Much in the same way as Pablo Picasso found his solace through art and used the following words to capture his love for it, I’ll replace ‘art’ with ‘books’ to capture my love for reading and literature with; ‘books wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life’. Thus, I spend a lot of my spare pennies and time on adding to my already overflowing book collection and thought I’d share my latest acquisitions and follow up on them with reviews and the like. Enjoy fellow bookworms!
I’ll do things in an orderly fashion (for once) and go from top to bottom. So, at the top of the reading pile is ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov, which I bought for its abundance of raving reviews encircling the supposedly beautifully written prose and how the main character challenges the reader’s perception of norms. This was delivered by my lovely postman about an hour ago and I’m already itching to read it. The synopsis: ‘Poet and pervert, Humbert Humbert becomes obsessed by twelve-year-old Lolita and seeks to possess her, first carnally and then artistically, out of love, ‘to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets’. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?’
After coming to the realisation that my reading of WW2 related literature was a bit lacklustre, I sharpishly picked this up for the simple fact that it is a first-hand survivor’s account of Auschwitz, which is the kind of reading I think we all need for a little perspective. The synopsis: Olga Lengyel tells, frankly and without compromise, one of the most horrifying stories of all time. This true, documented chronicle is the intimate, day-to-day record of a beautiful woman who survived the nightmare of Auschwitz and Birchenau. This book is a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of human civilization. It was a shocking experience. It is a shocking book.
As a bit of light-hearted, classic murder-mystery reading, I thought I’d pick up the much loved ‘And Then There Were None’ by Agatha Christie. Side note – the ‘And Then There Were Fewer’ Family Guy episode (based on this book, obvs) is hilaire. Synopsis: First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
After having finished American Horror Story’s ‘Asylum’ series for the second time and likening Lana Winters to the main character of ‘Girl, Interrupted’ through merely scanning through the synopsis, I picked it up and now, 122 pages later, I’m nearing the end. The synopsis: In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Psychiatric Hospital. Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers.
Throughout the entirety of ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr, I was comparing it to ‘The Book Thief’ and although I still do love the latter, this was just such a beautiful, enchanting book. I can only describe it as a special read and one that deserves all of the positive recognition, awards and glowing reviews it receives. The synopsis: A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Read the rest of the synopsis here (it’s really long!): http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18143977-all-the-light-we-cannot-see
Have you purchased any books or read any good books recently? Jess x