Sabbatical Is Over! 

Quite frankly, I’m absolutely disgusted with myself.

As you may remember, I previously posted a blog titled “Looking Back on 2014 & Bookish Resolutions for 2015“. This post included fanciful promises such as “I will post more frequently”. We’re almost halfway through the year and unfortunately, I haven’t managed to stick to any of my resolutions.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a valid excuse. In fact I’ve been pretty busy over the past few months, including leaving my internship and bagging myself a new (and paid) job. As you can imagine, this new role has taken up quite a lot of time and energy, hence my recent absence from this very blog. What I can say is that I’m extremely proud to be doing something I really enjoy and it gives me a great sense of achievement. If you would like to find out more about me professionally and what I do, don’t be afraid to head over to my LinkedIn and get in touch.

In other news, I also travelled to India. We spent the first couple of nights in the capital, Mumbai before heading off to my home state, Gujarat. Whilst I have visited the country before it was still a huge culture shock. Mumbai sees a constant hustle and bustle, drivers driving like maniacs and constant smog in the air. Despite this, I found it to be an exceptionally vibrant city, and particularly enjoyed myself after visiting Juhu Beach and the Gateway to India.

ind

Juhu Beach and The Taj Hotel, Mumbai

 

Gujarat also has its subjective charm. Having not had the best experience in my previous visit to the country, I particularly enjoyed myself this time around, perhaps because I knew what to expect.

With almost over 15 hours of travelling to and from India, it was certainly an excellent opportunity to catch up with my reading!  There are plenty of books that I bought and read during my time. Here is just a small selection of the books I’ve acquired over the past few months.

  1. book haulThe Alchemist  – Paulo Coelho
  2. The Extraordinary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  4. A Room With a View – E.M. Forster
  5. Outlander: Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon
  6. Kim – Rudyard Kipling
  7. The Elites –Natasha Ngan
  8. Frankenstein  – Mary Shelley
  9. The War of the Worlds  – H.G. Wells

Kindle Purchases:

  1. The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
  2. The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams – Fiona Harper
  3. Enchantress (The Evermen Saga, Book 1) – James Maxwell
  4. Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein

So now, I have decided to take a break from short blogosphere sabbatical and I’m back, with the determination to keep this blog going!

Halloween Countdown Special #1 

Count Dracula TextNo1. Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Happy Halloween everyone! Today is the big day of Hallows eve and over the past couple of days I’ve been getting in the festive spirit by counting down the top scary supernatural literary characters you can check them out here; #5, #4, #3 and #2.

Dracula

Bela Lugosi in the original 1931 movie

I  can now reveal the number one pick, is of course Dracula!

Dracula is one of the most popular fictional characters all time. Certainly the vampire has developed over the years from Bram Stoker’s original creation.

Whilst Dracula may not be as terrifying now in the 21st century and is now viewed as a pantomime character. The character was initially terrifying to 19th century audiences.

What’s so brilliant about Dracula is the amount of characters and other fiction he has inspired.  The vampire has developed from a character of pure evil, one to be feared from Stoker’s novel, to a more sympathetic anti-hero. For example Anne Rice depicts her  character’s as an outsider or an anti-hero in This is further developed in novel to young adult novels such as the critically panned Twilight series in which the vampire is a romantic character, a character that is still the outsider, but this is now something that is to be celebrated, almost aspirational for the human protagonist, the flighty Bella. Even in cinema, this image of Dracula has become distorted. Noeferatu, the 1922 German silent movie, Dracula or the nosferatu is depicted as rat like. The silent film deviates from the novel in that secondary characters such as Arthur and Quincey are removed. The vampire doesn’t  turn others into vampires, rather he kills them. Subsequent adaptations include The 1992 film adaptation and the 2013 Series, both of which depict Dracula as a romantic character, searching for his lost wife.

So that concludes the Halloween countdown! I hope you all have fun with your trick or treating! Happy Halloween!

Halloween Countdown Special #3 

Cathy Earnshaw's Ghost

No.3 Cathy Earnshaw’s Ghost from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

As you may know, over the past week I’ve been counting down the creepiest, spookiest literary characters. You can check out #5 and #4 if you click on the links.

At Number 3 is Cathy Earnshaw’s ghost from Wuthering Heights.

Catherine has a spirit that lives on throughout the novel after her death. It haunts Heathcliff constantly in an iconic scene sees the narrator Lockwood spookily visited by her ghost as a little girl. In Lockwood’s vision she attempts to enter the house through the window, becoming violent when she cannot enter. Her famous line “Let me in your window – I’m so cold” resonates thematically throughout the entire story as Cathy attempts to be a part of two worlds.

By the end of the novel, Heathcliff is found dead before an open window, desperate to be with his one and only love. The open window demonstrates the power Cathy has had over Heathcliff’s consciousness, even when she is dead.

Cathy’s famous lines “Let me in your window – I’m so cold” inspired Kate Bush’s debut single “Wuthering Heights” which I’ve embedded into this post for your listening pleasure. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check who made it to number two of the countdown.

Book Haul #2, Personal Update and Christmas Blues

Apologies for the lack of posts thus far, I have been drowning in deadlines and exam revision.  Being in my third and final year at university is proving to be extremely stressful. One of my New Years Resolutions is most definitely to write more for this blog because I enjoy it so much when I do finally get a chance to sit down and write a pos

Here is my latest book haul that I’ve accumulated since September. I’ve not even completed all the books from my last haul!

Book Haul 2

1. Severed Heads and Broken Hearts –  Robyn Schneider
2. Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop – Abby Clements
3. The Night Rainbow – Claire King (£1.58 in Tesco! What a bargain)
4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
5. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning – Alan Stillitoe
6. Lucky Jim– Kingsley Amis
7. Complete Plays of Sarah Kane – Sarah Kane
8. The Birthday Party – Harold Pinter
9. The Homecoming  – Harold Pinter
10. Money – Martin Amis

Kindle Purchases
11. Look Back in Anger – John Osbourne

The majority of these are actually university books and I have to say I’m really enjoying these modules. One of these modules includes British Writing since 1945 which is one of the most difficult modules and definitely out of my comfort zone. But I really enjoyed Harold Pinter and Sarah Kane which are texts that are included on the module and I hope my passion for them really shines through in my assessments. Other books such as The Night Rainbow have been bought on a whim or because they were on offer and I’m so excited to have added these into my book collection.

In other news, Christmas is finally upon us. Hasn’t the year just flown by? However, I’m honestly not feeling in the Christmas mood, perhaps because I’ve not had a chance to relax and enjoy one of the most wonderful times of the year. Anybody got any Christmas spirit to spare and lend me?

In the hopes that it will put me in a more festive mood, I’m going to listen to “All I want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey. If, like me, you’re struggling to be festive, listen to this and hopefully we can all enjoy Christmas.

B  xx

Book Haul & Personal Update

I thought I would do a little update of what’s going on with me and the books I’mBook haul #1 currently reading as I haven’t given too much of an insight into my personal life.

So, I’ve basically finished my second (and penultimate) year at university. Admittedly, it was incredibly difficult and I’m so thankful it’s over. I cannot believe that this time next year I’ll be graduating and entering the big bad world of reality, and will no longer have the protective bubble of education.

Ironically, during university, I always manage to find things to distract myself or use as an excuse for procrastination, but now that I am actually free for summer, I seriously don’t know what to do with myself.

One thing I do know is that I’m able to finally read something for pleasure and just take my time with it. Woo! I went a little crazy in Waterstones over the last couple of months which is a little out of character as I’m more of a library kid than a book buying one, but here are the books I’ve purchased recently and I cannot wait to get stuck into them!

B x