What Book Are You Reading?

We have a choice of three books for this months book club, and which did you choose?

If you aren’t sure of the choices just yet, you can find them here:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  2. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I’ve decided to read House of Leaves which is quite the hefty book. It’s also a little confusing to read. Which way have you decided to read it? The footnotes in some sections are really long, so I’m reading them all as they come, but then the main text is also important, and it’s getting my mind in a boggle.

Let me know what you think so far!

Are there any other scary reads you plan on reading this month? Let me know!

It’s October First! Let’s Get Reading

Happy 1st of October, everyone!

If you aren’t sure of what we’re reading this month, and want to know your choices, look no further!

Our reading this month includes:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  2. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I hope everyone enjoys, and let’s see what they have on offer!

Why Would You Ban a Book?

As Banned Books Week continues, it’s given me a chance to think about why you would ban a book.

Reading has multiple purposes and it’s purposes vary between the reader.

For me, reading is about learning and relaxing. Reading gives me pleasure and entertainment. For some it is a chore.

But what makes someone think that a book is outrages?

What makes The Perks of Being a Wallflower bad? What makes Harry Potter bad?

I’ve thought about it a lot over the last week, and I can’t figure it out. A lot of the books that appears on the lists of the most challenged books in the US are ones that I clung to growing up. The topics in The Perks of Being A Wallflower are admittedly heavy, but for some they are necessary. Yes, there is drug use and memories of child molestation, but it is also a book about acceptance, and learning that you don’t need to fit into society.

It’s boggles me how anyone would want to stifle literature in such a way that someone would not be able to access them?

If you have any thoughts on this let me know! I think weeks like this inspire discussion on censorship and the way we handle the content of literature, and something that definitely needs to be discussed.

[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!

[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.