Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The First Book of the Year 2020

Through Readerbuzz, I stumbled upon First Book of The Year hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. A little bit late maybe, (been travelling extensively since beginning of December, making the blog suffer) but I wanted to say a few things about my first book this year. First of all the idea of this Meme.

Sheila encourages us to pick a book to start out the new year. The criteria is flexible:

  • A guilty pleasure book...
  • A favourite book that you never got around to read or want to re-read...
  • All in all, whatever you like to read as the First Book Of the Year...
My first book was just a book I choose by coincidence. Since I was travelling, I had my ipad with me, full of downloaded books. Having read a few easygoing, historical fiction books at the end of the year, I fancied a non fiction book next. It turned out to be The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood by Jan Marsh. We have heard about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but Marsh (who is quite an expert on the group) choose to focus, in this book, on the women in their lives.


An exciting and gripping book about women whose lives happened to intertwine with the best of Victorian painters, artists and writers. There are extensive documentation on the Pre-Raphaelites, but not much about their women. Some of them did paint as well, or were writing, but most of them left no traces of their lives behind them. The destiny of the women were quite different. It did not seem easy to be part of these artists. Most of them were very strong, and had to be to survive in this circle. Jan Marsh has done extensive research and she takes us straight back to the Victorian times.

I find the group and the era utterly fascinating. I always visit the Pre-Raphaelite section of Tate Britain when I am in London. Wonderful paintings. Earlier I have read:

Desperate Romantics was made into a TV-series (with Aidan Turner as Rosetti) and Effie was made into a movie (with Dakota Fanning as Effie). Highly recommended.

A non fiction book as my first book of the year, is also setting the tone for the idea I have of my reading for 2020. I want to read more non fiction. Preferably, grouping together several books on the same subject. Week 3 of the Non Fiction November had as themes; Be the Expert, Ask the Expert and Become the Expert.  I would like to be the expert, but first I have to become the expert.

A few thoughts about my reading for this year. I will not enter too many challenges, just a few favourite ones. Looking forward to see what you all will read for the coming year.

3 comments:

  1. I'm a pre-Raphaelite fan too, but haven't read a lot about the artists or their muses. Sounds like I might have to!
    Good luck with your non-fiction plans for 2020 & I look forward to hearing about your travels...

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    1. Everything, including the times, surrounding these people, I find interesting.
      Looking forward to more non fiction. Starting with the Medici family/Florence history, since I just visited there. Both non fiction and historical fiction.

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  2. I, too, hope to focus on nonfiction this year. I'm completely unfamiliar with this group of creatives. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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