08 April 2009

Bookshelf extravaganza!

Today, my loves,
I am making good on my promise to show ya'll my bookcase - which makes me feel both immensly proud and immensly frustrated, as it is way too small.
(Anekdote alert: when me and The Boy just bought it, I immediately knew it wouldn't be big enough - and nor is my studio, frankly - so I was planning an entire redecoration for maximum extra-bookcases potential. Unfortunately, The Boy didn't like this, as he is as avid a collector as I am, only of CD's - and thus would require an entire case of his own. So we decided to postpone it 'till August, which is when we'll be moving in together.)

Back to basics:

(top shelf, right hand)

(also top shelf, right hand, but behind the stack in the above pic)

(top shelf, left hand)

(2nd shelf, right hand - Jane Austen addiction alert!)

(2nd shelf, left hand)

I will spare you pictures of the 3rd shelf, which is mostly DVD's interspersed with more books, mostly textbooks etc.
"Gee Sado, that's not so bad!"

Right - but it's a small bookcase.
Check out my closet:

There's more behind all of those, guys. I swear I have too many books.
I'll spare you the close-ups :p
So how's it work?
I just put my favourites of the moment onto the case, and leave the rest in the closet.

Some of my favourite right now:

1. First up, most of Jane Austen's work is in my bookcase in the Penguin Classics editions - even though I'd love to get my hands on a hardback copy.
I still need Persuasion and the shorter novels (Susan &c) and then my collection will be complete.
For those of you who haven't read anything by her yet, you absolutely must, she's a wonderful writer and each and everyone of those books are classics! After reading one of her novels, I always speak the way she writes and feel like saying things such as "Oh, indeed not!" "I find this city most pleasing, and the society quite diverting." &c, which makes me smile.

2. Another one of my favourite writers is Michel Faber, who is, of course, most known for his "magnum opus" The Crimson Petal And The White" (perhaps I may by and by observe that the Dutch translation of that title is much pleasanter than the original - Lelieblank, Scharlakenrood), which I have in Dutch and English, after The Boy's mother decided she would rather not read the book and said she would throw it out (!!!).
The Crimson Petal takes us to Victorian London where we follow Sugar, a prostitute who hopes to better herself by becoming the mistress of rich captain of industry, William Rackham (who, by the way, she helped become rich because he's a good-for-nothing-lazy-person). It contains so many Victorian novel elements (the rich man with the hooker mistress, the forgotten child, the mad wife) but seen from a refreshing 21st century perspective.
I swear to you, it is an addiction. I read the entire 900+ page thing in one day.
Less well known, but definitely as good, is Under The Skin, which I cannot possibly tell you about because you need to discover all its secrets by yourself, ASAP.
Go on. Off to the bookstore. I'll wait here and make myself a snack.

...back? (I know you didn't go anywhere! But no worries, I am confident my recommendation will haunt you, urging you to look for the book for three years, as I did, until you get your hands on it and never want to let it go again. You'll see).

I also own several collections of short stories by him, and though they are very different in style and topic, they are all very enjoyable.
My favourite story ever is that of The Fahrenheit Twins, who are both endearing and sort of creepy in an endearing way. I cannot possibly explain it. Go read it.

3. Must I honestly tell you about the Dune series?
Must I really?
Anekdote alert: I came across this series a while ago when using the little girls room in a friend's house (even though it was both a little girls room and a little boys room in one, obviously, he does not live in a palace), and there it was, lying there, so I read a few pages, then thought no more of it.
Everytime I went there, I checked if the book weren't there, and I'm quite positive my friends must've thought I had some sort of medical condition since I'd be using the facilities for ever longer periods of time, until finally, I bought my own copy.
And no, I refuse to explain what Frank Herbert's award winning series is about. I flatly refuse.

4. I will tell you upfront that I am no lover of history novels, in general. Nevertheless, Tracy Chevalier's work MADE me read it. I swear. We needz it! We must have it!
I started, obviously, with Girl With A Pearl Earring, having seen the movie first (gasp!) with my trusted sidekick E.
That was - what? - four or five years ago, and I am sure I have read the book nine or ten times since then, which is a lot for me, since I buy or borrow new books continually. It never fails to amuse and fascinate. If you haven't read it yet, do so immediately - also, watch the film, it's quite good - even though - rule n0. 1: The book is always better than the movie.
I then read The Virgin Blue, which I can only read when I am quite emotionally stable, as it is very disconcerting to me, for some reason.
Just a few months ago, I came across The Lady And The Unicorn in Walhalla FNAC, and I had to buy it.
I was forced to against my will.
You see, Tracy Chevalier has the very very SLY habit of adding the first chapter of another novel to every book she has, apparently to torment readers into buying all of them.
Well, I did, and I loved it.
Unicorns will never look innocent to me again (even though, to be fair, after viewing Charlie The Unicorn, that kind of was a set thing for me).

What are your absolute favourites?
Let me know!

Announcement: starting Monday, my mysterious best friend E. will be joining us every week with a guest article.
Her debut will (a little birdie told me) be about a certain brand of awesome buy-online cosmetics.
Tune in ;)


  1. Kafka is missing. Why is Kafka missing? There ought to be some Kafka on your bookshelf.

    I love all the others, we've got a lot of the same books :p
    Although I don't read enough. Internet-addicted. Must change that.
    O, and you need some Hermann Hesse too. Read Siddharta.

  2. I object, I do have Kafka (granted, in the closet, but still) - I just think it's so damn heavy, and I usually don't feel like it.

    Hesse has been on my list since forever. Must remedy.

  3. Kafka is pure, heavenly madness.
    But you're right, one must be in the right mood for it.

    Hesse can be borrowed from Maria's library :-)

  4. "I started, obviously, with Girl With A Pearl Earring, having seen the movie first (gasp!) with my trusted sidekick E."

    I keep telling you: that must've been with someone else. I honestly can't remember ever seeing that movie! That, or I suffer from a strange kind of memory loss :P

  5. Good Lord, E., I do believe you're right.
    Didn't I make this mistake about the same movie once before?
    I remember now, I went to see it with Whatsername, Astrid, whom I haven't seen in ages.
    Either way, we can remedy this by having you come over to watch it?
    (or you could borrow it so my smoke doesn't bother you :D)