Books, galore! Reviews & rambles

My reading pace has really picked up over the last year and that’s one thing I can accredit to taking a break from life’s responsibilities. I write very spontaneous reviews on basically anything I read, that seems worthy of writing about. If you have any recommendations of books that I might enjoy, based on the titles I’ve already read (or maybe randomly), don’t hesitate to drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to check it out!

BOOK REVIEW: How To Be A Heroine by Samantha Ellis

Plot: There’s no plot, as such, with this one. It’s more Samantha Ellis‘ quest to determine which of her childhood literary heroines live up to their status when re-read years later. She talks us through some of her favourites and, with a retrospective view, dissects problematic aspects of the women…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Green Mile by Stephen King

Today I finished a Stephen King classic: The Green Mile. I was ugly crying by the end, you know, delivering a full “Kim K sob” moment to the audience of my unimpressed teenage sister. I expected greatness, naturally. However, I hadn’t expected that I would be so immersed and emotionally…

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BOOK REVIEW: My Dark Vanessa by Katie Elizabeth Russell

This novel was highly triggering, as a survivor of abuse. However, I’m so grateful it was written as I feel it really brings to light the reality of living with trauma and also raises very powerful, astute questions about how we, as society need to change in order to deal with the pandemic of misogyny that continues to run rampant.

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CURRENT READ: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo🔮

I’ve just started a new job last week and it has definitely affected my reading. It’s hard to have a concentration span when you’re so… Sleepy! All this readjusting to the world of adult responsibilities and socialising has taken it out of me, but I’m hopeful that I’ll settle into…

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BOOK REVIEW: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King

The sleepy (pardon my pun) town of Dooling is hit, like the rest of the world, by a strange phenomenon where women and girls who fall asleep succumb to being shrouded in a mysterious webbing. Wrapped up in body bags like cocoons, these women and girls are lost to their…

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A bookish favourite: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink

Femicide. Domestic abuse. Stalking. Up-skirting. Harassment. These are a few of my least favourite things😠 The ‘F’ word is so polarising in the modern age, with some people dismissing the need for feminism in the wake of cultural developments and others very astutely aware that gender disparities are still rampant…

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CURRENT READ: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

It sure is satisfying to be steadily chipping away at my TBR pile! Of course, I am barely making a dent as my TBR pile is thousands of books long, but I still consider it to be progress when the stack of physical books gathering dust on my shelves and…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

In recent years, we have seen many niche interpretations of classic Greek mythology. In particular, many writers have taken on the immense responsibility of bringing life to marginalised female characters from Homer’s classics such as The Iliad and The Odyssey. One such example is The Silence of the Girls by…

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BOOK REVIEW: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

I enjoyed Conversations with Friends as a light-hearted, “easy read”. There were no philosophical musings to be had and this was a welcome break for me, given my recent reading material. That being said, I wasn’t bowled over by the novel and I certainly didn’t think it brought anything innovative to the table.

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CURRENT READ: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney👭

Normal People stole my heart last year. I devoured the book and gorged myself on the TV series shortly after, and continue to find myself on days, for no apparent reason, thinking about random scenes/chapters. The weird thing is, when I first finished the book, I was underwhelmed and a…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Dead Zone by Stephen King

Adored by his parents, Vera and Herb Smith, The Dead Zone’s tragic hero Johnny Smith is an only child bearing an unremarkable name and an unremarkable life, for all extents and purposes. This is until one day at the ice rink when Johnny has an accident which leads to a…

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CURRENT READ: The Dead Zone

Current read: The Dead Zone by Stephen King⚰️ Synopsis so far (no spoilers!): Schoolteacher Johnny Smith, with a life full of possibilities ahead of him, has an almost-fatal car accident and winds up comatose for five years. When he wakes up, he learns his girlfriend has moved on and married…

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Book Haul

The result of my first physical book haul in more than a year!🤤 Today I ventured into the city centre (cautiously of course, I’m a recovering agoraphobic!) and exercised a LOT of self restraint in Waterstones. I was overwhelmed with choices as I spotted so many titles from my virtual…

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Launch of @bookishpip (my new bookstagram!)

I follow so many bookstagrams and have been inspired to read many a title by the reviews/recommendations of accounts that are authentic, honest and so passionate about books. It only occurred to me a few days ago that I could create one, too! After much deliberation, I decided to take…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My love for @mattzhaig and his profound writing continues. I really do believe that my love of books and literature has saved me in recent years. In Midnight Library, Nora Seed learns that books offer infinite possibilities. I concur. They’re new, exciting worlds and brave characters who take us out of our…

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BOOK REVIEW: Circe by Madeline Miller

Miller’s Circe is a living, breathing emblem of a well-written woman, as real and complicated as any you might pass on the street. This is her greatest victory with the book and it was utterly stunning to read.

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READING UPDATE: Stephen King’s Under the Dome

Halfway through this girthy badboy and already thinking about what Stephen King books I need to order for when I’m done… The obsession with the King of Horror continues strong after 15 months of faithful reading ☠️ Reading was my first love and it honestly feels so great to be…

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BOOK REVIEW: Desperation by Stephen King

And so, the obsession with Stephen King continues. It’s been more than a year of this now. I’ve managed to make my way through quite a few of King’s most acclaimed bibliography, based on recommendations from friends and family, but there’s a comfort in knowing that there’s plenty more out…

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BOOK TALK: Fanon’s The Wretched of The Earth

The Wretched of the Earth resonated back then, when it was just a discussion piece in a classroom, but has also gone on to be applicable as a crucial text for movements such as Black Lives Matter in light of the world in a post-George Floyd era…

I love that good literature only ages like fine wine. Somehow, no matter how much has changed since the first publication, the words stick and seem to serve as educational tools and solace for lots of readers, across different countries in different time zones (perhaps even ones who weren’t intended as the key demographic).

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BOOK REVIEW: Amazing Disgrace by Grace Campbell

This woman is unashamedly herself from the outset: sex-positive, political, intelligent, hilarious and surprisingly very vulnerable, opening up about the kind of experiences we all have as young women, but very often fail to articulate.

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BOOK REVIEW: Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion is one of the most prolific journalists and fiction writers of our time, and I’m ashamed to say I only found out about her two weeks ago. In yet another glib, pandemic-inflicted Netflix peruse, I found a short docu-film about Didion (The Center Will Not Hold), directed/narrated by…

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BOOK & ADAPTATION REVIEW: Normal People

At the heart of the novel is the prominence of all that is left unsaid: there are often heartbreaking exchanges that consist of misunderstandings, fuelled by the silence of repressed responses.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)

Just a note: In my final year of university, I looked into slave narratives and the black identity (predominantly by female authors) in literature. I’ve plucked a short excerpt from some of my notes on one of my favourite novels, one that is often overshadowed by the likes of The…

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BOOK REVIEW: Burmese Days by George Orwell

The term ‘great’ could connote many things, yet for ethnic minorities and immigrants who have cemented their lives in the West, even after offering invaluable contributions to society, there is still the threat of persecution.

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BOOK REVIEW: Room by Emma Donoghue

*Note: I initially submitted this essay for a formative assignment during my undergraduate degree* Room – A Story Of Hope A book that can be read within one sitting is an elusive find and that, I would argue, is what makes Room so special. Emma Donoghue is no stranger to…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Stand

Last night, I finally finished the girthy Stephen King novel that I started more than a month ago. I’ve been recommended this book on several occasions by people who share an interest in either King’s back-catalogue of absolute bangers or an appreciation of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction in general. Regarded…

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Hello sunshine, my old friend (a life update)

At long last, I am performing my humanness with some success again- I couldn’t have envisioned this at all a few months ago, so I’ll accept the train woes, arguments with loved ones, giggles with my best mates on video calls and my worsening glasses prescription.

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BOOK REVIEW: This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Kay’s depiction of the chaos within NHS wards is both hilarious and poignant, all at the same time. It’s an essential book that ought to be read by everybody in order to understand exactly what our absentee friends in training or uncle (who is only seen at a birthday party every four years or so) are really going through.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Shining

The fact that King can make you feel the isolation, anxiety and insanity, as though you’re physically stuck with the Torrance family in the middle of a snow fortress, is a testament to his craftmanship as the King of Horror.

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CURRENT READ: The Thirteenth Tale

Really digging Diane Setterfield’s ‘Thirteenth Tale’. I wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a title like this but I watched the film adaptation starring Olivia Coleman and really enjoyed the gothic tone. Probably my favourite aspect of the novel is the protagonist’s love for books. ‘People disappear when they die. Their voice,…

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Bookdate

Missed a lot of developments over the past few years in Bradford, including this amazing lil’ set-up nestled amongst the dilapidated shop fronts on Darley Street. I popped in today to see what was up. I found these beauties (as pictured). The principle is: you just walk in and pick…

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BOOK REVIEW: Boy A by Jonathan Trigell

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Boy A is its ability to problematise and distort the black-and-white perception of a child murderer- we find ourselves sympathising, in part, for a broken young man who is depersonalised by the general public and longing for a place to belong. There’s an innocence about Jack Burridge, a quality that makes you almost support him in his quest for redemption and acceptance.

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Current (Re)Read

Imagine being so traumatised by a book that you end up experiencing fevered hallucinations in the middle of the night. Imagine being forced to delete about 95% or the book’s content from your brain just to carry on with life, without it affecting you too badly. Imagine re-reading that book,…

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