“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want.” – Sylvia Plath
No matter how many books I read, there will always be a hundred thousand more. These are my top 5 for the near future.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary
– Helen Fielding
“A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a p*ssed thirty-something?”
Number one on my TBR List is Bridget Jones’s Diary, the classic romantic comedy following Bridget as she navigates the social minefield of her thirties, an interfering mother and the trials and tribulations of her turbulant love life, with only the support of four fabulous friends and a bottle of chardonnay.
Earlier this year I watched the brilliant film adaptations starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth and found them hilariously funny as well as touching. Bridget is a great character, grounded and realistic in her actions as she gets herself into remarkable and often embarrassing situations and I’m looking forward to reading her innermost thoughts on that Christmas jumper and Daniel Cleaver’s womanizing ways.
- The Sun Is Also A Star
– Nicola Yoon
After reading Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything, Everything, and falling in love with the characters Maddy and Olly, as well as Yoon’s innovative writing style I wanted to read more immediately. Thank God for The Sun Is Also A Star.
This book follows two logical, down to earth characters, Natasha and Daniel who meet by chance in New York and their meeting leads them both to question the existence of fate.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
– Robert Harris
Robert Harris has built his career as a novelist by writing an alternative history. His break out book Fatherland proposes a timeline where Nazi Germany won the Second World War, beginning in the week leading up to the Führer’s 75th birthday (yes, this book is also on my TBR List).
Archangel follows much the same idea as a Russian historian, Fluke Kelso learns of the existence of a secret notebook connected to Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union until 1953 and a man responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people. This notebook leads Kelso north and reveals Russia’s hidden past that is threatening to resurface.
- Jane Eyre
– Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre has never appealed to me. From attempts of reading it when I was younger I am haunted by long descriptions of red rooms and the doomed Helen Burns. The story seemed at the time slow paced and drawn out and Jane herself was, well… boring.
That was until I saw the National Theatre production of the classic novel earlier this year. The production was faithful to the story, whilst still included lots of action and physical theatre techniques that kept the play moving. The use of the set was amazing as it was made up of wooden staircases and scaffolding which the actors ran up and down throughout. (Truth be told I felt knackered watching them.) It was a really great piece of theatre visually but also made me see the book differently. This Jane Eyre was not a boring, predictable character but a strong, independent woman who, after going through a tough upbringing and numerous hardships, worked hard to make a career for herself all on her own in a time where this was unprecedented.
For the first time I could see why Jane Eyre is described as a feminist masterpiece and such a remarkable work for its time. I really need to get round to reading the book.
“Jane, be still; don’t struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
Go on Jane.
- You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]
– Andrew Hankinson
So I’m a lover of True Crime. As a genre. Obviously.
Context: I have been watching CSI: Crime Scene Investigations in its various locations ever since I can remember, Criminal Minds is and will likely always be a favourite of mine and I own the complete works of Kathy Reichs (a Christmas gift I have yet to get through, thanks Mum).
For this reason the True Crime section in book shops is a firm favourite of mine and this book really stood out to me. For anyone who was living under a rock in 2010, Raoul Moat was a 37 year-old man who shot his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, her new partner, Chris Brown, as well as police officer David Rathband, resulting in the death of Brown and leaving Rathband permanently blinded. Moat then went on the run and sparked what was described in The Guardian as one of the ‘biggest manhunts in British history’, which ended in the suicide of Moat himself.
Hankinson’s book tells the story of Moat’s life and puts into this context the events which took place in July 2010. The author uses transcripts of tapes recorded by Moat whilst on the run, as well as coroner’s summaries and first hand accounts of the trials of his accomplices which give an intimate picture of the man himself, and asks whether it is possible for anyone to commit such crimes under similar circumstances.
I can’t wait to read this book. That being said, standing in front of the True Crime section of your local Waterstones will make you look a little mental. I’ve given you fair warning.
Book reviews will be going up as and when I read these books in the ~hopefully~ near future but for now, what’s on your TBR List?
– Helen Worrall