Banned Books Week!

The 23rd to the 29th of October is Banned Books Week!

This is an important week of the year for literature, as it’s a week that celebrates books that have been challenged, either for their authors or their content.

Banned Books Week is an initiative started by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, and highlights the books challenged or removed from libraries and school libraries. Some of them are pretty absurd. Books challenged for LGBT characters, books banned for their drug use, magic, etc.

Is there a book on the list below that you’ve read and loved, but is challenged?

Take a look here and let me know!

[Book Review] The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Travelling Cat Chronicles¬†written originally in Japanese, and translated by Philip Gabriel follows the adventure of Nana the cat, who was a stray, but was rescued by Satoru.¬†It’s a story of loyalty and friendship as the two travel Japan as Satoru looked for a new owner for Nana.

The novel, despite its short length, accomplishes a lot. Philip Gabriel’s translation is detailed and filled with beautiful descriptions, and highlights Nana’s personality really well.

I hadn’t realised when I bought the book that it would be told from the perspective of Nana the cat, but I loved Nana’s narration. Sweet and sarcastic, Nana is a credible cat. I often thought of whether this would be like what my cat thinks.

Satoru is a charming and caring owner, perhaps a little too perfect, but this is what the story needed. Satoru was loving, was happy despite everything that was thrown at him.

Personally, I loved the book. I was a novel I felt really emotionally attached to, and shed quite a few (read: a lot) of tears at the end.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but be warned! Bring the tissues, because you will cry!

[Book Club] October Suggestions!

What would you like to read this October?

As October is the month of Halloween, I thought maybe we could pick some horror fiction for this month!

Is there that one scary story you’ve been dying to read? That one non-fiction novel you really want to give a go?

Suggest it here, and we’ll read it together!

[Notice]

Hello,

So, yesterday, I handed in my dissertation! I’m officially back in action.

Thank you for everyone who has been patient with me. I hope to become more active over the next few weeks.

The book club will come back live shortly, and I’ll be taking suggestions for our October reading!

I have a few things I’d like to try out on this blog over the next few weeks, so please bear with me as I figure them out. I’m trying my best!

I look forward to reading with all of you!

[Book Review] That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger follows Lee Bauer, a school shooting survivor as she embarks on telling the truth of what happened that day, and how one story overtook the others, but it’s not true.

The story follows Lee as she gathers letters from the other five survivors so that they can share their experiences of the day, and discusses the aftermath of the shooting for the victims three years on.

Initially, I read this book as kind of a challenge to myself. It’s not typically a book I would pick up and read, despite it’s interesting premise. So, I challenged myself to read it, and to see if I would enjoy it.

The book won. It was actually very interesting and raised so many interesting points in how one narrative can be spread, and trying to raise awareness of the truth. It also deals a lot with the idea of perception, and how the image we see of one person is not the actual representation of the person at all.

Despite my initial hesitance, Lee was probably the character I could relate to the most of all of them, as she was Asexual, like myself. It was actually really nice to see asexuality represented in a book, as I don’t come across it very often in my own reading. So, I was surprised and happy that this was included.

The writing style is neat and simple, which at first was a bit of a setback for me, as I found the writing was a little bit ‘I got up and got dressed. I wore skinny jeans.’ But once you really got into the story, the author really grips you and you find it hard to put the novel down.

All in all, this was a winner for me. A pleasant surprise, and handled a really dark subject well. It hid nothing, and really put forward that what these characters, is not just something they get over. It’s something they deal with three years on, and will carry on to deal with the rest of their lives.

I would definitely recommend this novel, even with my hesitance, I ended up really enjoying the read, and learning a lot!

[Book Review] 1984 by George Orwell

1984 is thought provoking. A book that gets under your skin and truly makes you think.

What would you do in a time where the past is flexible, your thoughts altered, and no freedom?

Winston works for the Party, he rewrites facts as he is instructed, but he is curious. He remembers things from the past, and he knows that history is not true. He meets a young lady called Julia, and together they embark on a relationship that defies the Party. Perhaps one of the more interesting parts is where they know of the consequences they face, but they are willing to face them. They will take responsibility for their actions, despite knowing what the punishment will be.

Writing a review of this book is hard, as it is such a mammoth book of things to unpack. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, but it was also terrifying. Orwell’s writing was ahead of his time, but the future he envisioned was terrifying. It poses the question of how much do we know is true, how much is the information we are being given only what we are told to hear. Is there ever truly any truth in what we are told.

In the current climate, his writing resonates, and this is what makes this novel so successful. Orwell’s writing is crisp, clear and insightful.

It is definitely a book I would recommend. It is a must read in the world we currently live in.

Fourth Anniversary!

This blog is now four months old!

This is exciting, and despite being a mostly absent blog holder, I am still here and thinking about this blog daily.

My dissertation is due in just over 5 weeks, and I’m doing well. I’m slightly stressed out, but I’m looking forward to being able to be back on here and discussing everything book related with you soon!

In the meantime, this blog is going to go back to silent once again. I fear I won’t have a lot of time to read between now and the 21st of September, barring rereading my dissertation, and I doubt a people reading this want to know about Welsh mythology in popular culture.

Thank you for sticking beside me, and I hope to be back soon!