This week, the topic is “Books you read in one sitting (or close to)”. I used to be a fast reader when I was younger but not so much anymore. I like to enjoy the books I read so I take my time to get the most out of them. Most of the books in this list I read in one sitting because I had to, because of school or other circumstances. I realise that this topic is made to show which books you were enthralled by, but for me, when I’m really into a book, I like to pause every once in a while to make the reading experience last longer.
Now that you are aware of one more of my weird reading habits, here is this week’s T5W:
5. Miracle on 34th Street – Valentine Davies
One more thing you need to know about me: I’m really into Christmas. I’m that person who listens to Christmas Carols on repeat from Dec 1st to Dec 25th without fail. I’m also that person who gets excited about Christmas around July. I never forget to buy myself a Kinder advent calendar, and gold nail polish and reindeer earrings are my December staples.
However, last December, I was having a hard time getting myself into the Christmas spirit. I worked at a library at the time so I decided to pick up a Christmassy book to get myself in the mood. I found an old edition (I think it’s the first edition) of Miracle on 34th Street and thought that would do it. Despite this book being a very short novella, I hadn’t anticipated the amount of school work I would have in my last month of undergraduate studies. In hindsight, I probably should have figured that out earlier but needless to say, leisure reading was not part of my schedule. During my last shift at the library, I made it a point to finish the book so I did, while also ignoring some of my very chatty members…oops.
I really enjoyed this story; it’s short and sweet, and contains everything you can expect from a novella about Christmas. There’s hope, love, family and a little bit of magic. I still haven’t seen the movie adaptation but I’m planning on fixing that next December. I can’t wait! “Christmas is all around you”
4. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
I already mentioned this book in my QOTW#2. I read it for the second time a few years back in a couple of sittings. My cousin had to read it for his summer homework (because apparently that’s a thing now) so I couldn’t take it home with me and had to read it fast. This story is such a sweet tale of childhood and friendship. It’s not all about rainbows and sunshine but the overarching message is a hopeful one: you can find happiness anywhere if you have it in yourself.
This novel is not only restricted to children. I got a lot from reading it as an adult. Once again, I haven’t seen the movie adaptation for this novel. I think I saw some of it in class when I studied it but I was very young and have no recollection of it. Another movie to add to my ‘to-watch” list.
3. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
I read this novel last Christmas. It’s not a particularly Christmassy book but there is a fantastical element to the story that fits in with the magic of the Christmas season. I decided to read this book solely because I desperately wanted to watch the movie. I had been listening to the soundtrack and loved it. I am also a big Alexis Bledel fan. (Actually, I am more of a Rory Gilmore fan but that’s a story for another time.)
This novel is short and once again, very sweet. The story tells of the events that take place after a young girl encounters an immortal family living in the forest beside her house. The movie and the book are quite different but they are both very enjoyable. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend that you check them both out.
2. Esther Waters – George Moore
I had to read this novel for my ‘Sensation Novel’ course. I was running behind in my readings so I had to complete this book in the space of a week-end. It wasn’t easy but I did it and ended up really enjoying this story. It deals with a young woman called Esther who works as a maid. She ends up falling for one of the male servants named William and getting pregnant. William leaves and she is forced to raise her son as a single mother and face the judgement of her society. This book, although written by a man, raises a lot of questions about being a woman in Victorian society, independence and strength of character. The main character is inspirational; she never gives up despite the horrible circumstances she has had to face since birth.
I wrote 2 blog posts about my favourite university reads. Click on the following links for more recommendations:
1. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Finally, the last novel in this list is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this book before but I’m sure you all know what it is about. If you don’t, it’s a story about a german girl during WW2, her life in a foster family, and her new-found love for books.
I read this novel last summer and really liked it. I had a hard time getting into the narrating style at first (death is the narrator) but once I did, I just couldn’t put the book down. There were a lot of tears involved but the story is beautifully told and the relationships between the characters are extremely touching. It was also interesting to get a story from a German perspective. After reading the book, I also watched the movie adaptation and I wasn’t blown away by it unfortunately. The fake German accents and the decors that looked like cardboard, and most likely were cardboard, kept me from really getting into the film.
And we’re done. Hope you enjoyed this T5W. Here are the links to the other T5W I did: