Top Ten Tuesday: Before I Was Born

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

February 2: Books Written Before I Was Born (These can be books you’ve read or want to read!) (submitted by Davida Chazan @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog)

Well, they didn’t have books before I was born, they carved them onto stone tablets… Just kidding, I’m not quite that old! These are the books on my TBR that were written and published before I was born:

1. Armadale by Wilkie Collins (1864-66)- Collins wrote mystery/thrillers way back in the 19th century. I loved his Woman in White, and I really enjoyed No Name and The Moonstone, so I look forward to giving this one a try. Together these are considered Collins’ four great works

2. The King’s General by Daphne DuMaurier (1946) Over the years I’ve been slowly reading all of DuMaurier’s life’s work. This one is next on my list (unless I unexpectedly come across something else!). It’s set during the English Civil War, which I don’t really know much about.

3. Maggie-Now by Betty Smith (1950) Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an all time favorite of mine. I also loved Joy in the Morning. I haven’t heard much about this one, but I’m hoping it’ll be one of those unknown classics.

4. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf (1925-1932) This series of essays was originally published in two volumes (one in 1925, the other in 1932) but I’m counting it as one because it’s my list and I can do what I want! I think I like Woolf best as an essayist.

5. The Lark by E Nesbit (1922) I love E Nesbit’s children’s novels like The Railway Children and Five Children and It, and I’m really looking forward to diving into some of her work for adult readers.

6. The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann (1936)- I loved Lehmann’s Invitation to the Waltz, and this sequel revisits two primary characters from that book, ten years later. From reviews, it seems they’re both older but not all that much wiser. But would it be any fun to read if they were?

7. Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker (1940)- A friend of mine recommended this recently and it sounded delightful.

8. The Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (1967) I’ve been fascinated by the 1975 film adaptation of this novel for years, but I’ve never read the source material! Haven’t seen the Amazon prime remake either. I must get to both of them soon!

9. Miss Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson (1934) The first of four Miss Buncle novels this one has been on my TBR for a long time. I never seem to get to it, in spite of hearing good things about it.

10. The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart– For a long time, I’d thought that I’d read all of Stewart’s work. Then I discovered a whole list of novels that I hadn’t read! I’m rationing myself and working my way through slowly to savor them! This is next on the list.

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

November 10: Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles (submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

For this one I just went through the titles of books I’ve read over the past few years.

1, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

2. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

3. Hearts and Bones by Margaret Lawrence

4. The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

5. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

6. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald (this might be cheating, because I think there are several songs with this title!)

7. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

8. One Day in December by Josie Silver (I could see this as a good title for a Christmas carol)

9. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

10. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

Top Ten Tuesday: Gothic Romance

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

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February 26: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit (submitted by Georgia @justreadthemm)

I wasn’t really inspired by this week’s topic because I felt like I’ve done something similar in the past (see here and here) so I figured I’d do my own thing. I’m currently reading Nine Coaches Waiting By Mary Stewart and it’s reminding me how much I love a good Gothic. Think big creepy houses, a mystery waiting to be solved, a hero who is somehow tangled up in the mystery… I actually came across this little page about the commonalities of the cover designs in the genre.  Anyway, here are some of my favorites.

51k3i-j1fl-_ac_us218_1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-  I doubt that anyone is surprised to see this one here! The British governess who goes to the mysterious Thornfield Hall, falls in love with the master, and gets caught up  the question of what’s going on in the attic is definitely sort of prototypical for the genre. But I also love it for Jane’s complexity as a character. It makes her seem very real in a way that not all Gothic heroines are.

 

41ufepph-wl-_ac_us218_2. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier– Like Jane Eyre, this novel seems to bookend the genre. The commonalities in terms of plot have led some to call Rebecca a retelling. I’d actually argue that a bit, but that’s not really the point here. In this case we have a young woman who marries the wealthy widower Maxim De Winter and moves with him to his imposing family home, Manderley, where Maxim’s late wife, Rebecca, still seems like the mistress of the house.

91n4fz7r-xl._ac_ul436_3. Dragonwyck by Anya Seton– When Miranda is given the chance to be the companion to the child of a distant cousin she leaps at the chance. So she goes to Dragonwyck in the Hudson Valley. Here she meets Nicholas Van Rynn, and his wife, Johanna. Miranda is  entranced with the elegant mansion, and the aristocratic master. So when Johanna dies, it just makes sense to marry Nicholas. But as time passes, Miranda comes to realize that her new husband has dark secrets that threaten everything that she holds dear.

51onssuljil._ac_ul436_4. Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt- When Martha gets a job as governess to Connan TreMellyn’s young daughter she goes to live with them in their Cornish mansion. Alvean, Martha’s charge, is a notoriously difficult child, as her three previous governess’ can attest. But Martha thinks that Alvean is acting out due to the loss of her mother, Alice. She wants to help the girl. As she learns about the family (and naturally, falls in love with Connan…) she discovers that secrets from the past may have led to Alice’s death, and may threaten her future.

51xd7qx0o7l-_ac_us218_5. A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott– Rosamond Vivian meets  Phillip Tempest and is pretty quickly swept off her feet. They run away together to marry, and everything is more or less perfect until Rosamond realizes that Phillip has been lying to her from the beginning. She flees from Phillip thus beginning a “love chase” that is both “long” and “fatal” (see what I did there?) This was first published in 1996, because it was too sensational for publication when it was originally written in 1866.

