Time for another round of mini book reviews (the first of two this week, actually). Included in this batch are:
By: W.B. Yeats
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
W. B. Yeats was Romantic and Modernist, mystical dreamer and leader of the Irish Literary Revival, Nobel prizewinner, dramatist and, above all, poet. He began writing with the intention of putting his ‘very self’ into his poems. T. S. Eliot, one of many who proclaimed the Irishman’s greatness, described him as ‘one of those few whose history is the history of their own time, who are part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them’. For anyone interested in the literature of the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, Yeats’s work is essential. This volume gathers the full range of his published poetry, from the hauntingly beautiful early lyrics (by which he is still fondly remembered) to the magnificent later poems which put beyond question his status as major poet of modern times. Paradoxical, proud and passionate, Yeats speaks today as eloquently as ever.
I’ve come across W.B. Yeats every now and then but never actually picked up a collection of his poetry to read. It was interesting to read this collection because you could trace out his progression as a poet over time, the different formats that he used. I have to say though I very much prefer his earlier works to his later works; I feel with the later works I need to be in a better mood to really sink into them.
Who’s That Girl?
By: Mhairi McFarlane
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?
Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.
When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.
I read two of Mhairi McFarlane’s books last year (see author tag) and absolutely loved them. At the time I still had two of her other books to read but then I picked up this book. It took me a while after that to get around to reading it, probably because I wanted to savour it a bit and really be in the mood to enjoy it. Well, here we are 🙂
Only Beloved (The Survivors’ Club #7)
By: Mary Balogh
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again.
Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.
For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?
I first read a book from The Survivors’ Club, Only Enchanting (review), last year and liked it enough. I wasn’t in any particular rush to pick up the rest of the series but I was keen to pick up this book when I found out that it would feature Agnes’ sister, Dora, and the Duke of Stanbrook. I thought they had a lovely moment together in Only Enchanting and that they would make a good couple. So yay that that wish came true 😛
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! 🙂
By: Cecelia Ahern
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
What happens when two people who are meant to be together just can’t seem to get it right.
Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, the are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston. Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via emails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel o f several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn’t quite done with them yet.
I’ve often seen Cecelia Ahern’s books floating around but never thought to pick them up, really. I did see the movie adaptation of this book earlier this year, which I thought was a cute enough watch, but when I saw the eBook on sale, I decided to pick it up and see how the original story compared (also, goodness knows I need some light reads peppered throughout my TBR pile; I’ve amassed a lot of hefty and chunkster titles lately). Contains some spoilers ahead (if you’ve seen the movie, you’re good)!