Hi guys! I’ve been inspired to write this for two reasons; 1) I read a post by feistyharriet.com that inspired me to write about my readings, and 2) I read what I would consider to be quite a few books this year considering I’m also a full-time student… These are the books I read this year and what my general thoughts are on them, if you would like me to go more in depth on a particular book just comment below! I’m organising this in the order I read them:
Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll: I read Alice in Wonderland in late 2014, and I absolutely love these books. It just reminds me of how I thought and played as a child and it makes me feel calm. Some people get thrown off by the thought-process of the novels as they tend to be quite “stream of consciousness” driven, but it’s very similar to how I thought when I was younger so I actually love it rather than hate it, hahah! These books are creative and magical.
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott: If you can’t tell, when I started my reading this year I went back to my roots. This is another book I read as a child and let me tell you- it is surprisingly perfect to read after a break-up. Not what I expected, but through the upbringing of the girls comes the learning of what’s “right” and “wrong” which is refreshing in a world where most literature is now based on the grey area between the two. I will say that the book is quite traditional and typical, but still a good read!
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway: I’m biased here, I love Hemingway. This book focuses again on the generation of young soldiers who lived through World War I, it discusses with a lot of detail, bull fighting. A bit of a foreign topic for me, and Hemingway writes very well so it was interesting. Still, not my favourite book by him (see – A Farewell to Arms).
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Wolfe: I mostly read this book because my mother bought me a collection of hers, and because it was one of my mom’s favourites. For the first 90% of the book, I hated it, it was dry and boring and confusing. Then, in the last 10% it redeems itself which I didn’t see coming at all. Overall, not my favourite book, but not nearly as boring as I thought it was initially, I think I would probably enjoy it more reading it the second time around.
Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell: I decided to read as many of the classic, well-known writers as I could, but I’m really not a fan of dystopian novels so when looking at Orwell I opted out of 1984 and decided to get this one instead. GOOD PICK SABRINA! For lack of better phrasing: this book is SO GOOD. I love books from this era – post WWI, Western European city setting, and this book honestly portrays the lifestyle that most people living here at the time had. It’s a story about poverty and homelessness, it’s the story of how one becomes homeless and how one sustains the lifestyle, it discusses a real society and culture that is so often forgotten in literature. It’s awesome, it’s honest.
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald: We’re getting into the good stuff now. This is hands down one of my favourite books. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like The Great Gatsby, the narration of Nick Carraway completely put me off. I hated it. But I didn’t want to hold that against Fitzgerald because I wasn’t sure if I hated him or Carraway, so I decided to read another novel. I think I like this one so much because I love Amory Blaine so much. 100% would recommend.
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath: I wanted to throw some more female authors into the mix, and (honestly) this is the book that Kat Stratford reads in 10 Things I Hate About You, so I decided to read it. I was kind of apprehensive because the only thing I know about Plath is that she stuck her head in an oven. Warning: if you have ever suffered from depression, this book can be super triggering. If you’ve never suffered from depression, it probably seems super messed up, but it can help you understand what the inner-workings and thoughts of someone who is. It’s a very true book, albeit a little disturbing.
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte: This book broke down my reading streak. I read it because it’s a classic, people love it! I’m not one of those people. I actually didn’t even finish reading it now that I think about it, I got pretty close! Maybe it’s like Mrs Dalloway and will redeem itself. I guess I’ll have to finish it.
Animal Farm, George Orwell: I started and finished this one before finishing Wuthering Heights hahaha. This book was recommended to me awhile ago, so when I saw it in a used bookstore I picked it up. Again, I love Orwell. I don’t even want to go in depth on this book because I feel like I can’t do it justice. It’s even better if you like history or literature and can get a little more out of reading it. BUT! It’s also really easy to read, it’s easy to understand and Orwell organises it so that it’s very easy to “get” what he’s trying to say.
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway: Technically, this isn’t fiction, but I’ve wanted to read it forever so I’m adding it anyways. This book gives you all the insight you could ever want on the inner life and thoughts of the writers of this generation. It provides the stories and motives behind the creation of the novels we so often read. I’m just about finished this one, I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the books that come from this group! If you like Midnight in Paris, you’ll like A Moveable Feast.
So there! Those are all the books I read (for fun) this year! Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to do a full-on review of any, or if you have any recommendations for 2016! I’m on a mission to read as many classic or critically aclaimed novels as I can, I only really started last April so hopefully there will be more in 2016. Hope you enjoyed!