Bookish Discussions

Reading Update #2:


These past two weeks have been a little hectic…

I’ve been working a lot. I’m in my day job basically everyday for the next two weeks; I had to take some time of last week to do a last minute work experience placement at UCLan Publishing. I had such a ball! I worked on manuscripts, wrote press releases, scheduled social media posts and completed some market research! As with most of my publishing experience, I want to write a lil post about it, so expect that some point this week!

Busy schedule means very little time for reading, unfortunately. I’ve also been in such a weird reading mood. I didn’t want to read at all, but, because I don’t do anything else with my spare time, it was the only thing to do. At one point, I had started three books, but wasn’t getting through any of them.

In the past two weeks, I have managed to read three books and have also started another two.

First up was Rena Rossner’s  The Sisters of the Winter Wood. Liba and Laya live a very sheltered life, but when their parents travel to visit a dying relative, their world soon changes. They discover they can transform into a bear and a swan. Can this strange ability protect them from the mysterious band of men who visit their village? This book is heavily inspired by Jewish mythology, Slavic folklore and Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’.

…and I was very disappointed with it. It was very repetitive, and very fragmented, jumping from one sister to the other without really giving us any closure. The characters were quite dull themselves. I like Rossner’s idea, and I loved the Rossetti inspiration, but I don’t think it was drawn out enough. Not a lot of plot and the timing was very off. So much potential, but not done right, unfortunately!

After this, I started making my way through Gabrielle Malcolm’s There’s Something About Darcy – a very detailed non-fiction piece on how Darcy was a product of his predecessors and how he inspired his successors. As an essay, it was very well done. Malcolm knows her stuff. Anything you can think off when it comes to Darcy – zombie!Darcy, vampire!Darcy, Byronic!Darcy, etc. – was in here. Malcolm explores all that Darcy has to offer, in any form, in any age.

Essays, however, are not always fun to read. I grew quite bored of this, finding it difficult to pay attention to what was being said. I also didn’t agree with some of the points she said. I found myself getting quite defensive, which is probably a me problem but still, it affected my reading experience (I think because she didn’t leave room for debate in her argument). I’ll be taking part in a blog tour for this – my post will be live on Saturday 9th November!

The last book I managed to finish (which is also the book I started TWO MONTHS ago) was Elizabeth Gaskell’s Gothic Tales – a collection of short spooky stories, including witchcraft, murder and ghosts.

This was a mixed bag – some stories were excellent, like ‘Lois the Witch’ and ‘The Grey Woman’, but others were a little dull. I think Gaskell is an excellent story teller, and her Gothic stories are brilliant, but they don’t always leave me with that chilling feeling, which one expects from this type of story. I’m glad I discovered this anyway, as it introduced me to Lois, which is probably The Best Short Story I’ve Ever Read.

It’ just so good.

Apart from that, I also started William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin. I’m finding VF quite a challenge – had to change to audiobook and had to mark out every fifty pages to ensure I was making progress. I haven’t touched it in about a week and a half – oops! I’m also listening to AiB on audiobook, which I’m really enjoying. Hoping to finish it before October is out!

I think that’s enough rambling for now. I’m spending the rest of the day sorting out my CV to send to some publishing houses before going to work later tonight. Gonna try and fit some reading in there, too.

What are you currently reading? Let’s discuss it in the comments…

For now,

Thanks for reading, Lauren X


4 thoughts on “Reading Update #2:

  1. A mixed bag for you, it seems! Good luck with your CV.

    As for me, I’m still strolling through Jane Eyre, having moved on to Volume 2. I enjoyed The Moores in the slim volume of CB’s unfinshed piece you reviewed recently, and have been noting Brontësque echoes in various books from Joan Aiken to, most recently, Anne Fine.

    I’m also about to delve into Moby-Dick, and it will be interesting to compare the almost contemporaneous efforts by novelists with such different themes.

    Well, you did ask! 🙂


  2. I recognize how getting through Vanity Fair can be quite a challenge. I got about halfway and felt like there wasn’t anything else it could offer me, but ultimately I am happy that I pushed through and finished it.

    I’m currently re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude 😊


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