Mucking around the neighbourhood

So for today’s Blogging 101 task, I am to follow 5 new topics on the Reader and follow 5 new blogs. Sounds easy enough, so I set about filling up my WordPress life with what I’ve been hankering after in my real life.

5 New Topics

1. Jane Austen
Anyone who knows me well enough knows how passionate I feel about Jane Austen. I have mixed feelings about her novels. It is rare for me to re-read books in general unless I really liked it, so it shows something about how much impact they have had on me that Pride & Prejudice and Emma are not only re-read often, they have to be re-read (and re-watched) at least once a year, if not more frequently. However, for all of her other novels, though I have read them all more than once, they remain those sort of novels that I would only re-read whenever I’m feeling in the mood to restart another Jane Austen marathon, maybe once every few years or more. Nevertheless, I have a deep respect for Miss Austen, and it is because of her that I have come to appreciate classic literature and it has risen to become one of my favourite genres in fiction, which is why I also followed…

2. Classic Literature
Jane Austen introduced me to the world of classic literature, but it became a sort of life-long fascination and obsession over Regency and Victorian England. I became especially curious about the societies and people who lived in these eras, whether they belonged to low, middle or upper class. I wanted to know so much more about them, I felt like I’d want to time travel if I could. Furthermore, even if classic literature dealt with the usual romance plot, the writing style and themes always seemed to be so much deeper and thoughtful than what most contemporary novels can come up with.

3. Book Reviews
I’m trying my hand at reviewing books myself, so I thought I’d do well to read what others have to say about their own books, and how they write their reviews. I read books often, but I want to bring my process of reading a step further, I didn’t want to just simply read and forget completely about the book and my thoughts about it later on. Writing reviews not only forces me to process the novel I have just read, criticize it for its writing and plot elements, but it also gives me a space to collect all these thoughts for future reference.

4. Goodreads
Though I started a Goodreads account ( ) some years ago, I only became much more active there recently when I resurrected my blog again and began reading like my life depended on it. Goodreads seems to me like the Facebook for book-lovers, and it has introduced me to so many new and intriguing titles. I wouldn’t have known where else to get book recommendations if not for Goodreads. It’s also a great place to keep track of some titles I’m interested in, what titles I’ve already read and so on.

5. Jasper Fforde
I just discovered his works in the Thursday Next series, and I am becoming a fan. There is a vibrancy and liveliness to his novels that is hugely appealing to me, and I’m keen to follow up on the entire series.

5 New Following Blogs

I actually followed 5 new blogs, but they suddenly disappeared off my Following list and I can’t find their URLs anymore… 😦