It feels like forever since I last sat down to write something on here, but I know in reality it really hasn't been that long at all. I've been having quite a tough time with my mental health recently, and I'm really struggling to keep up with doing every day tasks. So, blogging has dropped behind a bit, and the fact that I'm really behind schedule is actually making my mental health worse. Vicious circle much? But, I've found the time to sit down today and write up a post about books, which is so nice as settling down to a good read, or picking up some new novels in a bookstore is something that genuinely helps my mental health a great deal.
Grab a cuppa and sit down for this one. I turned 23 in early June (does that mean I have to do adult things now?!) and treated myself to a little huge book buying spree in my local charity shop to celebrate. I know what you're thinking, I really know how to live it up, right? But, it put a massive smile on my face, and now I've got a whole shelf of new books to get my teeth into.
I've separated this haul into little 'themes' and this is my classics one. I'm fairly sure all three of them are on the list of '1001 books you need to read before you die' aka my current obsession.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This has been on my mental 'to read' list for years. It's a dystopian novel set in a future of extreme youth violence, and the state's attempts to control said violence. Burgess claims to have written it in three weeks (may I have some of his talent for writing at speed pls?) and it's partly written in a made-up dialect similar to Russian. Despite being a fairly slim book, I feel like it's going to take me a while to work my way through this.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This is, in part, a tale about being the 'other woman'. The unnamed narrator of the novel is a young woman who marries a wealthy widower. Once they move into a home together, the housekeeper begins to try to undermine the narrators mental wellbeing. This housekeeper was devoted to her previous mistress, Rebecca, and would do anything to preserve her memory.
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
I've read North and South by Gaskell before and thoroughly enjoyed it right up until the closing scene. If you've read it, you'll understand my disappointment there. So, I thought I'd give Cranford a go. This novel satirically explores the changes that small towns and villages were going through in the mid to late 1800s.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
This was totally a whim buy, and in part spurred on by the fact that it does have a really pretty cover. I recently finished Room and this novel sounds a little similar. A father has taken his daughter to a forest and told her that the rest of the world has been wiped out; just them and the forest remains. The novel explores what happens when you start to realise that there might be something more out there, and looks at what happens when a child begins to understand that their parent doesn't always tell the truth.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I was full on obsessed with Sarah Dessen novels as a teen, and would buy each new one as soon as she released it (I've amassed quite a collection now). So, when I spied this, I knew I had to give it a go to see if I still loved her writing. Dessen is a YA author, and Saint Anything is about one girl striving to find her place in a world in which her brother, Peyton, is the only sibling anyone seems to notice.
The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman
Again, Pullman is an author that I read frequently as a teen. I loved his dark materials trilogy and I'm so excited by the prospect of there being a fourth addition. The Broken Bridge is obviously one of his less well-known novels, but I'm excited to give it a go nonetheless. It's all about a teenage girl named Ginny who lives alone with her father. All is well until someone delves into her past, and Ginny is forced to discover more about her deceased mother than she ever wished to.
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
I've heard so many book bloggers talking about this, so as soon as I saw it in my local British Heart Foundation store I snapped it up. The novel is all about a girl who's a bit of a whizz at school. A model agent spots her and Harriet has the chance to completely transform herself, and leave the geek behind. But, at what cost? This is actually the first novel in a series by Holly Smale, and if I enjoy it I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more.
The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon
This novel is part of last year's Zoella book club. I've now read a couple of novels in the selection, and I've loved them all so far, so I have high hopes for The One We Fell in Love With. This is a YA novel all about three girls who fell in love with the same man, and their stories.
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Aka Zoella. I never envisioned myself buying this novel, as I'm not quite the target market for it, but that's never stopped me before! Girl Online is about a 15-year-old blogger named Penny who falls in love, and ends up with her blog going viral. I don't have very high hopes for this, but I'm definitely going to give it a go!
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
A few years ago, the stage show of this came to my uni, and I missed out on seeing it. I'm really excited to read it and see why it's become so well-known. And yes, if I get a second chance to see it performed I'll totally be there. The work covers a whole range of topics surrounding the vagina including sex, masturbation, birth, hair, rape and a whole lot more. It's provocative, political and I know I'm going to love it.
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
I actually saw Hannah Witton talking about this recently - if you haven't checked out her Youtube channel all about sex, periods, relationships and the female body then I'd definitely recommend it! I'm obsessed. How to Build a Girl is all about a 14 year old girl, Johanna who decides to re-invent herself. Now she's a Gothic, alcohol-drinking, sex-having youth. The novel explores what it's like to reinvent yourself, and whether it's actually possible to do so.
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sunby the same author is one of the first sexually provocative novels I ever read. It featured the sexualisation of a young girl and I found it simultaneously disturbing and thrilling. I've always been determined to pick up another book buy Adichie to see what else she has to offer. The main character, Kambili is a 15-year-old daughter of a devout Catholic living in Nigeria. Her father dominates the household and abuses her mother, brother and herself. Kambili visits her auntie, and encounters a more liberal form of Catholicism that counters her father's version. The novel is all about Kambili exploring her horizons and discovering that there are other ways to live a moral life.
Tape by Steven Camden
Remember me saying that I'm a sucker for cool covers? Tape was totally one of these, and I was watching '13 Reasons Why' at the time, so it reminded me of that too. Tape is a young adult novel all about two teens, one living in 1993 and one in 2013. In 1993 Ryan records his feelings about the death of his mother on tape. When Ameliah comes across it in 2013, she doesn't realise that they have more in common than just this tape. I've got my hopes up that this will be a really cute read.
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Another YA novel, I know. This book haul really is filled with them. Bree is the main character, a teen who wants to become an author. She's convinced her life is boring, so she creates The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, and this is it. I've read Am I Normal Yetby Holly before, and I wasn't bowled over, so I'm hoping this is better!
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd
I've just finished the whole series of PLL, so I couldn't resist picking this up. Although I was a little disappointed with the finale, I'm excited to see how the TV show compares to the book, and where the plot deviates. I want to see what Hannah, Aria, Spencer, Emily and Alison were like on paper before they hit the big screen.
Did you pick up any new reads last month? I filmed a video chatting through these picks as well, I'd love it if you had a watch!