I am now 6 weeks into my trip and have finally put together a list of what I intend to read in the next couple of months! I’m trying to read a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, classics and contemporaries. I’m cramming in the books whenever I can- buses, planes, trains and beaches are providing me with a luxurious amount of time to spend reading!
The books are:
- Testament of Youth– Vera Brittain
Unusually for women of the time Brittain was preparing to attend university at Oxford when war broke out across Europe. This book is her autobiography and documents the loss of loved ones in the war and the unimaginable effect it had on a whole generation of people. I have always been interested in hearing personal accounts of war and am especially keen to hear Brittain’s experiences as a woman in wartime England.
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes– Arthur Conan Doyle
We all know this one! I love the BBC Sherlock series and am really drawn to Sherlock Holme’s character (It’s got NOTHING to do with Benedict Cumberbatch of course….). That the book is set in Victorian London also fascinates me, I hope it will be like stepping back in time.
- Politics: Between the Extremes– Nick Clegg
In 2010 I was one of the 50,000 students that marched through London to protest against the planned increase in university tuition fees. I was also a Lib Dem voter that felt betrayed by Nick Clegg and vowed never to vote for the party again. But when I watched his resignation speech in 2015 I was moved by his obvious and genuine passion for the protection of British Liberalism; values I also hold dear to my heart. I felt that there must be more to the coalition government than the media portrayed. I hope this book will improve my (extremely scant) knowledge of parliament politics and shed some light on the reality of the coalition government.
- Animal Farm– George Orwell
People usually exclaim in horror when I admit I haven’t read this! I know that it’s a satire on Communism and widely considered a must read to understand world politics during the time it was written.
- Difficult Women– Roxanne Gay
This is a collection of short stories that present women in a wide range of circumstances across modern day America; some privileged, some safe, others in danger. I’ve heard that Gay’s writing is brilliant and as am interested to see how these varied women are presented.
- The Mayor of Casterbridge– Thomas Hardy
I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles when I was at college (we even took a trip to his house in Dorset!) and at the time did not especially enjoy it. But as time has progressed, especially when I return to my family home in the South West of England, I often find myself thinking of the story and the characters within it. So I’m going to give him another go, and have chosen this story as the reviews promise a flawed character in a perfectly crafted plot.
- All the Ugly and wonderful Things– Bryn Greenwood
This book tells the story of a relationship between a male adult and female child and unsurprisingly the reviews I have read have stated that it’s shocking and saddening. It’s a hard subject for anyone and I’m interested to see how Greenwood tackles this in the novel.
- Emma– Jane Austen
I recently read my first ever Jane Austen book – Sense and Sensibility, and unexpectedly loved it. I did not they were full of clever scathing remarks aimed at contemporary ‘society’ or had such well thought out and realistic characters within them. Now I must read them all!
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- JK Rowling
OF COURSE I’ve read these before, they are two of my favourite books ever. But now my partner is reading them and I am jealous! He keeps asking me questions and I’m deeply ashamed that I can’t remember the answers.
- The Shell Collector– Anthony Doerr
Ever since ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ I have loved Doerr and his beautiful poetic writing. This is a collection of short stories by him which I hope will be as enjoyable as the other works by him I have read.
I think that will keep me going for the next month or so! (I’ve read some books already, reviews to follow!) Have you read any of these books? I would love to also know any recommendations you have, either classic or contemporary, fiction or non-fiction!