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

Reading Update #2:

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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’.

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Bookish Discussions

Reading Update #1:

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Reading wrap-ups are outdated. I’m bored of them. Reading updates are my new thing. Every two weeks, I’m going to post one of these. It’s a much longer post where I actually chat about the books I’ve read, rather than just presenting the name, my rating and the synopsis.

I started October with my all-time favourite book: Jane Eyre. I’m taking part in #Victober this year, and one of the challenges was to re-read a Victorian classic, so I chose my fave after my trip to Haworth last month. Jane Eyre follows the titular character through life, journeying from childhood to adulthood, from poverty to wealth, from loneliness to love. It is such an enchanting read.

The main reason I picked this up was to rekindle my passion for Victorian literature. My Masters, despite how much I enjoyed it, really killed my love for this period. It was just nonstop. I needed a well-deserved break from it. It lasted for a few months, but I started to miss it. Victorian literature is My Thing. Jane Eyre kickstarted my relationship with Vic lit, so I was hoping it would do it again.

It did, to some degree, but I’m not completely there yet.

Nevertheless, I loved my re-read. I love how Charlotte Brontë tells a story. Jane is a brilliant character; she defies the expectations of a Victorian woman and does so unashamedly. My favourite part of the book, as always, is reading about her and Rochester’s relationship. The final 50 pages? B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

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