May 2024
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TSS: Three Great Reads

tssbadge1At some point, after I started reading more books than I ever expected I could, it seemed like I was falling in love with fewer books.  They rarely grab me from the first page and usually I have to get at least 50 pages in before I feel compelled to keep reading.  I like almost everything I read, but I rarely truly love a book.  That said, I am now reading three amazing books, and am hard pressed to decide which one to continue at any given point!

The first is The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer, a book I’m reviewing for The Book Bag.  This non-fiction book is essentially billed as a handbook for people traveling to the 14th century (as it is basically a foreign country), but really provides an entertaining overview of every detail of medieval life.  So far he’s explained what I might encounter in a town, a city, or the countryside, levels of society, and even gone into detail about coinage and dates and medieval attire.  I know some of this information, but the little details like how the invention of the button changed men’s and women’s clothing?  Or the slight differences in behavior?  I had no idea, and it’s utterly fascinating.  It’s also very funny in a dry sort of way, which makes even the facts I know enjoyable to learn again.  I won’t be reviewing this book here for a while, but I am just loving it.

The next is Emma by Jane Austen.  It’s no secret that I really enjoy Austen’s work, but Emma has been the last on my list of unread Austens for years.  I have two versions of it but I have never managed to get into it.  I was in high school and I found it boring, and later I wanted to save one because I know there aren’t any others.  I’m inspired today by the BBC’s new miniseries, which begins tonight at 9 pm.  There was no way I wanted to spoil my last Austen with a miniseries and not with the book!  And of course I don’t want to miss the mini-series because I love the BBC’s adaptations.  I am even making Keith watch with me.  So I started reading it, even though I was already reading two other books, and I’m adoring it this time through.  I just love Austen’s sly humor, her deft touch with characterization, her turn of phrase, and that’s not to mention the snottiness of Emma and the fascinating world she lives in.  I want to know where this story is going next!  I know who the hero is and I can already see the light touches that are slowly developing that angle even as Emma goes about in ignorance.  This book makes me want to reread every last Jane Austen novel, so I’m already planning on starting with Pride and Prejudice, the only one I actually have here.  (Emma is a library copy since my two versions are in the US).

The last is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  I have progressed the least in this because I started it before I realized I had to read Emma. There is so much blogger buzz about this book that I couldn’t resist starting it alongside the non-fiction, although I normally don’t read more than one book at a time (hah!).  This was one of my last bought books before my ban started, as neither of my libraries have it, although both of them have the sequel.  No idea why libraries do that.  I’m only 100 pages in, but it is very good so far.  I wasn’t convinced at first, but it’s growing on me.  I plan on zipping through the whole thing tomorrow when I’m on my own again, as men, mine in particular, are extremely distracting, and I hope I fall in love with it like so many others have!

What was the last book you fell in love with?


20 comments to TSS: Three Great Reads

  • Isn’t it a great feeling when you can get totally wrapped up in a book? Glad these were fascinating reads for you.

    Off the top of my head the last books I really fell in love with (in no particular order) were: The Help; Stockett – The Art of Racing in the Rain; Stein – Molakai; Brennert – The Weight of Heaven; Umrigar – That Old Cape Magic; Russo and Purple Hibiscus; Adichie.
    .-= diane´s last blog ..Sunday Salon – October 4 =-.

  • The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England sounds like a great resource for my unit on Medieval Literature (we will read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales). To my wonderful surprise, it is on the list of books “being acquired” by my local library! I am not sure that I will have it in time for this academic year, but I am very much looking forward to reading it for next year.
    .-= molly´s last blog ..TSS – Tales from the Classroom =-.

  • I’m so looking forward to the new Emma series tonight. I don’ think I’ve seen a tv adaptation of Emma in a while.
    .-= Jodie´s last blog ..Lonely Werewolf Girl – Martin Millar =-.

  • Emma is fantastic! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far.

    The Knife of Never Letting Go has gotten such great reviews lately that I feel like I really should read it.

    I’m all alone today because my boyfriend went to a football game and I plan on finishing my book and possible my audiobook as well. No offense to him, but I get my best reading done when he’s not here to distract me either!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Weekly Geeks: Improving my Blog =-.

  • Charitie

    Emma is on my list of books to read too. Won’t happen any time soon b/c I am working my way through Faulkner’s complete works.
    I have a very small very select canon of “favorite” books, but in the last year I added two “The City and The City” by Mieville and “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson. I have liked Mieville for a long time, but oddly enough Anathem was my first Stephenson book.

