Sunday, 12 July 2015

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

(c) Lianne @ EclecticTales
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc)

1. Hello again! I'm planning to do an Ask Me Anything event next Friday in case you weren't aware or needed a reminder. If you haven't asked me any questions yet then please feel free to leave me some questions before then, either on this post or on the original request post.

2. I can't believe that we're more than halfway through 2015 and almost halfway through July! So far I've read just over 20 books and my favourite books of the year have been (in roughly the order I read them):
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
  • The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (re-reads)
  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  • The Age of Innocence and Summer by Edith Wharton
  • The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss 
  • The Talisman Ring and Sylvester (abridged audiobook) by Georgette Heyer

3. I'm re-reading another Sherlock Holmes book at the moment - The Return of Sherlock Holmes. This will be my last re-read in the canon as all of the remaining books will be new reads for me.

4. I beamed with joy when I watched this teaser of the Sherlock Christmas Special! And Mrs Hudson's indignation at being treated as a plot device cracked me up! :D

5. The BBC's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell has ended now and I'm really, really missing it. My Sunday nights seem awfully empty now! The miniseries didn't match the sheer richness and awesomeness of the book and of course I wish they'd done certain things differently but the adaptation was still much better than I was expecting it to be. It was extremely well-made and directed and I thought most of the actors were wonderful and brilliantly cast. My top three favourites were Bertie Carvel, Enzo Cilenti and Charlotte Riley. Carvel is now my favourite to play the Doctor when Peter Capaldi eventually stops playing the character. He'd be amazing in the role!

6. Speaking of Doctor Who here's the trailer for Series Nine :) I'm excited that Maisie Williams will be guest-starring this series as she was one of the best child actresses that I've ever seen (I say "was" because she's 18 now). On another Doctor Who-related note I'm thrilled that Alex Kingston's River Song will be featuring in some of the upcoming Big Finish stories!

7. I've recently finished watching the 2008 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit for the first time after hearing some brilliant things about it for ages. I wouldn't call Little Dorrit my favourite Dickens story as Arthur Clennam and Amy Dorrit's joint backstory was extremely convoluted and confusing and a couple of the subplots just sort of... fizzled out and didn't really lead to anything. But overall I still really enjoyed this miniseries. It had plenty of mystery and atmosphere, some really engaging and likeable characters and a lovely, heart-warming romance. Claire Foy and Matthew MacFadyen's acting in the miniseries was every bit as great as I'd heard although I have to say that the standout performance for me came from Russell Tovey who gave an absolutely stunning performance as John Chivery! I'm now planning on watching the BBC's Bleak House later on in the year.

8.  I've been attempting to cook and bake more recently. Last week or the week before I managed to bake a lovely Victoria Sponge Cake (if I do say so myself!) and this week I had a go at a Spaghetti Carbonara. Now that one wasn't as good as I'd hoped. It still tasted nice but the egg yolks ended up scrambling a bit so the look and texture was off. I might start to put up pictures of some of my baking/cooking experiments on these posts every now and again.

9. I was thrilled by the BBC's announcement that they're going to be making a new adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None this week! It's to commemorate Agatha Christie's 125th birthday and it will be starring, amongst others, Charles Dance, Aidan Turner, Anna Maxwell Martin and Miranda Richardson! :) And Then There Were None is my favourite of Christie's books although that isn't really much to boast about in my case since I've only managed to read about five of her books! I'm now hoping to re-read ATTWN a bit closer to the airdate and I'm planning to start reading more of Christie's works when I eventually finish off the Sherlock Holmes books.

10. I've saved the thing that I'm most excited about for last... I'm planning to meet up with one of my blogger friends soon! :D It's my friend Samara who's coming over to England to see Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet this summer - I know right?! - and we're trying to arrange a meet-up while she's here. YAY!


Reading in the Dark said...

I just found your blog through Hamlette:
I'm always happy to find another book blog that's interesting to read, and yours succeeded. :)

Awesome reads this year! I love Persuasion and finally read A Room with a View last year--definitely one of my favorites now. And no one else I ever talk to has read The Age of Innocence! What did you think of it?

Sherlock is awesome, and I'm really excited about the Christmas special, too! I finally finished Season 3 the other day--fantastic modern interpretation of Doyle's characters.

