January has been a good reading month. Let’s delve straight in to the book reviews.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Since becoming fascinated by Hitchcock’s 1940 film adaptation of Rebecca, I’ve always meant to get around to reading the novel. And it did not disappoint. The sea, a mysterious dead wife, mad people and Maxim’s constant negging; what more could you want? Rebecca definitely needs to be read in the context of the time period, but by embracing this approach, you can fully enjoy the atmospheric and gripping story that explores gender, power and the Gothic aesthetic.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
This book follows three college graduates, caught in a love triangle and trying to find their way in life. After being drawn in by the big name of Eugenides and the literary theory references that evoked nostalgia for my undergrad degree, I slowly became invested in the characters. Slowly piecing together the gaps in the narrative was fun and kept me reading, but the ending was predictable. This novel was enjoyable but not particularly impactful.
The Forward Book of Poetry 2017 by various poets.
This collection is the result of the annual Forward Prizes for Poetry, containing all of the shortlisted and long-listed poems of 2017. In the About Me page of my blog I wrote that I was about to rediscover poetry. This mission is officially underway, and I am loving it. The Forward Book of Poetry 2017 is a diverse, affecting and dynamic collection; a brilliant place to start for those new to modern poetry. I now have a long list of poets whose work I intend to explore further, including Vahni Capildeo, David Harsent and Fran Lock.
Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
This bestseller popped up on my Bookbeat page at just the right time. Little Black Book is a short, accessible handbook of career advice for creative women. Many of the tips offered weren’t new to me but I did find certain sections invaluable, such as the chapter on finances. On the whole, this book provided a great pep talk that has made me feel inspired, empowered and driven to prioritise my creative endeavours.
Rapture by Carol Anne Duffy
This poetry collection explores love in all of its complexities and contradictions. I’ve actually been reading Rapture for years now, dipping into it when I feel like it. But this month I finally devoured the whole of it. Carol Ann Duffy is brilliant for people who may feel a little intimidated by poetry, as her collections are easy to connect to. Anyone who’s a sucker for a good love poem will also enjoy Rapture.
The highlights of this month reading wise have been Rebecca and The Forward Book of Poetry 2017 anthology. I have rediscovered my love for the Gothic and had my eyes opened to a whole new world of contemporary poetry.
I am currently reading La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and various poetry collections, so you can expect book reviews of these on my blog soon.
If you like to share, I’d love to know what you’ve been reading this month!