Friday, 28 September 2018

#Victober 2018 TBR

Hello, beautiful people!

October is almost there, and with that, Victober is well on its way. I first participated in this amazing event last year and I was so excited for it, I've been making lists of books I really wanted to get to for months. If you don't know what Victober is, it's a month-long readathon hosted by Katie (Books and Things), Ange (Beyond the Pages), Kate (Kate Howe) and Lucy (Lucythereader), where the goal is to read Victorian literature. While you don't have to read a certain number of books for this readathon (read one book? You did it!), there are challenges for those interested and that's what I based my TBR off. Still, the whole point is to have fun and to share our love for literature of the period. 

Here are the challenges for this year:

  • Read a book by one of the hosts' favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  • Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e. a place name or person's name) in the title.
  • Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period 'i.e. 19837-1847 or 1891-1901).
  • Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  • Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.

1. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887) 

It won't come as a surprise to you that Thomas Hardy is my favourite Victorian author, I've said it enough, so I'm beyond happy I had an excuse to pick up some more of his works. This time, I really wanted to read The Woodlanders and will do so with my friend Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame. This novel narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a loyal woodlander and a sophisticated outsider. According to the Penguin Classics edition, The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy's acute awareness of his era's most troubling dilemmas. It sounds amazing, as all of the works of Thomas Hardy that I've read so far, I cannot wait to read it.

2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853) 

I am so happy I still have some of Gaskell's works to read, because the last two novels I have left both have a proper noun in the title; I picked up Cranford, which title's comes from the name of the town the story is set in. It was first published in several instalments in the Household Words magazine (edited by Charles Dickens!), before being published in book form two years later. Cranford is considered to be an affectionate and moving portrait of genteel poverty, as well intertwined lives in a nineteenth-century village. It also is a very short book, so I'll be able to read it very quickly and I'm so curious as it's one of Gaskell's best-known works.

3. The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (1891-1895) 

I am beyond excited to finally get to Oscar Wilde's plays, this edition featuring The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome, An Ideal Husband, which have all been published between 1891 and 1895 (during the end of the Victorian period!). I've been meaning to read more plays for a while and as I adore Oscar Wilde (I still haven't recovered from the exhibition about him in Paris two years ago), I thought it would be a great place to continue with his works. I'm particularly excited about The Importance of Being Earnest, as it's so famous, but also about Salomé, as it was written in French (and I'll read it in my language, of course <3). I'm really curious about other readers' picks for this challenge, and if I still have enough time to read more books, I'll try to pick up a book from the early Victorian period!

4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860) 

I've been meaning to try to read George Eliot's works for ages and this year... I finally read Middlemarch and adored it! George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, so the fourth challenge is giving me an excuse to continue reading more of Eliot's works, starting with The Mill on the FlossI have heard from several readers that The Mill on the Floss was more approachable than Middlemarch, but I got through that one, so I'm confident I'll enjoy it as well. This one follows Maggie Tulliver, who is always trying to win the approval of her parents, but her personality often brings her into conflict with her family. It is said to have an interesting portrayal of sibling relationships, which is something I adore in literature and that it's considered George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. Moreover, I've heard such amazing things about the heroine of this novel and I cannot wait to meet her. 

5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

Vanity Fair is quite an intimidating novel because of its length and how famous it is, but I've been meaning to get to it for so long. There is an adaptation of it currently airing in the UK, and as the last challenge is to read a Victorian novel and watch its adaptation, I thought it would be the perfect time to motivate myself to read it. I'll be buddy reading this one with my friend Anna, I'm sure we can do this! Vanity Fair follows the lives of two women: Becky Sharp, an alluring and ruthless woman from an impoverished background, who wants to clamber up the class ladder, and Amelia Sedley, who comes from a wealthy family and longs for a soldier. We'll see how it goes!

Are you participating in Victober?

Lots of love,

Friday, 21 September 2018

My most anticipated releases of the year (part 4) | Grabby Hands

Hello, beautiful people!

