Monday, 14 July 2014

Bookshelf Tour 2014 - part 1

Having well and truly immersed myself in the YouTube world of booklovers (otherwise known as BookTube!) I have become particularly interested in the trend that is Bookshelf Tours. In case the name isn't self-explanatory enough, these tours are basically videos showing the person's bookshelves. I quickly discovered that I had a kind of strange fascination with these videos... Perhaps it is the result of our natural snooping tendencies! But the fact that I love these videos so much, coupled with recently returning home and being reunited with my own bookshelves, has inspired me to do a tour of my own.

My full shelves. Please excuse the random junk!
Oh books, how pretty you are!

Let's start at the top shall we? 


First off, we have my Christian book section. I particularly enjoyed Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger, an inspirational account of her spontaneously moving to China, and Is God a Delusion by Nicky Gumbel. I also have a book called Compared to Her by Sophie De Witt - my friend sent me this while I was abroad and it hasn't been unpacked and put on my shelves yet - which talks about how we compare ourselves with others and the damage that does in our lives (something I definitely struggle with!).

Next up we have some language learning resources, ranging from history books to parallel texts, as well as basic language tips and phrasebooks. As you can see, I often have the urge to randomly start up a new language, hence the Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch resources up there. Though how I think I'll ever find the time for all these languages I can't imagine! I think my favourite book on here has to be Sky my husband by Jean-Loup Chiflet, a book of French idioms and their direct English transliterations (as well as their actual meanings). Hilarious!

Here, from left to right, we have my collection of books about Language and languages, my uni set texts, some more word-y books, and some fun books. I particularly enjoyed La Machine Infernal by Jean Cocteau and Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire. And I adore the Cake Wrecks book. Cracks me up every time!

Moving onto my second shelf down! Here we have the beginning of my collection of foreign language books that aren't for uni, beginning with a few Italian books and moving onto German ones (though a couple are actually English translations). I think I'm most excited to read Im Westen Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) by Erich Maria Remarque, simply because it's become so well known and so iconic, and Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) by Thomas Mann, for similar reasons. I'm also looking forward to reading Drei Männer auf einem Bummel, a German translation of the sequel to Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, as I can't wait to see how they've translated the very stylistic humour.

Here are some more German books, followed by some French. I am slightly ashamed to say that I don't think I've read any of these! Oops... Although, come to think of it, I have started Alice by Judith Hermann, but since it's a collection of short stories, I have only read parts of it. I still enjoyed it though and would recommend it as a modern work in German where the language is not too difficult. My most anticipated read from this shelf has got to be Fish and Fritz by Wolfgang Koydl, which is a German expat in England's take on Britain and the British. Could be interesting!

Moving onto some more French novels, and it strikes me now that I got the majority of these for free! Certainly those Pagnol ones in the middle (and some others too!) were free from the French department at university. My favourite here has to be Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, which was probably the first French novel I read for fun. 

Here we come to the end of my foreign language collection (though there are plenty more on my kindle!), my favourite here being, naturally, the first Harry Potter in French. Next to it on the shelf I also have the Chamber of Secrets in Italian, though I have only read a small part of it (my Italian is shamefully rusty).

Now let's move on to some books in good old English! First of all we have a few non-fiction works, including autobiographical writings from Gerald Durrell, Anne Frank and Agatha Christie. This last one leads me on nicely to my collection of her actual works. I must confess to being a shameless Christie addict, and absolutely love her books, though some more than others. I actually got rid of a few that I didn't enjoy quite so much to try and make some space on my shelves. Plus I've read a few from the library and have several on kindle.

Here we come to the final section of this part of the bookshelf tour, where I've put my collections of books from the same authors, as well as a couple of random ones at the end. Though I always love a good Wodehouse, my favourites from these shelves have to be Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee and A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. The first is a memoir of Lee's childhood in a rural English village, and the latter is a novel about a girl's awakening to love and to the ways and hypocrisy of society. Both are hauntingly beautiful and I can't emphasize enough how much I love them! I can't wait to read Laurie Lee's sequel As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Oh, and Dubliners by James Joyce. Basically, I just love this section of bookshelf!


So there you have it! Part 1 of my very own Bookshelf Tour! Tune in next time for part 2.

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