Sunday, 1 October 2017

My Summer in Books

This summer was one of my best reading seasons in recent memory. I was hitting home runs with every book I was reading, and it seemed that every book I was reading fit my mood perfectly. I have no idea how I managed to keep picking winners for almost the entire summer, I'm not going to continue to question it. 

I also branched out a lot in my reading this summer, reading a little bit of poetry, some plays, and a little nonfiction, which I tend to stay away from in my time off from school. I just found myself interested in a lot of different things this summer, and with the London bookshops making finding new titles and genres so easy, I had no difficulty adding many a poetry collection and play to my TBR.

So onto the summer wrap up! First up: Novels. I read a few of the titles that were shortlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for fiction, and I found that of the three I read, I didn't really like two of them. While the Power by Naomi Alderman shook me to my core, I was not into First Love, at all, and Do Not Say We Have Nothing was exhausting to get through, for what was in my mind, not a lot of pay off. 

I also read a lot of really cool dystopian, apocalyptic stuff, which was awesome. I got to finish the Monsters of Verity series by Victoria Schwab, which honestly? Amazing. Every time I pick up one of her books I don't think she can get any better and she does. H O W. I also read Station Eleven as part of the End of the World book club, hosted by Sanne at Books and Quills on YouTube! It was a really fun read, and I really loved the shakespearean themes that ran throughout.

Then I read some lovely romances and a story that is so so so close to my heart. I read both of Carrie Hope Fletcher's fiction books, On the Other Side and All that She Can See, and both were stellar. The exact amount of magic, romance, and suspense that I needed. I also read Alexandra Silber's After Anatevka, which honestly? It broke me. Just wait for my rave review to come out and you'll see how much I loved it. 

On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher | All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher | After Anatevka by Alexandra Silber 

Thank you to Pegasus books for providing me with a copy of After Anatevka!

And then there were the books that I can't fit into any category. One book I didn't like at all, I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski, and another book that was fine, but I prefered his other books more, Truman Capote's Summer Crossing. And lastly was a reread for me: The Little Mermaid. I read this one while sat across from the statue in Copenhagen. A magical experience.


And now we can move onto the plays that I read! I started out the summer by reading Peter and Alice by John Logan, which was a recommendation from Jen Campbell, and I wasn't expecting this to hit me as intensely as it did. I love Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, and I think the stories behind the pieces are so fascinating, and i've never seen anyone tell those stories like this. The other play that I read and reread was Angels in America by Tony Kushner. I keep asking myself why did I wait so long to read this immensely powerful and beautiful piece? But then I realized that I read it at the exact right time for me. Again, wait for my review when I try to put all my feelings into coherent thoughts and words.


Now, onto everything else! I read one poetry collection, one short story collection, and two pieces of nonfiction. I read Lara Bozabalian's Tourist, which was so delightful. Lara was my spoken word teacher at Arts Camp from 2011-2014, and being able to revisit her work was spectacular and so grounding to me. I love her, and if she's reading this, I hope she knows how much her words have impacted me. I also read Treats by Lara Williams, which was, as the title implies, a treat. I heard about this from Leena Norms, and I read this in one sitting, while sat on the couch fighting off jetlag right at the beginning of the summer. It was witty, passionate, interesting, and so so spectacular.


I also read The Little Books of Hygge by Meik Wiking, which answered by question of "how can I be a minimalist without getting rid of everything and how can I make candles and sweaters and cakes a solid part of my lifestyle?" Hygge, guys. It's real. I read this on my kindle whilst travelling Eastern Europe and specifically while I was in Copenhagen! I also read Paul Flynn's Good As You, which was a bit lackluster in my opinion. Some of the things he wrote about were interesting, and some chapters were really informative, but it felt more like a memoir than tracing queer culture in the later part of the 20th century.


And that is my summer reading! If you've gotten to the end, congratulations and thank you. Let me know what great reads I missed out on this summer, and I will be sure to put them on my TBR! I hope you all had an amazing summer, and are ready to jump right into fall.

Happy reading!

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