Thursday, 30 May 2013

#ArmchairBEA Day Three: Giveaways & Literature

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Welcome to Day 3 of Armchair BEA.  Today topic is Literature and there is also a giveaway below so please continue reading!

When I sat down to write about this topic, I very quickly realised I know very little about it!  So first off I googled the term Literary Fiction and according to Wikipedia, Literary Fiction " is a term principally used for certain fictional works that are claimed to hold literary merit." It goes on to say that to be considered literary fiction, works must be "critically acclaimed" or "serious".

This made me a little worried because as mentioned in yesterday's post on Blogger Development & Genre Fiction, these days I read for relaxation and escape so I don't often real serious books or hard subjects etc ( at least not lately) but I studied English in High School and briefly at University so I figure I must have read some at some point.

So my next port of call was to look up some examples of literary fiction with the view I could use this as a jumping off point for my post. My first stop, Goodreads top 100 literary Novels of all time.  This made me smile with relief as many of these books I have most definitely read before :-) As I scrolled through the list, I noticed many classics there and as I kept scrolling i realised that less and less of them I had read.  In total I had read 13 from the list of 100 titles (oops). 

The Count of Monte Cristo
Pride and Prejudice
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
Invisible Man
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Wuthering Heights
A Tale of Two Cities
David Copperfield
The Name of the Rose
Les Misérables, tome I/3
George Eliot: Middlemarch - Silas Marner - Amos Barton

To try and make myself feel better the next thing I looked at was the Goodreads Shelf Modern Literary Fiction thinking maybe I had fared better with that list...Nope! Bearing in mind I only looked at the first couple of pages, this time there was only 1 or 2 on the list I had read.

So concluding that when it comes to literary fiction, I really do have to admit to knowing nothing I figure the best I can do is feature a few books in one or both of these lists that I would like to read one day.  I will admit though most of these I have probably heard of because there has been a movie made of it though I haven't actually seen all of them:

The Book Thief
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Brideshead Revisited
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Life of Pi
Lone Wolf
The Joy Luck Club
American Gods
Memoirs of a Geisha

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I was lucky enough to meet see Marcus Zusak and the Sydney Writers festival about 3 years ago.  Among other things, he spoke about this novel and I have been meaning to read it ever since. Set in germany during World War II, this book has been acclaimed all around the world so definitely is on my list of one day reads.

2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This came out as a movie in the last 12 months and both the movie and the book have been critically acclaimed plus I love tigers :-)  So this is on my one day read list.

3. Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Set in the 17th century, this book was made into a movie a number of years ago starring Scarlett Johannsen.  Heard many many good things about this book and plan to get round to reading it one day

4.  American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Author Neil Gaimann has been recommended to me by many many of my friends and this book in particular.  I have even looked at it at the library but never quite gotten round to borrowing it.  Amond the awards this book has won is the Bram stoker Award in 2001 and the Hugo Award for best Novel in 2002

5. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Everyone I know that has read this novel has recommended it as a must read and this book is still topping lists of bestselling books.  However given the subject matter, I am not sure I am ready to read this just yet. I will read this one day...when I am ready.

So that is my top 5 Literary Fiction novels to read.  In the above widgets are pictures of other novels I have either read or plan to read one day.

Last but not least, the giveaway.  I thought about giving away a work of literary fiction, maybe one of my top 5 then decided to leave it to the winner to decide what they would like to read.  

So open to all entrants that Book Depository delivers to or can receive e-books from Amazon, the winner of this giveaway will win book/s to the value of $10.  Please note that if you choose to receive anything other than a kindle e-book from Amazon then shipping charges will be included as part of the $10.

Just cross your fingers and follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below :-)

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I found myself sadly under-read as well when I checked my books :( But I'm looking to change that soon! :)
    Btw, love your blog name!:D

    Fahima @ I Read, Ergo I Write

  2. I sent you my giveaway post link instead of my intro. post by accident...but maybe you'd like that better anyway!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I agree with your friends about The Fault in Our Stars... I loved every word, and I was very sad in the end.

    Thanks for having a giveaway as well :) here's my Literary Fiction post I have a separate post for my giveaway.

  4. I love your top 5 TBR- the only one I haven't read is American Gods. The Book Thief is one of my all-time favorites, and The Fault in Our Stars was amazing. The Girl With a Pearl Earring is also on my favorites list. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the movie of Life of Pi better than the book!

  5. So many people are looking up literary fiction on Wikipedia. It makes me laugh. For me, it is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.


  6. Oh! I didn't know about the Modern Literary Fiction shelf on Goodreads. I'm definitely going to check it out - thanks for mentioning!

  7. OMG I can't believe I forgot about Girl With A Pearl Earring that is such a great story. I have lots of classic literary fiction but Modern is definitely lacking although I have read some really great titles.

    My Literary Fiction post.

  8. I was unsure what literary fiction was for a while too. Last year I looked it up like you did and started reading a few. I'm typically a fantasy, dystopian, paranormal reader but I was pleasantly surprised in a lot of the literary fiction lists. Hope you're enjoying Armchair BEA!

  9. I don't read much literary fiction because it is slower reading for me and I'm already slllllow. I love the idea of including an entry for BEA participants. Going to have to use that idea next year!

  10. Great giveaway! I absolutely loved The Fault In Our Stars, you should really read it one day (when you're ready! :D)
    Followed you on Bloglovin'! :)

    Joana @ Joana In The Sky With Books

  11. TFIOS is amazing! I hope you try it soon. I also hope to read the Book Thief someday.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Except for The Life of Pi, I read all your recommendations, and I loved them. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! I'm your friendly ABEA cheerleader for tonight. I love that you researched what it meant, I wasn't sure but i do like literary fiction, see the books I awarded the Thanks for Changing My Life Awards on my ABEA post today. That;s so cool you met Markus Zusak, check out my list to see what I think of the Book Thief. I look forward to chatting with you more throughout the week. Keep up the good work!

  14. Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

  15. I hope I win. My niece and nephew are going through books so fast since school got out. It would be great to let pick out a new book.

  16. Believe it or not, I picked up The Fault in Our Stars at the library - having never heard of it or its author. I just liked the cover. SMH. I really enjoyed it. However I didn't know about the subject ahead of time.

    No worries. I had to look up the literary fiction too. It seemed really like a vague label. My post,

    I need to dig into the linked lists in your post. I think that my reading list is going to come up short too. I have been underwhelmed by my book choices this year. Perhaps I can find some good choices in the lists. I am looking for book recommendations in my giveaway. Please stop by:

  17. The Book Thief, Life of Pi, and Memoirs of a Geisha are definitely worth reading!! American Gods is on my TBR list too.