Today, I'm back with another of my Grabby Hands posts, where I talk about all of my most anticipated book releases. I am doing those every three months, so today I'm here to present to you my Fall 2018 edition, aka October to December* releases. Of course, it doesn't include every single new release for those months or anything, those are, of course, the books I need to get my hands on like... RIGHT NOW.

*it feels weird to write that, but as winter only starts on December 21st in the Northern hemisphere and not at the beginning of the month like my brain might think... it's how it's supposed to be.

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor
Published: October 2nd 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy

A few years ago, I fell in love with Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, with her astonishing worlds and her beautiful writing. So of course, when Strange the Dreamer came out last year, I devoured it and it became one of my favourite books of the year. This duology follows Lazlo Strange, a librarian who has been dreaming of the mysterious and mythical city of Weep for his entire life and gets a chance to join an expedition that could answer all of his questions. It is such an excellent high fantasy so much - and I've become quite picky with those -, I cannot wait to see what will be in store for these characters and how their story will wrap up.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Silblings #2) by Mackenzi Lee

Published: October 2nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: young adult, historical fiction

Mackenzi Lee is one of my favourite writers out there and I admire her so much, because I share her love for history and studied it as well, and she's one of my biggest writing inspirations. I really loved The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (even though not as much as This Monstrous Thing that you should read if you still haven't!!) when I read it last year, especially Felicity, Monty's sister, because she was so much fun. This historical novel, which is set in the first half of the 18th century, will follow Felicity, who wants to avoid a marriage proposal and enroll in medical school, she seems to get an opportunity, but also takes part in a perilous journey. 

The Corset by Laura Purcell 
Published: October 4th 2018 by Raven Books
Genres: historical fiction, mystery

I recently read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell and it left me craving for more of her words. The Corset, a Victorian thriller follows Dorothea, a young lady whose charity work leads to a prison, where she will have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches. Dorothea's belief in rationality and the power of redemption, as she wonders whether Ruth is mad or a murderer, a victim or a villain.

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Published: October 9th 2018 by HarperTeen
Genres: young adult, contemporary, romance

I am beyond excited about this one, because two amazing YA contemporary authors, namely Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, are teaming up! I've loved every single one of Becky's novels in the past and I really want to read Adam's (I read More Happy Than Not, but didn't like it, I hope this one will encourage me to try again  don't be mad at me for this). It follows Arthur, a Broadway fan who is only in New York for the summer, and Ben, who recently broke up with his boyfriend. The two of them meet at the post office, then get reunited... But what if they can't nail the first date? Or second? Or third? But what if it works out between them? I am beyond excited about this one! ALSO. The title is reminiscent of a Dear Evan Hansen song, so how do I not read this, I'm asking you?

Published: October 9th 2018 by Poppy
Genres: young adult, contemporary

Speaking of Broadway fans... A novel inspired by the amazing musical Dear Evan Hansen is coming out! If you don't know this musical... Well first, please go listen to it, because what have you been doing all this time? Just kidding, but please listen to it. Then, second, it's about Evan Hansen, a high school senior who is drawn into a family's grief over the loss of their son and is believed to be his best friend, because of a letter that was never supposed to be seen. This is an amazing story about grief, mental health, authenticity and the struggle to belong anywhere. I have NO IDEA how it'll be like, but considering how much I adore this musical, I have high hopes!

Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer
Published: November 6th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: young adult, fantasy

I adored Renegades so much, so I'm definitely anticipating its sequel! This trilogy is set in a world where some people have extraordinary abilities, which led society to go astray. Out of the ruins of that society emerged the Renegades, a syndicate of prodigies which established peace and order... But the villains they overthrew are still underground. It follows Nova, who hates the Renegades and wants revenge. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice and in her. Renegades was the best YA book I had read in quite a while, so I'm definitely hoping the sequel will live up to it!

