Goodbye, September. Hello, October.
Click here to read about all the books I read in July!
You may have noticed the absence of my wrap up/TBR post last month. All I can do is apologise! I’ve had a recent obsession with health and wellness, and so much of my usual reading time has been taken up by going to the gym and generally improving my lifestyle. However, it’s not that I haven’t been reading entirely. In fact, I’ve been obsessed with reading articles about healthy lifestyles and the human body. I find it so interesting to read about how our minds and bodies work, and why fitness is so important. My favourite site for this is definitely Positive Health Wellness – their posts are so comprehensive, and definitely give the best information available. If you’re interested in lifestyle blogs or health and wellbeing in general, you should definitely check them out! (Click here to visit Positive Health Wellness!)
Hence, I only managed to read 2 books in August, so wanted to wait until I had more to talk about before posting. Hence, here is a compilation of all the books I managed to read in August and September – a grand total of 8!
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
This is the first book I ever read by Woolf, and – frankly – I didn’t really enjoy it. I appreciate the post-modernist style, but I just couldn’t enjoy the story or characters. It’s a shame, because Woolf has been recommended to me many times. Please let me know in the comments which book of hers is your favourite and that you’d recommend to me – I really want to read something else by Woolf, but I don’t know where to start!
The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy
A teacher at my sixth form recommended this poem to me, and – when searching it later – I found this edition with illustrations, which were a really cute addition. I have since read the poem without illustrations, and enjoyed it just as much, but they are a really cute addition if you’re looking for poetry with a little more embellishment. In terms of the poem itself, I really like this poem – the structure, the message, the tone. I think it offers a really great insight into Hardy’s existential perspective on the materialistic, and the overlay of the Titanic just adds to the entire effect. Definitely recommend!
The Rover by Aphra Behn
This is a play that reminds me a lot of some of Shakespeare’s works, especially the comedies with the quick wit and word play. However, this is a Restoration comedy, which means it was created in response to the reinstatement of the monarchy, and entertainment like theatre. Hence, The Rover is much more explicit and vulgar at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. The whole tone and atmosphere it emits is one of carefree fun, highlighted by the backdrop of Italian carnival.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This is novel I’ve grown up being aware of. However, I never read it until the end of August/beginning of September. Whilst I loved sections of this – especially the Havisham motif – I found much of it to be quite tedious. That being said, you can’t fault Dickens’ writing and characterisation!
The School for Scandal by Richard Brinley Sheridan
This is another drama text, and another comedy. I listened to this play with LibriVox, and really enjoyed it. I wanted to explore the genre ‘comedy of manners’ and found it to be very amusing in places, though quite antiquated in others – I fear quite a few punch lines went straight over my 21st century head. Nevertheless, this play was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
I had been reading this poetry collection in short bursts since May time, and finally finished it in September, for I wanted to savour what I was reading. This collection is so emotionally charged from start to finish and – forgive me bookworms – I have underlined so many favourite lines. I’ve never really been able to associate with Hughes poetry as I have with Plath’s, but this collection felt like a medium of the two, and I feel really humbled to have experienced it. I definitely recommend this collection to any fan of Plath, Hughes, or just poetry in general.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I have loved Angelou’s poetry from a young age, but never read one of her autobiographies until now. Angelou’s writing is hauntingly poetic, and her life story an important read in terms of civil rights and female resilience. I would recommend this book to everyone – I am a better person having read it myself.
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
I read this book with school, and so have taken a long time doing so, and considered it in much more depth than any of the other texts aforementioned. I usually find it difficult to separate the book from the school work, but I definitely enjoyed this book, more noticeably so than previous set-texts. I love war literature, anyway, and this novel is a great example of it. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone else who enjoys war literature, for it offers a unique read, what with the backdrop of Irish politics during WWI.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
This book has been recommended to me many times, and so I’m glad to say I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. I am really enjoying it so far, and finding it so thought-provoking, especially from a 21st century perspective.
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…
Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
What was your favourite book you read in September? What are you currently reading? What do you want to read in October? Tell me in the comments!
Thank you ever so much for reading, and I really hope you enjoyed!
Love, Olivia x