Anne of Avonlea, by L. M. Montgomery

28914652At sixteen, Anne is grown up…almost. Her grey eyes shine like evening stars, but her red hair is still as peppery as her temper. In the years since she arrived at Green Gables as a freckle-faced orphan, she has earned the love of the people of Avonlea and a reputation for getting into scrapes. But when Anne begins her job as the new schoolteacher, the real test of her character begins. Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning how complicated life can be when she meddles in someone else’s romance, finds two new orphans at Green Gables, and wonders about the strange behaviour of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone (from Goodreads)

With this book I finally filled the holes of Anne’s early years (since I started reading this series, a long time ago, with book #3).

I definitely missed Anne’s bubbly and over-excited childhood character, since now, as a young lady, she’s so much composed… She’s the school teacher after all! (isn’t it weird? Thinking of a sixteen year old girl in charge of a class?) But I think, if I remember right, she explains it saying that, after all, she’s not far different from before, she just keeps all her crazy thoughts and avid imagination to herself. I liked that. I guess that’s what we all do… I love the way the characters grow in these books.

And I really feel sorry for Dora, she’s so overlooked just for being such a well-behaved little girl!

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The scarlet city, by Hella S. Haase

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The novel centers around Giovanni Borgia, a mysterious figure known in history as the infans Romanus, or child of Rome. Although he bears one of the most notorious names in all of Italy, Giovanni doesn’t know his parentage. Is Cesare Borgia his father or his brother? Or is he no relation at all? Is Lucrezia Borgia his mother or his sister — or possibly both? Hella Haasse uses the ferment and intrigue of the Italian Wars — during which French, Swiss, Spanish and German armies surged into Italy — as a backdrop for Giovanni’s agonizing quest for his identity.

Giovanni’s search introduces us to some of the most intriguing people of the times: Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna and Lucrezia Borgia. (from Goodreads)

I found this book on my bed one night. My mother saw it on a book flea market and remembered I like the Borgias’ story, so she got it for me. It was a nice surprise!

The reading of this book was a weird experience. First, it was about the Borgias,  yes, but not about the Borgias I was interested in. It is centered, like the goodreads’ synopsis explains, about the infans Romanus, an obscure character that more or less vanished in history. The author collected the few things known about his adult life, took ALL the historic gossip about the family, added some other historical characters in the mix, put some of her own imagination and created a whole thing around it. I feel ambiguous about it. I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I can’t say I did, either. I enjoyed some parts, and I was deeply annoyed by others, so… How would you call that?

The Confessions of Dorian Gray: The Complete Series One and Two, by Simon Barnard et al

20695672“To have written such a book was nothing… to convince the world it was a work of fiction was a triumph!”

Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s classic story of hedonism and corruption, The Confessions of Dorian Gray imagines a world where Dorian Gray was real, and his friendship with Oscar Wilde once spawned the notorious novel. (from Goodreads)

I got this audiobook because is starred by one of Versailles’ main actors and I was feeling blue after the end of the second season. “I NEED MORE” was my basic thought. And it fulfilled this need, so that was good.

I really enjoyed listening to it. It takes Wilde’s character and gives him so many more stories! I liked their approach, the “cameos” from other well known literary characters and how they adapted Gray’s personality to different eras (they brought him up to the 21st century!). It really gave me second thoughts about my wish to live forever…

I’m looking forward to listen to the remaining stories!

Sailor Moon #4, by Naoko Takeuchi

23481480Black Moon is gaining power. They abducted Jupiter too! Sailor Moon, Venus and Tuxedo Mask are trying to figure out where they’re keeping their friends, and eventually Chibiusa helps them to find some answers, unveiling aswell her own story and introducing them to Sailor Pluto, the guardian of time, which means… TIME TRAVELS! Yay? The future doesn’t look promising. Sailor Moon is captured too, and Chibiusa is in great danger.

Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery

28918901As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever…but would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with decidedly red hair and a temper to match. If only she could convince them to let her stay, she’d try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables (from Goodreads)

I’ve been reading Anne’s stories for as long as I can remember, although I skipped the first two books (my mother had only #3, and the school library had the next ones, but no notice of #1 and #2). When I heard that Netflix was making a new adaptation on Montgomery’s book, I knew immediately that I had to read Anne #1 once and for all. I’ve been looking for her books for a long time, with little success, so I had to go for an ebook.

Oh, how I loved it! I don’t have Anne’s ability with big words to make the slightest justice of it. I wished I had read this as a kid, but anyway, I’m so glad I read this at all, which gives me an excuse to now keep up with all the other books in the proper order.

It’s such a heartwarming story, and I’m pretty sure that all of us, lovers of books and words, can see ourselves in Anne. I just wish now that I had more vivid memories from me at that age.

I’m just beginning Anne of Avonlea now, and I’m so glad that I still have so much of Anne in my future 🙂

A love episode, by Émile Zola

35225671The main character of this book is Hélène Grandjean (née Mouret). She and her daughter Jeanne are living in the suburbs of Paris, entirely on their own, as Jeanne’s father died soon after their arrival at this place. Her only friends are two brothers, former friends of her husband, who join them for dinner every week, and that’s all. She lives entirely for her daughter, a feeble child, prone to fever and convulsions.

The story begins during one of Jeanne’s episodes, in which Hélène runs to the street in despair, looking for a doctor. Their family doctor wasn’t at home, so she wanders around and knocks at a house, looking for help. This house happened to be one of a doctor, none other that her immediate neighbor, who ends up restoring the child to health. A few days later, Hélène and Jeanne pay a visit to their neighbors, to formally thank Dr. Deberle, and they get acquainted with his wife Juliette, which soon introduces them to her circle of friends, and they all start to spend a lot of time together.

Hélène and Dr. Deberle start to develop strong feelings for each other, but they don’t act on them. Until they do and all that was well isn’t anymore. Especially Jeanne, who suffers from the old “neurosis,” seen in earlier branches of the family (as in her great grandmother, her grandfather, her uncle, her cousin Serge… Remember him from Abbé Mouret?). In her, this neurosis is manifested as the unhealthiest jealousy I have ever read about. But, honestly, considering her heredity in mental health, the poor child didn’t have a chance.

I definitely didn’t know what to expect from this book. Considering its corny title, I thought it could be more on the line of The dream, something more idyllic, but well, I was absolutely wrong. Zola never fails on delivering us tragic fates disguised as something much more light.

And even though I liked it and enjoyed the reading, of all the books in the series that I’ve read, is probably one the less impressive, a minor episode in the main line of events, a place, I think, that shares with The dream (which is, however, one of my favorites). But, even when it looks like a lot less compared to others, it’s a good novel in its own right.