“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come” (Birthday (Book) Giveaway!)

Posted 5 October, 2016 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 25 Comments


*Blog post title taken from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (review)

So lo and behold, today is October the 5th. Which on a personal note means that today is my birthday. Yes, the old addage goes that age is just a number, but this year feels just a tad bit different on my account because I’m turning 30. It’s weird to think that my 20s are over (where did it go? Seriously, I’ve been pondering about this for the last few weeks)…Suffice to say this is going to take a wee bit getting used to (then again for the past year I’ve been pausing for a moment every time someone’s asked me how old I am because I wasn’t sure myself, haha :3 ) 😛

Anyway, I was thinking for a few weeks how to mark/celebrate this, especially here on my blog, and I’ve decided to list 30 books that have influenced me over the years: marked a change of reading, opened a new genre or branch of translated books that I enjoy reading, marked a non-reading interest, remains an absolute favourite for years and years. No commentary will be included (as listing 30 books took a bit of time to fill out!), but feel free to ask me why I listed so-and-so 😀 This list is not in chronological order, I should add (read too many books to remember when I started reading this genre and that field; and I call myself a historian 😛 ):

  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3)
  • Jane Austen’s Persuasion (review)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South (review)
  • Ian McEwan’s Atonement (review)
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (review)
  • Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons (review)
  • Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling
  • E.M. Forster’s The Longest Journey (review)
  • Frank Herbert’s Dune (review)
  • Garth Nix’s Sabriel (review)
  • Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
  • Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy
  • Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Poems (review)
  • Carmen Laforet’s Nada (review)
  • Alice Munro’s Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage (review)
  • Patricia A. McKillip’s Winter Rose (review)
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris (review)
  • Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review)
  • William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (review)
  • Maria Rainer Rilke’s Duino Elegies (review)
  • Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (review)
  • Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series (see author tag)
  • The Kalevala (review)
  • Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
  • Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (review)
  • Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy (review #1, review #2, review #3)
  • Robert Shearman’s Remember Why You Fear Me (review)
  • Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle (review)
  • Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review)
  • Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana



Dare I ask if you were surprised by some of my choices?

And now for the fun part: I’m hosting a wee giveaway in which you have a chance to win a book of your choice from the above 30 (omg, all the choices!). In the case of trilogies/series mentioned above (e.g. Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Deborah Harkness’ All Souls), you will need to specify which book in the trilogy/series you want 😉 This giveaway is open internationally (so long as The Book Depository ships to your country) and will remain open until 11:59PM EST on 14 October 2015. Just make sure you use a valid email address; should you win, you will have 24 hours to respond to my email otherwise a new winner will be drawn (I would also kindly ask to email me when you do receive the book so that I know the book arrived to you safe and sound!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Un bocca di lupo! Let me know if you have any problems with Rafflecopter or whatnot. Meanwhile, I will quietly celebrate my birthday with ice cream cake, Japanese food later this evening, and German beer to wash it all down (after starting celebrations off over the weekend with some good ol’ German food) 😀


ETA: Congratulations to the winner, Kate! I hope you enjoy the book you chose 🙂 Many thanks again to everyone who entered and for the birthday greetings!

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25 Responses to ““With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come” (Birthday (Book) Giveaway!)”

  1. Happy birthday!!! (Also, ice cream cake is amazing. I should consider it for my next birthday.)

    Those look like some great books. Except I started Tigana and then just…stopped, and it’s so complex that I don’t want to have to start over just to know what’s going on. :p

    • Thanks so much Briana! That ice cream cake was gobbled up so fast, lol…Always a great choice for one’s birthday 🙂

      Haha, I understand about Tigana, it’s definitely a book that when you start, you have to see it through as there’s so many characters and motivations going on.

  2. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    Happy birthday~! This is a great idea. I may have to borrow it when my birthday comes around 😀 Sounds like you have some good plans for tonight. Enjoy your day.

    • Thanks so much! It was a very busy birthday that capped off with me getting called in to work xD Btw snag away at the idea, I look forward to reading it come your birthday 🙂

  3. Happy 30th birthday!
    You’re still a spring chicken as my grandpa used to say… lol… (I’ll be 40 in two months!)
    Hope you day is magical and filled with love!

    • Thanks so much Freda! I’m going to have to use your grandpa’s phrase next time I meet up with my friends 😉 It’s so weird how hitting a new decade can leave you a little O_o at first…

  4. Summer

    Happy Birthday! Persuasion is one of my all-time favorites, so I’m glad to see it on your list. I actually haven’t read any of the others, but so many of them are ones I want to try like House Of Mirth and North and South, for some reason I’ve gotten away from reading classics as much as I used to, I’d like to get back to more than one or two a year.

    • Thanks so much Summer! House of Mirth and North & South are hands down my favourite titles from both authors. A few years ago I was reading a ton of classics but for the last year or so I haven’t so much as my TBR pile keeps fluctuating with contemporary titles; I think I’ll be making it a point to read a few more classics than usual in 2017 (though I was reading a lot of classic theatre plays in the last two years to make up for that) 🙂

      Persuasion is just *hearts* 😀

  5. Kara

    Happiest of (belated) birthdays to you, my friend! And trust me, 30 isn’t so bad. I mean, I get it! I do. But just wait til you’re closer to 40! (!!!!) Now THAT’S what’s weird. 😉 So many great books up there! And if I won, which would I pick….???

    • Thanks so much Kara! lol aww about 40! Seems like every time one hits a decade older it’s like O_O lol.

      Hahaha, the wonderful thing about hosting a book giveaway hitting 30: so many choices! 😀

  6. A bit belated, but still: congratulations on your birthday! 30 is rather momentous indeed, but my experience is also that you will soon feel like maybe a new era of your life has begun!

    • Thanks so much! I’ve only been 30 for about a week and a bit but it is starting to feel like I’m starting a new page so to speak 🙂 Quite exciting. Hope all is well with you! 🙂

      • Very good! I’m okayish, though still tired from the whole ‘ending my PhD’ thing and doing a lot of thinking, because my life seems in flux now. Well, never a dull moment, as they say!

        • I hear you; finishing something as massive as a PhD requires one heck of a break/rest & recharge, and I can imagine you’re weighing your options quite a bit. Wishing you the best in whatever you plan on doing next! 🙂

          • Thank you! I had an interview today for a really interesting job. But I have also decided that I want to take at least January and February completely off to recharge and just do some things I’ve been wanting to do for years!

          • It was a good interview yes, but I didn’t get the job…. There was someone just somewhat more experienced than me.

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