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Saturday, 4 November 2017

October Reading Round Up



Another month, another pile of books. Here are some mini reviews of the books I read in October (spoiler: there are some seriously good ones). 

1 // BLEAK HOUSE BY CHARLES DICKENS

I finished Bleak House! All 1,000 pages of it. Suffice to say this isn’t a light, easy read and I constitute carrying it around as a full workout. Despite all that, I enjoyed Bleak House. The characters are funny and interesting and strange. My main difficulty was with the narration, which is split into two parts. Some chapters are in the voice of Esther, the protagonist, whilst others are in the third person. I much preferred Esther’s chapters and found myself flicking forward to work out when I’d next get to her bit. Overall, a great book and very enjoyable despite its size. The BBC series is also excellent though, so maybe give that a watch if you fancy the story without all the hard work.

2 // EGO IS THE ENEMY BY RYAN HOLIDAY

Hated it. Would not recommend. I read this after hearing Zanna Van Dijk rave about it. I ultimately just didn’t get a lot out of it. In fact I could have read only the title and been in much the same position I’m in after reading the whole thing. Many of his examples were very similar and the whole book felt incredibly repetitive. His decision on whether something was fuelled by ego or not seemed to rest heavily on whether it supported his argument. Super arbitrary and not even very interesting. Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been so harsh about a book before.

3 // LADY AUDLEY’S SECRET BY MARY ELIZABETH BRADDON

If you’re looking to start reading classics but feel a bit intimidated, I think this would be a great way to ease yourself in. It’s a sensation novel, so it’s full of drama and intrigue. Robert Audley tries to work out the mystery behind his beautiful new aunt’s identity. It’s a great page-turner and I always find Victorian fiction is particularly perfect this time of year.

4 // WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE BY SHIRLEY JACKSON

I loved this so much that I read it in a single afternoon.  Merricat, Constance and Uncle Julian live a secluded life. Constance has been acquitted of murdering the rest of the family and the whole town hates them. This deliciously dark and wonderfully whimsical story makes me want to devour everything Shirley Jackson has ever written. It’s strange but superb, would highly recommend (especially around Halloween).

5 // HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS BY J.K. ROWLING

Is there anything I can say about this that hasn’t already been said? Probably not. It’s been years since I’ve read any of the Harry Potter books and I really wanted to change that in 2017. I listened to the same Stephen Fry narration that I listened to as a child, and am still completely in love with it. I'd forgotten how funny some of  the writing is and often found myself laughing out loud on my walk to Uni. If you haven’t read this by now, I don’t really know what to say to you. You’re probably a lost cause.

6 // THE DUMB HOUSE BY JOHN BURNSIDE

Hands down the weirdest book I’ve ever read. The narrator of The Dumb House is an incredibly strange man, obsessed with the acquisition of speech and the soul. This obsession leads to various gruesome and violent experimentations. John Burnside’s writing is so beautiful despite the creepy and down right disturbing things he details. It feels strange to say I enjoyed this book but I did. I would highly recommend if you fancy something beautifully horrible (but not if you don’t want to hear about live animal and human experimentation).





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1 comment

  1. I am just going back through and reading the whole set of Harry Potter books, it is so nostalgic!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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