Bookish Discussions

Bookish Favourites | Summer 2019:

2019 hasn’t been the best year for reading, so I have very little favourites when it comes to specific books. Nevertheless, that’s never stopped me. I’ve fallen in love with lots of bookish things recently, and I kindaaaa wanted to talk about them with you today, so let’s get into it!


Spending all day studying Victorian literature was fun in the beginning. Now, I dread it. I can’t pick up a Victorian classic without over-analysing it, or finding myself frustrated and a little bored. I haven’t fallen out of love with them, no, never, but I need a little break from them. So, I’ve substituted Victorian classics for neo-Victorian books. More specifically, murder mysteries.

I can’t get enough of them.

It started with Ambrose Perry’s The Way of All Flesh. It was *such* a GOOD book, following a doctor and a maid who team up to solve the mysterious murders of working-class women in Victorian Edinburgh. Ever since then, I’ve added His Bloody Project, The Wages of Sin and The Murder of Harriet Monckton to my shelves, with more sitting in my wish list. I can’t be stopped. I won’t be stopped. I need my Victorian fix.

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Bookish Discussions

Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell:


Spoiler free | Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Read: 31 May –  9 June, 2018

I’ve had Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and I kept putting it off due to its size. I used to be a timid reader, and 1,005 pages was too much for me. Now, for some reason, I don’t mind large novels anymore. I devour them, just like I did with this one. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic Wars, and details the rebirth of English magic. Strange and Norrell are said to be England’s greatest, and only ‘true’, magicians. The novel follows them on their adventure, investigating the nature of “Englishness”, the boundaries between reason and unreason, and Northern and Southern English cultural stereotypes.

For the most part, I did really enjoy this novel. I only had one real issue with it. For a novel that is already a thousand pages long, the surplus footnotes were a little unnecessary. I understand that they added greater context to the narrative, but it would have read the exact same without them. They didn’t add anything to the actual story, just background information. If they were important, then there wouldn’t have been footnotes at all. Eventually, I gave up reading them altogether. It started to feel like I was reading a history book. This was both a good and bad thing. I question if I had, would I have enjoyed the story more? I don’t know. I would have made the effort if the novel wasn’t already massive.

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