Monday, March 4, 2013

Books for when you're... (3)

Each fortnight I will showcase 1-2 books that I think would be fantastic reading if you're going through a  certian emotion/stage in your life.

Books for when you're in a book-hangover.
I dread book-hangovers and now have come to the assumption that I get one every year, since it's happened suring November and stretched to December for the past two years (something to do with NaNo, I think) and the feeling of finding the book that gets you back into reading is such an amazing feeling that it is what I'm covering this week.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Kidnapped was the book that got me out of my first book hangover- I think I began it mid-december of that year and just relished it; it's not a book that I can't get enough of, that I found the plot to be the best thing I'd ever read and that it changed my life and now sits on a silver and gold stand in my bedroom, always there and forever cherished. That is not the reality. The honest truth is that I can't actually see it clearly in my bookshelf and it was a book I had been given as a gift and hadn't read when I came to the book-hangover. I had started what felt like dozens of books and they'd all let me down, and then I opened this and everything just changed- I have no idea what it was, if it was going back to a classic or a novel written long ago instead of sticking with the current line of literateure, but something about Kidnapped got me and broke me out of that reading slump, and I do cherish it for that.

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil.

Why I chose this book:
My second hangover novel- I read this late December 2012, by which time I had spent over three weeks reading another novel and was absolutely sick to death of not getting captivated by anything enough to be able to finish it in the time I usually would have. (2-4 days) And then this little ARC came along and I was back to the reading I remembered. It wasn't an immediate transition, but I felt it happening and love this book so much for it.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.

Why I chose this book:
I'm adding a third book to the list this time, because I think it goes without saying that I believe this book can fix any problem. My favourite book of all time is not fiction. It is not YA. It is My Family and Other Animals, a book that goes against so many of the genres that I'm not a huge fan of and yet and yet and yet- see the result. This book is magic, so whatever you need, just read this one.

Stay tuned for some more bookish suggestions for the good times, and the bad.
So far I've covered-


  1. I've heard great things on all of these! :D I actually read a high praising review on the last book just last week. They all sound like magic.

    I love these lists!

    1. Looking back at my choices, I'm surprised by the odd mix of books! A classic, a non-fiction and a new YA! They're all excellent- magical, as you say.

      Thank you- that seriously is making me squee! I'm so glad to hear you enjoy them!

  2. Ooooh, Romi, I meant to say this before, because I saw on your profile that you love "My Family and Other Animals" but so do I! Growing up, my younger brother and I used to listen to the audio-cassette of it over and over when we'd go on long car-trips. And we still quote various lines and passages, like, over a decade on :-D
    Like... "Maggen-pies." "Magpies, Spiro", "That's what I said! Maggen-pies."
    Heeheehee, that makes me laugh just thinking about it.
    And I always found it HILARIOUS how Gerry's Mother would be like, "We are not moving and that's final" and then the next sentence would be "The new villa..."
    Ah, memories.
    I keep meaning to read Kidnapped. I've only read one of those Classics for Kids versions of it, you know the ones where you just have the story pared down to the essentials - so I know the storyline but I want the depth. So I shall have to hunt that one down.

    1. Wow- that's so wonderful! I've only heard from a few authors that they love it too, when I've done Q&A and the like, but never another blogger (as far as I can recall) so I'm super excited to hear you love it, too! I'm starting to question how we like so many of the same things, because it's getting intense.
      My family do that, too- we saw the most recent adaptation before I read the book, and I just adored everything about it so much that I got the book from our home library and the rest is history; did you know that there are actually 2 more books in the series? Birds, Beasts and Other Relatives, and Garden of the Gods.

      I find abridged novels a little hard to understand- I mean, of course if there's something absolutely brutal in the story, but then should the child even be reading it? Though at the same time I think it's great children want to read the classics. I got a beautiful copy of Great Expectations a year or two ago and was about to read it in January when I saw that it was abridged, and I was so sad. I had to read my mothers copy, but I never saw anything in the book that really needed to be censored, so it was an unusual situation.

    2. I did know, but I haven't read them (yet). What did you think of them?

      With abridged novels, I suspect that often they simply want to make the novel seem more accessible - 200 pages looks a lot easier to get through than 600, after all. I know when I read older books to my youngest brother, I occasionally substitute archaic words for ones he's familiar with, just so that the flow of the story isn't broken, but that's not quite the same - I don't chop out whole paragraphs or anything. (Except one time, when we were reading The Phantom Tollbooth. It's a great book, with some wonderful characters and ideas, but my goodness does the author go on.)
      But I think a lot of adults underestimate what kids can handle.

    3. I definitely didn't think they were as amazing as MFaoA, but I honestly think that would be impossible, because it's my favourite. And other beasts is perhaps a little more comic, especially in the beginning (one of the first chapters deals with Margo being on a secret spiritual awakening type thing with some crazy people, as I recall) and the final one is absolutely beautiful, written very much as a final and last farewell, I think.

      That kind of 'substitution' I think is perfectly reasonable, sensible, even, and couldn't agree more that a 600 page book, perhaps unless you are Matilda, is very daunting, though perhaps is it's captivating enough that wouldn't matter, I certainly found that with the Inkheart trilogy when I read them, and they seemed huge.
      I agree with you on what adults think children can handle- I'm sure it's not universal that they are underestimated, but I do think it happens far too often.

  3. Book-hangovers! I love that term. :) I have a copy of Kidnapped somewhere, though I haven't picked it up yet. I'll have to try and dig it out soon! Life in Outer Space has been getting some brilliant reviews recently, so I'm definitely curious about that one, too. Thanks for sharing, Romi!

    1. Book-hangovers is one of my favourite bibliophile words, though I don't like having them! (:
      Yes, everyone seems to like it, which is awesome! Hopefully it won't end up being a dissapointment, which happens to me way too often when the majority of the blogging community loves a book to bits.

  4. And I haven't heard of any of these. *gasp* Probably because I have never had a book hangover. I always have review hangovers. :-p

    1. I'm not quite sure what a review hangover is, but I'm sure I don't want one! ( :
      I would totally suggest these, and all the books I've recommended so far, as books to read at any time, because they are all, in my opinion at least, excellent. I highly recommend My family and other animals because it is wonderous.


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