Pulp by Robin Talley
Published: November 13th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Genres: young adult, historical fiction

After reading Lies We Tell Ourselves this summer, I needed more YA historical fiction with a f/f romance. I was beyond excited when I heard about Pulp, which is about Janet, who lives in 1955 Washington, D.C. and keeps the love she shares with her best friend a success. As she discovers novels telling the story of women falling in love with each other, she decides to write and publish her own story, even though she might risk her entire life. Sixty-two years later, Abby can't stop thinking about her senior subject, which is about classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. She feels especially connected to an author who write under a pseudonym and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. I feel like this one might become a favourite and certainly hope so, I cannot wait for November!

The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman
Published: November 20th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: young adult, historical fiction, fantasy

The number of sequels I've included is astonishing, considering how few of them I have read this year, but maybe it might motivate me? I hope so. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Dark Days Deceit, which is the final book in the Lady Helen trilogy. This trilogy is about Lady Helen, who is swept away in demon-hunting adventures in the first book and it is set during the Regency era (!!). In a way, it reminds me a little of The Infernal Devices and I adore this type of stories (*cough* Something Strange and Deadly *cough*). I'm so curious to see how Helen's story will come to a close and it's such a perfect Fall read!

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Published: December 4th 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: young adult, fantasy

Last, but certainly not least... The last book in The Dark Artifices is finally coming. I don't really need to present this one to you now, don't I? I'm so happy it's the very last book I'm excited about this year, because it means so much more, in a way. I have missed these characters so much and considering how it ended and how Cassie left us waiting for that long? I NEED IT ON RELEASE DAY. I hope I'll be able to drop everything to just read it like for the previous two and if someone spoils me... Oh just don't even try. (Yeah, I haven't bothered with a summary, but you know... SHADOWHUNTERS).

What are your most anticipated releases from October to December? 
Are you excited for any of those?

Lots of love,

Friday, 14 September 2018

Books I really want to get to this Fall | Top 5

Hello, beautiful people!

As you may know by now, Fall is my favourite season and there are so many books I always want to get to during that time of the year, that I add on Goodreads specifically for that purpose. It'd be great if I could read twenty books per month to get to them all, but well, that's not going to happen. Today, I wanted to share with you the top 5 books* I want to get to this Fall**.

*it started as a top 10, but as I don't know how much I'll be able to read in the next few months, I kept only half of that list, I don't want to be too ambitious and to limit myself to the books I picked. I also have a TBR coming up for Victober very soon, as well, so that also explains it.
**fun fact: I started writing this post in July, because I am that excited.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Last year, I discovered Shirley Jackson's writing with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I adored it so much. Since then, I've been quite interested to read more of her works and thought they would be great for Fall, especially The Haunting of Hill House, which is a supernatural thriller. This novel, considered a modern classic, was published in 1959 and tells the story of four characters who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting", his assistant, a young woman well acquainted with poltergeists, as well as the future heir of Hill House. Their stay first seems to be a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but the house is simply gathering its powers... and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. This seems like such a Halloween read and as I haven't read a lot of American classic literature, it'll be good for my literary culture as well!

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

The Diviners series is absolutely perfect for Halloween as well, I actually recommended it around this time last year. The third book came out in 2017, but I have yet to read it, considering that I did reread The Diviners last year, but have oly started my reread of Lair of Dreams this week. Anyhow, this series is set in 1920s New York and follows several characters, most of them being Diviners, aka they have different types of powers. This time, the Diviners have to fight against ghosts, while cases of possession and murder are everywhere in New York City. This series is so much fun to read, because it's beautifully complex, has a chilling but glamorous atmosphere and the characters are so much fun. I cannot wait to finally know what happens next.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

During the Fall, I also love to reach for mystery thriller novels and If We Were Villains fall in that category. It's about a man who spent ten years in jail and after all that time, he's finally ready to tell the truth about what happened ten years ago. At that time, Oliver was one of the seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. On and off-stage, they played the same roles over and over, until the balance of power shifted in their fourth year and real violence happened on opening night. In the morning, the students have to convince the police, each other and themselves that they are innocent. Apparently, it's been compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt (!!) and I really want to read more of Shakespeare, so maybe this one will motivate me in a way, we shall see.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman 

