Bookish Discussions

Reading Update #3:

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The last time I spoke to you I had just finished listening to the audiobook of Alone in Berlin. I was still reading William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (which, by the way, I still haven’t touched).

I’ve managed to read two books since then.

I started Halloween night with The Virago Book of Witches edited by Shahrukh Husain, which is an anthology of short folkloric stories from all over the world that examines the idea of a witch. From a woman who is passionate, caring and nurturing to a woman who is evil, cannibalistic and possessive. It has stories from all over the world, from varying centuries and decades, from various story-tellers.

I’m really interested in how different cultures and different times define the witch. There is no fixed definition of the witch, and beliefs/tradition take liberty with that, positioning the witch as something their culture should inspire to be like or to be the complete opposite of. It was a mixed bag of depictions and I learnt how different cultures view the figure.

I’m also really interested in how the witch has been passed on through the mode of story-telling. This book contributes to that by documenting how the witch has been told previously, through verbatim and through translation. It was interesting to see how Husain grouped the stories, and how the Irish, for example, saw the witch as a sort of blessing.

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Bookish Discussions

July Reading Wrap-up:

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July has been and gone, and with it comes my reading wrap-up. Around this month’s reading, I have managed to squeeze in graduating from LJMU with a First Class Honours in English, and accepting my offer to study a Masters in Victorian Literature at the Uni of Liverpool! A crazy, albeit small, whirlwind of a month.

This month I’ve managed to read 11 books. I made it my mission this month to read the books that have been gathering dust on my shelf for years. As usual, there will be a review for most of the following books (and they’ll be linked in blue or green if they’re already published). Enjoy!

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Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace:

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Spoiler free | Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Read: 15 July – 28 July, 2018

‘If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged’


My first introduction to Alias Grace, and consequently Margaret Atwood, was the Netflix adaptation last November. I hurried through the show, not being able to get enough of it. Thankfully, the novel was no different. It was the show. The producers didn’t change or omit anything, not that I can remember anyway. This meant that I wasn’t disappointed by the book, which tends to happen when I watch adaptations first.

Alias Grace follows Grace Marks, a sixteen year old girl who has been convicted of a murder she cannot remember – that of her employer and his housekeeper. An up-and-coming expert in the field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek to pardon Grace. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories of that night in 1843?

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