Triple Choice Tuesday: Other Stories

Triple-Choice-TuesdayWelcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles and new bloggers.

Today’s guest is Kirsty, from Other Stories, a Glaswegian outposted to Oxford, where she lives with her almost-husband.

During the day she works in academic publishing, and her spare time is taken up with reading, blogging, “feministing” and talking to her cats. She also loves all things Victorian, having recently completed a part-time MA in Victorian Studies.

Kirsty, whom you can also follow on Twitter @kirstymch, is currently in hospital, so here’s wishing her a very speedy recovery!

Without further ado, here’s Kirsty’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:

JaneEyre A favourite book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This is one of those books that everyone’s read, or if they haven’t, they know the basic gist of it. In that sense, it’s an “obvious” favourite book to have. My opinion is, however, that it’s a real classic for a reason: it’s a brilliant novel…

My own reading of it tends to fall along broadly feminist lines, and I do genuinely believe that Jane Eyre is a fantastic proto-feminist character. She does things on her own terms, speaks up for what she believes is right (even when it means suffering herself), never settles for second-best, and who can forget that wonderful line “I am no bird; no net ensnares me.” In fact, I’m well overdue for another read.


HandmaidsTale A book that changed my world: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This was recommended to me by my English teacher in my final year of high school. Amazingly, our woefully under-stocked school library had a copy, so I took it home and devoured it in a couple of days. Set in an unspecified time in the near-future, Offred has been forced to become a handmaid in the new society of Gilead. Her own real family has been broken up, like most others, and now everyone must conform to the new standards or face death. Women bear the brunt of these new rules, and this novel really spoke to my emerging feminism as a 16-year-old. Written during feminism’s second wave, it still stands up in 2010. I am now a huge Atwood fan, and it’s all down to this book.


Herland A book that deserves a wider audience: Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Gilman was an American novelist, journalist, social reformer, and lecturer who was active at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Her most famous work is The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story about a woman going gradually mad as she is made to suffer a ‘rest cure’. However, Gilman also wrote Herland, a feminist utopian novel, in 1915. It describes a group of male adventurers coming across an all-female colony in the wilderness. A fore-runner to the feminist utopian novels of the 1970s (by authors like Marge Piercy), this book taps into the trend of ‘social dreaming’ beloved of many radicals and feminists at the turn of the last century. Well worth a read – and it’s very short!

Thanks, Kirsty, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!

I’m going to have to extract The Handmaid’s Tale from my TBR, I think, because I have only ever heard good things about it. I read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper a couple of years ago…

What do you think of Kirsty’s choices? Have you read any of these books?

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17 thoughts on “Triple Choice Tuesday: Other Stories

  1. I have read the Yellow Wallpaper but had not heard of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s other books so I will be adding Herland to my wishlist.

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  2. Right I must read Jane Eyre this summer, there is nothing else for it! I loved The Handmaid’s Tale, I am gutted I read it before my blogging days as its one of those books you love to have conversations about.
    Not heard of the last collection, one to look up I suspect!
    Get well soon Kirsty!!!!!

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  3. I re-read Jane Eyre as an adult and was surprised at how strong and sure of herself Jane was. It’s one of the reasons why I love the book. The Handmaid’s Tale was also an eye-opener as it stripped down the role of women to the bare minimum in a mysoginistic world. I haven’t heard of the third title, but will check it out. I hope you are almost out of hospital!

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  4. I try not to admit this around any enthusiasts but I loved Jane Eyre as a child and began to hate it as an adult (or as a University student tired of having studied it to death). I’ll reread it in my golden years, for sure, and may fall in love with it again.
    The Handmaid’s Tale is exceptional and started my love affair with Atwood too. I have Herland on my shelves but haven’t read it yet; hearing even better things about it here will ensure that I include myself in its audience.

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  5. A Handmaid’s Tale is the only one I have read there and certainly, its a landmark book. Herland sounds intriguing! I look forward to contributing my own entry.

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  6. A fine choice. I have not read Herland, but was very impressed by The Yellow Wallpaper.
    In my family, we are reviving Jane Austen right now – another brilliant writer of classical novels – though we don´t quite agree which of her books are best.

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  7. I am about to write a review of Handmaid’s Tale.
    I haven’t heard of Herland. I must find a copy.
    Kim, thanks for doing these interviews. I find out about other authors.

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  8. Jane Eyre is also one of my favorite books, along with The Handmaid’s Tale. I loved the Yellow Wallpaper and will be adding Herland to my TBR. Applause to Kirsty!

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  9. I’ve never read Jane Eyre; it is one of those books that ends up on any “should read” list of mine. I read The Handmaid’s Tale over 20 years ago and Herland 30 years ago. I recall both of them very well. Further, I frequently am reminded about each of them — a sure sign of an excellent work of fiction. Given Kristi’s inclusion of Jane Eyre with these two works, nudges it from a guilty “should have” list to a “maybe someday” list.

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  10. I’m a massive fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and Jane Eyre, which I think is a pretty good endorsement for Herland! I’m used to reading a lot of books with a feminist “slant,” but few that are unabashedly so. Looking forward to it!

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