Thursday 30 May 2013

Books are Amazing... May Edition!

Welcome welcome to the May edition of Books Are Amazing! This month, Terri Jane from {twoninethree} is my guest blogger and has put forward some great selections. I have such a huge To Read list because of these posts, so it's nice to actually have a post where I've read a few of the books. I can totally vouch for The Night Circus - I flipping loved it.

Hi, I’m Terri Jane and I write {twoninethree}. I read lots of books, between doing a literature degree, running a book club, and being a Hermione-level bookworm.

Choosing favourite books is what I’d imagine it would be like to choose a favourite child. As I was looking at my bookcases, the stacks of books by the side of the bed, the side of the sofa, and on the dining chairs (I know), they were all waving, “pick me, pick me!" Sadly, this is not a list of every book I love, just a top few, so here goes...

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
This book is the reason I’m learning Spanish. Stunning as it is in translation, if my Spanish is ever good enough to read it in the original, I will die a happy woman.

This book covers (surprise surprise) one hundred years, following seven generations of the Buendía family, (who all have the same names, so it’s ridiculously difficult to keep up with who’s who!) and who live in Macondo, an isolated settlement built in the middle of the jungle. It’s utterly beautiful, and it’s really not as difficult to read as you might imagine. I hate it when book reviews say “you will laugh, you will cry," but it’s really true here.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ah, Gatsby. Now that Gatsby fever has hit, everyone is reading it (seriously, go into any book shop and marvel at the wall of Fitzgerald that has suddenly appeared), but I don’t care. Everyone should read it. It’s only about 180 pages long, and it’ll take you an afternoon. Off you go, I’ll wait.

Okay... SEE?! I haven’t seen the film yet, but I very much doubt that it’s going to be able to live up to the beauty of this book. Poor Gatsby.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
I loved this. I have been describing it to people as 'almost like an adult Harry Potter world', because that’s the closest thing I can compare it to: the world that we live in being full of magic and magicians, but also full of people who can't, or won't, accept or see it.

The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
I only recently started reading Atwood’s novels (I started with The Handmaid’s Tale, maybe a year ago), and since then I’ve read literally everything I’ve been able to fit in. I’ve chosen The Blind Assassin because it’s one that I did struggle with a little bit. It’s massive (almost 700 pages) and complicated, but it is amazing, and totally worth the sense of “what just happened?" that you’ll get every now and then.

Once the daughter of a rich family, Iris, now old and poor, tells the story of her younger sister, Laura Chase, who died tragically in a car accident. After her death, a book that Laura had written was published, and gained a huge following. The Blind Assassin is about two very different sisters and their lives from childhood, through love, marriage, war, and death.

The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
This is definitely very high on my all-time-favourites list. I love that the time traveling is not magical at all, that it’s approached as fact, an involuntary reaction that really could happen to someone. I love that the characters are so real and engaging, and most of all, I love Henry DeTamble. I’ve bought so many copies of this book that I can’t even remember, because I have to give it to people who haven’t read it.

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Another one I recommend to everyone; I cried so much at this book. It’s based on The Iliad, and is the story of Achilles and Patroclus, and the Trojan War. The fact that I already knew the basic story made it even worse, because I loved Patroclus and Achilles, and I knew what was going to happen to them. And then it did, and I sobbed through the last thirty pages. Do not read this book on public transport, or anywhere anyone can see you.

Thank you for letting me be part of Books Are Awesome, Sarah!!

ALL of the books are on my Goodreads, and I love making book-friends, so you can add me on there or tweet me @terrijane if there’s something you think I need to read right.this.second.


  1. You made me order Gatsby, I caved. I literally couldn't get in to the Traveller's Wife, i think I read one chapter. The constant time difference made me confused and at the time I had no dedication. Maybe I will try again xx

    1. YAY! That's okay, I'll settle for Gatsby ;)
      Let me know how you get on!

      Terri-Jane x

  2. I've been looking for some new books to read, thanks Sarah!

  3. I love these posts! I've just ordered a sample of The Night Circus but I'm sure I'll be getting the rest. Yay books! xx

  4. Great selection! Night circus was fabulous xx

  5. I LOVE The Time Traveler's Wife! All time favourite book, without a doubt. Still haven't read The Night Circus though - I started it but struggled to get in to it, & haven't carried on since.

  6. Another lovely list. I've pawed The Night Circus a few times in the book shop but never actually bought it - might do now! Thanks for recommending it Terri Jane.

    If you haven't read it, Cat's Eye is one of Margaret Atwood's best books - I'd solidly recommend it. Remarkably, painfully accurate account of girl friendship, and simply beautiful prose - for example, this is one of my favourites - “Most mothers worry when their daughters reach adolescence but I was the opposite. I relaxed, I sighed with relief. Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life sized.”

    Also a favourite - Gatsby, always and forever, it will be Daisy. x

    1. Thanks!
      I've not read Cat's Eye, but I'll have a look for it :)
      Let me know how you get on with the Night Circus!

      Terri-Jane x

  7. So many if these are my favourite books. I love most things by Margaret Atwood (alias grace is perhaps my favourite) and I love the time travellers wife and the night circus. The great gatsby is my mums all time favourite book and I've enjoyed re-reading it. Ill have to look into your other recommendations. X

  8. I love the time travellers wife! Should an amazing book.
    I think I may have to check out the night circus!

  9. I love the time travellwers much better than the film. This post just made me go buy The Great Gatsby! Must read before seeing the film!

    1. Yay for pushing people into reading Gatsby!! ;)


  10. I don't understand everyones obsession with the great gatsby at the moment. I suppose they've jumped on the bandwagon because of the movie. Perhaps I was too young when I read it but to me it just seemed dull.
    On a brighter note, I recently finished The Night Circus and I quite enjoyed it. Not what I was expecting but so beautifully written!
    The Time travellers Wife was good but I much prefer Her Fearful Symmetry. Have you read that one?
    Paris x

  11. I agree with Niki, Cat's Eye is probably my favourite Atwood book but I also love The Edible Woman!

    The Song of Achilles is great, much more interesting than the Iliad! ;)

    Maria xxx

  12. Gatsby's awesome! Need to start reading Atwood and The Night Circus :) xoxo

  13. I'm so with you on Gatsby and The Time Travellers Wife! I bought the Night Circus for my other half but have yet to get around to reading it!

  14. Gargh, I think my comment didn't save properly - so with you on Gatsby and Time Travellers Wife. I bought The Night Circus for the mister but have yet to start reading it!

    1. It did - I just moderate comments on posts over 14 days old to try and catch spam!


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