Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bewitching Blurbs

Hi everyone.

Well, it’s Christmas Eve and even though Bewitching Blurbs usually looks at newly released titles I thought I would go retro.

Last week a ‘name your favourite books’ thing circulated around Facebook. It got me thinking about the books which have had an effect on me.  So this week, Bewitching Blurbs has become self indulgent and I’m evoking the whole ‘goddess of my own blog’ thingy.

Here are some of my favourite titles in no particular order.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Well really, that goes without saying.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”


The Illiad by Homer– but it makes me cry.

One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its centre is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus, he storms back into battle to take revenge – although knowing this will ensure his own early death. Interwoven with this tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, of the domestic world inside Troy's besieged city of Ilium, and of the conflicts between the Gods on Olympus as they argue over the fate of mortals.

The Odyssey by Homer – I love it although I still find it hard to forgive Odysseus after what he did at Troy.
Homer's epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War has inspired writers from Virgil to James Joyce. Odysseus survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal wife, Penelope. Favorite of the gods, Odysseus embodies the energy, intellect, and resourcefulness that were of highest value to the ancients and that remain ideals in our time.
The Owl Service – A Young Adult Book which reinterprets the ancient tale of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogian.
Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships.
It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.
Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend – a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.
And while we’re on the subject –
The Mabinogian
Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and an intriguing interpretation of British history - these are just some of the themes embraced by the anonymous authors of the eleven tales that make up the Welsh medieval masterpiece known as the Mabinogion. They tell of Gwydion the shape-shifter, who can create a woman out of flowers; of Math the magician whose feet must lie in the lap of a virgin; of hanging a pregnant mouse and hunting a magical boar. Dragons, witches, and giants live alongside kings and heroes, and quests of honour, revenge, and love are set against the backdrop of a country struggling to retain its independence.
The Scarlet Pimpernel – Sink me, I love that ‘demmned’ elusive Pimpernel.
In this historical adventure set during the French Revolution, the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel sets out to rescue men, women and children facing the horrors of the guillotine, while evading the relentless pursuit of his arch enemy, Chauvelin.
Katherine – Anya Seaton is to blame for my deep and abiding crush on John of Gaunt.
Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of fifteen. The naïve convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court.

Nevertheless Katherine is beautiful and she turns the head of the King's favourite son John of Gaunt. But he is married and she is soon to be betrothed.

A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed. Katherine becomes the prince's mistress and discovers an extraordinary world of power pleasure and passion.
A Gentle Feuding by Johanna Lindsey – First historical romance I ever read. From that moment I knew I was a hopeless romantic.
Duty demands that Sheena, the beautiful jewel of the Fergusson clan, wed to end the violent feud that has devastated her family. But never could she give herself completely to the handsome and dangerous laird Jamie MacKinnion - the most feared man in the Scottish highlands.
The Secret by Julie Garwood– Love it! Need to buy another copy as I've read this one to death.
Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, Laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer – Bringing out the medieval in me J
At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, a jovial group of pilgrims assembles, including an unscrupulous Pardoner, a noble-minded Knight, a ribald Miller, the lusty Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. As they set out on their journey towards the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury, each character agrees to tell a tale. The twenty-four tales that follow are by turns learned, fantastic, pious, melancholy and lewd, and together offer an unrivalled glimpse into the mind and spirit of medieval England

Grimm’s Fairytales – Started reading them as a kid and haven’t stopped.
Over 200 stories, including Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Rapunzel.
And finally, nearly anything by the fabulous Nora Roberts
Wishing you all, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the very best for the coming year.
Thanks for stopping by & see you next year.
Nicóle   xx

Images from
Amazon Kindle


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