Category: Lists


So You Want to Read… (Soren Kierkegaard)

Posted 22 March, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 0 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

I was pondering for a while as to who to feature for this March edition of “So You Want to Read…” I sometimes schedule posts based on the time of year, what holidays are coming up, etc. It took a bit of pondering, but in the end I decided to go with Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher and writer from the 19th century. I first encountered his works when I was in Grade 12 high school and took a philosophy course. It was his concept of the leap of faith that solidified my interest in his works, and since then had been slowly getting around to reading his works. The list might not appeal to everyone has his works can lean heavily on spiritual philosophy and what people nowadays see as an early form of psychology, but nonetheless I find he quite acutely pinpoints some realities about the human condition in an eloquent and rational way.

So, to anyone interested in reading a bit of philosophy for a change and have always wanted to check out Kierkegaard’s works, here’s my recommendation on where to start:

  • The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion (review) — Possibly the most easily accessible of all of his works, this particular work of his is especially timely in with the current political climate as he discusses about the mass media and its role in shaping society and the public’s response to information. There is a latter essay included in this collection, “Of the Difference Between a Genius and an Apostle,” which may initially strike readers as an odd addition but it does make sense as to why it was paired with “The Present Age.” Anyhow, I strongly recommend starting here for first-time Kierkegaard readers to get a flavour of his writing and thought processes.
  • Either/Or (the first part at least) — This book is actually a collection of essays and writing fragments. I recommend reading the first bit as they’re merely a collection of thoughts that Kierkegaard has about life, the human condition, love, etc. They’re interesting and incredibly astute; I found myself nodding my head for much of this segment as I agreed with many of the conclusions he came to about life.
  • The Sickness Unto Death — Okay, it was a toss-up between this book and Fear and Trembling. Both I think are equally famous when you think Kierkegaard but while the latter is shorter, The Sickness Unto Death may appeal more as his discussions serve as some predecessor to psychology and a deep analysis of the self, of despair, of the human condition and the mental process. Like most of his writings, a lot of his ideas are still deeply rooted to Christian theology but his conclusions are nonetheless interesting and the material he uncovers along the way fascinating.



And that’s my list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Soren Kierkegaard for the first time! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (Amanda Grange)

Posted 21 February, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 2 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

For this month’s edition of “So You Want to Read…”, I’m going to focus on books written by Amanda Grange (see author tag). By mid-last year I had more or less gotten around to reading all of Grange’s Jane Austen hero diaries save one (sorry, I have no interest in reading Wickham’s perspective on events. Henry Crawford, on the other hand, is another story…) and figured it would make a great focus for this feature. Grange does such a wonderful job in presenting familiar Austen stories from the perspective of the hero and add to characters we already know and love. I cannot recommend her books enough!

So without further ado, here’s three books from the diaries series that I’d recommend to start with:

  • Captain Wentworth’s Diary (review) — Not surprising in that Persuasion (review) is my favourite Jane Austen novel, but Amanda Grange’s novel from Wentworth’s perspective just adds so much more to the character and to events, not only filling in the spaces on Anne and Wentworth’s relationship the first time around, but also sort of confirms my line of thinking that Wentworth definitely wears his heart on his sleeve 😛 Nonetheless it’s a great intro to Amanda Grange’s books, I think, adding a bit of something before and after the events of Persuasion.
  • Mr. Knightley’s Diary (review) — Another excellent diary from Amanda Grange, I think what’s especially great about this book is how not only does it capture the sly humour of Emma (review) but again really adds to the character of Mr. Knightley (omg, he has friends?! Like, outside of Emma and Mr. Woodhouse? (c’mon, I’m sure that would’ve been Emma’s response to such new information 😛 )). Even if Emma isn’t you’re favourite Austen novel (definitely not up there for me if I had to rank her books), it does offer some fresh appreciation for the story, at least in my experience 😉
  • Colonel Brandon’s Diary (review) — Okay, I knew Colonel Brandon was awesome in Sense and Sensibility (review) but this book brought that realisation to new heights *hearts and stars* He went through so much crap and disappointment when he was younger that you’re naturally rooting for everything good and decent to happen to him for the rest of his life. And this book just confirms the idea that he’s got this sort of Cinderella story, this second chance at love and happiness. Again, it’s great when books really add to the original story and build on what we know of the characters.



And that’s my list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Amanda Grange for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (CLAMP)

Posted 18 January, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 4 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

New year, new edition of”So You Want to Read…”! Actually, this post was supposed to go live last month but with the migration and the issues that arose from that, this post got bumped to this year 😛 I decided to shake things up for this round of the feature and focus instead on another medium, manga, with the manga artists known as CLAMP. Of all the manga artists out there, they are the ones I’ve read the most series from save for some of the earlier ones that I’m sure would’ve made this list in some form had I read them. I hadn’t, but nonetheless I have read enough I think to put together a list by them. Suffice to say I love CLAMP’s work (then moreso than now, for reasons not mentioned here) because of their art, the scope of their stories, the magic