Fall also is the perfect season to read about witches, it's a known fact. I am particularly excited to get to The Rules of Magic, because I saw many people raving about it a few months ago on Instagram. For the Owen family, on which the book focuses, love is a curse that began in 1620, when an ancestor was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Centuries later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, Susanna Owens knows that her three children, Franny, Jet and Vincent, are dangerously unique, so she sets down rules for them: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. Apparently, it's a prequel to Practical Magic - that I haven't read yet, but will give a try after it - and it sounds right up my alley!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale keeps intriguing me, it follows an enigmatic writer who spent decades creating outlandish life histories for herself, which brought her fame and fortune, but have kept her past a secret. As she gets older and is ailing, Vida Winter wants to at least tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, and who takes the commission (okay, it has nothing to do with it, but THAT kind of reminds me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, even though they sound like completely different books). It turns out that the story of Vida is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire, but Margaret remains suspicious of the author's sincerity, which will lead to the real story. This novel is also said to be a love letter to reading, with amazing storytelling and as it has gothic elements, it sounds perfect for Fall (there is a trend in this TBR now, isn't it?).

Et voilà, those are the books I am the most excited to get to this Fall, but there are so many more I'd love to read: we shall see how it goes! I'm also planning on doing a Halloween 24h readathon at some point and to have a TBR focused on that, then of course there is Victober happening in October.

Have you read any of these books? 
Which books are you most excited to read this Fall?

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

On having destroyed my TBR

(this baby was the very last book in my TBR)

Hello, beautiful people!

As you might have seen on social media, I recently destroyed my TBR (to be read) pile once and for all. Wait, what? I know that most people in the book community have TBRs, so I thought I would talk a bit about destroying my TBR and what it means for my reading life again. It might have looked like a weird decision for some people, as it means that *gasp* I don't have a single book to read anymore, so there we go.


Like some readers, when I was much younger, I didn't have a TBR. My parents either bought books for me, or I'd borrow anything interesting the library had, read the book straight away, then repeated the process over and over again. Then, as a teenager, I started watching BookTube videos, before joining Tumblr, where it was all about the popular fandoms, such as The Mortal InstrumentsThe Hunger GamesVampire Academy and so on. Thanks to all of this, I learnt about so many books and kept making lists of all of those I wanted to read (that was my pre-Goodreads days). 

Discovering the online book community sure changed my life on many levels, and with that came the beginning of having a TBR. It was so reassuring to know that I would always have a book I could pick up next and knew I wouldn't run out of them, especially as I was reading in English more and more, while living in France (meaning I had to buy everything online). I have never been one to have a huge TBR though; from memory, my TBR never exceeded twenty-one books. Well, the fact that I mostly read on my ereader also helped tremendously with that... That, and not being able to afford buying physical copies that often.

And then, came 2017. Last year, I joined bookstagram, started buying way too many books because there were so many books I wanted to read and own*, but after a few months... My reading tastes changed a lot, to say the least. Well, there was something else... I didn't really want to have a TBR anymore. Of course, it was nice to have many books to have to pick up from, but some of them were staying there so long that my excitement for them was lessening, and I didn't want that to happen. Back then, I still had twenty-one books in my TBR and spent last summer getting through them, until I only had three of them left. Ahem. After that, I went to London twice and bought a lot of new books, most of them classics, because that's all I wanted to read. But ever since that happened, I have managed my TBR really well and it only went beyond ten books after Christmas and my birthday, because I asked for books. So you see, I still had a manageable TBR, it wasn't stressing me out or anything.

*I am absolutely not blaming bookstagram for this, of course, just the fact that I, Lucie, bought way too many books and it wasn't the wisest decision. I just was attracted by shiny new books, please don't judge me.

But for a while... I had been thinking how much I missed not having a TBR. How I missed going to the bookstore, picking a book up and reading it straight away. Like I was saying before, I stopped doing that because I was reading in English and there weren't any English bookstores nearby. But it's not true anymore, for I have moved to Paris since then, my favourite bookstore sells English books for a reasonable price and they have so many books I genuinely want to read (thank you very much, changes in reading tastes). That's how I came to read all the books I had left in my TBR this summer, destroying my TBR once and for all in August.

