Category: Lists


So You Want to Read… (Federico Garcia Lorca)

Posted 14 July, 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! 🙂

So for this month’s edition of “So You Want to Read…”, I’ve decided to focus on Federico Garcia Lorca, another Spanish artist but from the early twentieth century. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten now as to how I first stumbled across his works but I haven’t looked back since; I’ve read both his poetry and his plays and I consider him to be my absolute favourite poet. I love the feelings he evokes through his imagery, his use of words, that sense of duende. If you’ve never read any of his works, here’s the three I recommend starting with:

  • his early poetry (review) — He’s written a number of collections, but I love his early works the most, his ghazals. Honestly I could just say pick up his poetry, period, but I do find my least favourite are his poems from New York; they’re a little longer, he was trying a different form, and it just didn’t quite work for me compared to his other poems. But do check the review link I posted there and the one over here for a sampling of some of his poems.
  • Blood Wedding (review) — From the four plays I’ve read by him, this one stands out the most in my memory. The tragedy is on a number of different levels, that sense of inevitability in the decisions that these characters make, and the imagery evoked here is just fantastic. Re-reading the plays again two years ago this still stood out for me.
  • Yerma (review) — This play was depressing but it’s quite a study in a marriage lacking in communication, lacking in direction where both parties have different outlooks and goals in life, gender roles and personal fulfillment. My heart really went out for Yerma.



And that’s my list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Federico Garcia Lorca! Have you read any of his works? If so, which one is your favourite? Which titles have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (Arturo Perez-Reverte)

Posted 15 June, 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! 🙂

For this month’s “So You Want to Read…” I’m going to be featuring books by Arturo Perez-Reverte . Now granted I haven’t read his Adventures of Captain Alatriste series, but I think I’ve read enough from his standalone that have been translated to English to put together a list like this. Plus, I’ve enjoyed his novels to date; he brings different periods of Spanish history to life through his novels, which are also chock-full of intrigue, suspense, and mystery.

So without further ado, here’s some books by him to check out from him if you’re interested in reading his books for the first time:

  • The Flanders Panel (review) — Hands down my favourite novel by this author and one I recommend the most from the titles I’ve read thus far. It was such a riveting read; if you’re a fan of really thoughtful suspenseful mysteries, this book is definitely worth checking out. The mystery, the piecing together and guessing who the culprit is, the fascinating cast of characters…Yeah, I don’t know what else to say about this novel except to check it out!
  • The Club Dumas (review) — This is probably Arturo Perez-Reverte’s most popular title, and with good reason. Mystery, suspense, secret societies and good ol’ literature–I definitely understand why they recommend this book if you’ve enjoyed Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (review) (I myself picked up this novel because of it). I need to re-read it myself as the book refers a lot of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers (review) and I only got around to that title a few years afterwards but it’s a thrilling and fascinating read even if you haven’t read the classic. It’s also a lot darker in tone, as I recall, but definitely worth checking out.
  • The Fencing Master (review) — Perhaps a bit of an odd choice as I even admitted in my review that it took me a second reading to really appreciate what this novel was about and what it was trying to get at. If you’re not familiar with 19th century Spanish history, this book is certainly an eye opener because Spain was a bit…stuck, for lack of a better word, torn between values and practices that considered arcane at this point and the tumultuous ideas and developments of present-day Europe and beyond. There’s a lot of ideas floating around in this book but also plenty of mystery and intrigue.



I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by Arturo Perez-Reverte for the first time! If you’ve read his 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… (Christopher Marlowe)

Posted 24 May, 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! 🙂

I was pondering for a while as to who to feature for this May 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 Christopher Marlowe (see author tag), a contemporary of William Shakespeare’s (see author tag) and whose works I more or less read at this point. I find his works are much darker and much more dramatic than Shakespeare’s, entertaining if not a bit abrupt and unpolished at times. He’s definitely a playwright to check out if you’re looking to read beyond Shakespeare.

