Five Poetry Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

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I adore poetry and have definitely been picking up more and more this year. Poetry collections are really short and quick to read, and I’m enjoying picking them up alongside a novel. A lot of the poems I have been reading are by modern poets, as I’m finding it easier to purchase modern collections now (I used to have an issue getting hold of modern work). I may love older poetry, but modern poetry is wonderful as it is so unique and often experimental.

  • Red Doc> by Anne Carson – This collection looks very unique and interesting, as the poems are formatted in a way I’ve never experienced.
  • Through the Square Window by Sinéad Morrissey – I’ve read the first couple of poems in here and loved them. I’m so excited to get around to finishing this collection.
  • Happiness by Jack Underwood – This is such a short collection but looks absolutely wonderful.
  • 81 Austerities by Sam Riviere – I’ve heard a lot about his other anthology, but not this one. However, the title grabbed me immediately, hence why I picked it up.
  • Interference Pattern by J. O. Morgan – I’m not entirely sure as to whether this is one single poem or several, as there are no titles. However, it does look unique and very interesting.

Do you have any poetry recommendations that I should pick up? Are there any poetry books you’d like to read soon?

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Five Novels I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

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So I’ve covered both classics and modern classics so far, but I wanted to do a list of five ‘regular’ books that I want to get to before the year ends. My mood is always changing, and the book I most want to pick up today quite probably will be different from the one I’ll want to read tomorrow, though these five are those that I’ve constantly been thinking about picking up.

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I’ve heard so much about this and it sounds so amazing and I just need to read it. I read the first chapter a while ago but put it down for some reason but I don’t know why because it was so good.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I don’t know if it’s the title or the cover or what, but this just screams ‘winter read’ at me. Maybe it’s because it’s long and I spend more time inside reading during the winter (I hate the cold passionately). I don’t know. But this looks fabulous.
  • I Am China by Xiaolu Guo – Something about this novel intrigues me and despite the fact that I have heard nothing about it whatsoever, I cannot wait to get to it.
  • The  Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney – This has had my attention for a while now, and it looks like something I wouldn’t normally pick up, but for some reason I can’t wait to do so.
  • Burial Rights by Hannah Kent – I wanted to read this last December (It’s another that screams ‘winter read’ at me) but never got around to it. This year, however, I definitely plan to make time for it and can’t wait to read it.

As with my modern classics list, this could go on. Who knows how many I’ll read eventually, but these are some that are high priority and that I will definitely be taking to uni with me. Do you have any books you want to read before the end of the year?

Five Modern Classics I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

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I absolutely adore modern classics, it is for sure one of my favourite genres. Having so many fabulous-sounding books makes choosing a list of only five difficult, but realistically I probably won’t have time to read any more with my other lists and required reading for university taking up a large proportion of my time.

I do feel with modern classics that it can be difficult to know when a book fits into this genre / category. Obviously having a lot of the ‘Penguin Modern Classics’ editions does make it a little easier to distinguish, however if you disagree and this that any of my choices do not fit this category, then please let me know, though it’s how I categorise them personally!

  • A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines – This story looks so beautiful and heartbreaking, and I really would like to get to it very soon. If I wasn’t finishing up a lot of books that I’ve started but haven’t yet finished this month, then I’d probably have picked this up already.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey -I’ve heard so much about this and it’s probably time for me to get around to picking it up.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – As a fan of dystopians, particularly those written years ago and for an adult audience (e.g. 1984 and Fahrenheit 451), I really should have read this by now. I’m so ready to read it and immerse myself in another dystopian world that has proved its popularity.
  • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – I’ve been wanting to pick up something by Virginia Woolf for so long now, but I was never motivated enough to read one of her books (despite the fact they’re really short).
  • Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka – This is a very recent purchase, but I read the first paragraph of metamorphosis and fell in love with the writing style, so I can’t wait to read it all.

Are there any modern classics you’d like to get to soon, or have you read any of these? There are so many others I could add to this list (The Bell Jar, A Clockwork Orange, The Virgin Suicides, anything by Vonnegut etc) but it would just be very unrealistic of me to do so.

 

Review: Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was – Sjón

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Genre: Historical Fiction, Lgbt, Translated (translated by Victoria Cribb)

Publication Date: 2nd June 2016 by Sceptre (first published October 22nd 2013 in Iceland)

Format: Hardcover copy sent to me for review by Sceptre Publishing via Bookbridgr

The year is 1918 and in Iceland the erupting volcano Katla can be seen colouring the sky night and day from the streets of Reykjavik. Yet life in the small capital carries on as usual, despite the natural disaster, a shortage of coal and, in the outside world, the Great War grinding on.

There, sixteen-year-old Máni Steinn lives for the new fashion – the movies. Asleep he dreams altered versions of them, their tapestry of events threaded with strands from his own life. Awake he hovers on the fringes of society. But then the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds and driving thousands into their sick beds. The shadows of existence deepen and for Máni everything changes.

(From goodreads.com)


This book is a short but beautiful read. It’s less than 150 pages, and every word that graces the page feels as though it has been placed there for a reason. Though I did find myself getting lost at times, particularly at the end, this book enchanted me.

I know that this is a translation, so I can’t speak about how it reads in the author’s own words (sadly, the few Icelandic words I recognise are related to volcanoes or glaciers thanks to A level geography), however this reads absolutely wonderfully. The only way I can truly describe my reading experience was that it felt as though I was in a trance. The writing just took me off somewhere else and I felt like I was part of the story. The writing, in my opinion, is what makes this book so special; the plot and characters are good but very simple, but the writing is truly beautiful.