  • Cardcaptor Sakura — If you follow anime and manga, this is definitely a title that should’ve cropped up at one point or another. I had watched the anime first before reading the manga, and suffice to say it is a solid outing from CLAMP with a story tightly told in 12 volumes about a girl that needs to collect a series of magical cards back into a book she accidentally opened (that’s a poor explanation, sorry!) and wrapped up quite nicely that doesn’t leave any massive story threads open like they’ve been doing in later series. The art is also lovely, light and dreamy (no heavy lines) that sort of reminds me of Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon.
  • Wish — As some of you may know, I don’t cry that easily whilst reading. Lots of things I read make me sad, but the eyes do not suddenly become clouded or anything with water. This manga is one of the few titles that have left me with tears springing in my eyes. I won’t say why, but suffice to say, yeah, it was affecting enough that I had to stop reading for a while to recover. But it’s a wonderful manga! (And short too, at 4 volumes) Definitely up there as one of my favourites 🙂
  • Magic Knights Rayearth — Another one of their early titles, and definitely a classic! It’s about three girls who travel to another world where they have mecha suits and they fight bad guys in that world (it’s been a long time since I’ve read this, I forgot who the big bad was here). It’s absolutely kick ass, and like the first two series that I’ve mentioned the storytelling was pretty cohesive, tight, and fast-paced.
  • Kobato — I hesitate to recommend this manga just because it ties in to some of their larger works Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic but I don’t think you need to have read those two series to enjoy this series. The premise is whimsical and wonderful: to have her wish granted, Kobato has to do a series of good deeds, which each good deed adding a star to her wish bottle. But like any CLAMP manga it has its fair share of ;_; moments. My only quibble about this series is that I wished it was a volume longer so that they could properly wrap it up! (the final volume felt a little rushed) Nonetheless it’s a fantastic series.
  • X/1999 — Like Kobato, I hesitate to recommend this manga because it was never completed! (I think I read the manga artist in charge of this series got sick and couldn’t finish it) However, I do want to recommend it because it’s totally different not only from the other manga titles I listed here but also from other manga titles that the artists have created: it’s darker and grittier, with the end of the world upon them and families and factions fighting each other and starcrossed lovers thrown in there. The tragedy is ripe in this series, and yet story-wise it was quite the read, you are really rooting for everyone to just survive through this ordeal! The feels are real here, which is why I was absolutely crushed that they didn’t go ahead and finish this series…



I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by CLAMP for the first time! If you’ve read their manga, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (Kate Mosse)

Posted 16 November, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 0 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

And here we are, another edition of “So You Want to Read…” 😀 For this month I decided to feature Kate Mosse. I’ve slowly gotten around to reading her historical fictions over the years; hers are very distinct as they focus much on southern France in the Carcassone region. I’ve never travelled to the area but much of what I learned of it was through her books. Anyway, I finished reading all of her books on her bibliography earlier this year so here we are, me recommending to you wehre to start with her books 😉

  • Sepulchre (review) — This was actually my first Kate Mosse novel and it continues to be the book I recommend first. I found this book to be absolutely atmospheric, haunting and mysterious with the tarot cards, the location, the family dynamic, the music, and the danger circling around the siblings. Set in the late 19th century France, I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy reading novels set in that period.
  • The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (review) — It was a toss-up between this and The Winter Ghosts (review) but this book won out by a bit because it’s an opportunity to get a sampling of what her stories are like if you’re hesitant to delve straight into her two standalones or the Languedoc trilogy. Lots of ghost stories, stories of memory and loss, but not all of them are set in a historical period. And because they’re short stories, it’s also a nice change of pace from the usual novel-length books 🙂
  • The Taxidermist’s Daughter (review) — Last on my list of Kate Mosse recommendations is her latest novel. What I like about this novel is that it’s more straight-up mystery than ghost story/historical novel; the ghosts in this novel lies in the main character’s memory, a deadly secret in another character’s past. It’s a much slower burn, I admit, but I grew further intrigued the more the mystery winds up and the more we learn about the characters.



I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by Kate Mosse for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (Neil Gaiman)

Posted 14 October, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 10 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

*cackles* It’s October again, which means Thanksgiving is coming! Err, well, that too for us Canadians (actually, our Thanksgiving was earlier this week), but Hallowe’en is also around the corner, and coupled with the autumn weather, it seems like the best time to read some speculative fiction, chilling reads, creepy horrors, etc. For this month’s So You Want to Read… it seems fitting to feature Neil Gaiman. His stories are always so fascinating and unique and eclectic, they’ll make you tear up and/or freak you out. He has quite a bibliography ranging different types of media, some of which are not as easily accessible I feel (as I came to realise with reading American Gods (review) but here’s a few titles I would recommend by him if you’ve never checked out his books and want to 🙂

  • Stardust (review) — A great entry point to his books IMO (also happened to be my first Neil Gaiman novel, lol). It seems like standard fantasy fare, but once you start reading you realise it’s so much more than that. Character types and story tropes are turned inside out and the whole adventure was just wonderful and interesting.
  • Neverwhere — This was my second Gaiman read and in deciding which of his adult titles to add to this list of recommendations, it was the easiest to recommend. It’s like an urban fantasy version of Alice in Wonderland, with our main character Richard getting drawn into Neverwhere and the politics, the magic, and the adventure involved there. I found out last year that he released his definitive edition of this book which I still have yet to read but I think it’s awesome that it’s available.
  • The Graveyard Book (review) — I got around to this book some two years after it was first released and it is fantastic. It’s classic Gaiman with the eerieness (ghosts raising a baby in a graveyard? check) and the fantastic but also has themes of growing up and parenthood and the bond between parents and children. And I admit, it had me tearing up at the end so there you go 😛
  • Coraline (review) — Only recently got around to reading this book late last year, I can see why it’s a favourite. It will appeal to both adults and children because of the adventure and the mystery surrounding Coraline’s situation–the doorway to another house with another mother and another father–but also with themes of growing up, of bravery and loneliness. Plus, it’s pretty creepy at times, which makes for a great Hallowe’en read!
  • Fortunately the Milk (review) — A short but delightful read that will entertain and amuse both kids and adults! I went into the book not knowing much about what it was about or where the adventure would take the main character so I was pleasantly surprised. Skottie Young’s illustrations also really added to the story, so it’s double the treat with this book 😀



I hope this list helps if you’re interested in checking out Neil Gaiman’s books for the first time! What do you think? What’s your favourite novel by him? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books by her have you been meaning to check out?