musings, Text Post, Uncategorized

An unsuccessful reading month (with a good ending)

To say that May has been a hectic month would be quite the understatement. Between job applications and interviews, relatives being admitted to hospital, and various other dramas, my reading has unfortunately had to take a back seat.

However, I finished This Family of Things by Alison Jameson this morning. It’s due for UK release on June 8th, and I would seriously advise you to buy it. A full review will follow after it has been published, but what I will say is that it’s a wonderful novel. There are some really dark moments, but has joy and heartbreak in equal measure. A highlight of the month was getting half an hour to read it outside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

So now my task is to complete Cloud Atlas, and the audiobook of Three Daughters of Eve, and get ready to celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter magic in June!

In other news, I love that the weather is so gorgeous at the moment so i’ll be able to enjoy reading outside with a view of our flowers.

Have a wonderful evening!

musings, Text Post

Musings: March

Honestly, how is it March already? This year needs to slow down! So many books to be read and the days just seem to melt away. This month is a really busy one for me so I’m hoping I get chance to read. I want to finish ‘The Essex Serpent’, and get through The Glorious Heresies (Lisa McInerney), and perhaps a classic for a bit of a change. I’d also love to have finished the Harry Potter series before I go to see The Cursed Child in the middle of the month but it’s not looking likely.
I’m in ‘March’ in The Essex Serpent too (I loved that coincidence of real life and book trajectory matching, hence the picture).
Perry is such a ‘visual’ writer – her metaphors and the descriptions of landscapes are so incredibly vivid. There’s so much ‘movement’ in her plot – at this point of the story, each chapter includes a character taking a long walk and/or having an extended period of contemplation. Perry manages to grasp both the physical and mental movements which is really effective: you feel like you’re literally being carried along.
She has a beautiful writing style that I’m finding really enjoyable and the plot and characters are engaging too. 
What is everyone else reading?

Text Post

Monday Musings: A dash of magic

Today was a long, busy Monday at work.

I needed a dash of magic to relax and recover so I made a cup of tea (this mug is a favourite of mine) and started re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Returning to Hogwarts is always a pleasure. 

I recently downloaded the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audiobook, narrated by Stephen Fry, and it was ridiculously good. He’s such a talented actor, and he really portrayed each character so uniquely. I could also hear how much he was enjoying reading/performing the book – hearing that undertone of excitement really added something to my own listening experience.

Oh, and I love the artwork that goes with each audiobook – so simple and striking.

There’s nothing quite like turning the pages of a book though, which is why I decided not to download The Chamber of Secrets (yet). 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Text Post

Musings: To Kill A Mockingbird

I think most book-lovers have that one special book that ‘started it all’, don’t they? Started that fervent desire to read and read, across all genres and styles, because of the simple joy that comes from reading.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was mine. 

I know I’ve already made a post about Harper Lee on this blog, but I was speaking to someone about why I love reading so much and I was reminded of the important place this book has in my life.

I had to read it for my GCSE exam (10 years ago now, and I’ve read it many times since then, as you can tell from the corners of my copy in this picture). It was the first time I truly appreciated how much skill and creativity authors use in their plotting, and in bringing characters to life. I noticed it as I read it, but because I was studying it, my attention was really focussed on all the techniques Lee uses. On the recurring ‘mockingbird’ image, on the effects of the retrospective narration, on the contextual material of race relations, but most importantly, on how she expresses how complex human morality and behaviour really is. 

However despicable various characters’ actions are, they’re not melodramatic or sensationalist in my opinion. Lee makes sure that each person’s motivations are essentially ‘human’ (if you like), that they all feel like they could exist in real life. In some stories, this might not matter quite so much, but I think it really adds something to my enjoyment of this novel every time I read it that I can relate to these characters.

It’s also simply a great story: entertaining, funny, tense, a real-page turner, in my opinion. And so many characters love reading. I can definitely relate to that!

Reading To Kill A Mockingbird broadened my interest in literature: I started looking beyond the teenage/young adult sections in book shops and libraries (although the fiction for teen/young adults was and continues to be fantastic). I just wanted to experience the variety of stories and writing styles on offer, from authors past and contemporary, to delve into all these different worlds and characters’ lives. 

To Kill A Mockingbird really did change my experience of reading for the better in every way. That’s why I couldn’t resist another post about it. 

Does anyone else have a book like this, that has special meaning in their lives? 

Have you all read To Kill A Mockingbird?

Wishing you all a lovely day!