Winter Reading

Ok the title of this post is a lie.

I didn’t finish one book between October and December.

Not one.

Compare that to my incredible one-book-every-four-days feat in April and you’d think I maybe I had forgotten how to read.

Truth is, life gets busy. And in order to do the things you want to do, you really have to make time for it.

You also need to acknowledge that life is too short for a book you can’t get into.

But I have managed to start again this month and read two books I think are worth reviewing – I’m cheating with one of them – it’s a short story. I’ve also written a bit about the two books I struggled with last year and maybe someone could shed some light on how I could possibly get through them.

 

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Mr Salary – Sally Rooney

My best friend knows I am a huge HUGE Sally Rooney fan and bought this short story of hers for me for Christmas. It’s thirty pages of tension, growing pains, missed opportunities and bereavement. I adored every last word of it. Perfect if you want a half an hour read.

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White Oleander – Janet Fitch

And to continue our tour of books about white girl angst, White Oleander was a dark horse for me. I started it thinking that there was no way I was going to finish it but I was pleasantly surprised! This book touches on many heavy themes – sexual abuse, suicide, slavery and murder all through the eyes of a teenager growing up through the LA child protection services but yet manages to remain as stoic as possible on them. If you’re looking for #90saesthetic, pick another book. This one is for the romantics.

 

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We Have Always Lived In The Castle – Shirley Jackson

This one was written by the same author who wrote The Haunting of Hill House which Netflix went on to adapt. We Have Always Lived In The Castle was also made into a movie (I had a small role in it!) and was released last October (to mixed to positive reviews). The movie was fun to make and had a lot of promise but the book?

Kill me.

It’s not that it wasn’t interesting, it was, it just failed to grip me in the usual way a period piece would. This book is 214 pages and I could barely get past 50. I think I spent three days trying to get through Merricat’s description of her walk home from the village. I dropped it after a week when I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere. Jackson is a fantastic writer, don’t get me wrong, but the issues the Blackwoods had just weren’t doing it for me.

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The Secret History – Donna Tartt

The second book I dropped is one I know I’ll regret.

Look, this was also a well-written novel with plenty of plot twists and whatnot but

I just couldn’t muster up the interest to pick it up. Maybe it was the highbrow nature of what the characters were studying or the long descriptive passages but this was one I had to drop after two months.

I have vowed to go back to it one day but I think it and I need a little break.

 

 

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