Monday, 24 August 2015

Summer Reading List

I had one BIG goal this summer. Living without a television and wifi, I wanted to read. And read a lot. I went to a local parish fete and returned with 12 books. They were to be the start of my summer of books. 
So, here's what I've been reading all summer:


Tina Fey's 'Bossypants' is funny, insightful and empowering. It's the book every female comedian wants to write, but only Amy Poehler has come close to reaching it.
Online reviews called it 'The Catcher in the Rye', or a new generation. Of course, I only read the reviews after finishing the book. All I had to go on was the title, which I strangely took to mean the book wasn't actually about suicide. Boy was I wrong. But it's a chilling coming of age story.
I like the BCC sitcom Miranda. But I still don't believe real life Miranda was in all of those situations in actual real life. The book reads as if it was forced. It's not funny. And I left thinking, 'Yes, it is just you.'

The first book I started this summer was a fabulous biography of Shakespeare. As so little is actually known about Shakespeare, half of the book is dedicated to quashing theories of his life and existence. It's a lesson in what history should be - the truth.
I've been going through a True Crime obsession. What better way to learn about the genre than to read what Capote claimed was the first True Crime book? Sadly, his storytelling ability falls a little short of the mark (I know, I know, who am I to criticise Capote). But when I couldn't read more than 6 pages in one go without getting bored, there's a problem.





I'd seen the movie many years ago, but even though my memory of that is sketchy, I know it doesn't come close to competing with the book. To think Trainspotting was the first novel from Irvine Welsh is phenomenal. To think it's still as ground breaking today as it was when it was first published is even more so.

Written under a pseudonym to protect her privacy, this real life sociopath wants you to know what it's like to be psychologically assessed and classified as a Sociopath. But her clinical detachment rings true, and it's difficult to feel any connection to the narrator and her story.





It took me 18 months to finally get through this enormous recollection of the Gulags. By the time I was near the end I couldn't put it down. I knew about the founding of the Russian imprisonment camps, but never their ending. Anne Applebaum's history took her years to complete, but it was a story that needed telling.

I'm calling this my new 'Gulag' book, as I imagine the 'Conquest of the Incas' will take several months to get through. So far I've finished Chapter One, but I'm already impressed with John Hemming's determination to tell the story from the Inca point of view.













If you've seen the Anne Hathaway movie of this book, then like me you'll expect it's going to be a tearjerker. But getting to know the characters more intimately than a 90 minute film ever could meant that there were more tears than anticipated. But it was a really well told story, and the reality is that fairytale endings are only reserved for fairytales. 


I have been meaning to read this for a while. Finally I picked up a little copy of The Little Prince (€2.99 in Hodges and Figgis) and indulged my inner child. The illustrations are absolutely lovely, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Okay, so my True Crime fanaticism is real. I've always been interested in the Charles Manson 'Family' ever since I watched a documentary about Sharon Tate's murder many years ago. This book is something else, and the front cover warning of 'No matter how much you think you know about this case, this book will shock you', proved to be true. I had to ban myself from reading it in the dark it was so chilling. Helter Skelter will give you nightmares.









E-book or .pdf Reads this Summer:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
  • The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
  • The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  • If I Did It, OJ Simpson
  • The Anxious Girl's Guide to Dating, Hattie C Cooper
  • Holes, Louis Sacher
  • The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton
  • The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  • The Stranger, Albert Camus

Phew! It really was the summer of reading! And, thanks to the RTE Guide, I now have a huge stack of books to keep me busy all Autumn.



44 comments:

  1. Great post that's getting bookmarked here. I've jury duty coming up soon and i need a few to keep me sane whilst waiting to be picked!

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  2. Great post that's getting bookmarked here. I've jury duty coming up soon and i need a few to keep me sane whilst waiting to be picked!

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    1. Aaah Jo, whatever you do don't read Helter Skelter before your jury duty. That'll put you right off haha!

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    2. Ok - i'll take your word on that one! X

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  3. I've managed to read two books this summer which for me is amazing (I don't read enough).

    There is so much variety here! A nice mix x

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    1. Good job on your two books! I know it isn't easy to find the time to read when you have kids (my Mum likes to keep telling me)! x

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  4. great post, i too have purposely made more time to read this summer.

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    1. Have you read anything good you'd reccommend?

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  5. Great selection, One Day is brilliant. I found the film to be disappointing in comparison! Xx

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    1. So many people say that LeeLee! I wish I'd read the book before I'd seen the film so I could judge it properly.

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  6. I love Tina Fey, she is hilarious. I bet her book is funny too. You have picked a great variety so at least you wont get bored of the same types x

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    1. That's a good point Michaela, I definitely do get bored of the same genre if I read too much of them! x

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  7. I love The Virgin Suicides - I based one of my pieces of A Level coursework on that book! The film is really good and quite chilling if you get the chance to see it!

