It’s time for the second instalment of Alex’s Alphabeticals! I loved chatting with you all last month about my favourite authors, books and characters beginning with ‘A’ so be sure to leave me a comment this time with your favourites beginning with ‘B’!
Authors beginning with ‘B’
The Brontë sisters
Who else could I start with than the Brontës? My first introduction to these sisters was in sixth form when I studied Wuthering Heights during my Gothic literature module; straightaway, it became one of my all-time favourite books. I then read Jane Eyre the following year and loved it too (though not quite as much as Emily’s masterpiece, first loves and all that). I only recently read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Anne is seriously underrated – she can totally hold her own against her sisters! I still need to read the lesser-known novels but I’m also reluctant to do so anytime soon because I don’t want to run out of material from these three fantastic ladies.
A more modern example of girl power is the inimitable Ms. Bardugo. Swiftly becoming one of my auto-buy authors, I absolutely love her style and sense of humour. I’m still to read the Six of Crows duology (I know, I know, I’m behind the times) but I love the Grisha trilogy and her recent take on Wonder Woman is phenomenal. And as for the news about the Nikolai duology – I am BESIDE MYSELF.
Had to mention a childhood favourite! Some of the first chapter books I ever read were The Magic Faraway Tree and The Runaway Clock, and I loved them so much. I wish I still had the hardbacks because they were absolutely gorgeous and fully illustrated; the book collector in me hates that I ever had to get rid of any books. However, my future children will definitely be owning a set of Enid Blyton’s stories whether they want to or not; she is an absolute staple of any child’s library.
Books beginning with ‘B’
The Book Thief
Wow, already two of my all-time favourites have made the ‘B’ list! I have read The Book Thief countless times and think it has some of the most beautiful images in all of literature. I love how original it is, with Death as the narrator, and Liesel is so incredibly endearing. Seriously, go read it if you haven’t already.
The Bear and the Nightingale
Katherine Arden already received a mention on my ‘A’ list but I want to specifically mention my love for her debut novel The Bear and the Nightingale. It came out at the start of this year and since then has steadfastly remained as one of my top reads of the year. It’s wintery and magical and Russian-inspired, and I am dying for the sequel over here.
Before the Rains
I’ve been trying to read more historical fiction this year because I always seem to really enjoy it but never actively seek it out, if that makes sense? After reading The Tea Planter’s Wife and loving it, I just had to get my hands on Dinah Jefferies’ newest book offering this summer. Before the Rains is a story of forbidden romance in a gorgeous Indian setting; I felt totally transported!
Characters beginning with ‘B’
Beatrice and Benedick
I don’t often shout about it but I’m a big fan of Shakespeare! While you can’t beat a good tragedy, Shakey can also be hilariously sarcastic at times. His comedy Much Ado About Nothing is fantastic and the two main players Beatrice and Benedick are comedy gold.
More comedy gold comes in the form of one of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters. Elizabeth Bennett’s mother is wonderful and cracks me up with her ‘nerves’. I giggle every time I picture Mr Bennett rolling his eyes at his wife’s antics.
Bilbo is another absolutely beloved character who just had to feature on this list. I feel a definite affinity with him and his armchair-loving ways. He values food and home comforts but is also a loyal friend, and that makes him pretty special in my opinion.
This might seem like a strange choice and maybe calling her a favourite is too strong a phrase, but I find Bellatrix such an interesting character! Not excusing all the horrible deeds she commits (I’ll never ever forgive her for those), it’s undeniable that she’s fun to read about! Plus, she has pretty cool hair. She’d be a great choice for a Halloween costume.
Ok, I’m cheating a little because I’ve only ever seen movie adaptations but how could I justify a list of favourite characters beginning with ‘B’ that didn’t include Belle?! I’m sure she’s just as great in the original story of Beauty and the Beast, and I will read it at some point to confirm that fact. I WILL. Someday.
And that brings us to the end of the second instalment of Alex’s Alphabeticals! What do you think of my choices for the letter ‘B’? Which authors/books/characters would feature on your ‘B’ list?