I’ve recently taken the effort to actually do something with my summer. So far, this has involved going outside of my comfort zone and getting outside of the house. On my own (or with my dog). I don’t find it easy to get out and walk around where there are other people because my anxious brain thinks of every bad scenario and I’d much rather be inside reading, but I did decide to offer an incentive at the end of it, so yesterday I decided to go book shopping.
I walked down to my local Waterstones and WH Smith’s branch and scoured the shelves from top to bottom to search out some new books. At the moment I’m loving discovering new books that I maybe haven’t heard of before, or haven’t read anything by the author previously, so there’s a lot less YA but most of the books have huge crossover appeal. Varied tastes are good!
The List by Siobhan Vivian
The List is the only YA book on my pile and I decided to pick it up on a whim after reading the blurb and thinking it would be a great feminist read. It’s about a school where every year the prettiest and ugliest girl is chosen from each year group and the book then details how the girls respond to this. I think it will be interesting to see how Siobhan Vivian discusses body image and the relationships between the girls.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
It’s been described as a modern classic, so why haven’t I read it yet?! I’m going to be rectifying that as soon as I possibly can. The Handmaid’s Tale is a staple book for any feminist’s collection and I’ve heard amazing things about it, so this summer will finally be the time I put to rights the wrongs I have committed by not reading any Margaret Atwood. I also have a poetry collection to read by her for when I’ve finished it. I’d love to know what you’d recommend I read next by her too!
“One and one and one and one doesn’t equal four. Each one remains unique, there is no way of joining them together. They cannot be exchanged, one for the other. They cannot replace each other.” – The Handmaid’s Tale
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Alice Walker’s Poems at Thirty Nine was one of the poems I had to study for English Literature at GCSE and after reading about her, I decided a while back that I definitely wanted to read The Colour Purple sometime in the future. I’m trying to read more diversely and part of this will include reading more books by women of colour – I’ve realised that the majority of books I’m reading at the moment are written by white, English people so it can give quite a limited view of the world. The Colour Purple will be one of the books that contributes to my personal challenge.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I read Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise poetry collection earlier in the year which I found incredibly empowering and immediately went to her Wikipedia page after I’d finished and started reading about her. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is her first autobiographical instalment in a collection of seven, and from reading her Wikipedia I know she’s lead a very interesting life. I think it will be a must-read that I’ll be recommending lots!
Quiet Power by Susan Cain
Quiet Power is the follow up to Susan Cain’s first book, Quiet, and is aimed at kids and teenagers. In it, she explores what it’s like to be introverted and making your mark in the world in a quiet way. I’m a very introverted person and I watched Char’s review of it a while back and was intrigued then, but finally bought it after hearing Susan talk about it on BBC Radio 2.
I’ve always relished doing things quietly – reading on my own, getting lost in the thoughts and worlds that occupy my head – so I’m going to be starting this one right away as I can’t wait to dig in.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
I am not one of those people that hate Shakespeare. In fact, I would marry Shakespeare’s works if I could, so I think the modern retellings of some of his best plays that Hogarth Press are publishing are brilliant. Vinegar Girl is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew which is a play I’ve wanted to read/watch for a while now. I’m late to the Anne Tyler bandwagon because I’d never actually heard of her before, despite her being a prolific author, so hopefully it will lead to me reading more by her in the future.
I’m hoping to start a new project where I read and watch the original play and then read the retelling, so keep an eye out for this series soon!
On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher
I love watching Carrie’s YouTube videos and recently read her first book, All I Know Now. Whilst I enjoyed it and found it very informative, I don’t always love non-fiction so I’ve been looking forward to reading On The Other Side because it’s her first work of fiction. For those of you who don’t know who Carrie is, she’s a YouTuber but also played Eponine in Les Miserables in the West End up until recently and is currently touring with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the UK. I think she’s incredibly talented and so I really hope I enjoy this.