This year I have a lot to read, which is exciting. I’m starting uni this week, which I’m sure will bring its own reading list; I’m working on a couple of new papers; I’m writing a novel; and of course there’s the usual TBR pile of things I’ve found that looked interesting.
Last week I read four books, although the first one is cheating a bit; it took me a full two weeks to read because it was a textbook, so although I finished it this week even I am not quite a fast enough reader to manage fitting in a textbook around working full-time. Read more
A while ago The Little Red Reviewer talked about how she prioritises her reading list. This might not sound like a huge deal, but if you have as many TBR (‘to be read’) categories as I do it quickly becomes a challenge.
I read books for several reasons: I want to; they’ve been sent to me for free in exchange for a review on the blog; a client is paying me to review them; I need to read them for an academic research project; I need to read them for some other reason; they’re in a foreign language and I’ve resolved to read more of those; I picked them up in a charity shop because they looked interesting; they represent gaps in my reading list… honestly I could probably go on. But you get the picture: there are lots of reasons why I read books, and therefore lots of TBR piles. Read more
I’ll admit that I agreed to review this book because the protagonist is a swimmer, and I was hoping for some passages about how wonderful swimming is. Something like Jessica J. Lee’s Turning: A Swimming Memoir.
If you’re buying it for that reason, you’ll be disappointed at the lack of swimming-related content. But you won’t be disappointed by the book itself, which is excellent. It was so gripping that I got angry with myself for not being able to stay awake long enough to finish it in one go. Read more
A house burns to the ground while the family who live in it stand outside and watch. All bar two, that is: the absentees are the father, who is away at work, and the youngest daughter Izzy. Everyone knows it was Izzy who burned the house down, because that’s just like her: ever a wild child, impossible to control, Izzy has been the family’s unpredictable rebel practically since the day she was born.
I know, I know, it’s not so much ‘weekly’ as ‘sporadically’ at the moment. I’ve had a couple of weeks when I couldn’t really read anything because I had no brain due to my internal organs falling apart.
But I’m back on track, so here’s the latest reading list update.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
~ Emily Dickinson
At the moment I’m writing a novel. The protagonist is a teenage boy. His name is Anthony and he’s dealing with a lot of things in his life, one of which is the underlying current of societal expectations of masculinity. This isn’t exactly a huge theme in the book, but I think it’s probably an important part of any boy’s upbringing, so I want to get it right. I decided therefore to read some things about what it’s like to grow up male.
I am not, and nor have I ever been, male. However I have always empathised with expectations of masculinity. I’ve been the breadwinner in every household I’ve lived in since a young age, and I’ve been surrounded by people and situations that made showing any kind of emotion discouraged. Growing up, I felt pressured to swallow whatever I might have been feeling and essentially ‘man up and get on with it.’ Despite not knowing what it’s like to be a boy, therefore, I have perhaps an above-average level of empathy for the challenges brought on by society’s expectations of masculinity.
Enter Webb’s autobiography.
I knew there would eventually be a post in which this gif would be sadly relevant.
This week I read a few books, but wasn’t in the mood for anything particularly intellectually challenging so most of them were light read novels.