Pleasure

Books, Books, Books

March 5, 2015

Happy World Book Day! In honour of this wonderful day, I thought I would do a post (I couldn’t not really). I’ve been reading a lot over the past year, partly because I’m trying to read 100 books in two years, and also because I’m hoping to write my own book. So I thought I would share with you a few random little thoughts on some books I’ve read of recent times:

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A Book I recently read: Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma / Kerry Hudson
At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this book, it was very different to what I would normally read. The story is about Janie and her childhood. From birth to 17 years old, we read about the struggles she had growing up. Born in Scotland and then constantly moved around the UK by her mother who survives on benefits and B&B’s, the book actually won me over by the time Janie celebrated her 3rd birthday. It had so many aching moments that really pulled at my heart strings, yet plenty of flashes of comedy that had me laughing out loud (mainly at the Mums crude yet hilarious remarks). Another reason I loved this book was for its nostalgia; as an 80’s child I felt really connected to Janie from the instant she mentioned the glow worm she carried around. I miss glow worms.

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The book I’m currently Reading: No One Belongs here more than you / Stories by Miranda July
I am reading two books at the moment (the second is Thirst by Kerry Hudson) but it’s this book I am currently taking with me on my commute; it’s perfect for my journeys to and from work as I can normally read one story each morning and one more each night. I’ve never read a book of short stories before, but just 54 pages into this one and I’ve met weird neighbours, I’ve been to Belvedere, met a swim team who don’t have a pool and been exposed to some bizarre sexual fantasies involving a member of the Royal Family.

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A Book I Couldn’t Put Down: Valley of the Dolls / Jacqueline Susann
Originally told by a friend “It’s a book about woman in the 50’s who take pills” I had an idea in my head about how this story would pan out. I was wrong. The brief description I was given was not at all what this book was about. Whilst the story stretches over three decades and three friends who consequently all do take pills to deal with their struggles, the book is actually about friendship, fame, addiction, and above all – being a woman! The book was written in 1966. I can’t put myself in the shoes of a woman reading back it in 1966 and wonder how she felt about it; whether she felt like she could relate to it, or understood why it all happened. But as a woman who read it in 2014, almost 50 years after it was first published, it’s an extremely frustrating story to read that gives me, a modern women, an insight to what life must have been like for woman back then, and possibly still is like for woman around the world today. I loved this book for so many reasons, but mainly for the emotions it made me feel. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

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A Book I Hated and Loved all at the Same Time: The Sea Sisters / Lucy Clarke
A story about Kate, who answers her phone one night to find out her younger sister Mia, jumped off a cliff in Bali and committed suicide. Mia loved to travel and was on a world tour when she jumped. Kate isn’t much of a traveller and was living in the UK planning her wedding when it happened. Refusing to believe Mia would do such a thing, Kate decides to retrace Mia’s steps across the world using her journal. So, it’s a book about Sisters (I have those), travel (I love to travel) and a bit of mystery too (yup, love a bit of mystery) made for an amazing read. I loved this book and especially how Lucy Clarke created mixed emotions for us readers by going back in time to paint a picture of excitement and adventure, and then bringing it to the present day which was filled with torment and grief. Unfortunately I couldn’t stand Mia, who shares the lead role in this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of Kate either, but I could tolerate her more than Mia. Mia to me seemed selfish and unkind at times. But despite having no real attachment to Mia’s character, I was engrossed to find out what happened, and felt a sypmathy for Kate; this made me unable to put the book down.

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The Book(s) I always go back to: Twilight / Stephanie Myer
Go on, laugh. You can judge me all you want, but I am a huge fan of the Twilight book series. After years of not reading (University and student social life took over for a few years) a gift from a friend in the form of the first Twilight book reignited my love for fiction. I read all 4 books in two weeks. It’s a book series that I find myself drawn to again every few years. I honestly think it’s because in some way I miss certain characters (Charlie, Edward, Alice). Not to mention, whilst Edward and Bella held everyone’s attention for a good few years surrounding the movie adaptations, a reason I loved revisiting the books was because it delved deep into the history of Vampires and nothing excites me more than a good back story.

Have you read any of these books? What’s your favourite book ever? Is there a book you always go back to?
I’d love to know in the comments below.

[top image via]

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