The Reading List #19
I cannot believe the weather outside, it’s getting more and more wintery! When will spring be here? Tonight I will be curled up in the warmth with a book. If you’re looking for something new to read, here’s my latest reading list:
Animal Farm, George Orwell
This is an absolute classic, and one I can’t quite believe I’ve not got around to reading until now. Everyone knows the set-up of this story, and it’s so widely quoted and parodied that I found myself recognising huge chunks of it.
The animals of Manor Farm get rid of their humans, and decide to run the farm themselves, but an elite group begin to take control. It is a fantastic piece of work, well measured, and creepily true to life. I understand fully now why it occupies such an important place in history and writing, and it is well worth picking up.
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
This is the story of an island overlooked by a lighthouse, and the people that live in its shadow. Mrs Ramsey is the central figure, and there are then others around her. War taints the lives of those within the story, and the novel reflects on war and death, and how such issues are dealt with when ordinary life continues.
It is full of brilliant observations, and carefully crafted characters. It almost goes without saying that the style is fluid and some of the descriptions are just exquisite. I’m glad I finally got round to reading this gem.
Age of Iron, J M Coetzee
Set in Cape Town, a Classics professor writes to her daughter, telling her of her dying days. She has come face to face with the truth of apartheid, and her only companion is a homeless man, whom she confides in.
I first discovered Coetzee during my literature degree, and if I’m ever asked a favourite writer he is the first to spring to mind. His writing is so distinctive, and has an almost poetic simplicity, but through that he delivers such power. This novel really brings out the hostility of elements of South Africa, but those facts are never overplayed. Absolutely fantastic.
Life’s Too Short, Grace Saunders
This is really just a perfect little book of tips on life. It covers tress, relationships, weddings, babies, style, work, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It left me with so many ideas, and things to follow up on, and it all felt so accessible and friendly. There are also sections from well known celebrities and experts in certain fields, making the informative elements even more wide-ranging.
It’s all told with a touch of humour, but accepting the fact life can sometimes feel really tough! I loved this, it made me giggle and left me feeling helped and newly informed on a number of things.
How successful was that group? Such a good selection, and things I would wholeheartedly recommend.
What have you been reading recently?