Here are my favourite fiction books from this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)
The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it. Blurbs are either from the back of the book, or from Amazon. (more…)
For the first three months of this year I didn’t read much at all, because I was doing an intensive university course that proved to be very intense, which meant that when I got home all I could bring myself to do was stare at Netflix.
Now, however, I’m back in the swing of reading – for the moment, at least – so here’s what I read last week. (more…)
Rarely do I read a book that talks about mental illness in a way that’s both accurate and relatable. Am I Normal Yet? is such a book.
It’s about a girl with OCD. Her name is Evie and she just wants to be normal, whatever that means. She’s been working towards it with her therapist and making good progress since being discharged from hospital, where she’d stayed for a while due to her mental health problems. (more…)
I Love Dick by Chris Kraus has been getting a lot of press lately. Apparently it’s about to be made into a series, too.
It sounded interesting: a semi-autobiographical work of feminist literature in which the author wasn’t afraid to portray herself as a problematic protagonist. Plus, references to Kierkegaard and Artaud. With that on the menu, there was no way I wasn’t going to like it, right? (more…)
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 read quite a lot of books last week, but several of them were very short. Most of them were novels – I seem to be on a fiction drive at the moment.
There were a few that were disappointing, which was a shame, and one or two surprises. So without further ado, here are this week’s reviews.
This intriguing book was sent to me by a friend, who thought (correctly) that I’d enjoy it.
My friend caveated the recommendation with the view that the book should have been called ‘MY truth’ rather than ‘THE truth’, and I’d agree with that. But it was interesting all the same.
I need time alone the way other people need air.
(I also need air. I’m not a robot, contrary to popular opinion.)
From the beginning of February to the end of April, I did not have a single 24-hour period when I was alone the whole time. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t totally crack up, what with builders building and people staying and flying around Europe and conferencing and working and…
I needed a break.
This week’s books were all quite intriguing. From fact to fiction, I learned something new from each one.
Read on for reviews!
Below is a round-up of recent research in psychology, anthropology, sociology and physics.