January Reading Review

January 31, 2017

One of my goals for 2017 is to read more. I've always loved reading but since I began properly studying English Literature at sixth form and university, most of my reading has been chosen for me. 

Now I have a lot more freedom to discover what genres I actually enjoy reading and am able to enjoy reading without having to analyse every single word. 

I thought I would do a little round-up of what I've been reading this month and my thoughts. Warning: there may be spoilers so stop reading if you come across a title you might want to read in the future!

Stoner by John Williams 
This novel depicts the whole life of loner and outcast William Stoner. Turning away from his agricultural background, Stoner chooses to go to university to learn, and eventually teach, English. His marriage is a failure and his only salvation is in his studies, alone time with his daughter and an affair with a young lover. Parts of this novel did not sit right with me one bit. My inner feminist became increasingly frustrated at the lack of positive female representation with some bits being outright sexist (i.e. when he 'tenderly' rapes his wife but she doesn't kick up a fuss so it's okay). I had to remind myself that it was published in 1965 and set in the early Twentieth Century.

It's a novel of realism that shows a man who's hard work isn't rewarded and in some ways shows the frustrations of life's true sadness. Stoner goes through the motions in some ways and you can sense the helplessness he feels to change his circumstances as varied things prevent him from realistically doing so. The language itself is beautifully put together though, despite it's flaws, and kept me reading until the very end.

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
What a strange whimsical novel. This is a lovely tale about two teen outcasts trying to fit in in their community but both having secrets they daren't tell. This book follows Meil and Sam as they try to find themselves in a world full of chaos. Gender, homosexuality and relationships are all explored and intertwined within the magic of the novel. It has a strangeness and uncanny feeling throughout, from glass pumpkins to painted moons, this book will take you to literary places you otherwise wouldn't have gone. Expect to be annoyed, amused and heartened. 

Make sure to keep reading to the end as the author's note makes the story that bit extra special.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I'm not usually one for autobiographies but being a fan of Anna Kendrick's humour both in movies and online, I thought I would give this a shot. I'm glad I did! It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and made me laugh out loud in places. It's refreshing to see that life in Hollywood isn't always what it seems and it certainly isn't plain sailing! Surprisingly, I found it easy to relate to Anna in parts as she goes through all the awkward stages of growing up. This is a collection of stories from Anna's life as she struggles her way to becoming an actress and experiences all the weird and wonderful things of becoming a woman. A light and entertaining read.

Blogosphere Magazine 
Since getting back into blogging and seeing these beautiful mags splashed all over my Instagram feed, I couldn't help but order them. I got issues 10 and 11 and they're packed full of interesting articles and tips for bloggers. Not to mention the gorgeous imagery and quality of the print. They are great to flick through when I'm in need of some inspiration and they look fab on top of the coffee table. Well worth the money.

And that's it! Not bad for one month I don't think. What have you been reading lately?

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