I also adored the setting and time period of this novel (can I even call it a novel as it was so short?!). Back in 2013 I was lucky enough to visit Iceland on a school trip and ever since I have wanted to revisit. It is such a unique country and the descriptions of Reykjavik and other locations were vivid and sharp. Also, it was fascinating as it is set in 1918, yet it barely mentions the First World War, as Iceland wasn’t affected. Instead it concentrates on what was a serious event in Iceland that I knew nothing about; an outbreak of the Spanish Flu. I loved reading about something else from that period, as literature set in those years, in my experience (I could be completely wrong) does have a large focus on the war (not that it’s a bad thing!).

Including LGBT themes in this book made it even more unique, due it being set in 1918. It’s a topic that I find doesn’t usually appear in books set in the early 20th century or before. They were included with respect and without being downplayed, I thought, and it was hard to read at times due to the the treatment people had to face and the way they were forced to behave as a result.

I did get a little confused at the ending, and even though I’ve since read it multiple times to try and work it out, I’m still not entirely sure. However, we’re talking the last page, and the rest of the book definitely made up for my confusion (which quite possibly is down to me either overthinking things or confusing myself, and probably makes perfect sense to anyone else who reads it).

It’s difficult to say a lot about this book as it was so short (definitely not a bad thing at all), but everything seemed to be woven together perfectly and it was such a wonderful story. The character of Máni broke my heart, and though everything was very simply done, it was done in such a way that it spoke volumes.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars.

Five Classics I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

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I remember once going through a phase where I read so many classics one after the other, and I loved it. It’s sad though, as I haven’t picked one up in such a long time; the last one I remember finishing (this doesn’t include modern classics – I read quite a few of those) was back in December. I think it’s partly to do with setting myself a fairly high (but realistic) Goodreads goal – and there will be a post towards the end of the year as to why next year I’ll be setting a very low goal, if one at all.

Later this month I am moving to uni; I know, I’ve mentioned it loads of times. As I’m studying English Literature I feel as though I should read more classics in preparation, though realistically I’m not going to finish anything before I go (unless I sit for three days and read solidly, but with all the packing I have that won’t happen). Instead, I’ve decided to make a list of five classics that I want to have read before the 1st January, 2017.

  • Something by Jane Austen – Okay, I realise this is very vague, but I’m undecided between Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. I’ll probably be on my way back from holiday when this post goes up, and I’m hoping to read one whilst I’m there, and I’m leaning towards Sense and Sensibility, though I don’t know why.
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – Expect to see this on my December TBR as I love to read Dickens around christmas. His stories are so perfect for that time of year and I knew when I purchased this novel I would be saving it for then.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – This one is haunting me. I’m halfway through and I can’t even remember when I started it. I just can’t get into it for some reason, though it’s perfectly good and I cannot pinpoint why this is. Wilde’s writing is fabulous and I really need to finish it.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – I’ve heard so much about this book and I loved the film (the one in which Johnny Depp plays the Hatter) but have never picked it up. It’s super short and has illustrations in and I’m really looking forward to getting to it.
  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy – Opinions on this have been very, very mixed, though I want to pick it up anyway and decide for myself. I picked it up on an open day before the summer holidays in 2015, so it’s about time I read it.

I’ve actually really enjoyed writing this post (and it’s also helping me narrow down the books that I want to take with me to uni, as the list is way too long at the moment). I think, therefore, that I’ll do lists for modern classics, other fiction, and poetry. Sorry about the absence as well; I fell into a slump (reading / blogging / life in general) and I was lacking ideas for posts. I’m hoping to get back to it with reviews (there may be some up by the time this is posted) and with my schedule (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday). Are there any classics you want to get to before the end of the year?

Top 3 August Reads 2016

August wasn’t a bad reading month in terms of the number of books I finished. The problem was that half of those that I picked up were only okay. However, there were some really, really good ones I read as well.

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BronzeThe Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This was such an incredible novel and both the characters and plot were excellently done. I thoroughly enjoyed this and it was perfect as I was bordering on a reading slump when I picked it up.

SilverSince You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

I read this at the very start of August and loved it. I could relate to it so strongly, and saw a lot of myself in Emily’s character. Morgan Matson writes such wonderful stories and I can’t wait to read more from her.

GoldMilk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

This. This broke me. And built me up. It was absolutely incredible and so, so poignant. I’d highly, highly recommend this. To everyone.

September TBR 2016

After failing spectacularly with my August TBR (I mean, I still read a lot so I’m not complaining), I’m keeping this TBR fairly simple. September is also going to be a very busy month; I’m busy for a week and then I’m moving to university on the 24th, which means I’ll probably get very little read later in the month (and the lead up will be spent packing as well). Whilst this list may seem long (it is still ambitious!) I’m halfway through two of the books listed and one is a poetry collection, so hopefully it’s doable.

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Harmony – Carolyn Parkhurst

I got sent this very kindly for review and look forward to getting to it, as I don’t think I’ve read a book with a character on the autistic spectrum, or if I have, it was a while ago.

Undying – Michel Faber

I’ve read parts of this and I know I’m going to love it, I just want to read it when I’m in the perfect mood for it. This poetry collection honestly sounds like it is going to break me though…

The Graduate – Charles Webb

I am nearly halfway through and I’m enjoying it, though I wouldn’t say I love it.

Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

I’ve had this for ages, and it’s really short. I am determined to get to it soon.

City of Bones and City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare

I’m halfway through City of Bones and it’s so good – I can’t believe that for ages I said I probably wouldn’t read it. Thank goodness for special offers!