How do I feel about not having a TBR, right now? I am the happiest. Now, I just go on Goodreads, browse my to-read shelf, looks at what I'm most excited about, get it, read it and start all over again. This is all I wanted, after all.


For now, I do not want a TBR anymore. I want to have the freedom to pick one book after another for a while. Like I was mentioning before, I can't afford to buy physical books that often, but I have my e-reader, which is a way cheaper solution. My book buying habits have changed very much: I'd rather buy really long books, classics and non-fiction, because that's what takes me the longest to get through, so it's more encouraging to own them as physical copies (maybe it doesn't make sense, but for me it does). The rest, I pretty much get as e-books already, except for when they're written by my favourite authors.

I'm also very excited to go back to the library soon. We have so many of them in Paris and you can even find books in English, if you know where to look for. I also get my free fix of audiobooks thanks to libraries, so they're pretty much perfect. I'm also going to start borrowing more books from loved ones. I am so eager to read Robin Hobb's books and my boyfriend owns the beginning of the series (for now), so I'll have those! I have also mentioned recently that historical fiction might be my favourite genre again and it's my mom's as well, so I'll be able to borrow so many of her books*. It does mean reading a bit more in French once again, which isn't a bad thing at all. I know that destroying my TBR is also linked to what my reading tastes are like now, there are so many books I want to discover and I will do so, one at a time.

*by the way, she finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and adored it! I'm so happy we can share books we love like this again, I had missed it a lot.

However, it does not mean that I'm swearing off TBRs for ever. I have some exceptions to my absence of TBR wants, such as month-long readathons. In October, I'll be participating in #Victober like last year, so I'll get five books for my TBR, but they'll all be read by the end of it. The same thing will probably happen for #NonFictionNovember. I love making TBR lists for these types of challenges and I still want to do that, so I'll get all the books at the same time, it will be simpler. We're also talking about a tiny TBR that will be read very quickly, so it's not really the same as having a TBR of twenty books and I'll be back to not having a TBR in no time.

Anyhow, like I've mentioned before, I am so happy I do not have a TBR anymore, as I've wanted it for quite a while. I know that most people here in the bookish community have TBRs and I think that it's great, we're all different, we all enjoy different things and that's just my opinion on the whole topic. I think that TBRs are amazing, they just aren't for me, at the moment.

What do you think about TBRs? Would you rather have a big or a small TBR? Have you recently been without one? 

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Fall 2018 Bucket List

Hello, beautiful people!

Fall might only officially start towards the end of September, but I have been ready for it ever since the season ended last year, as it is my favourite. I even started to act like it was Fall during the last week of August, as it wasn't as hot outside anymore and I just wanted to bring it to me faster. Because of that, I thought it would be fun to share with you the things that are on my bucket list for Fall (we all know I adore lists, so).

W h a t  I  w a n t  t o  d o  t h i s  F a l l . . .

– rewatching Gilmore Girls (I already started, though).
– drinking Pumpkin Spice Latte and making my own homemade recipe for it.
– doing a Halloween-themed 24h readathon.
– walking on fallen leaves.
– reading while it rains outside with a plaid and tea.
– going to a pumpkin patch, picking a pumpkin and decorating it.
– having a very Fall picnic with my best friend, with a plaid, drinking hot cocoa (we already have the perfect spot, fingers crossed!).
– rewatching Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts for the millionth time.
– reading Victorian literature for Victober.
– doing a Halloween evening like last year, it was perfect!
– dancing under the rain.
– wearing knitwears, my favourite coat and the color yellow mustard again.
– visiting castles and Montmartre (in Paris) again, it will look so nice during Fall.
– experimenting to find the perfect Fall breakfast.
– making a Fall playlist.

Are there any things you're excited to do this Fall?

Lots of love,