Slightly late, slightly shorter edition of What I Read this month! I went on holiday in May which is why I am only going to be featuring 2 books in this post. The rest of my May books (and trust me, there are a lot) will be coming at you in a future holiday reads post! So without further ado, welcome to May…
When I was 18, my main concerns were perfecting my eyeliner and making sure my fringe wasn’t wonky. The only thing I’d ever voted for was Kerry Katona winning I’m A Celebrity. I remember being 11 years old, sitting in my pyjamas on the sofa, and voting five times on a Siemens A60 that had a weird version of the Friends theme tune as its ringtone. I loved the small act of voting. Of sending my opinion out into the universe and feeling like I somehow mattered. When the person I’d chosen won, I was ecstatic. I’d picked the winner! It wasn’t something that mattered much, but it mattered to me back then. And winning felt pretty nice.
This is gonna be a long one. Here we go.
After two weeks at Penguin Press, I acquired over 20 books, either receiving them from my supervisor and other staff members who kindly gave me a book they thought I might enjoy, or by scavenging through the pulp pile. The pulp pile at Penguin is a pile of books from all the different imprints that are no longer needed, or are taking up too much space in the office area, so they’re set out for anyone to take on their way home for the evening. Now that I think about it, I feel like I may have made up that it’s called a pulp pile at Penguin… any publishers out there feel free to correct me! But in general, there will be piles or shelves of books at publishing houses that are fair game at the end of the day. And as a pretty hardcore book hoarder, the whole concept of ‘free books’ got a little bit dangerous… Continue reading
Welcome to my third monthly reading update! I am shocked that I’ve managed to keep this up to be honest with you. With 20 out of 35 books for my 2017 Goodreads challenge completed so far, I think I am well on my way (hopefully) to smashing that target. This month I read 5 books (!). I’m probably not going to discuss all of them in detail below, but just the highlights!
Before I get started, I want to say that I realise ‘What I Read’ isn’t a particularly catchy title for a monthly blog series, and what I’m doing here is pretty much a ‘wrap up’. But I just hate the phrase ‘wrap up’, for some weird unknown reason, in the same way that I hate the phrase ‘marketing mix’… or the word ‘moist’. (I think everyone hates that word though to be honest.) So I’m sticking with ‘What I Read’, and this is what I read in the month of April…
There’s a trend of books coming out at the moment that I’ve been reluctant to try. Not because they’re badly written. I’m sure they have been very important books for people who aren’t me. But I’ve been seeing a lot of books lately that seem to be promoting something that I’m not particularly interested in hearing about right now.
Like the Hygge invasion of 2016, we are being inundated by books about how to become an adult. Becoming grownups. Adulting. There seems to be a general need right now for people to be told what to do beyond school and university, maybe because no one seems to know what the hell is going on.
I laugh weekly about the fact that, “Holy shit. I’m an adult.” And yet there are still so many things in my life that I don’t have sorted out. I still feel like I should be heading off to school each morning with a marmite sandwich, lovingly made by my mum, and a packet of crisps. I should be forgetting to do my science homework and getting in trouble for leaving my PE kit at home.
When people tell me how to be a grown up, it feels like I should be pouring myself into some kind of one size fits all mould, sacrificing the things that make me happy to make way for a newer, sleeker, cooler and generally more together me. I don’t like it.
Welcome to the second instalment of What I Read, which I’m hoping to make a monthly series (if I remember) all about what I’ve read each month, ranging from mini reviews to general recommendations. I like this idea because often I feel pressure to write long reviews about everything I’m reading, but the thing is… I don’t really like to read detailed book reviews. Why should I write them? I’m excited to carry on with this series and have more time to write about my broader interests, such as art and film. Catch my February post here.
This month I read a lot, I’m not even including everything in this post! This month was also inadvertently themed around a pretty big subject: anxiety. Each of the following books has a main character that deals with anxiety in various ways. The books are also, as usual, about love.
Hello and welcome to a new series of posts: What I Read. Each month I am going to wrap up my reading for the month (or the highlights). Here’s February… a little late, March will be coming at you next week!
My goal for February, what with it being love month and all that, was to read as many books with a romantic theme. This wasn’t difficult for me because my automatic reflex is to turn to a romance novel. Want to relax? Read romance. Want to cry? Read romance. Want to generally feel things? I. Read. Romance. In February, I decided to go for extra comfort (and test out the new reread function on Goodreads) by revisiting some of my favourite books, as well as a cute, new to me graphic novel.
In defence of English degrees and doing whatever the hell you like.
This morning I saw a tweet from bestselling author, Diana Gabaldon, about her advice for aspiring authors who are choosing a university major. On the subject of English majors she said: “English major = “Want fries with that?” Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want.” And ever since I saw that I have been stewing for a number of reasons.
Before I start, I want to say that this post is not really going to be about Diana Gabaldon. I don’t have any strong feelings against her. I’ve never read any of her books but I’m sure she is a very good writer. We all say silly things on the internet now and then so what I mostly want to discuss is why the idea in her tweet seems problematic to me.
I want to start this review with a long, dreamy sigh. Okay, that’s sorted, let’s get into it. Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor is a gorgeous book, it might even be among one of my favourites of the year and it’s only February!
Wishbones is all about a teenaged girl called Feather who lives in a very small English town where nothing much goes on. Except everything goes on in this book as we follow Feather through six life changing months in her young life. It starts on New Year’s Eve, Feather comes home to discover her mum, one of Britain’s most obese women, in a diabetic coma. This horrific experience pushes Feather into action as she decides to take it upon herself to make her mum better before she eats herself to death. Alongside this, Feather is an avid swimmer and is training towards winning the Junior UK Swimming Championships, so it’s safe to say that she’s got a lot on her mind. As she tries to help her mother, she discovers all kinds of shocking secrets about her family. The story is gripping with lots of intrigue and manages to tie lots of different storylines and ideas up into a complex and coherent novel.