I get an influx of followers and then writers block decides to hit me bad! Amazing. But here I am, being the literary person I am and talking about books. Books that I hate. Books that I want to love. Books that I love but can’t finish. As my bookshelf grows, the percentage of unread books increases. And every now and then, my eye will catch a particular novel that I’ve tried, tried, and tried again to read, and just couldn’t. It haunts me.
Let’s talk about my bedroom for a sec. Oo er. I had books spilling out of my cupboard, falling off my desk, on the floor, in the corner, under the bed. Everywhere. Since then a lot of them have been moved to a sickasfrick bookshelf, which means I have more space for when I buy more books that I don’t intend to ever read!
I’ll show you my setup one day. It’s pretty weird for a blogger. No minimalism, no clean fresh look, no millennial pink. No candles, succulents, or quotes. Just a poster of Senna and a framed Patrick Bateman. That’s me. An improvement after a wall plastered with Kerrang and Metal Hammer pages, and various posters from HMV and Camden Market. But I digress. Again. Here are a bunch of books I’ve never been able to finish; please bear in mind that I am a Chuck Palahniuk girl through and through, so cut me some slack when I’m unable to finish a romance. Thanks, let’s begin x
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
‘Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India’s independence, Salem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other ‘midnights children’ all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts.
Listen. Fuck Salman Rushdie. Fuck this book. It’s boring, it’s shit. It wasn’t even the kind of ‘good’ shit, where you hate it but you keep reading it. It’s not compelling. It’s just shit. I don’t even want to give it a second chance. It’s shit. If you want to read something really good, really postcolonial, really about peoples lives in India at the time of partition, read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
‘The novel charts the intellectual, moral, and sexual development of Stephen Dedalus, from his childhood listening to his fathers stories, through his schooldays and adolescence to the brink of adulthood and independence, and his awakening as an artist.’
I like James Joyce. His writing style can take a bit of getting used to, but I like him. I mean, I loved Dubliners. This, however, I didn’t love so much. I’m not into the whole debauchery thing, and I don’t particularly enjoy books where men act like douchebags. This is like Dorian Gray but with less wit, less quotable lines, less profoundness, and just generally less Oscar Wilde.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
‘… the delicious social comedy, the unerring dialogue, the satisfying love stories and its enchanting and spirited heroine.’
You all know what Pride and Prejudice is about. Unlike the previous mentions, I actually get further every time I read this!!! I was a couple of chapters away from the end of this book before I put it down to collect dust again. Sigh. Next time, I’m confident I’ll finish it. It’s obviously a really good read, hence it’s canonical status, but it took me a whole long while to get into Jane Austen. A long, long while. I decided to give this another chance after finishing and thoroughly enjoying Sense and Sensibility. I’ll finish this one. One day.
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
‘Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, whom he’ll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? … Or is he all of these?’
Light of my life, fire of my loins. I honestly LOVE this book. At least, I love how much I’ve read of it. I’ve picked this book up so many times, started from the beginning each time, and have only managed to get a third of the way at most. It’s not that it’s a bad book – I think it’s the writing style. So, so wordy, it gets dreary. I could never get into it when I was younger, but who knows. Maybe that’s changed. Guess I’ll have to wait until Spring to pick this up because it’s not really a Winter read.
The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi
‘Karim is a dreamy teenager, despite to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. when the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving – albeit with some raucous and very unexpected results.’
I’m not super into postcolonial texts. I thought I was, but I realised that this was during my postcolonial module in uni. Where I was one of about five people of colour on the entire course. Theoretically, though, I should like it; it’s about Asians who have come to Britain. I think I go through phases, though, and right now I’m not in a postcolonial phase. I really like Kureishi’s writing style, so in a few months I might give it another go.
Atonement – Ian McEwan
‘On the hottest day of summer 1935, thirteen year old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain […]. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend…
By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined its start, and will have become victims of the younger girls imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.’
I own several copies of this book. A few paperbacks, and a big hardback. I don’t know why. Everytime I see it, I buy it. I think it’s because I have this thing about Ian McEwan; Jed Parry has brainwashed me. I read a few pages of this and it was nothing to write home about. Maybe it was good, maybe it wasn’t. But I don’t miss it, you know? Someone let me know if it’s worth reading because I can’t be bothered to take the risk.
Anyway. Hopefully my next bookish post will be about books that I’ve finished. Right? Right????? Probably not. Expect another list of books I couldn’t finish, but I’m still dying for brand new recommendations, drop me some x
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