I’d like to say that after finishing exams I’ve been reading non stop but then I’d be lying. It has been just over a month since exams finished and the delirium of freedom has not faded and I’m going to Vienna for a few days tomorrow which was quite spontaneous and reflects the attitude that I have towards this summer. So I haven’t read as much as I would have liked this summer but that is okay, and I’m going to Portugal at the end of this month so I will be able to devour a few books then. I love talking about books, and so this post that is totally inspired by Katie is the inspiration I perhaps am in need of.
But what have I read lately? Normal People was both compelling yet vaguely disappointing in its outcome. I couldn’t help myself feeling more and more perturbed by what I was reading purely because the course of the story didn’t exactly turn out how I wanted it to. The story follows the lives of Marianne and Connell and their journey through education, starting as incredibly different people compared to the novels end. Perhaps it was more an accurate reflection of life but I didn’t want, nor need to read such a story. Sally Rooney’s way of writing was at points quite beautiful and her characterisation was delightful. Whilst I can appreciate Normal People, it made me realise that you don’t just have to like a book because it has got a lot of hype, sometimes it just doesn’t click.
The Great Gatbsy was a modern classic that I had been meaning to read for a while and it truly did not disappoint. I’ve been holding off watching the film until I finished it so you bet I’m currently watching it as I’m writing this post. The language was so delicious and it wasn’t what I expected in the slightest, I don’t know why but I felt like it would be like A Catcher In The Rye, a novel that I never actually finished because I didn’t take to the narrative. I definitely want to read more of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work.
Set in Ireland in 1833, Translations by Brian Friel was a play that both satisfied my passion for languages and the notion of translation and its problems as well as the fact that it is one of those plays one constantly thinks about after reading it. The play somewhat requires knowledge on the history of Ireland and the occupation of the British as a colonial power and has definitely made me want to know more about Irish history. In my last book post I mentioned the novel Milkman, a book loosely inspired by the Troubles and the play has just fuelled my desire to learn more about Irish history; there are so many plays/novels that have taken their inspiration from Ireland which to me is just so fascinating.
I’m currently reading Virginia Woolf, The Waves. It’s satisfying my desire for a summer read that is both poetic and fascinating, although I admit I kind of just want to read a trashy romance novel and I think that’s where I’ve gone wrong in my whole ‘I’m not reading enough this summer’. As I’m not doing English Literature at uni I somehow wanted to devour every notable modern classic under the sun which is great but probably not going to inspire me to get back into reading one novel after the other in quick succession. I’ve read Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and loved the commentary but her fiction… like wow. To The Lighthouse was another book of hers that I borrowed from the library which I think I’ll bring on holiday.
Books I’d like to read:
- A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara (SO MANY good reviews)
- The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
- The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir (it’s a very chunky book so not one to read in French)
- To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
- On The Road, Jack Kerouac
- Rebecca, Daphne de Maurier
- Crudo, Olivia Laing (I’ve read The Lonely City and utterly adored it so I can’t wait to read Crudo)
- Outline, Rachel Cusk
Writing this post has actually inspired me to get back into reading and to stop going on my phone because since exams have finished I have more than doubled my screen time which is just what I didn’t want to happen (something I am, however, going to change). What are you reading lately and do you have any recommendations?
lots of love, eleanor xx