July was a busy one on my end with offline stuff. Summer also finally made its appearance here as it has been super hot, not to mention my city is hosting a ton of major events >_< Anyway, my semi-hiatus sort of dwindled to a close towards the end of the month, though I'm still sort of playing catch-up with everything I've missed. Here's what has been going on at my blog for the month of July regardless:
- Books reviewed this month include: George Eliot’s Middlemarch (review), Kathleen Tessaro’s The Perfume Collector (review), and Robert Shearman’s They Do The Same Things Different There (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- I only posted one ARC review this month, Alice Hoffman’s upcoming The Marriage of Opposites (review). You can check out all of the ARCs that I recently read in this tag.
- On the movies end, I finally posted my review of Hayao Miyazaki’s final feature film, The Wind Rises (review). You can check out other movie reviews I’m posted in this tag.
- In conjunction with Canada Day at the start of the month, I decided to feature Alice Munro for this month’s So You Want to Read… 🙂 You can read the post of my recommendations for her short story collections over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- On a list-related note, having finally read all of Shakespeare’s works I compiled a list of my favourite plays. What are your favourites by him?
And that’s about it from me this month! I hope everyone had a lovely July and have a lovely weekend (and a lovely long weekend if you’re Canadian)! 🙂
A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.
*le sigh* Here we are, at the last of the Studio Ghibli films I have lined up on the to-watch queue. I suppose it seemed fitting that my last movie to view happens to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film 🙂 *sobs*
So, as of 10 May 2015, I could proudly say that I read all of William Shakespeare’s plays. It’s pretty intense, the bulk of his works having been read in the last two years starting with the reading challenge I hosted in 2014 and wrapping up this year with the rest of his plays. You can read all of my reviews in the author tag. I just wanted to reflect a little bit on reading all of his plays, note my favourites from the batch (because there were so I loved, some I liked, and some I didn’t like (and some perhaps I need to re-read at some point)) 🙂
- Twelfth Night (review) — Always and forever, my number one favourite comedy from Shakespeare. Twins lost at sea, mistaken identities, love triangles and squares, yellow stockings…What’s not to love? 😀
- Much Ado About Nothing (review) — It took a second read for me to really enjoy the play (in my first read, I found the main storyline with Claudio and Hero extremely problematic and not terribly satisfying), but it’s really all because of Beatrice and Benedick 😀
- As You Like It (review) — Such a sweet, lovely play. A little weird at times with things being decided upon out of th blue but whatever, it works. Rosalind and Orlando are so cute too xP
- The Merchant of Venice (review) — I have a soft spot for this play because it was the first play I studied in school. It’s still an interesting play to read, and Shylock’s storyline continues to compel me more so than the main storyline with Bassiano, Portia, et al.
- Hamlet (review) — I always liked this play but it took a re-read earlier this year to truly appreciate the finer aspects of this play and the themes and elements that were running through Hamlet over the course of the play. It’s dark and introspective and just fascinating.
- Titus Andronicus (review) — Definitely one of those plays that prompted a more physical response as I was reading it (“Should I be weeping or screaming right about now?”), I couldn’t quite tear away from it even when it went bad to worse D= It had some great lines, not to mention an interesting take on, err, revenge
- Othello (review) — Another one of those plays that left me all flailing and reacting a bt more out loud (“OMG, Othello, don’t trust him!”), it was quite the page turner.
- Macbeth (review) — In retrospect, I do wish this play was a bit longer, but it’s pretty intriguing and tragic and thought-provoking all the same.
- Richard II (review) — It took a second read for me to love and really appreciate this play, both story-wise, characterisation-wise, and structurally as a play. It’s just so finely written, and there’s so much going thematically and these characters…
- Richard III (review) — Fell in love with this play the first time I read it. Richard III is such a bastard in this play and yet it’s quite a page-turner, it’s compelling, you’re left wondering how things will ultimately turn out for him (hint: not so well).
- Julius Caesar (review) — Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Lend me your ear…I enjoyed reading this play, but Mark Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral bumped it up to a favourite 😛
The Honourable Mentions
Because they stayed with me even though I may not have loved them completely (so that means I liked it…right?)…
- All’s Well That Ends Well (review) — Everything problematic about this play stems from Bertram, but I can’t help but like the play anyhow.
- Measure For Measure (review) — Again, problematic with the two leads here and Angelo’s actions later in the play are like WTF, NO!, but it’s a very interesting play with some contrasts and mirror issues similar to Richard II (at least in my mind 😛 ).
- The Tempest (review) — For the sheer amount of quotables in this play, yeah, it gets an honourable mention 😉
And those are my favourites! I suppose I’ll be moving along to Shakespeare’s other contemporaries now that I finished his works and Christopher Marlowe’s (see tag) and maybe a few of the more modern playwrights (been meaning to re-visit Arthur Miller). What do you think of the list? Which plays by Shakespeare are your favourites? That you want to read? Favourite playwrights/plays in general?
The Marriage of Opposites
By: Alice Hoffman
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.
This is the second book by Alice Hoffman that I’ve read. I read Practical Magic (review) a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I tried reading The Probable Future but was immediately turned off about two chapters in with the frustrating mother-daughter dynamics. Nonetheless I was curious to check out her other books as they sounded very interesting. I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available on 04 August 2015.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: 10 Characters Who Are Also Book Nerds
Fun topic for this week’s TTT! Gave me a bit of a think too as I’m sure I’ve come across plenty of book characters who were readers too but to compile them into a list, lol…Anyway, in no particular order:
- Catherine Morland from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (review) — Catherine was quite the reader in this Jane Austen novel, wasn’t she? We can all relate with her staying up late reading those novels 😉
- Don Quixote from Cervantes’ Don Quixote — He loooooooooooooved his books, he spent a lot of time reading, so much so that it affected his worldview quite…err, profoundly (I really need to re-read this classic btw)
- All the characters from from Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (review) — How delightful was it that pretty much all of the characters in this novel loved reading? 😀
- Elend Venture from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books (book post) — One of my favourite characters from the fantasy genre, his introduction to the series was pretty interesting (and involved a book too) 🙂
- Cathy from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (review) — We can identify with her and how much she loves the Carry On fandom, reading the books and interacting with fellow fans in the fandom and spilling out to write fanfiction.
- Samantha Moore from Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightley (review) — Another well-read character from the list; her letters to Mr. Knightley were chock-full of literary references, mostly of the classic variety 🙂
- Hermoine Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books — Need I say anything about her? Resourceful, smart, curious, brave…and most definitely a bookworm 🙂
- Faramir from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3) — It was implied in the text, him being “the wizard’s pupil” meaning he spent plenty of hours learning the old histories of Gondor and of the West 😉
- Daniel Sempere from Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (review) — You didn’t think I would forget one of my favourite books ever, now would I? 😛
- Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (review) — Boy was smart and well-versed, and he was reading at one point on-stage too 😛
And that’s my list of characters for this week’s TTT! Which characters made your list? Happy Tuesday! 🙂