  • I was totally engrossed in 31 Hours, but I’m not sure it’s the type of book I’d say I “loved.”
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: Ghoulish Goodies =-.

  • I don’t fall in love with very many books either. I like an awful lot of them, and I even love some, but there are relatively few I feel passionately about. I think the last on was THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY by Michael Chabon, which I read back in August.
    .-= Memory´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon: More on Book Bans =-.

  • It’s a wonderful feeling when you fall in love with one book, but three at a time? I can see your dilemma! What a lucky dilemma though! I am glad that you are enjoying Emma. :-) The Knife of Never Letting Go sounds good. I look forward to your review!

    The last book I fell in love with . . . Let’s see. Probably Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall. I’ve read books since then I really liked as well, but not as much as that one.

    Have a great week, Meghan!
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: Random Bookish Thoughts =-.

  • I think of the 3 Austen books I’ve read Emma is actually my favorite (P&P and NA are the others). Something about the characters in that book really had me enjoying it. I’m not on a book ban, so I’ve already decided the next book I get will be The Knife of Never Letting Go. Glad you’re enjoying it despite the slow start.
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..Sunday Salon 18 – Non-Fiction Reading =-.

  • I just read 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton and although it was gripping I wouldn’t say that I loved it. I might have loved the Likeness. by Tana French and Kindred, by Octavia Buler. But I know what you mean about reading more books and loving fewer of them. I think that my taste is constantly being refined now and I am probably more critical with having read more books.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Giveaway: The Last Dickens, by Matthew Pearl =-.

  • Oh, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England does sound fascinating! And hooray for Emma and The Knife of Never Letting Go! The last book I fell in love with was Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand.
    .-= Nymeth´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon – Portuguese Literature =-.

  • I also rarely fall in love with books. I like most of them, but I don’t get all excited about them. I think the last book I really loved was either Perfect Chemistry or the Secret Desires of a Gentleman (I read them back-to-back and don’t remember which one I read first).

    I’ve never read Emma. The miniseries/movies I’ve seen of the book have been way too annoying, so I had no desire to read the book.
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..TSS–In Which I Break All Vows of Abstinence =-.

  • I just got so sidetracked by your post I forgot what I was doing. What I mean by that is that I had to go add two of the books in this post to my wish list, and in the process I got sidetracked by amazon, paperbackswap and librarything. It was fun, but kind of amusing that I was so easily distracted (not a big surprise though since there are so many ways to find new books online). Anyway, I just came back after all of my wandering to say thanks for the book recommendations!
    .-= Alyce´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon – October 4 =-.

  • Willow was probably the last book I read that I fell in love with, but it was such a difficult topic, I’m not sure “love” is the right word. I fully expect to fall in love with An Echo in the Bone, which I plan to start tomorrow.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Challenge: 100 Miles =-.

  • Hey Meghan,
    To answer your “why do libraries buy the second book but not the first” question: Usually what happens is that a book no one is expecting to be popular turns out to be quite popular, so when the sequel comes out the library buys it. They see no point in spending budget money on the first book, because they figure most people who wanted to read it probably already have. I guess as a late-comer to the series that doesn’t make sense, but from a budget stand-point it sure does.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Book Review: Setting Free the Bears By John Irving =-.

  • My library has “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England” so I’ve placed myself on the holds list. I may have to check out “The Knife of Never Letting Go” if you still like it when you finish, after all the buzz I’ve heard.
    .-= Jen – Devourer of Books´s last blog ..The Maze Runner – Book Review =-.

  • The Margaret Beaufort thing really interested me! I agree that this book really didn’t seem dated, certainly less so than “The King’s Fool” did.
    .-= Jen – Devourer of Books´s last blog ..The Maze Runner – Book Review =-.

  • The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England looks like something that I would find fascinating. I hope you post the link to your review here, because I would love to hear what you think of it. It seems like you are reading some great stuff right now. I, too, loved Emma, and I am also rationing Austen’s works since there will surely be nothing new in the future. I hope you end up loving them all and will be looking forward to your reviews.
    .-= zibilee´s last blog ..In the Arms of Immortals: A Novel of Darkness and Light by Ginger Garrett – 313 pgs =-.

  • Since I can’t stick with a book that I don’t really like, I think I DO generally fall in love with whatever book I happen to be reading. The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England sounds so interesting – I’m always saying I don’t really read much historical fiction, but I find this type of “resource” or “research” historical nonfiction so interesting.
    .-= Belle´s last blog ..My Favorite Book Hooks =-.