Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 15 | Classics (begins)

We’re now on the second bookshelf! 😀

This one isn’t as deep as the first one. It’s only stacked 2-books deep, so there are only 2 rows of books on each shelf. My dad made me this bookcase, and I’ve had it for years. Many books have passed through it 🤣. And, unlike the first bookshelf I toured, I’m able to place the shelves so that they are equidistant apart; so I don’t have a random shelf that’s so short that it can’t even hold my mass market paperback if they are placed vertically.

Well then, why don’t we get a look at the bookcase:

We’re gonna start with the last shelf, the one that’s at the bottom. It holds the majority of my classics. Let’s take a look.

For some reason, I place whatever liquor I get on my bookshelves. (It’s so weird.) But that’s a bottle of almond-flavored tequila I bought a couple years ago in Mexico. On top it, I placed a miniature polar bear that I got at the American Library Association Conference I attended last year.

Next to the bottle is a Columbina mask I got in Rastafarian colors, and further on is a Funko of Raymond “Red” Reddington from the Black List TV show. It was my first Funko. 🙂

SITTING ON TOP:

Dracula by Bram Stoker, illus. by Becky Cloonan

An illustrated copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I started reading this two years ago in October 2018 but have yet to complete it. I still have the page marked where I stopped, and I have every intention of picking up there and finishing the book, when I’m in the mood for it. The story should be interesting, but it bores me. I like the illustrations.

Paradise Lost by John Milton


STACKED: LEFT TO RIGHT

The Illustrated Emerson: Essays & Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. by David Mikics, illus. by Charles W. Smith

The Essential Tales of Chekhov by Richard Ford (ed.)

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

One of the few Shakespeare plays I’ve read AND actually understood what was going on.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling

This and everything after it (up to Kipling’s 100 Poems) I had to read for college English classes. Some of the books are pretty thin, so the spines don’t show well in the photo above. I keep thinking to unhaul some of them, especially the poetry because I don’t really like poetry, but they are so small and take up such little space that I think I might as well keep them… I don’t know.

Metaphysical Poetry: An Anthology by Paul Negri (ed.)

Will unhaul

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Everyman and Other Miracle and Morality Plays by Anonymous

This and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (below) are a few of the classics I read for class that I actually liked.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson ★★★★★

Translations by Brian Friel

I’ve forgotten much about Translations and A Tempest, but I remember really liking them. I’d love to revisit them to see if that’s still true.

A Tempest by Aimé Césaire

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ★★☆☆☆

Hated this book. I don’t know why I still have it. I’ll unhaul it… Or maybe I’ll give it another chance and then unhaul it. Will see. I’m surprised I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads. That’s being very generous considering how I feel about it.

Dubliners by James Joyce

English Victorian Poetry: An Anthology by Paul Negri (ed.)

English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology by Stanley Appelbaum (ed.)

I actually like these two poetry collections, which is weird because AP Literature in high school made me hate poetry with a passion.

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

World War One British Poets by Candace Ward (ed.)

Will unhaul and might get rid of Arcadia too. I remember nothing about that Stoppard play.

Selected Short Stories by D.H. Lawrence

Beowulf by Anonymous ★★☆☆☆

The movie starring Ray Winstone as Beowulf and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mom came out when I was studying this story for a British lit. class, which, I think, made me willing to read it because I was notorious for not doing the homework or the reading.

Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys ★★★☆☆

I read this for a Caribbean lit. class and hated it because I couldn’t understand what was going on. I’d like to reread it to see if I’ll have better luck with it now. The novel gives a backstory to Mr. Rochester’s “mad” wife in Jane Eyre.

Quicksand & Passing by Nella Larsen ★★★★☆

Great reads; both are about interracial Black women who can pass as White. Some choose to do so while others don’t. The stories gives us insight into the psyche and emotions of women who are able to “pass” in Black and White spaces in 1920s Harlem. It’s been a while since I read these stories, so my memory of them is a little shoddy. Of the two, I liked Quicksand more.


