[Book Review] The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a well reviewed and well received novel already. First published in 1985, Atwood’s novel has continued to be at the forefront of fiction and feminism since it’s release.

The novel has gained a new interest with the release of the television series with the same name, and it’s readership and understanding continues to grow.

I am one of the readers who’d heard so much about the novel, but had never sat down to read it. I saw the television series and wanted to read it, and I have now finally managed to complete it.

The Handmaid’s Tale was everything I thought it was going to be. The narrative of the story is interesting, it’s written as if the narrator is talking to you through the story. She guides you through the story with an eloquence one can only achieve through the subconscious.

I personally enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, it brought up a lot to think about. The tale talks of love, loss, grief, rebellion and many others. The novel is open-ended and doesn’t really draw to any conclusion and only briefly mentions how things came to be the way they were. For me, this was both a positive and a negative, as I so badly wanted to know how this dystopian future even came about, but it also made it feel real. The narrator spoke to you as if you knew how these events happened, and maybe how they ended.

That was both infuriating (in an I really need to know kind of way), and pleasant.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. The writing flowed well, and talked about some really interesting things that relate scarily to what is happening in our modern times, despite being over thirty years old, and in a dystopian setting.

Would I recommend the book? Yes. Definitely. It would be interesting to discuss with people what they thought of the novel, and what they thought as I know that opinions on this novel vary greatly.

Our June Book Poll!

Hello!

It’s time for our June Book Poll. I hope everyone’s as excited about this list as I am! Thank you to everyone who made suggestions, even my mum who probably won’t read this post!

The poll should hopefully appear at the bottom of the page!

This months suggestions include:

The Midwife’s Here by Linda Fairley

Into the Magic Shop by James Doty

Elidor by Alan Garner

Whistle In The Dark by Emma Healey

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Halfway!

So, by this point in our month, you should be at least half way through the book!

Unless you’re a fast reader and already completed, then congrats!

I hope everyone is enjoying or has enjoyed Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic. I’m just over halfway myself and I’m enjoying the book quite a lot!

Since this is our first month as a book club, I’m still in the process of figuring out which way is going to work best.

There are currently two options you could go for, that I think will work best.

First option:

Do you have a wordpress blog of your own? Then simply write the review on your own blog with the title of the book in the subject, then in the tags put ‘longreadersbookclub’ so I can track it and reblog it onto this site.

The review should ideally be 100-300 words, but if you have a lot to say, then please do so!

An example of the title would be something like [Book discussion] Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic. But go crazy!

Second Option:

Don’t have a wordpress blog? Or simply don’t want to post it yourself? Then, drop me an email (longreadersbookclub@gmail.com) and I’ll post it onto the blog myself.

The format should be similar to this, which can be found on the Contact page:

Subject:

[Book Review] Month and Book Title + Author.

Body of email:

Name

Social Media (If you want to!)

Did you like the book?

100-300 words on your thoughts of the book.

 

If you could post your discussion by the 31st of May, 10pm BST that would be wonderful, but for people in later timezones, then I’ll look for anything on the tags on the 1st. So, please don’t think I’m ignoring you!

I’m not anticipating a lot for the first month, which is fine, but hopefully we can inspire some great discussion this month and over the coming months!

 

A Book Cover

Many of us, like me, find a kind of solace in visiting the book shop. There’s something about the smell of a bookshop that greets you and welcomes you.

The first thing you notice about a book? For me, it’s usually the cover.

If the book cover is interesting, I find myself more drawn to the book.

Perhaps more of a coincidence than anything, but most of my book covers end up being blue. A blue book cover must really spring out to me.

I always admire the effort that goes in to making a book cover, there are so many out there! From shiny, to simple, to abstract art. A good book cover is imperative to get the readers to your book in the first instance.

Where do you place the title of the book? What kind of font is it?

These are all things that interest me.

There are suggestions that with the rise of ebooks and digital reading, the book cover has lost it’s meaning, or is of less value than it used to be. I would like to disagree, with the rise of social media and images being readily available, the book cover has now been granted more than one meaning. Walking into a bookshop and seeing a book cover is one meaning, using the book cover online to promote the book has another.

Browsing through your online stores is similar in principle to walking into a store. You scroll through the lists of books and pick out the ones with the most interesting covers and titles. You make your first instinct of the book based entirely on it’s outside attributes.

Essentially, judging a book by it’s cover. This is why the book cover is necessary, and the need for marketing a book will always secure the use of a book cover.

The book cover is your first impression, does it draw you in? Does the cover of the book give away a little of the story? Does it intrigue you enough to read the summary on the back and to skim a few pages in the book shop?

What do you think? I love a good book cover, especially when I’ve finished and I can tell people about it. A book cover will always make someone interested.

One Week In!

How’s everyone’s progress on the Practical Magic so far?

I haven’t managed to get through as much of it as I’d hoped to be able to so far this month. But it’s been quite intriguing what I’ve read so far! I’m not entirely sure what to expect yet, as I feel like it’s a book that could surprise me.

How are you guys finding it?

Don’t forget you can suggest our book for next month here!

June Suggestions!

Is there a book you’ve been itching to read, but never gotten around to?

Now’s your chance to get your suggestions in!

The genre can be anything you want, from historical nonfiction to high fantasy.

Have you written your own book? Suggest it!

Suggestions will be put in a poll towards the middle of the month.

If by some trick of fate we get more than 10 suggestions, I will take the first ten. Unless more than one suggestion is put forward by one person, then it’ll go to the first ten people.

[Book Review] I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

I Am Watching You is an intense thriller by Teresa Driscoll. It asks all the right questions, and keeps you puzzling throughout.

The story focuses on the disappearance of a young girl named Anna Ballard who goes missing after a night out with her friend in London. The story subsequently takes place a year later, and deals with themes such as grief and guilt and the effect her disappearance has on everyone, ranging from family to friends to witnesses.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me reading and reading and wanting to know what happened, who had done what and why. Without spoiling for anyone who has perhaps not read this book, I did not see the ending and was thoroughly surprised. Maybe I should up my thriller reading game?

Teresa Driscoll is a captivating writer, and perfectly balanced the interwoven lines of the characters and gave each character their own substance and backstory.

It was a nice read, and would recommend it to others (and have done already!)

What did you think?

If you want to join in on my book club, we’re taking our first months suggestions here!