I’m still alive and kicking. That four month absence was mainly down to school – mocks were a little bit like being hit by a truck, except the truck is on fire and being driven by Michael Gove on steroids, to quote myself.
I’ve still been reading, and doing a heck of a lot more writing, mainly play-based. Here’s some of what I’ve enjoyed in the past four months:
The Plumed Serpent by D.H.Lawrence
I’d not actually heard of this novel before I spied it in a charity shop and, adhering to my book hoarding tendencies, grabbed it. Different to Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Sons and Lovers, this is very wordy. I’m a huge fan of the decadence of Lawrence’s description, as well as enjoying the setting (Mexico! y hablo espanol! y me encanta el pais!) and the cult vs religion debate that it raises. It took me ages to read, but it was worth it. Brilliant.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The tear ducts were out in full force whilst reading this autobiography – I distinctly remember sobbing into my pillow by the end. This book documents Kalanithi’s life as a neurosurgeon, and then his battle with cancer. I thought that I was great at suppressing my emotions, but this one is tender and beautiful and teaches so, so much about not only the medical profession, but love and life and death.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Another Murakami! I adored 1Q84 and Kafka by the Shore, but I’ve yet to come to a verdict on this novel. It is less fantastical than the two aforementioned texts, and follows the typical love triangle frame – but it’s not just one weepy teenage girl lusting after two equally attractive men. The characterisation here is intense and rich, and everything is unexpected.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Having read On Beauty and NW previously, I decided that it was time to tackle this hefty beast. Probably thick enough to kill a man, I devoured it in less than a week. Its discussion of ethnic identity – stretching across three generations, weaving families and lives and a mouse together – is very appropriate for me personally, thinking about how my mother’s Thai culture and background is celebrated (or not, as the case may be) in my own home. Funny and exquisitely written.
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Currently reading this one. Unsure as to whether I like it or not – I’ll let you know.
This post was just to let you know that I am actually still alive and still reading – now that it’s summer, expect to hear a lot more from me. Probably. If I don’t up sticks and start living as a goat in Nepal.