2016 Favourites

I can’t quite believe that 2016 (and my first full year of blogging) is coming to an end. Books by the Window has definitely been a great motivation for me to not only keep up with reading but to be thinking more deeply about what I’m reading. I’ve enjoyed many of the books I’ve read over the course of this year so I thought I would make a post with my five favourites; I also love a good adaptation so I’ve thrown in my favourites of those too. Read more


War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I think this is probably the book that I’ve felt the proudest about finishing this year. The recent BBC production had everyone talking about War and Peace, but I was determined not to watch the adaptation until I had read the book. Earlier in the year, Ruth at onthearmofthesofa gave me one of her copies and, with reviews scheduled on this blog for the whole of October, I decided that now would be the time. It took me nearly three months, with breaks to read lighter books in-between, but I was determined to finish before I went back to my parents’ house for Christmas. I’m so happy I finally managed to read this epic book. Read more

Small Island

Small Island by Andrea Levy

I mentioned in my review of The Long Song that the novel had motivated me to read more of Levy’s writing, probably starting with her most well-known novel: Small Island. If you were following some of the comments on my review or on areaderofliterature’s review of Fruit of the Lemon, you might have picked up on the discussion we were having about how different The Long Song appeared to be from her earlier novels and the way in which she seemed to have matured as a writer. Having now read Small Island, written before The Long Song, I will add to that discussion that I think Levy matured as a writer even from Small Island to The Long Song; I enjoyed Small Island, but The Long Song is definitely a stronger all-round novel. Read more

Li Ch’ing-chao (Li Qingzhao) Complete Poems

Li Ch’ing-chao (Li Qingzhao) Complete Poems, translated and edited by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung

One of the excitements of this term for me has been weekly meetings I’ve been having with a Chinese friend who is studying Comparative Literature. Her particular interest is in Chinese and Japanese literature, so she has been introducing me to Chinese and Japanese women writers while I introduce her to the world of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. One thing we realised very early on was that, although I had some limited exposure to Chinese Literature, it was almost exclusively male writers despite my primary literary interest being Victorian women’s writing; I was excited, therefore, to spend more time studying the writing of women from other cultures. Read more

Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party (Shipwrecked Comedy, 2016)

Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party (Shipwrecked Comedy, 2016)

One of the biggest news stories in the Literary-Inspired Web Series world this year has been the production of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery (Invite Only, Casual) Dinner Party (/Gala for Friends Potluck): kickstarted in February with the epilogue airing in November, it was a whirlwind of production and filming that created great excitement with fans. Shipwrecked Comedy developed Poe Party from their previous series A Tell Tale Vlog; in Poe Party this world is massively expanded to create a fun, clever web series that I enjoyed watching immensely. Read more