March 13, 2012

Books this month: March 2012

This semester's a little strange for me because I've had heaps of time to luxuriate in going in the library and curling up with some non-academic books (yes I am aware I am possibly the only person in the world who would use "luxuriate" and "library" in the same sentence with no sarcasm). Some of the books that I've really enjoyed this month:

1. The Little Lady Agency, by Hester Browne
In the style of Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries; except Browne's British); a great read anytime your brain is too exhausted from grappling with Derrida and you need something lighthearted, well-written, funny- this is it. I am a huge fan of the obnoxiously-named "chick lit" because sometimes you just need novels to escape into, not drive you crazier. I read one of the sequels, Little Lady and the Prince, and didn't like it half as much as the original book that started the series.

2. Great House, by Nicole Krauss
I need to preface this by saying that Man Walks into a Room is one of my all-time favourite novels. Great House is this sprawling beast of a novel, that spans lives, places, times. It's actually ridiculous how much it covers in such a slim volume, but I love the way she uses language to wrench this hidden place in you.

One of my favourite quotes from the novel:
"The more I've learned in my life, the more acutely I've felt my hunger and blindness, and at the same time the closer I've felt to the end of hunger and the end of blindness. At times I've felt myself to be clinging onto the rim -of what I can hardly say without the risk of sounding ridiculous- only to slip and find myself deeper in the hole than ever. And there, in the dark, I find again in myself a form of praise for all that continues to crush my certainty."
3. Collected Love Poems, by Brian Patten
A lot of people think that buying anthologies is a complete waste of money because with enough internet sleuthing you'll be able to find it all on the internet ANYWAY, but I completely and totally disagree. In fact I hardly ever buy novels, and the very first book I bought (proper book, not Enid Blyton or textbooks) (this is unfair; I adore Enid Blyton) was an e.e. cummings anthology- I just really like having poems collected in book form and I think poetry, more than novels even, the presentation of the form is so important that it NEEDS to be read on paper, with proper formatting and everything.

I was introduced to Brian Patten in JC when Mrs P mentioned him as her favourite poet, and when I saw this anthology at Judd's Books in London for £3.50 I grabbed it immediately- as I was crouched in the corner so many poems jumped up at me and grabbed at me. They are so excruciatingly simple and ring with this clarity of emotion; it's really unbelievable.

Some of my favourites from this anthology: Song for Last Year's Wife, Doubt Shall Not Make an End of You, You Come to Me Quiet as Rain Not Fallen

I might actually make this a monthly series! Thoughts? I read a ridiculous amount, and am very strongly opinionated about good books, so this might be a good thing to start on the blog.

Also, I am so thankful to everyone who has commented/ emailed/ Facebooked me to tell me they've enjoyed reading this blog. Sometimes it feels like I'm talking to myself here (I mean, obviously I blog mainly to remember things that I like/ things that happen in my life so I don't forget anything in the future of my college life, but it's nice that there are actual humans other than me reading this!), but all your comments make me enthusiastic to continue blogging and sharing my life here with you :)

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