Thursday, 31 July 2014

July Book Read

Here’s what I was reading in July.

Being out sick for two weeks of the month gave me loads of extra time to read, so here’s a sample of what I’ve been digesting.

 The ‘New’ Novel
JK Rowling ‘Casual Vacancy’
I finally got around to reading JK Rowling’s first novel since the Harry Potter series at the beginning of this month. I was a massive Harry Potter nerd as I grew up (I still am), so I was worried that Rowling would try too hard with this book to break away from Harry Potter. And in a way, I guess she did. The book is distinctly ADULT. Sex, Drugs, and bad language aren’t typically related to Rowling, but they work. I was captivated by the small English village life that was so thrilling in ITV’s Broadchurch last year. Overall, Casual Vacancy is a pleasant surprise, and Rowling’s post-Potter writing provides a real insight into the class divisions we still face in society today.

The Classic
Virginia Woolfe ‘To The Lighthouse’
Woolfe’s classic tale based on her own childhood holiday has been on my ‘must-read’ list for a while now, but when better to finally get around to reading it then when I was embarking on my own family holiday? To The Lighthouse is actually a very sweet story of family, relationships, and dreams. I loved her narrative style, allowing readers inside the characters minds, but my favourite section was Part II as she described the passage of time. I found it haunting and mesmerising. And it is obvious why Woolfe is one of the most renowned writers of the past century.  

The History Book
Martin Meredith ‘The State of Africa’
I’ve been reading more history books since I completed my History degree than I did while doing it (Which doesn’t seem quite right...) African history, for whatever reason, isn’t something you’re taught in school, but the book provides a basic grounding on the most recent African history since Independence. It’s the background to the stories that we’ve seen on the news for years; Civil Wars, Genocide, the Aids Epidemic. It’s a massive book, but every nation has its story to tell and this book tells it well.

The Guilty Pleasure
Ross O’Carroll-Kelly
I’ve read three Ross O’Carroll-Kelly books this month, in fact I read the three of them in under a week...   I have a real weakness for the South Dublin chronicles. Having lived in South Dublin for the past four years the reality and accuracy of Paul Howard’s portrayal of Ross’ life makes the fiction all the more enjoyable. I’ve met and know too many people that fit the D4 stereotype. The Miseducation Years, This Champagne Mojito is the Last Thing I Own, and The Oh My God Delusion chart the peak and crash of the Celtic Tiger in Ireland, and to be honest, Ross O’Carroll-Kelly will definitely be making my August Book Read list too...  

Any book suggestions for me? Just let me know in the comments below, or tweet me @ZoeAlicia101

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