marți, 3 martie 2020

What I've been reading lately

In the spirit of the "New year new me" idea, I've decided to return here, as I still believe I have something to say. More than for any other purpose, as I don't quite hope I'll get famous through this site, I am writing for me; like a recording of thoughts and ideas that give me pleasure or puzzle and fascinate me. And yes, because, after all these years, I still haven't given up the idea that someday I will publish a book. Someday.
Until then, this is an exercise, and should be taken as such.
Turning back to the title, and subsequently the subject I chose for my first article in such a long time, I'd like to share some of my latest reads and some of the books I bought or received and still haven't managed to read yet. I would have to mention that I've been buying a lot of books lately, so I have a lot of material.
I received a wonderful gift last Christmas from my boyfriend:
and I have to say I was delighted. While I wanted The Witches for a long time, I coveted a deluxe edition of Sherlock Holmes ever since we were in our holiday in Prague and have seen one there in what was to become our favorite bookshop: Budget Books. This edition however is beyond my dreams, as it's deluxe, and when I say this I really mean it. Look at those gilded pages:

and cover art:
I have to say, I was enchanted by this edition, it is wonderfully made. Even Jackie loved it:

I've read and read and read from it, but as the paper is extremely thin and beautiful, I haven't even reached the middle, so I guess I'll be reading until next Christmas.
In the meantime I've also read Promethean Horrors and I loved it. I guess my literary taste has changed over the years, and as other people after a certain age go for more "mature" books, like self-improvement for example; it seems I started to gravitate in the last 6-7 years from Fantasy towards the Gothic Novel. I still adore Fantasy, it's just that now and then I like it with a twist.
Regarding The Witches, I'm still in the beginning with it, I have to say it's not that thrilling as I expected it to be and that's why I could be sidetracked by other books. Yes, I am that sort of person who starts reading several books, before finishing any, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I can't say I don't like The Witches, Schiff has a sort of sarcasm that I do enjoy, it's just that the subject is in the beginning just as interesting as the Puritans can be. I will persevere though, and I do hope I'm coming closer to the "juicy" part.

To shortly exemplify my new "penchant" for Gothic literature, here is a recent acquisition, of which I'm really proud:

The only downside for some might be that it's a Romanian edition, but a wonderful one, nonetheless:

It's a hardback deluxe edition published by ART, and the illustrations are by Fernando Vicente, and I would say (pun intended)  he did a terrific job:
The translation into Romanian is exquisite. I have to say I was a little afraid, translation being a  very important aspect for me, and that is why I prefer reading the books in original, because I have stumbled upon translations that are really dissatisfying. This one I think will satisfy even the pickiest readers, I dare say. Just one last beautiful image, although this edition is full of them:
I enjoyed re-reading this book, and there's no denying the illustrations really intensified my pleasure. Reading such books you fully understand the power of images over a mind influenced by the text. It's easy to guess what my dreams were about in those days. This particular edition is for the skeptics, those who say "Oh, not yet another edition of this one!". It is the proof that a wonderful book never ceases to surprise, and with the right amount of care and artistic genius, it definitely lives on as gloriously as in the beginning.

Do you know that feeling when, walking into a library, you see a book related to another cult one that you've already read, by the latter author's nephew, and just walk past it? Neither do I....
So I went into Carturesti last year and saw Dracul by Dacre Stoker, and couldn't help myself.
I have to say this was an interesting read, I could say I liked it very much, as it gives another perspective on Bram Stoker, transferring him into his own tale. If this doesn't convince a Gothic novel enthusiast to read this book, I don't know what will. Maybe only the small detail that Stoker becomes some kind of a Van Helsing in this satisfyingly long tale.

I will conclude my spoilers here, and also my post, since I want to let other books for some other time. Until we meet again.

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