Emma Kate & Co.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

May Reading Wrap Up

1 // Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I grabbed this in Newark airport on my way home from the states and am so glad I did. Aciman's description of the beautiful Italian Riviera is so vivid, making it a perfect summer read. It follows the romantic relationship that occurs one summer between an teenage boy and a guest of his parents. I love how it explored the slowness and uncertainty of intimacy.

2 // We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This was quite different for me but such a fun read! I think it's best to go into it knowing as little as possible as there's a great twist, so I won't give too much away. The rich and beautiful Sinclair family spend every summer on their private island but one summer something terrible happens that tears them all apart.

3 // Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote 

I bought this at the beautiful Strand Bookstore in New York. I could have happily spent all afternoon getting lost in there. I wanted to read something set in the big apple, as I love matching my books to my travels. Reading this was a strange experience, as I must have watched the film about 50 times (not an exaggeration). Many of the lines felt familiar but there was a sadness that the film lacked. I loved reading all about Holly Golightly and have added In Cold Blood to my reading list!

4 // The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Another sad New York read, The House of Mirth was heartbreaking. It felt very much like an incredibly tragic version of Gossip Girl set in the early 1900s, a world full of gossip, scandal and class wars. Lily Bart needs a husband in order to maintain the luxurious lifestyle she is accustomed to. Without one she will tumble down the social ranks, quickly forgotten by those who were once her friends. Edith Wharton's writing is sublime and, after enjoying this so much, I'm keen to read more from her.  The Age of Innocence is next on my list.

5 // Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This is my second Celeste Ng novel of the year and I think I slightly preferred it to Little Fires Everywhere. Celeste Ng is fantastic at writing family relationships and complex characters. I felt like I knew each one personally. Everything I Never Told You follows a Chinese American family in the 1970s. The oldest daughter Lydia is found dead in the lake and we see the family trying to cope as they attempt to uncover the truth behind her death. I particularly loved the way this book looked at the pressures parents put on their children in the hopes of giving them a happier life than they themselves had.

6 // The Idiot by Elif Batuman

This is currently on the shortlist for the Women's Prize. The winner is announced on 6th June, so I'm looking forward to seeing the results! This was quite a strange book and, a couple of weeks later, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. I do know that I laughed multiple times throughout at the very dry humour and enjoyed the style of writing that for some reason reminded me very much of a Wes Anderson film. However, the ending fell a bit flat for me and I lost interest a little as the book went on. I can't quite decide if it was brilliant or incredibly average. The story follows a freshman at Harvard who falls in love with a man in her Russian class. It looks a lot at language and the meaning of human interaction.

7 // Radio Silence by Alice Oseman 

I haven't read any YA fiction for years but thought I'd give some a go this month. I was writing a lot of essays and fancied reading something a little more easygoing. I certainly flew through this but am still not convinced that young adult fiction is for me. I often find the writing style too simplistic as one of my favourite things about reading is stumbling upon impossibly beautiful sentences that leave me completely in awe. I did however appreciate how diverse the characters were, which is something I think other genres could learn from. Alice Oseman is also about my age, so I think the fact that she's published three novels is incredibly impressive.


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