing out on things she would love to do and she is grieving for a time she can remember where she didn’t have this weird double life and grabbed life with both hands.

Riva has really done her research for this book and the character of Amy is brilliantly thought out and her friends are perfect. Sally is the loud socialite who doesn’t see that there is more to Amy than she sees and so thinks wrongly of Amy and leaves Amy out of things but is still Amy’s friend. Nathan is the bubbly happy friend who cares for Amy and wants to help her. Then there is Ed who has always had a deep relationship with Amy and cares for Amy a great deal. Ed and Amy share the same tastes and love nothing more than going around an art exhibition.

The thing I love most about this book is that the story is so simple and it focuses on Amy’s daily life and the struggles she encounters each day. This simplicity makes the story so much more real and makes you realise as a reader that this could be anybody in the world who is facing these struggles, including your own work colleagues and friends. This book definitely makes you think about the struggles people have to deal with that you can’t see.

I am so happy that I read this book and highly recommend it to everyone. It won’t take you long to read but I can guarantee that it will stay with you and give you a lot to think about. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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The Weekly Brief

It has been another busy week on the blog again this week which is always good.

Posts This Week

 

Currently Reading

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Books Acquired

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Blogs I’ve Enjoyed This Week

Here are some lovely blogs that I have really enjoyed reading this week:-

 

So there is another week of blogging complete. Now I’m off to carry on watching The Curse of Oak Island, I love a good treasure hunt!

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Review)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

About the author

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu’s Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination.

Blurb

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Review

I have seen so many reviews of this book and it has featured on my instagram account a great deal so I thought it was high time I gave it a read. Thankfully I was not disappointed.

The first few chapters of the book I will be honest had me slightly worried as it seemed to be heading down a predictable route and to a certain extent it was what I was predicting but with a twist and I’m so pleased I read it till the end.

Neomi is a true socialite who is used to getting her own way in the world. She has her father wrapped around her little finger and she knows how to get a man to do anything for her. She is beautiful and stylish but no simpleton, she is highly educated and I love the fact she has so many opportunities to show her knowledge.

Francis is such a sweetie all he wants to do is help Neomi but he is constrained by his family. He’s so shy and has clearly led a very sheltered life, he has never met a woman like Neomi before in his life and it is clear he finds her fascinating. I really loved Francis’ character and loved getting to know his character.

High Place is a mystery and a mouldy one at that, it really sounds like a nightmare to live in but the people who call it home do not seem to mind the state of place but Neomi notices it. The mould on the walls, the lack of reliable electricity and hot water and the fact that the curtains remain closed can not help the situation. It really must be a dismal place to live and seems like something from a gothic novel to Neomi.

The character I did not like was Virgil as he was clearly a bully and a very slimy character. He is described as handsome but his character does not reflect that. Florence, Francis’ mother, is also a nasty lady but at the same time I felt sorry for her. Florence clearly tried to change her future and clearly had a happier past but now she is a different woman left with broken dreams. You see snippets of this through the book.

I really enjoyed reading this book, oh and I love the cover of the book. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but the cover really is eye catching. The storyline for this book is brilliantly written and cleverly thought out. I will definitely be reading Moreno-Garcia’s other books. I give this book 4 out 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book DepositoryWaterstonesWordery

 

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