Archive for March, 2012


Title: David Copperfield

Author: Charles Dickens

Date Finished: 09/03/12

Re-read? : Fist time read

Challenges? Yes – Victorian Challenge 2012 & The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

Wow!  It is Charles Dickens’ bicentenary this year and there has been a lot of hype due to modern BBC adaptations of Great Expectations and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, along with various programmes about all aspects of Dickens’ life.  Although Great Expectations was great when I read it a few years ago (and I plan to re-read it very soon), it has nothing on David Copperfield.  The depth of detail in the plot and the characters is exquisite!

The aspect of the plot I loved the most was the way there were so many different stories going on.  Instead of just one main storyline, Dickens creates several key plots all interweaving with each other and the characters.  Also, the way the book traverses David’s life from pretty much beginning to end was enjoyable for me – it felt as though you went through many different volumes as David grew older and older.  I guess this isn’t a far cry from how it was originally published – in groups of a few chapters at a time.

One of the best things about this novel, in my opinion, was that David was certainly not perfect.  He was treated so cruelly by the Murdstones that I immediately sympathised with him, and throughout the story he seems to be trying his best to do the right thing.  This is an echo of Oliver in Oliver Twist, but David is much more ‘real’ than Oliver, I feel.  Where Oliver is almost saintly, David still makes mistakes, especially the way he holds Steerforth in firm reverence despite Agnes’ warnings and how he marries silly little Dora when Agnes is obviously (to us) his perfect match.
The characters of David Copperfield include some of my all-time favourites: Betsey Trotwood with her idiosyncrasies and strong opinions made me laugh out loud at some points.  Also, Mr Dick brought some light relief and I don’t know who couldn’t admire faithful old Peggotty for her steadfast loyalty and compassion.
Some characters did annoy me, such as Dora who was so irritating and silly and Emily who seemed quite unrealistic to me.

Of course, the prose Dickens uses is flawless; I felt as though every word and every sentence from Chapter 1 to Chapter 64 was chosen with precision and care.  It is not often that you read a book as flawlessly written as this.

To wrap-up, I am extremely proud of myself – I have never read anything this long or challenging before, at what’s more I absolutely loved it.  I can tell it will be one of those books that I will continue to read and re-read throughout my life without ever growing tired of.

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I am usually busy on Fridays with sport and socialising, so I have decided it will be my day for a quick summary of what’s going on in my bibliosphere (?!) and maybe a bit of general information about my week.

Right, so I am currently reading David Copperfield and I hope to get it finished this evening or early tomorrow; a post should be up some time at the weekend.  I am excited about this as it will count towards both the challenges I am currently participating in – The Victorian Challenge 2012 and The Classics Club.

Talking of The Classics Club, I have written up a rough list of about 50 classic novels/plays which I would like/think I need to read, and I am going to make the final decisions, officially join over at A Room Of One’s Own and put up my list on here this weekend.

In other news, I got one exam result back this week and did very well (we had a nice celebratory family meal out as both my sister and I did well) and found out that I will probably have 18 exams in the summer exams period!! :S I expect reading will be the only thing keeping me going around May/June!

Anyway, I hope you’ve all had a good week and have read some great books – let me know (especially if they are classics) as it will soon be too late to change my list for The Classics Club

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Favourite Covers’, with the advice to be ‘as specific or general as you want‘. Therefore I have decided to post my top ten covers of books that I currently own (not in any order – that would be too difficult!)  The covers here are the versions that I actually own.

1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (Vintage Classics).  The Vintage Classics series is known for stunning covers – ‘jacket design is integral to our vintage classics’ and each book in the series has a pertinent and beautiful cover.  I love the way they hint at something in the book’s plot, like the key signifying the locked up secret in Jane Eyre.

2. Saraswati Park – Anjali Joseph (Fourth Estate).  Unfortunately, the best part of this book was actually the cover as the story was rather disappointing! However, the cover is very well designed and a pleasure to look at – one of those books you are very careful with, as you don’t want to damage or spoil it!

3. The Man In The High Castle – Philip K. Dick (Penguin Modern Classics).  Again, a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy (although it is very unique) but a cover that I will never forget.  The reason it made this list is because of how shocking the cover is – it immediately perplexes you and really gets your mind thinking.  I did have to be a bit careful as to where I was reading it though!

4. 1984 – George Orwell (Penguin).  This is such an iconic book and the cover is striking and memorable too – both in the book and on the cover you can’t get away from the idea that ‘big brother is watching you‘!