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    1. I've heard that about the film alright! I should add it to my 'to watch' list. Thanks for reading x

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  8. Great post, I love finding more books to read, I've only read one of those 'one day' great book! Nothing better than a great book, way more satisfying then silly tv!

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    1. I agree! Who needs TV anyway? (Me, I'm addicted to The Good Wife) One Day was probably my favourite out of them all x

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  9. Oh what a fabulous list of books, I so wish I was a real life friend so I could nip over and borrow them all haha. I've made a note of four of them as they sound right up my street.

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    1. Yay! Let me know which ones you read and what you think of them Kelly :)

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  10. I really wish i could read more hiwever i just lose interest after 2 ish pages. Its something inreally need to tey and do more of and get into a good book.

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    1. Awh, hopefully one of these will peak your interest and you can give them a go?

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  11. Wowzers, that's a LOT of books for one summer! I think I've only read 3 books since I had Oscar. He doesn't believe that mummy should have any time for herself :p

    Louise x

    With love from Lou

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    1. Ah no Louise! I am just like that when I start a new job. I always forget to pick up a book for a few months and then feel guilty about it. Hopefully I'm in a good habit now from the summer to keep up the reading! x

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  12. Great blog post. Makes me want to kick myself for not reading as much as I usually do.

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    1. Aw don't worry Tara, I go through phases of reading and then not reading anything for ages either. That's why I set myself the challenge to force myself to be more productive :)

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  13. Great post. I adored One Day, so when I saw Anne Hathaway was going to be in the movie I was thrilled (love her) - I was so, so disappointed by the movie, it didn't live up to any of my expectations for it. Theres a few more on here that I need to add to my list - definitely Bossypants is on there! Great idea for a post - yay for inspiring others to pick up a book!

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    1. I've heard a few people say that about One Day Lisa. If I ever read the book before I see the film I am just as critical as that :P Thanks for reading x

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  14. Wow, you did well to get through all of those books! Great variety here & I'd love to read the funny ones - likes Miranda Heart's book. Great post hun x

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  15. That was a lot of books! Well done. When you have a good book, you don't miss the TV or internet at all. I bought 23 books in August and I am determined to get through them by Christmas so I can go on a big splurge again.

    https://joyfullantidotes.wordpress.com/

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    1. Such a great idea Joy! I keep ordering more and more (my postman hates me at this stage). You should do a round up of your reading on the blog too :)

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  16. Brilliant post Zoe, I love book roundups! I'm reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the minute and I'm enjoying it. Actually only read The Virgin Suicides last week, found it very dreamy and lazy in a kinda vintage hazy summery way, strange little book but I liked it. I haven't read Miranda's book but I felt that way about Lena Dunham's book, it's one of the only books I've never finished, it was all very forced to me. Fantastic list!

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I do love your book reviews! I'll do another one to round up all my Autumn reads :) x

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  17. For someone who reads a lot, I don't think I've read any of these books! I absolutely love Tina Fey though so I must try out her book. Some fab ideas here for my next book shopping trip

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    1. Haha, I would also say I read a lot and I've only gotten around to these ones this summer so it's okay! The Book Depository is the way to go for most of these!

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  18. I just can't find the time to read books unless I'm on holiday. Bossypants looks like something I would pick up at the airport though.

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    1. It's nice and short too! So perfect holiday reading :) x

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  19. jes you have been busy reading, must get back into reading, havnt picked up a book in a while

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  20. I have been saying I need to read more books and I am yet to pick one up, thanks for the reminder

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  21. What a fantastic selection of books! I am definately adding some of these to my kindle wishlist so when I have a minute i can grab one and have a read!

    Love Sian | The Tattooed Princess ♥

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  22. Great post ive not read many of them which is good, im seriously running out of books to read and the book club im in we are coming to the point of voting again. I love to read i cant get to sleep without reading a few chapters, i would suggest a few good ones but you've a good pile there already lol

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  23. Wow!! What an achievement to go without TV and wifi all summer, as much as I adore reading I`m not sure I could manage that.
    I read The Virgin Suicides a few years back and really enjoyed it, much more so than the movie. I could never get into One Day though - the book or the movie - I guess it's just not my kind of story.
    I'm putting The Little Prince and Bossypants on my reading list! xxx

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    1. Hope you enjoy them Hayley! I thought Bossypants especially was fantastic :)

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  24. These look like great reads. I'm impressed you've gone without tv and wifi! I couldn't do it. I don't read books but love reading blogs :)

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    1. Thanks Amelia! Not going to lie, once I figured out how to hotspot my phone, I did watch some Netflix too :P

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