What's on my reading list this Spring
Well hello there!
After an unintentional writing hiatus (I blame moving country/generally overhauling my entire life for that one) I am back! It feels so great to finally be putting pen to paper again (okay fingers to keyboard) and getting some words down.
First off, I’d like to start this post by pointing how crazy it feel so even be writing about spring in OCTOBER. But yes, it’s spring here in the southern hemisphere.
So whilst everyone in the UK get snuggly in autumn jumpers, frolicks around in crispy leaves and generally fills their instagram with pictures of pumpkins, I’m going into my second spring of 2018 (and skipping winter entirely this year). It’s a bit of a mind-fork but as somebody who hates the cold I am NOT complaining.
Anyways..back to the topic at hand. BOOKS. I’ve been doing a crazy amount of reading these past few months after leaving the general busy-ness of London life. I used to be a huge reader but found myself in a bit of a dry spell over the past few years.
But I’ve re-kindled my love of reading of late and my bookshelf (well, my Goodreads list) is positively groaning. It’s an eclectic mix of historical fiction, modern classics and some more light hearted easy-reads. I hope you enjoy!
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
This book kept popping up on my Instagram feed so I had to check out what it was about! Initially drawn in by the cover I was even more intrigued when I read the blurb.
“A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar’s violent reign about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both.
Inspired by the author's own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation”
Fruit of the Drunken Tree shot straight to the top of my reading list because of it’s amazing reviews and my current fascination with this era in recent Colombian history (I’ve just finished binge-watching Narcos on Netflix which is 10/10 if you’re looking for a new show).
What’s more, it’s been likened to the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (who is one of my all time favourite authors). So this is one I HAVE to get my hands on.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
“Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill..’
Obviously not a recent release (it’s a modern classic) this one has been on my reading list for quite a few years but I recently saw it again in a Perth bookshop.
It feels like the right moment to get stuck in as I find Donna Tartt’s writing demands quite a bit of time (you can’t really dip and out of her novels). I’ve really enjoyed other books of hers (The Goldfinch and The Little Friend) so I’m sure The Secret History will not disappoint!
Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr
From the author of the bestseller All The Light we Cannot See , this memoir tells the real story of how Doerr receives the Rome Prize, a prestigious writing award on the same the day that he and his wife return from the hospital with their newborn twins. With the award comes a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year.
‘Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats -- the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.’
I first heard of this book on a podcast and immediately knew I needed to give it a read. First off, I absolutely adore Rome; it’s one of my favourite places in the world (read my guide to Rome here!). I also enjoy accounts of moving to other countries and cultures, like in The Year of Living Danishly which was such a fun read.
Four Seasons in Rome will offer some light relief from the other heavier books on my reading list, and I anticipate loving this one!
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but LOOK HOW PRETTY. It also has a a whopping 4.5 stars on Amazon and is A New York Times Book Review Top Ten of The Year (wow that’s a mouthful). I love family sagas as well as historical novels that transport you to another time and place, so I think Pachinko will have me hooked.
“In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.”
”With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.
Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age.”
I read Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn over the summer and absolutely loved it (read my full review here!). Even though this collection of essays is about a phase of womanhood that I’ve not yet reached, I know that she will have me laughing out loud. I am so excited to read some more of her work!
Tell me, what’s on your reading list?
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