Hello everyone. It’s so good to be back with another Monthly Bookshelf… (and no, there’s no good reason for me not posting for several weeks, except obsessive procrastination).
I kicked off this wonderful reading month with “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby, and yes, I loved it. People like to call it a light read, maybe because it can be read out loud without water pauses mid-sentence, but it actually got me into a very thinky mood. I love books that don’t provide a sufficient answer for every question they ask and end in this very satisfying emptiness where not everything is perfect, but enough is good.
Oh yes, she did. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë was my very first Brontë-novel, and I can’t wait for the next one. With the big chunky classics, I always need something to make me start them, something to make me feel like THIS is the moment to start them. Well, what can I say: Jen Campbell (booktuber here) hosted a readalong, I stole it from my mother, lost myself in it and didn’t give it back. It’s beautiful and intelligent and fascinating and I would reread RIGHT NOW!
Next I read “The Circle” by Dave Eggers, which I have no picture of because it was only a severely battered library copy and I have already returned it for other people to endure. What can be said about this book? We can’t always read good books, I guess, and I will write an entire post on this especially awful one when I get around to it, which should be soon, but I fought my way through it (god, do I hate not finishing books!) and I guess I took some lessons on how not to write books from it, so that’s good. (Update: You can read my review HERE)
What can I say? I was feeling the classics, and I’ve been wanting to read this for so long… “The catcher in the rye” in the most beautiful minimalistic edition was next to be devoured. I went into this having NO CLUE what it was about (and I have to admit, even after finishing it, it took me a bit of the internet to REALLY get it…), but even so, I goddam loved this. It was one of those books I just couldn’t stop reading, I felt miserable and ashamed and compassionate and when I closed it I wanted to talk to everyone in my life about it! (Unfortunately, nobody but my mum has read it, and she didn’t like it, so once again, I had to seek refuge in the internet. Oh well.)
Yes yes yes! Being already in a little post-Salinger-high, I read the next great book: “Atonement” by Ian McEwan. Expressing my love for this book would take me a while, so let’s just say: I think it’s brilliant. It’s engrossing, beautifully written, the right amount of tragic and evocative, just absolutely, mind-twistingly, leaving-you-done-with-life-ly fantastic, and since it came with the first warm days over here in Germany, I just remember spending all my free periods curled up with this in the park close to my school and feeling deep regret whenever I had to put it down to get back to lessons.
After that “Love in the times of cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez happened, which I read to have something to compare Isabel Allende to. And, I’m sorry to say, we just didn’t get along. This book was just so long and didn’t get me (the last 100 pages were okay though. But getting there…).
And so, I needed a comfort blanket of a book- enter Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”. This is actually the first of her novels I’ve ever finished, and it didn’t come as a big surprise to me that it was beautiful. I loved the characters and I got really involved in the story, there was a genuinely surprising plot twist and a warm fuzzy cosiness. Very nice.
I finished the month by reading “The complete polysyllabic spree” by Nick Hornby, which is a collection of his absolutely hilarious columns for “The Believer”, in which he literally just talks about the books he’s read, the books he’s bought and how they intertwine with what was going on in his life at the time. There’s also extracts from books mentioned and a lot of subtle (and not-so-subtle) funniness. I took away three main things from this book (besides the fact that Nick Hornby is brilliant (cf. “High Fidelity” in this post)):
- Books are great. Like really effing great.
- I really need to pick up “Persepolis- The Story of a Childhood” by Marjane Satrapi and
- I missed blogging. Talking about the stuff you read is wonderful!
And on that note, I will leave you. Have a beautiful sunday everyone!