The following thus are three works by Christopher Marlowe that I’d recommend to start with:

  • Edward II (review) — Okay, perhaps it’s a bit bias that I’ve set this play first as it is one of my favourite plays, but it is easily the most accessible of his works. Events escalate pretty quickly and the character drama is absolutely fascinating to read/listen/watch unfold. Edward II is such a drama queen and you can’t help but feel bad for him but at the same time he is clearly out of his league as everyone around him is machinating for their own power. My review expands on my thoughts a lot more on the play but suffice to say I highly recommend starting here if you’ve never read any of his works.
  • The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (review) — This play is probably his most notable work–or at least that’s my impression when I look him up, it’s the first title listed–and for good reason as it explores the idea of what happens when you make a bargain with the devil. It completely veers into the fantastical and the darkness is quite apparent in this work but it explores concepts like good and evil and ambition and piety. It’s weird, but it’s different.
  • Hero and Leander — Okay, kind of weird to include an incomplete poem here but I found it to be rather beautifully written and it contains some familiar phrases such as “Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?”



And that’s about it for this list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Christoper Marlowe for the first time! If you’ve read any of his works in the past, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which plays have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

So You Want to Read… (Poetry, Part III)

Posted 17 April, 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! 🙂

Another month, another edition of “So You Want to Read…”! For this month’s edition, like previous years, I’ve decided to focus on Poets, in conjunction/celebration of National Poetry Month. You can see my previous recommendations here and here. As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve been reading a lot of poetry in the past year so this year’s edition has quite the variety of poets to read from 😛 It was actually quite hard to put together this year’s list as I was trying to make the list both eclectic but also accessible.

So without further ado, here’s five poets I recommend checking out (funnily enough I placed them in a sort of chronological order; also, whilst last year featured all male poets, this year’s list features all female poets):

  • Anna Akhmatova — She’s considered one of the greatest Russian poets of the twentieth century (and as a side note, I actually did study her works a bit when I was in university) and a prominent figure in the Russian cultural intelligentsia scene of the time. The topics of the poems varies from love and loneliess to Russia and her experiences during the Second World War. It’s hard to describe but she elevates even the simplest of objects in our lives to a moving artistic rendition. The Everyday Man’s Pocket Poets compilation (is an excellent starting point to reading her works.
  • Sylvia Plath — I had read The Bell Jar (review) years ago but funnily enough had never read her poems until now. I went with Ariel (review) because I’ve seen it referenced to a lot more, and I’m happy to have read this collection first. In retrospect of course it’s sad reading her works knowing she was going to take her life, and her poems reveal the internal struggles she was going through. Her choice in metaphors and allusions are odd and curious, but they lend a uniqueness to her work and her way to approaching topics.
  • Kate Clanchy (see author tag) — I first encountered one of her poems, “Patagonia”, years ago in an anthology book and it remains a favourite of mine because of the interlink between travel/far-off places and love. Her collection Selected Poems (review) is a good place to start if you’ve never read anything by this poet because it takes selections from her three poetry collections. The themes she tackles in her poems range from relationships to childbirth, and her use of imagery and language is different in a way I can’t truly describe, deftly used, I think.
  • Rupi Kaur — You may have seen her collection milk and honey (review) everywhere last year–I certainly did, which was why I ended up picking it up! And the buzz is certainly well-deserved; her poems are raw, and some of the subject matter she addresses are darker, more revealing, eye-opening, and in the end liberating.
  • Lauren Eden — I forgot how I came across her collection Of Yesteryear (review) but both the title and the book cover caught my attention. Her poems are no more than a few lines (personally I prefer shorter poems) but they’re not only lyrical but hits the point–and the feels–home. It’s different from the other poets mentioned on this list but definitely worth checking out for something different.



And that’s my list of poets to check out! Have you read any of these poets’ works? If so, which ones and did you enjoy them? Which poets or poetry books would you recommend? 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… (Soren Kierkegaard)

Posted 22 March, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 1 Comment

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! 🙂