Engie does Bookish Updates now every once in a while and because I like books and don’t intend to talk about them as much (yet) I’ve decided to do her Bookish Updates as well because sometimes we need to sit back and just chat books.
FINISHED A LITTLE WHILE AGO
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. It was an emotional rollercoaster, and a lot of the book was crammed with subtlety but this book really ignited my own “emotional awakening” when it comes to writing and life I guess (god that sounds corny as). What I mean by that is I never thought I’d consider myself as someone who’d write sappy novels about love and life and cheese (the sappy kind) but his book and the monumental talent in it is convincing me otherwise. In short reading this book has turned my heart into mush.
Empire Writes Back which is a big textbook-like piece on postcolonial literary theory. This literary theory is super interesting! It’s definitely opened my eyes (even more so than usual) to the injustices and the subtleties that come with living in a colonialist-country. Although Britain’s moved past that (slightly, some of our key politicians are still pretty deluded) I have no idea how to express how excited I am seeing my ideas (as urban and progressive and naive as they may be) in an academic setting.
A while back Engie wrote a post about college and managing reading and said that what we read in school can count towards the reading goal. Well that got me thinking. I’d made myself a schedule and realised that not only did I have zilch time for leisurely reading (maybe half an hour before bed? but that barely counts!) but that my wider reading list consisted of around 500 books (it’s a stretch, but luckily if I read even a fraction of those it will bring that solid A* grade closer to reality). So what better way to read towards the goal than read a “wider reading” book for each subject?
I’m currently reading seven books and they’re all really awesome.
The Poisonwood Bible
I’ve read before but it’s the text I’m using for my English coursework essay (analysing the text using the postcolonial literary theory is so much fun because the book might as well have been made for this!).
Well I’ve watched the film for it ages ago and sad books make me want to cry but yes I love Ian McEwan’s handling of ugly, awkward emotions in his writing. It’s so subtle but it’s everywhere you read: in the words, the actions and the setting. It blows my mind. I’m reading this one for the crime section of my English Literature course.
Goodbye to Berlin
The first is a piece of fiction (I think????) by Christopher Isherwood about the life of some Berlin citizens pre-WW2. Seriously the book was published in 1939! And the narrator shares the same name as the author (and I am so confused – should I be excited? This is pre-war literature and I have no idea what to do with it). I love Vintage books, they’ve never published a book that I’ve yet to not love to pieces. I trust them very much with the reading.
Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
I like British Film + Drama but the thing is Wolf Hall as a tv series has been out for ages. And I don’t know if I’d like it too much on tv as I do on print. This relates to the Elizabeth I section of my History course so well in the way it references many things that I wouldn’t have gotten very well had I not studied the course. It’s awesome.
A Tale of Two Cities
Relates to the French Revolution of my History course and I CAN’T WAIT. I love historical fiction, and imaging what their lives must have been like. I don’t think tv does it justice honestly (mainly because they reference too many things I don’t really know and it’s too quick) but with books I can take my time and go over passages and just…I love.
Napoleon and Europe by D.G. Wright
My History coursework is actually an overwhelmingly enormous feat. I think I want to do as much background reading on my topic as possible so I have a good grasp when it comes to the nitty gritty of my query.
History of Germany 1780 – 1918
It is apparently The Book for my German Nationalism section and I can’t wait. Year 13 content for History is so, so good and I’m falling head over heels for it. It’s all about ideas, that’s why!
I can’t wait to get on board for Orientalism and finally finish the damn thing. There’s a few Penguin (ancient) classics that I want to start as well as The English Teacher (the vintage edition is superb and has some Hindi on it or Bengali? It’s handwritten in chalk on a blue wall).
RECENTLY ADDED TO MY TBR
I add books to my Goodreads TBR whenever and wherever. I have no idea when I’ll get to any of them – but a book I’ve recently bought is the History of Germany book. Because of the workload this year I won’t have much time for reading, so I’ve been avoiding buying books that I’m not going to read for a damn good while.