STACKED: LEFT TO RIGHT (continued)

Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe ★★★★★

The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge

The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

One thing I hated about college is having to buy a specific edition of a book for a class because the professor insists on it. That’s how I ended up with two copies of The Tempest. I will unhaul one of them. I’ll keep Dr. Faustus because it’s a favorite, but will also unhaul The Playboy of the Western World because I neither remember it nor care for it. I’ll keep The School for Scandal as well. I love that play although I hate reading it, lol.

The Cavalier Poets: An Anthology by Thomas Crofts (ed.)

Will unhaul this too

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe ★★★★★

This is a friend’s book I’ve had for years. I think he forgot that I have it, lol. I’m horrible at borrowing books, which is why I try not to. Anyway, Things Fall Apart is a great read that I highly recommend. I’ve only read it once and have since forgotten much about it, so I’d like to reread it and might do so with Rae at Rae’s Reads and Reviews.

In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming ★★★★☆

Another great read that I highly recommend but read so long ago that I don’t remember much details. I’d love to reread it too. Lamming is a Bajan author.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë ★★★★☆ ½

I surprised myself when I read and enjoyed this a couple years ago. I attempted it in college (for a class, of course) and hated it so much that I didn’t bother doing the homework or whatever. But it worked for me when I read it for the blog. Loved how atmospheric it is but didn’t like the end much.

100 Poems: Old and New by Rudyard Kipling

Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories by Malcolm Bradbury (ed.)

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

I’ve attempted to read this several times but have yet to complete it. It’s hard for me to work through the writing style of these early English novels. The story is funny, but the writing drags on sometimes and bores me.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

STACKED: HORIZONTALLY

The Prince by Niccoló Machiavelli

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Take Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, transl. by Charlie Louth

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Metamorphoses by Ovid

The Travels by Marco Polo


← Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 14 | Top Shelf

Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 16 | Classics (continues)

SOME STATS

Total books in this row(s) = 47
How many I completed = 28
How many I will unhaul = 7

Total shelves so far = 7
Total books so far = 559
How many completed = 225
How many I will unhaul = 23

Judging A Book By Its Cover: Hansel and Gretel

So happy to have done another Judging a Book by Its Cover post over on Milliebot Reads. Check it out!

This post features pages and illustrations from Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm. This edition was translated by Sallyanne Delvino and illustrated by Matteo Gaule.

Milliebot Reads

This is my weekly post where I highlight beautiful books from my collection. We all judge book covers to some extent (don’t lie, you totally do!) so I created this feature to showcase and admire the art and design elements of some of the books I own. If covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t make so many wonderful editions!

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Book Buying Habits Tag

It’s Friday. I feel like doing a book tag, so here’s the Book Buying Habits Tag created by booktuber Megan Olivier.

Where do you buy your books?

Wherever I see the book or find a cover/edition of it I like. I often shop at Barnes & Noble, but there are some indie bookstores I also like to shop at. If I want a particular edition or cover, I check Book Depository. I used to shop a lot at Book Outlet because of the huge discounts, but I don’t often do so anymore since I get discounts from working at a bookstore. And recently, I discovered Discworld Emporium, which sells books and other items related to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I like their packaging, so I might get more stuff from them. 😊

…I miss shopping at Borders, though.

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Best Books So Far in 2020

It’s past due that I discuss the best books I’ve read so far this year.

Below are 11 of the best books I read. They are mostly listed in the order I read them. Not all of them are favorites, but I’ll certainly point out which books are as I go along.

For the most part, rereads aren’t considered, but I reread one of my favorite series in a different format and loved it so much that I had to include it on this list.

Farseer trilogy audiobooks by Robin Hobb, narr. by Paul Boehmer

★★★★★
(Favorite)

Summary: This is a fantasy trilogy about the bastard son of a prince who becomes an assassin’s apprentice. The books closely follow Fitz growing up at Buckkeep court and becoming entangled in political intrigues and taboo magic.

Continue reading “Best Books So Far in 2020”

Let’s Rewind: July 2020

Social distancing, staying at home to avoid contracting the virus, working from home… Life has become monotonous, and the days are beginning to run into each other. I can’t remember what happened in July. It’s all a blur.

Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.


June was a blur and so was July. But this time remaining inside was starting to get to me. I experienced a serious bout of FOMO thinking everyone was hanging out without me and I was the only dummy remaining inside to avoid corona. I wanted to go outside so bad and connect with another human in person who is not a family member I live with.

It was so weird, that feeling. I’m introverted and have never minded spending time alone. I love my own company. Plus, I’m never actually alone since I live with family. But I was surprised at this yearning to interact with others outside my family unit. I’ve never experienced that before. It was weird.

Continue reading “Let’s Rewind: July 2020”

“The Belles” by Dhonielle Clayton

I don’t read much YA fantasy anymore, and that’s on purpose. I felt duped by the ones I read in recent years because although they are categorized as fantasy, the romance is almost always the focus. Now, that’s not a problem, if that’s what you like and why you picked up the book, but it’s a disappointment for me. So because of that (and other reasons), I’ve been cautious about the YA fantasy books I choose to read.

But recently I read The Belles for a buddy-read with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile. I’ve been curious about it, love the cover, and bought it after briefly meeting the author about a year or two ago. It was a quick read and certainly interesting, but… meh. I didn’t care much for it.

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

The Belles, book 1

Pubbed

2018

Goodreads summary

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

Continue reading ““The Belles” by Dhonielle Clayton”

Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 14 | Top Shelf

We made it! We’re now touring the top shelf of the first bookcase I chose to feature which means… WE’RE DONE!! 😀 Well, at least for now we are. There’s a second bookcase to tour.

So here we are at the top shelf. Thinking back on when I started this bookshelf tour, I had no idea it would take this long to get here. Of course, it’s because of how I structured the tour, but still… This took longer than expected. The other shelf isn’t as deep, but it will take some time to work through it too. It’s only stacked two-rows deep, but it is a little taller and doesn’t contain as many hardbacks. I wonder if I will complete touring it before the end of the year.

Anyway, here’s the 3-books deep bookcase that we’re about to wrap up.

Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 14 | Top Shelf”

Mango Book Tag

I knew I HAD to do this tag the moment I saw it.
Okay, okay. Yes, I say that about almost every book tag I see, but this one is different because it’s named after my favorite fruit and the questions and such are based on mangoes! 😀 🥭

PLUS!! I ate a sweet, juicy mango a few days ago, and… Oh man! The mango was so good! My mouth is watering thinking about it right now. It had been so long since I’d eaten a mango. I miss it so much.

So, yea, I had to do a mango tag. 🥭

The tag was created by Nandini at Novels and Nebulas. She loves mangoes (of course!) and was inspired to create this tag after reading the Tiger at Midnight series by Swati Teerdhala. One of the characters, Esha, loves mangoes too, which I think is pretty cool. I don’t think I’ve ever read about a character who loves mangoes. 🥭

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“Boy Snow Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi

This novel had been sitting on my shelf unread for a while, so when a bookclub I’m in chose it for one of our reads, I was enthusiastic to do so. I’d heard great things about it and that it’s inspired by the Snow White fairytale, so I thought the book sounded promising. But unfortunately, the story wasn’t as outstanding as I thought it would be.

Genre

Historical Fiction; Magical Realism; Literary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2013

Goodreads summary

The widely acclaimed novel that brilliantly recasts the Snow White fairy tale as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.

Continue reading ““Boy Snow Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi”

“Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky” by Kwame Mbalia

I finally got around to trying one of the Rick Riordan Presents books! 😊 I enjoyed reading Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus novels, so I was glad and eager for novels published under his imprint since they would also be fun middle-grade fantasy novels but would instead tap into other world mythologies and folklores.

Apart from that, I was also interested in Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky because there are few middle-grade fantasy novels that center on a Black character and is grounded in Black culture and myths. So I was beyond excited to read this, and I enjoyed it!

Genre:

MG Fantasy

Series:

Tristan Strong, book 1

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in.

Continue reading ““Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky” by Kwame Mbalia”