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06.01.2020: On My Bookshelf #8

As another year starts, I’m determined to continue with making more time to read- so much so that one of my resolutions for the year ahead is to get 30 books under my belt! Towards the end of last year I did struggle to get to the end of a few of the novels which I started, but I’m hoping that the start of this new year will allow me the time and opportunity to get into a regular routine with my reading. A few of my highlights from last year I managed to whizz through in a matter of days, so I’m hoping that the combination of the right reads and the resolve to get them completed will mean I make the target of 30 before the year is out. I’m getting started with a selection of fresh additions to my bookshelf, as well as rounding up some reads which I finished in 2019: 


I picked up There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm when I visited Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton back in November, and so far it’s proving to be a total treat, analysing the cultural influence of one of literature’s most enduring romantic heroes. Gabrielle Malcolm’s tone is also really engaging, and this book is really well researched too which makes it a delight. I picked up Martin Crimp’s adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac after seeing the play in the West End before Christmas- a must-see if you’re looking for a really amazing theatre trip. I haven’t really read playtext since I graduated, so it was lovely to get lost in one again after so long- and especially one as well adapted and exciting to read as this. 

Next up, The Power by Naomi Alderton which I picked up for my holiday to Dubrovnik. I’m about halfway through and am really enjoying it, although I am struggling a little bit with the jumping backwards and forwards between character perspectives- I’m determined to finish it though! Another one on my list to read is Edna O’Brien’s Girl, which I’ve heard great things about and can’t wait to get started with. Another absolute gem of a discovery is The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, a beautifully illustrated, heartwarming story which I can’t recommend enough. 

A few other reads which I got through towards the end of last year included The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh, which I really enjoyed and finished in about a week. Similarly, ‘Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas by Adam Kay was a wonderful, laugh-out-loud read which I finished in two sittings- I love his style and the way he relates his experiences working for the NHS so much. Finally, a difficult read, but one which I’m really pleased I persevered with was Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women – a book which has quite rightly won a huge number of plaudits since it was published last year. I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it per se, but as a truthful retelling of some very personal stories, it’s really well executed and actually a very refreshing change from some of the fiction I've been favouring. 

What have you been reading lately? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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