The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A self-indulgent exploration of the well-known Dracula mystery in which the vampire has become oddly obsessed with hunting librarians.The Historian by Elizabeth Kostiva

The Historian has sat on my shelf unread for over seven years. Yeah, that’s pretty shameful! I picked up my battered copy for a whole 20p at a hospital book sale, unable to resist the fancy swirling writing and menacing blood droplets on its cover. Having been struck down with a seriously evil case of tonsillitis this week, and having already binge watched all of the Outlander Season 2 TV series, I decided it was time to pick up this neglected tome of a book and show it some love.
The best way I can sum up this novel is that it was a good, entertaining book…until suddenly it wasn’t.

 

To you my perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor.’ Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

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My Dream Library Collection

As bookworms, we often picture what our dream library will look like. Perhaps it will be hidden by a secret door tucked away from the world. Maybe it will have oak beams, spiral staircases, plush chairs, a crackling fire; and you can bet it will have bookshelves reaching to the ceiling with a rickety ladder you can slide up and down all day. But do you know what I hadn’t ever considered? What books would actually be in that collection. The ones I already own, obviously. But if I had the money to create a truly awe inspiring library, surely I would also have the means to acquire some expensive, truly remarkable antique books as well! So when the auction website Invaluable.com contacted me about doing a post on my dream literary collection I thought it was a brilliant idea! Here’s what I came up with.

A 1st edition collection of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Harry Potter

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DAY 11: Your Favorite Classic Book.

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From the moment I laid eyes on this question I knew exactly which novel I was going to be talking about, but now I’m sitting here writing the post I feel all nervous and clammy. You see, I want this post to be epic because that’s how I feel about the book. Yet that’s probably impossible because I read this classic such a long time ago that many of the details have faded. Have you ever just loved a novel so much that you found it impossible to arrange your thoughts into a coherent sentence to convey the sincere connection you have to it?

Revolution for Breakfast did a great job of magically describing how she found one of her favourite books, and while I don’t think I can live up to that, I hope after I finish you might consider reading or rereading this book. 🙂 Continue reading

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Review 2/5

Overall Impression: This is a clever little book full of philosophy and morals, but it just wasn’t for me.

When I said in my Dorian read-along post that it would beThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde interesting if one of us hated the book so that we could get some debates going, it hadn’t even occurred to me that the person might be me! I was so sure I was going to love this book, I had been looking forward to reading it for ages. Gothic novels are my favourite type of literature but I just couldn’t get into this one for some reason. I know a lot of you love this novel, so maybe you can share your wisdom with me so I can appreciate it more and be less of a party pooper?
I can tell that in its time this little book would have turned a lot of heads, it’s daring, uncompromising and has a great premise. So why god dammit why do I feel so indifferent to it all?!
This book is also on the The Rory Gilmore Challenge.

Dorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deeper into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story.

Basil Hallward is an artist obsessed. Obsessed with the naïve and youthful vision that is Dorian Gray. When Dorian sits for another of Basil’s portraits they are interrupted by the obnoxious and obtuse Lord Henry. He is desperate to meet the muse for himself, seeing in the portrait something special of his own, the potential to guide, observe and influence.  Continue reading

The Picture of Dorian Gray Read-Along: Check In #3

Here are the last set of questions for The Picture of Dorian Gray Readalong hosted by Miscrawl with some really interesting questions! I had a lot of fun with the readalong, the questions really help you get more out of the book. 😀 Look out for my official review of the book tomorrow.
*PLEASE NOTE: This post does contain book spoilers so please read at your own caution.*

Open Book Journeys

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*SPOILERS*

Well, this is it! We’ve all finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray so we can finally part ways with him. I think it’s safe to say that we all had varying levels of enjoyment with both Dorian and Wilde’s way with words. Here are the final batch of questions, asked by yours truly. I should point out that my questions completely give away the book, so look away now if you’d rather not know anything. 

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The Picture of Dorian Gray read-along check in #2

Here’s our second The Picture of Dorian Gray Readathon Check In including my answers to the next set of questions about the book. Bookboodle is hosting this one and I’m sure she would love it if you popped by to say hi. 🙂

*PLEASE NOTE: this second check in does contain book spoilers so please read at your own caution.*

bookboodle

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So here we are at the second check in for the blog read-along of The Picture of Dorian Gray. So far, I’m not loving it, having seen the 2009 adaptation I still feel I’m waiting for something momentous to happen. Perhaps all will be revealed in the final 6 chapters.

Here are the questions and answers that I set for the second discussion:

What impact does Sibyl’s suicide have on Dorian?

Bookboodle

I think that Dorian was embarrassed to have built up Sybil to Basil and Henry as this amazing actress and was utterly disappointed in her performance. He was incredibly cruel to her probably due to realising that he enjoyed her acting more than Sibyl herself. When he notices the change in the painting and then learns of Sibyl’s death this seems to prompt the start of the loss of self-control.

Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic

I think Sibyl’s suicide is a real…

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Dorian Gray Read-along Check In #1

Phew that was quick, we’re at the first check in for The Picture of Dorian Gray Read-along already! We have all reached the end of chapter six which is 72 pages into my copy (and roughly a third of the way through the book). The Picture of Dorian Gray copy

I was last to the check in point because these guys are reading champions with lightning speed. 😉 I’m going to have to up my game. 😛 Luckily we haven’t set any time limits to reach each point this time so I wasn’t working to a deadline, phew.

If you want to follow our progress and conversations on twitter we are currently using the hashtag #DorianReadalong when we remember to use it, lol.

So as I am hosting the first check in I had to try and come up with some brain boggling, intellectually stimulating, out of this world questions. Whether I succeeded or not is up for debate, but I hope you enjoy our answers.

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