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.
Ashleigh18 July, 2016 at 9:18 am
“I am incapable of only buying one book” SAME LUCY SAME. But building up you personal book collection is one of the most satisfying feelings, so it’s not a bad thing (if you forget about the bank account, at least). On The Other Side and The Handmaid’s Tale are both on my TBR, so I’m really interested in seeing what you think of those. Hope you enjoy them all!!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 12:41 pm
Yes, I love growing my personal book collection – although it is getting to the point now where I’m running out of room!
I’ll let you know how I find them once I’ve read them!
Pippa @ thelittlebookowl18 July, 2016 at 9:20 am
I am exactly the same – I have no self control when it comes to books 🙂 I highly recommend the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – it is so good! I hope you enjoy it!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 12:42 pm
We should start the No Self-Control Book Buying Club! Haha!
I’m glad you love it! That will give me the push I need to read it soon. Thank you for commenting, Pippa!
Dawn Geddes18 July, 2016 at 9:58 am
The Color Purple is one of my all time faves and made me look at the world differently – you’re in for a treat! I’ve also never read Margaret Atwood so I’m going to try and rectify that this summer too!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 12:43 pm
That’s really good to hear! Let me know if you do read any Margaret Atwood over the summer so we can compare notes.
Thank you for commenting, Dawn!
Dawn Geddes19 July, 2016 at 10:23 pm
Will do 🙂
Jess18 July, 2016 at 10:09 am
I can’t wait to read The Handmaid’s Tale. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but it’s one of my summer missions. This is one of the defining books for feminism so I’m excited to get stuck into it. Hope you enjoy it! xx
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Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 12:44 pm
Yay for shared summer missions! Let me know when you’ve read it so we can compare notes!
Kate18 July, 2016 at 11:42 am
I know exactly what you mean! It’s possible for me to buy only one book if I’m in a charity shop, and there’s only one that’s caught me eye, but if I go into a mainstream bookshop like Waterstones it’s almost impossible! I either force myself to leave before I get anything, or I buy like six books. The Colour Purple is such a moving story – it’s not always an easy read, but it’s a very powerful tale and a really important piece of literature that I think everyone should read. I’ve also got the Handmaid’s Tale on my bookshelves waiting to be read! Hope you enjoy them all!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 12:45 pm
YES! I can never force myself to leave though…
I’m glad to see you love The Colour Purple. I’ll let you know once I’ve read it so we can discuss!
Thank you for commenting, Kate!
Kirstt Smart18 July, 2016 at 1:36 pm
I read OTOS in one sitting,yesterday! Brilliantly original and quirky story. I felt it could have been anchored better by the inclusion of dates and settings. Assuming Evie passed this year she wld have been born 1934, making her 27 in 1961, yet a character is described as wearing skinny jeans and another has a ‘phone clamped to his ear. I am assuming it was set in England, though I felt her year at the newspaper had a very American feel to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and will re-read it many times.
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 4:24 pm
Oh that does sound dodgy! I’ll keep that in mind when I read it. Glad you enjoyed it on the whole though – you must have done to have read it in one sitting!
Amy18 July, 2016 at 4:15 pm
The Color Purple is my favourite book of all time. Prepare to cry A LOT – both sad and happy tears!
I’ve got Vinegar Girl on my list for this summer, and I’m also really excited about Maestra (despite the mixed reviews) and Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. It’s so easy to get carried away with books – I have to remind myself that there’s only just so much time in the day to read them in!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 4:19 pm
I’m so glad to hear that it’s your favourite book of all time! That’s wonderful to hear. I’ll get the tissues at the ready!
Let me know when you’ve read Vinegar Girl so we can discuss!
Kelsey18 July, 2016 at 4:32 pm
Vinegar Girl is definitely on my list to check out, I keep hearing great things!
I read The Handmaids Tale at school and I’m really glad I did because it’s such an interesting book it was good to have a class to discuss it with afterwards. I hope you enjoy it and great picks!
Lucy Powrie18 July, 2016 at 4:38 pm
I love discussing books as a group – I bet it was really great to discuss! Thank you, Kelsey, and for commenting too!
Jasmine Denholm18 July, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Ooooh you’re going to hate every minute of The Handmaid’s Tale and then be so pleased that you read it. I read it just after my GCSEs and it’s a book that has stuck with me so clearly. It’s dreadful and yet completely fantastic. I’d love to read The Color Purple and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings as I’ve heard that they’re both must reads. Hope you love your book stash! xxx
Rach18 July, 2016 at 6:13 pm
I’ve just finished The List. I raced through it but did find myself wishing that a couple of the girls weren’t included so that I could just carry on with the more interesting stories. Interested to hear your take on it 🙂
I’m both jealous and excited for you that you’re about to read the Handmaid’s Tale for the first time. Enjoy!
Jess18 July, 2016 at 7:45 pm
This is such a great haul! I love all the feminist selections – I’m definitely adding a couple of those to my TBR list. Are you going to post your thoughts when you’ve finished reading them?
prettybooks18 July, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Oh I hope you enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale! It’s one of my favourite dystopias. I also love going into a bookshop and buying a book I haven’t heard much about. It can be difficult but it’s a thrill when you discover something new.
Kendra19 July, 2016 at 11:17 am
Wow, so many good books there! I’ve read a few but not all, so will be interested to hear what you think.
I went on a Margaret Atwood binge some years ago, and would recommend The Blind Assassin if you want to read more Atwood after The Handmaid’s Tale. (The Blind Assassin is my all-time favourite book!)
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Geraldine @ Corralling Books19 July, 2016 at 1:44 pm
Pfft, who can only buy one book?? I MUST HAVE ALL THE BOOKS. 😛
But this is honestly a very lovely haul! I know a couple of my friends studied The Colour Purple as part of their IB exams – but I’ve personally never read it- though I hope to sometime soon! Hope you enjoy it!
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Natalie @ Flowers in my Books1 August, 2016 at 10:29 pm
I absolutely ADORE Carrie Hope Fletcher so I’ve been itching to get my hands on One The Other Side and I was so happy to see you mention it here! I hope you love it 🙂
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