5. The Number 1. Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith (Abacus).  This series are possibly THE books I most enjoy reading, on account of their being so funny, interesting and cheerful.  Lovely happy, bright covers which perfectly match the books they are surrounding.

6. Matilda – Roald Dahl (Puffin Modern Classics).  I have always loved Roald Dahl’s books, especially Matilda and The Witches and I have chosen the cover of Matilda for this list.  My version is very pink, but has a large illustration of Matilda by Quentin Blake on the front.  I think Roald Dahl’s words and Quentin Blake’s illustrations and both just as important for these childhood books so that is why this cover is so important to me.

7. The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo – Stieg Larsson (Quercus).  This book is one of my favourites and the whole series keeps me reading through the night.  I especially like this cover of the first book because it shows Noomi Rapace (who plays Lisbeth in the Swedish films) who I think portrays Lisbeth perfectly.

8. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman (Point).  I love the original (back in my day blah blah…) covers of the His Dark Materials Trilogy and I think Northern Lights is my favourite of the three, probably because my favourite colour is blue and that is the main background of this one!!

9. One Day – David Nicholls (Hodder).  There is so much to love about the cover of this book: its design is unique, the orange is amazing, the actual feel of the book is great … I could go on.  A great book with a really novel idea and a really novel cover to match.

10. Emma – Jane Austen (Vintage Classics).  I started this list with a Vintage Classic and I’m ending it with one too; rather appropriately, I think, because in my opinion this series of classics has the best covers that I have come across and they are always the ones that catch my eye when I’m browsing in bookshops.

Victorian Challenge 2012

I am very excited about participating in my first reading challenge – the Victorian Challenge 2012 hosted by Laura’s Reviews

These are the rules:

Challenge Details

1. The Victorian Challenge 2012 will run from January 1st to December 31st, 2012. You can post a review before this date if you wish.

2. You can read a book, watch a movie, or listen to an audiobook, anything Victorian related that you would like. Reading, watching, or listening to a favorite Victorian related item again for the second, third, or more time is also allowed. You can also share items with other challenges.

3. The goal will be to read, watch, listen, to 2 to 6 (or beyond) anything Victorian items.

Although I do intend to watch the modern films of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, my main aim for this challenge is to tackle some Victorian literature.

These are the books I plan to read:

1. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (Finished 09/03/12)

2. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (Finished 04/04/12)

3. Dracula – Bram Stoker (Finished 25/08/12)

4. Middlemarch – George Eliot

5. Villette – Charlotte Bronte

6. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (Finished 22/06/12)

I think this list touches on some of the key Victorian authors and will be challenging but feasible and I can’t wait to finish David Copperfield so I can cross the first book off my list.

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I have just passed the 900 page mark in my 1200 page copy of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.  I am experiencing a slight lull in the grip of the plot – I am not as compelled to power through chapter after chapter as I was through much of the first half of the book, but this just may be due to severe tiredness and work overload on my part.

I know Dickens is renowned for his stunning characterisation and this is probably the aspect of David Copperfield I love most.  I find myself instantly sympathising, empathising, opposing, despising or whatever emotion Dickens is trying to instil in us from the first line of description or speech on or from each character. They are all unique and I think this is key to my love of this novel so far (although I do have to say that Dora is really annoying me at this point – am I hard hearted and intolerant??!)

Ideally, I would love to finish this book by next weekend but I am not sure how much work I will be getting (exam season is on the way 😦 ) but hopefully if I don’t finish I’ll be nearly there.  Coming up next I expect to read some more modern lighter stuff before enjoying some Bronte around the Easter Holidays.

Oh, and if you haven’t read this book then do! It is (so far) unforgettable and a pleasure to read.

Goals

What are my goals for making a book blog?

Well firstly, to be able to talk about books with people – my family aren’t particularly reading obsessed and only a few of my friends are.
Secondly, to have more format and structure to my reading – I feel like I’ll try harder to read books that I may not enjoy quite so much (or think I won’t enjoy) if I decide to do them on here.
Thirdly, to have fun!

Hello!

Hello everyone!

Creating a blog and seeing a blank page waiting to be written on is rather daunting.  I guess I should start this literary blog by explaining who I am and why I am writing.  I am a student in England who enjoys a bit of everything – music, sport, science, languages and more.  But the focus of this blog is all about my (rather obsessive) reading.  Yes I am a self confessed bibliomaniac and I thought I would share what I’m reading and what I think about the books I read with the rest of the world.

I follow quite a few book-bloggers on twitter and read their blogs frequently and I’ve been inspired to have a go myself.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading about what I’m reading about (haha) and that more people are inspired to confess their secret bibliomania and let it out over the internet!

Adam