51hzkq6uiel-_ac_us218_6. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart- This is my current read, so its hard to say too much about it, since I want to avoid spoilers. But I will say that I’m surprised I manged to go this long without having read it, since I like the genre and the author. Unlike many other books in the genre this takes place in a French chateau rather than an English mansion. Our heroine, Linda Martin, is a governess (quelle surprise!), for Phillipe, a young orphan. Phillipe’s guardian,  his uncle, Leon de Valmy seems charming, but for some reason the young boy is terrified of him…

51y8le-aoal-_ac_us218_7.  Silence For the Dead by Simone St. James– In 1919, Kitty Weeks, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House. Portis House is a remote hospital for soldiers left shell shocked after WWI. Kitty has her reasons for wanting to disappear. But when she arrives at Portis House she learns it was once a private home until the owners left abruptly. Did it have something to do with the nightmare that all the patients at Portis House seem to share? Something that’s so terrifying they won’t speak of it? Kitty’s ally is Jack Yates. He’s a war hero, and inmate, and possibly a madman.

51gkwlv5zql._ac_ul436_8. The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins– Walter Hartwright is an artist who has been engaged as a drawing master to Laura and Marian Fairlie. On his way to Limmeridge House, where the orphaned Fairlie sisters live, he encounters a mysterious woman in white who begs him for help and then disappears. When he arrives at Limmeridge House, he discovers that Laura Fairlie bears an uncanny resemblance to the mysterious woman. Walter soon falls in love with Laura who is facing an arranged marriage to Sir Percival Glyde. That marriage will bring her, Walter, and Marian into contact with Glyde’s mysterious friend Count Fosco, as well as a fortune and a lot of secrets.

51mn5td6ql._ac_ul436_9. The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley- Archaeologist Verity Grey is sent to the Scottish Borderlands because her boss is convinced that it is the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion. His reasoning is based on the fact that a local boy has seen a ghostly soldier wandering the fields, and the owner of a remote manor house is convinced that his property contains the bones of the lost legion. So Verity is a bit skeptical when she arrives but she is joined in the excavation by a number of colleagues, including the handsome David… But as they investigate the Ninth Legion they learn that some secrets may be buried for a good reason…

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been on My TBR Forever

For That Artsy-Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday

February 6: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Initially, I thought “this is good because it allows me to revisit my vast TBR and see if there’s anything on it that no longer interests me.” Unfortunately, it seems like I won’t be able to make the list any shorter. Doing this just reminded me of how much is out there that I still haven’t read!

51u90swjwl-_ac_us218_1. Jane of Lantern Hill by LM Montgomery- Added June 10, 2010- Basically, I’m almost always up for LM Montgomery. This was one of the last books that she completed. It was published in 1937. She began writing a sequel, but she didn’t finish it before her death in 1942.

 

 

51nqwdcdk1l-_ac_us218_2. Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson- Added May 6, 2012- Initially, my impression was that this was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Anne of Green Gables for its 100th anniversary. But the reviews are, for the most part, good, so I decided to give it a chance. I just haven’t done so yet!

 

 

51stziqnlpl-_ac_us218_3. Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan- Added June 8, 2013- I blame my Bronte obsession for this one. I’ve read several of Jude Morgans novels, finding some better than others. But I haven’t read his imagining of one of literature’s most famous families.

 

 

418ggw4js1l-_ac_us218_4. The Seance by John Harwood- Added June 17, 2013- I added this after reading and enjoying one of the author’s other novels, The Ghost Writer. I still plan to read it at some point!

 

 

 

51-yojeobol-_ac_us218_5. Grange House by Sarah Blake- Added June 17, 2013 – This is pseudo-Victorian gothic novel, which is one of my favorite genres. According to Amazon, it features a ghost story, a love story, a family saga, and a mystery.

 

 

 

51hzkq6uiel-_ac_us218_6. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart- Added  June 17, 2013- I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart but I’ve somehow managed to miss one of her most famous novels. I’ve also managed to have it on my TBR  for almost five years and not get to it!

 

 

41ymby0gnxl-_ac_us218_7. Anna by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles- Added  September 20, 2013- I really enjoyed the first two books in Cynthia Harrod-Eagles The War at Home series (note to self: make sure the other three books are also on your TBR) but I didn’t like the start of her Morland Dynasty series. I decided to give her work another chance though with The Kirov Trilogy, about a young Englishwoman who goes to St. Petersberg to be a governess to the children of a count.

 

51ziknwmo7l-_ac_us218_8. Angels of Destruction by Keith Donohue- Added November 1, 2013- I put this on my list after reading Donohue’s debut The Stolen Child. Since then, I’ve also read and enjoyed his The Boy Who Drew Monsters. But this book seems to revisit some of the themes that Donohue dealt with in The Stolen Child- particularly missing children, parental grief, and children with unexplained origins.

 

51uhbuwfkkl-_ac_us218_9. Palisades Park by Alan Brennert– Added November 2, 2013- I added this book to my list after reading Honolulu and Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. Unlike those two novels, this one doesn’t take place in Hawaii. It’s set in New Jersey in the 1930s, at and around the Palisades Amusement Park.

 

 

51ucsihmw9l-_ac_us218_10. The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith- Added December 22, 2013- I think that I decided to read more of Dodie Smith’s work after finished (and loving!) I Capture the Castle. But I didn’t get farther than putting several titles on my TBR! I think this one especially appealed to me because it was set in the London theatre world.