I have a few book stacks coming your way. I have read quite a bit of late, I am really enjoying some winter down time, fully emursing myself into a new book and making the most of long lazy mornings before work. I am not going to include all of them as a couple were just random purchases from a charity shop and you will probably unlikely come by them and some I didn’t feel were worth sharing.
This was a charity shop find which I had wanted to read for a while. Jon Ronson famous for his book the Psychopath Test released So you’ve been publicly shamed back in 2013. The book explores real life cases of individuals who have been publicly shamed primarily via twitter, where an action, photograph or tweet has gone viral. The book delves into public shaming and how some have managed to bounce back from it and win court cases for damages, and those who have let the public shaming ruin their lives. As the book is now 8 years old it was a great insight into how the internet has exploded in recent years and how a lot of us are now more politically and socially aware about what we post, how it can offend or be misconstrued and how fast news can really travel. Jon’s work is so interesting, I followed this book up with his podcast The Butterfly effect which I enjoyed just as much.
The Muse is written by the same author as The Miniaturist, which I really enjoyed a few years back. After reading the blurb of this book in the airport Waterstones I was thrilled when it was sitting there in the charity shop for just £1. The Muse was one of those perfect novels to enjoy on rainy November evenings with a cup of tea. The narrative follows two sets characters. The first is Odelle, a young women in her 20’s who recently moved to a 1960’s London from Trinidad for better career prospects. Odelle wants to be a writer and lands herself a well sought after role at an art gallery. The second narrative follows an English family in the 1930’s living in Saville Spain, the eccentric family move to the rural village for the Mother’s mental health and prosperous art deals. Olive Schloss the daughter has her own ambitious when she is accepted into a prestigious art school back in London. This book was so beautifully written. The characters were so compelling. The story had twists and turns throughout. When I thought I had sussed it, it changed direction again. I became so involved in the story, I was genuinely sad when it finished.
This book was a complete contrast to any others I had read recently but it was cropping up as a recommendation everywhere I went so I had to read it. I have said this when covering it on Instagram but I do truly believe everyone should read this book, especially anyone who has never had to consider their skin colour before. It is brilliantly written exploring such an important topic. I was so naive before reading this book. The black history education I received at school was America’s black history. We learned about Martin Luther King Jnr and Rosa Parks but we didn’t cover anything which happened here. I am ashamed to say I didn’t even know where the term Windrush came from or why we used it. I will definitely refer back to this book and encourage others to read it. I didn’t think the book was perfect, there were some parts I didn’t agree with. The author is very pro labour, and whilst I enjoy reading about other peoples political stance I felt this was too heavy and also some of the statistics were not thoroughly defined. Rene Eddo-Lodge, does a podcast as well which I listened to after which did explore more of the research, statistics and facts she had used which I felt helped. In all an absolutely fascinating, insightful and educating read that everyone should pick up.
This is the type of book I never even pick up to look at, usually unnecessarily mushy, my self preservation doesn’t let me read them. Yet my Mum buys me them every Christmas, I think mainly because she wants to read them, and then I get home and devour them in one night. This was exactly that book and I have to say it wasn’t even that mushy. There was so many elements to this book that women in their 20s and 30s will be able to relate to. A best friend, a guy you like and the emotional turbulence of adult life. I absolutely loved it. There was a lot of unnecessary tear provoking, I cried more than I needed to. It is sold as a bit of a Christmas novel but it isn’t one you need to keep back for December. It was the perfect Sunday easy read which I am not ashamed to say I loved. It was a slightly more chick flick version of David Nicholls One Day crossed with Love Actually and Love Rosie.