I'm a read-aholic. It's something I've noticed lately. I race from one book to the next often forgetting to contemplate what has happened in the book I just finished. I also have the compulsion to finish every book I start; even when it's awful (like Miranda Hart's 'Is it just me?' I mentioned in my Summer Reading List).
However, I am yet to finish Miranda Hart's bio, it remains on my shelf for when my current book supply runs out. In the meantime, here's what I've been hooked on this season:
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
I feel like this book has been around for ages because I've been seeing it and wanting it for so long. Although I am always skeptical of really popular fiction books - as if they may not be worth the hype; Boy was I wrong to be skeptical with this one. Told from three points of view the story is immediately gripping, because it could be about any of us and the day-to-day lives we witness and play a part in. It's intense and thrilling.
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
There's something so heartbreaking about African history. This book places you right in the heart of an indigenous tribe, a different culture, and a society deeply rooted to the ways of their religion. What starts out as the telling of one family's way of life becomes the sad story of colonialism and its effects on an African tribe. I find the topic fascinating (the History student in me) and yet so upsetting (the empathetic person in me). Why wipe out entire cultures in the name of Christianity? Why do it in any name? We all know the impact it has had as evident in modern day Africa, but this book delves into how not only cultures were ripped apart as a result, but families as well.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
Okay, so I guessed the 'twist'. But it's still a creepy, compelling, unusual and rather sad story about two orphaned sisters living in an old house in a town that hates them. Saying it's weird is probably the best way to describe it. But it's also short, and well worth you demolishing in a day and thinking about for weeks afterwards.
A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
Based upon the short speech made by Virgina Woolf on Women and Literature, A Room of One's Own tells us of a sexism and patriarchy that we still haven't managed to fully shake off almost a century later. Particularly poignant is Woolf's invention of a sister to the most famous playwright in the world; Judith Shakespeare in her point about access to education and the doors that remain closed to women. But it begs the question; how much has really changed since this speech was first given?
Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
I was incredibly touched by the story of a 13 year old girl longing for her missing mother. It's a story about growing up and finding yourself; both as a teenager and as an adult. It's filled with references to Native American culture, which again, I loved as a History student. The ending is emotional, and the lack of a comforting resolution only made me happier to have experienced the story.
Room - Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue is an Irish-Canadian author, in case the surname didn't give it away, but it's also worth stating as this novel has now been made into a film. The premise is Donoghue's interpretation of what life must be like for the children fathered by Josef Fritzl (Austria's most famed sexual abuser and kidnapping father) and forced to live in a basement, a single room, for the first however many years of their life. The book is set in America, and the child in question is not the result of incest, but cruelty still rings true. Jack shows us the world from his eyes, and it is enlightening even if it is from the confines of four walls.
The Story of Alice; Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland - Robert Douglas Fairhurst
What better way to celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland than by reading about the real history of the story and the two people behind it; Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. The original story was the first classic children's book, and Fairhurst aims to dispell many of the myths that continue to surround it's origins and it's author. Perhaps Wonderland can never be fully analyzed or made sense of, because it was written to be just that; nonsensical.
To find out more the Alice in Wonderland 150th birthday, check out this gorgeous website - aliceinwonderland150.com
You can also read my review of Me and My Mate Jeffrey by Niall Breslin.
What have you been reading this season?