The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne Book Cover Image

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Ultimate Survival Guide (+ free chapter summary cheat sheet)

Should you ever be forced to read this book, or feel some masochistic urge to, I’ve included a free chapter-by-chapter summary sheet in solidarity with my fellow sufferers. Also, to lessen the pain slightly, this list of funny 1* Goodreads reviews will remind you that you’re not alone in this epic, frustrating endeavour. May the odds be ever in your favour. Continue reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Ultimate Survival Guide (+ free chapter summary cheat sheet)

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare Book Cover Image

Questioning the Canon: William Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton

Questioning the Canon is a new feature in which I hope to bring to light lesser-known books about a certain issue, which can be read alongside or instead of infamous ‘classics’.

People are starting to discuss whether the authors we hold up as cultural icons – Shakespeare, Dickens, Wordsworth – should be accompanied by previously marginalised writers. Our idea of what constitutes ‘great literature’ is becoming broader. 

This can only be a good thing, as it means more diversity and social representation in what we read! Continue reading Questioning the Canon: William Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata Book Cover Image

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: Offbeat Celebration of Non-Conformity

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Synopsis:

Keiko Furukura has worked in the same convenience store for eighteen years. She feels at home in the store with its comforting daily rhythms, but those around her are pushing her to move on in her career, get married, have children. Tired of their interference, Keiko decides, at last, to give “normality” a shot…with disastrous consequences. Continue reading Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: Offbeat Celebration of Non-Conformity

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Book Cover Image

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

“Did the world always mete out just deserts?”

Tom Ripley is struggling to make his way in New York City, chasing the elusive American Dream while treading the edges of illegality. When the father of an old acquaintance approaches Tom in the hope that he can persuade his son, Dickie Greenleaf, to come home from Europe and take on the family business, Tom leaps at the chance.

However, from the first, it becomes clear that Dickie has no intention of obliging his father. His life in the Italian village of Mongibello is everything Tom has ever dreamed of: wealth, status, a luxurious lifestyle. Tom will have to return empty-handed to his sordid life in New York – unless he takes measures increasingly more extreme. Continue reading The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel

My Favourite Books Image

My Top 10 Books of 2019

2019 has been a wonderfully busy, varied reading year. Both my English Literature course and feminist book club have pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to try something new. At the same time, the inspiring community of book bloggers continues to keep reading exciting – I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

So without further ado, in no particular order (because I am extremely indecisive!) my top 10 books read in 2019 are… Continue reading My Top 10 Books of 2019

The Fright Before Christmas by @JDWhitelaw13 @urbanebooks @samaritans — Love Books Group

I had to reblog this post from Love Books Group. The Fright Before Christmas is a short story that really made me smile and get in the festive mood. Plus it’s only 99p to download and all proceeds go to support the life-saving work of the Samaritans. Continue reading The Fright Before Christmas by @JDWhitelaw13 @urbanebooks @samaritans — Love Books Group

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Book Cover Image

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier: Disturbing Gothic Enigma

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Gothic Romance

Content Warnings: Death of close family member, grief, capital punishment, terminal illness, violence, domestic abuse

Synopsis:

“Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel.”

Ambrose has been like a father to Philip, raising him single-handedly ever since the death of his parents. They live undisturbed on their Cornish estate, surrounded entirely by men – not even a female housekeeper. So when Ambrose travels abroad for his health, only to send word he has fallen in love and married, it is understandable for Philip to be jealous.

His feelings of hatred towards this woman only increase when Ambrose dies in Italy, with his new wife by his side. Philip is left the grand estate, but no chance to say goodbye. However, this bitterness soon alleviates upon meeting Ambrose’s widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Rachel. He may be falling for her. And that may be exactly what she wants. Continue reading My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier: Disturbing Gothic Enigma

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Book Cover Image

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler: Macho Detective Fiction That Screams “Male Gaze”

Rating: 2 stars

Category: Crime Fiction

Synopsis:

Private investigator Phillip Marlowe, a little strapped for cash, is on yet another assignment to track down an adulterous spouse when he runs into Moose Malloy. This cold, violent gangster has a soft spot: a barmaid named Velma whom he was going to marry before being jailed for armed robbery.
Marlowe strikes out to find Velma, but soon uncovers a black hole of gangs, blackmail and corruption in which she may well be lost forever. Continue reading Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler: Macho Detective Fiction That Screams “Male Gaze”