• Charlotte

A short post on my favourite (fiction) books.

Maybe there will be a point in this academic writing month that I address the absence of a few days already. Right now, I'm not in the frame of mind to do so. So here's a happy(ish) list of my favourite fiction books. I'm an avid reader, and have at least two books on the go at all times. Don't expect the reviews to be good - this is more a space for me to explain the personal significance of the books to me (and funnily enough, I guess they are quite telling of my mindset when the list is considered like this).

The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo.

This book is just so lovely. I read it in one go, I couldn't put it down. It is full of those little quotes that you could easily see people put up on their bedroom wall, or post to their Facebook timeline, all inspirational and stuff. There is so much deeper meaning behind what is being said, and it's fantastically positive. Just one of those books that everyone should read.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood.

This one probably goes without saying really. I read this for the first time at the very start of the year, before the TV show came out (really amazing, and follows the horror of the book, but also extends on it and is even more terrifying given the state of the world we're in), and I'm really glad I did. There are not many books that I have read that have made me cry, but this did. With feminine rage. In all honesty, I struggled with the writing style at first, but after a chapter or so, I was hooked. Made even more scary considering this is supposed to be dystopian - but really doesn't feel as though it's too far from reality.

Animal Farm, George Orwell.

There has to be a little of Orwell here really. I read Animal Farm as a teenager, and even though I wasn't as 'aware' as I feel I am now, I still understood the relevance of this short book. For many many years I could (and would) quote the famous line regarding the equality of animals. It's funny (but not funny) how old the book is, but how relatable it is to society now.

The Life of Pi, Yann Martell.

This is one of the other very few books that have made me cry. But really, like bawling crying. I'm not ashamed. And no, I still haven't seen the film. I don't want to ruin the magic of the novel. Without giving too much away if you haven't read it, this book completely changed my view on religion, on hope, and faith. I'm not a religious person, but the accessibility of this book and the story that is told really impacted me. It's one of those that I would read again (if I ever get to the end of my current want-to-read list)

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.

For some reason, I seemed to have had a very different experience of GCSE English to most, and never experienced the 'classic' texts such as Of Mice and Men, or of this, To Kill a Mockingbird. I only read this a month or so ago, swiftly followed by Go Set a Watchman (though I didn't enjoy that half as much as this). But, to say that I enjoyed this book makes me wince. It's awful, really. You know where the book is going, how race and racism is dealt with and expressed, given the context within which it is set. I wish I would have read this at an earlier age, not because it would have changed my perspective on anything, but to reaffirm at a younger age that the injustices I see in respect to race are valid, and should not be ignored.

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