I love baking but haven't had much time to do it in the last few years. It always takes longer because my three-year-old wants to help out. Mostly with cooking I just throw things together in a stir-fry. I'd love to hear more about your adventures in the kitchen!

And Then There Were None is fantastic. I haven't read much Christie to compare, but my brother was in a stage production of this one several years ago, and it was so much fun! I'm sure we'll love the new BBC version, too.

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness! I'd heard of the And Then There Were None adaptation, but I hadn't seen a cast list yet! Awesome. Very awesome. :D I was trying to figure out a fantasy cast when I read it recently, but these people are doing way better than me. :P Aiden Turner is perfect for Lumbard, and Charles Dance... Oh I can't wait to see this! The book is just incredible.

I'm glad you liked the Little Dorrit adaptation! I agree about Russel Tovey's performance -- he blew me away in that one scene. And I adored the romance too. :)

Hamlette said...

Ahhhhhhhh, the Sherlock teaser. How I love it! From mimicking the Granada series' opening shots and using the music from it, to Watson's mustache, to Holmes smoking a calabash, to Mrs. Hudson's "No" when Watson asks if she likes his stories -- love it. "The dog one! Do you mean Hound of the Baskervilles?" The whole thing cracks me up.

So cool you're meeting up with a blogging friend! I'm sure you'll have a lovely time :-)

Hannah said...

Reading in the Dark - Hello and thank you so much! I'm following your blog now and I saw that you're called Hannah as well. Our parents had great taste! :D

I loved 'The Age of Innocence'! The writing was beautiful and atmospheric, I found the characters interesting and complex and I thought the social commentary was fascinating :) I loved the Martin Scorsese adaptation as well. Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer were wonderful in it.

Yes, the BBC Sherlock is fantastic! I love it so much! I'm also challenging myself to read all of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories in 12 months. So far I've read the first six books and I need to finish off the final three by the 30th of November. It's been a lot of fun :)

Ooh, your brother is an actor?! That's awesome! :D And I remember loving 'And Then There Were None' when I was read it but that was quite a few years ago. I feel I ought to re-read it before the BBC version comes out.

Hannah said...

Sarah - I KNOW! So very, very awesome! :D Oh, I wasn't anywhere near as excited about this as I was about the 'And Then There Were None' adaptation so I didn't mention it in the post but the BBC have already adapted one of Christie's Tommy and Tuppence books this year as well. It's starring Jessica Raine and David Walliams & I saw the trailer for it on BBC One earlier today. I haven't read any of the T&T books yet but I figured that you might be interested?

Gosh, yes, Russell Tovey was utterly heartbreaking during John's proposal scene and then in John's confrontation scene with Arthur :'( He deserved a BAFTA nomination!

Hamlette - Yes to everything you said! And I love that it's going to be a Victorian AU of a modern-day AU. They've gone all Inception on us! The clip's made me even more excited about watching the Granada series as well. I almost cracked yesterday and bought the boxset but I'm *determined* to finish off the ACD canon off within a year and I think the show would be a distraction at this point tbh.

Thank you, I'm sure I will! :)

Hamlette said...

If you can find the whole Granada series for anything like a reasonable price, do not pass it up. We bought it for about $50 about 5 years ago, and now Amazon lists it at twice that. But yes, I can see how it could be distracting :-)

Reading in the Dark said...

I agree about The Age of Innocence! So well done. I need to read some other works by Wharton. I haven't seen the adaptation you're talking about, but Daniel Day Lewis is great in everything, so I'll be tracking it down for sure.

I need to finish the Holmes canon! I've only read a few of them; it's pretty ridiculous.

He's a stage actor in Kansas City. :) It is awesome. He mostly does smaller productions, but every once in a while he'll be in a good tried-and-true. When does the BBC version come out? Maybe we should all read And Then There Were None together!

Hannah said...

I don't think they've announced a release date for 'And Then There Were None' yet but I know the BBC will usually release their star-studded literary adaptations around Christmas/New Year time. I'd definitely be up for reading this book at the same time as someone but I wouldn't fancy doing a proper read-along event for it. I'm much too lazy for that unfortunately!

Reading in the Dark said...

I know what you mean. My schedule never seems consistent enough to host something like that. I have enough trouble scheduling giveaways, and that's only setting aside one or two specific days to post!