Bookish Discussions

Autumn TBR

Hi friends!

It’s finally starting to feel like Autumn and I’m so ready. The crisp mornings, the darkening days, the smell of spiced apple and cosy reading corners.

What better way to celebrate the new season by setting myself an Autumn reading list? The books I’ve chosen fit with the dark and cosy aesthetics of Autumn. From non-fiction to modern classics, witchy reads to sadism, I’ve got the lot. Let’s take a closer look at my Autumn picks:


THE MARQUIS DE SADE’S JUSTINE

This is the oldest book on my TBR and probably the darkest.EDE93769-21D1-4E3F-B56F-C8A855026CB6-1DEC5EE0-8B94-435B-986A-BCEC5641ED7B

Orphaned and penniless at 12, the beautiful and devout Justine embarks upon her remarkable odyssey. Her steadfast faith and naive trust in everyone she meets destine her from the outset for sexual exploitation and martyrdom.

If you didn’t know, or couldn’t guess, this is where the word “sadism” comes from. The Marquis de Sade has a very… unusual style of writing, examining the tattoo corners of civilisation. I recently read another French translated classic early this year, The Nun by Denis Diderot, which was disturbing but an interesting read. I hope this one is, too. Understandably, it’s going to be an uncomfortable experience, but I’ve heard great things about this one.


ALLEN RAINE’S A WELSH WITCH

I recently came across Honno Classics, a small publishing house that has a series dedicated to Welsh Women’s Classics. I visited their website out of curiosity. As soon as I saw A Welsh Witch, I knew I had to buy a few.

I’m a sucker for witchy books.

This one just misses the mark for a Victorian classic, being published in 1902, but it’s still fresh from the period. I assume it has a lot of tropes and characteristics of this time. I’ve never read about a Welsh witch before – an English and a Scottish one, yes, but not a Welsh one. It has a long-winded blurb, but here is a lovely little summary that tells you anything but the plot:

A Welsh Witch parallels a superstitious fishing village and an early industrial community with its harsh working conditions, and explores the ways in which human resilience and empathy can make a “romance of rough places.”

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Bookish Discussions

Man Booker Prize 2018: Milkman

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Oh God, how do I even begin to formulate my thoughts on this…

Milkman is the story of an unnamed eighteen-year-old girl living in an unnamed city. She has attracted the unwanted and unavoidable attention of a powerful and frightening older man, Milkman. In this community, where suggestions quickly become fact, where gossip and hearsay can lead to terrible consequences, what can she do to stop a rumour once it has started? Milkman is persistent, the word is spreading, and she is no longer in control…

This was a very difficult read. It’s very modern in that sense. Anna Burns wants you to work for the deeper meaning of the story. She does not hand it to you on a plate, like your average nineteenth-century writer does (which, as you’ll know, is my fave type of read). The language is overly flowery and there’s some odd metaphors stuck in there. I was lost a lot of the time, but I’m thankful that the audiobook managed to keep me on track. I don’t think I would have finished it without the help of my free trial on Scribd.

But this difficulty added to the complexity of the novel. The jarring narration and the weird images made the core of the story all the more riveting. A teenage girl who’s livelihood is affected by gossip (about her sexuality) and is essentially being controlled by a man. She lives in fear of this man, wondering when he will next pop up. Milkman knows her routine; she evens quits running just to avoid him. The simple fact that women, especially young women, are forced to give up her hobby because a man has intruded in her space is a familiar one.

The feminist undertones were strong and powerful in this one.

The lack of names allows us, as readers, to place ourselves within this situation. To mark the similarities between our society and this unnamed one.

But is it unnamed? 

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Bookish Discussions

3 Books to Read on Rainy Day:

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The turn of the season means a turn in the weather; rain, wind and mist are just some of the best weather conditions in Winter. There’s nothing better than sitting at your window, watching the rain fall and being accompanied by a really good book. Equally, there’s no better feeling than sitting besides a roasting fire, with your seasonal candles flickering, listening to the wind howling against your window whilst being transported into another world. With the arrival of the darker seasons, rain is inevitable, so here are my 3 favourite books to read on – what some may call – a miserable day:

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