Sunday, 6 December 2015

November Book Favourites

1 1984 - amazon £6.11/2 Go Set A Watchman - amazon £9.00 /3 Lolita - amazon £6.29
4 The Poisonwood Bible  - amazon £5.99/5 The Da Vinci Code - amazon £5.99/6 The Bluest Eye - amazon £8.99

Last month I read quite a few books. I replaced some television bonding with some moments of relaxation, cradling the pages of books instead. However, do not be mistaken, my selection of trashy television material has not been compromised too much - I am still totally up to date with all things 'I'm A Celebrity', enjoying every joke that Ant and Dec crack night after night. (If you're unsure what this programme is, google it - it's great.) Moving onto the subject of books, I have selected six of my favourite November reads and compiled them into this blog post with a quick interjection of opinion under their titles. I decided not to single out books and review them individually in too much detail. This kind of post is completely new to my blog and I'm not sure how it's going to swim but I hope you enjoy it - if not I'll keep my literature habits to myself from here onwards! 

1984 by George Orwell 

This book, soon after I turned the first few pages, became one of my all-time favourite books. I read 'Animal Farm' a long time ago, however, the story has stayed with me ever since. George Orwell has a real talent for creating stories that are impossible to shake from your consciousness. The infamous saying, 'Big Brother is watching you' has stemmed from this book - amongst many other things. Although set in a dystopian world, the themes that George Orwell explores are thought-provoking ideas which can and have been applied to our modern day. I really enjoyed this book - it's a classic for a reason and should be read by anyone, book lover or not!

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Unlike many people, I was not forced to read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' in school. I read the book in my own time and on my own terms quite recently. When I heard about the controversial release of 'Go Set A Watchman', I was immediately intrigued and knew that I was definitely going to read it. Without a doubt, the characters that we come to love and admire in 'To Kill A Mockingbird' are older but perhaps not wiser. I don't want to go into a fully-fledged review here, which is why I am trying to be breezy. The discussion of the effects that 'Go Set A Watchman's'  release has had on 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is extremely hard to avoid here. However, I will say that the book's release, for me personally, tarnished my view of the established characters in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. This was inevitable when I decided to pick the book up and it has certainly caused a stir amongst Harper Lee's fandom. The book deals with similar themes to those in 'To Kill A Mockingbird', however, opinions and attitudes are more transparent and through the eyes of adult, Jean-Louise as opposed to child, Jem. The childhood voice has been lost but Jean Louise's desperation to hold onto her childhood naive perspective of the world dominates the storyline. 

To summarise - I really enjoyed this book and I think that it is best read with the expectation that it will change your views on characters that you loved in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. However, the powerful and inspirational message that 'To Kill A Mockingbird' emits to its readers should not be lost through reading this new release. The books polarise one another, and when read as separate and not comparative novels - they are thoroughly enjoyable with voices and messages of their own. 

Darn it - I've rambled. 

Lolita by Vlandamir Nabovok 

This book was totally different from anything I had ever read before. Having heard about it through the grape vine, I was eager to get my mitts on it. The book deals with some uncomfortable themes - Humbert Humbert being the central voice to the novel and his 'Lolita' his focus. Nabovok is poetic and detailed in his narrative and delves into the inner mind of a member of society that is mysterious and un-relatable to most. However, Vlandamir Nabovok challenges the reader to sympathise with a man who can only be frowned upon and judged in the end. 

That is all I will say in my short and snappy summary along with the fact that I found the book unique, enjoyable and at moments, quite frankly disturbing in a way that forced me to turn more pages. 

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver 

This book is very different from any other book that I had read before. The characters that Kingsolver has created are fictional, but each with their own story and strong personality. Following a family's journey to the Belgian Congo on a missionary, the four daughters and Mother narrate their accounts of their experience. I enjoyed this book and again, but without rambling continuously, it's hard to give you a proper flavour of what this book is about. This book touches base with a series of different themes and is an eye-opener to other potentially unexplored aspects of our world. I enjoyed this book, however, it wasn't my most favourite read. I did have moments where I found sections a little tedious but overall, I ploughed on and found the book was worth the read. I would recommend you give it a whirl if you're a reader, but if you want a book that is an easy read and will grab you right away - this book, in my opinion, isn't necessarily for you. 

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book has to be one of my favourite reads of November and quite possibly ever. Morrison deals with the themes of racial injustice beautifully, her narrative is poetic and captivating. The concept of 'The Bluest Eye' is chilling as the end of the novel practically made me turn into a snow woman - it gave me that degree of chills. I really cannot emphasise how much I recommend this book. Read it. Please. 

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown  

I'm not entirely sure why it took me so long to jump onto the Dan Brown bandwagon but I jumped and here are my thoughts in a few sentences... Well, to start, what a great book. I'm not entirely sure of the accuracy of some of the things that Dan Brown claims are facts contained in this book, but not reading this as a history critic - I give the book a thumbs up. This type of 'mystery' genre isn't usually my cup of tea - unless you count the 'Famous Five' adventure books by Enid Blyton and The Lemony Snicket 'Series of Unfortunate Events' that I adored. However, that being said, I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was a quick read and definitely a page turner.

ps: Sorry for the random burst of pink text mid post  - formatting was really hyperactive and decided not to work when I tried to fix the problem on multiple occasions. Hope this hasn't jeopardised the vibe of this post. Technical issues baffle me. Please send some help.


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