Bookish Discussions

Reading Update #4:

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I’m back to chat about books!

I’ve read quite a bit since I last updated you.

I finished The Corset and loved it! It was a deeply compelling novel exploring the complexities of guilt, class and psychology. Laura Purcell managed to weave a brilliant story of two women, of different classes, overcoming the prejudices against each other to root out the truth of a traumatic event in Ruth Butterham’s life. It’s definitely become a new favourite, and I’m very eager to read Purcell’s new novel: Bone China.

After that I started on Lucy Jones’ Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain. This is a non-fiction looking at the contradicting perception on foxes in society from the early 18th century to now. Some people love the fox; whereas some hate it. Jones explores the two opposing views, looking at how society have come to view the animal from urban areas to rural, from literature to parliament. It was a very insightful book about my favourite animal – the need to protect it overpowers me!

I picked up George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four after this and was… well… quite disappointed. My classic reading slump *might* be to blame, but this didn’t impress me all that much. I found part II increeeeedibly boring and I wasn’t completely invested in the character’s story-line. It did spark up a good discussion on dystopias though – why are dystopias so believable?

Caroline Lea’s The Glass Woman was up next. I thought this was gonna blow me away. It’s dubbed as an Icelandic Jane Eyre, and we all know how much I love that book. But, yeh, it wasn’t *that* good. I mean, it was readable, and, at times, quite interesting, but the plot was very flat and the characters weren’t very lively. It just needed a little more. It wasn’t very compelling, lyrical or magical, which were all things I expected from such a beautiful book!

I then listened to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on audiobook. I put off reading this for *sooooo long*. I thought it’d be a book I didn’t like – that it’d be too obvious and forced. Oh, how I was wrong. I loved it. I thought it was a brilliant discussion on women’s bodily autonomy and fertility. The audiobook was also fantastic; I think it’s voiced by the actress who plays Offred in the TV adaptation. She knew how to make it more dramatic and emotional!

I’m trying to get rid of some books so I picked up S.A Chakraborty‘s The City of Brass as I assumed it’d be a book I wouldn’t want to keep. Not only am I unhauling it, but I didn’t get past the first 100 pages. I really wasn’t interested in the where the story was going and the characters were quite irksome. I was listening on audiobook to speed up my reading, but I’m not going to force myself to read something I’m not wholeheartedly enjoying. Oh well!

Finalllly, I’ve just picked up Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder. I was in the mood for something enigmatic and dark. It’s about a miracle little girl who has managed to survive without food for four months. Lib, our protagonist, who is also a nurse, has been sent to watch over her to see whether it’s true or a hoax. I’m finding it quite fun so far, but I’m getting a little twitchy at all the prejudical comments about the Irish! I know the author is from Dublin, but I find the comments a little unncessary…?

Well, that’s where I am with reading at the moment. I’m on a ball, to say I’m still in a massive reading slump and I’m working a lot of the time! Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading? Let’s discuss it!

Thanks for reading, Lauren X

6 thoughts on “Reading Update #4:

  1. I read 1984, Farenheit, Animal Farm… All those seem better reads the first time when I was younger.

    I have not done an audio in ages. Glad you like Handmaid’s and I enjoyed reading about the other titles.

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  2. I’ve only read 1984 (but I’ve seen seen reviews of one or two others, including the Donaghue which elicited mostly positive assessments, though some weren’t sure). I’m not sure I’m up for much dystopian fiction at the moment unless it’s utterly fantastical: as it is the world seems to be heading rapidly towards a dark place already.

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  3. I think some books are worth reading reading just so that you can know what everyone’s on about. Maybe 1984 is one of those for you? The dystopia question is interesting, but I’m not sure I have an answer to you. There was (and maybe still is) a trend of looking to 1984 and drawing parallels with present-day situations, but I’m not sure how valuable that is, either.

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