books · classics · crime · fantasy · fiction · literature · modern classic · reading · young adult

An ever-growing collection of books…

Now it may not come as too much of a surprise that I like to read, and I read a lot. As such even my bookshelves are starting to overflow, piles of books are appearing around my bedroom and even I feel the books around my bed may soon become a tripping hazard.

Yet I can never feel the urge to give away, throw away or even lend out my books. I’ve invested too much time into each page, learnt to love or hate the characters and been, for a while, part of their story. Most of the time I revisit these books, wishing to be drawn back into various worlds and escape into a story.

I’m currently re-reading a vast array of my favourite novels, getting through a story week after week. It may be from the freedom of university, that once again I have the choice to pick up any book I please. I want to read stories that I’m certain I’ll enjoy – novels that are well-written, plots that are complex and character’s that I know. I don’t want to be disappointed by the next book I pick up.

I’ll continue picking up my books full of well-thumbed pages, and enjoying each story again, and again.

manchester · play · review · Theatre

Husbands and Sons

It’s not often I head to the theatre without really knowing what I am about to see, yet as I entered the Royal Exchange Theatre at the heart of Manchester; I knew nothing of the tale to come.

An adaption of three of D.H. Lawrence’s plays, Husbands and Sons may be titled with the patriarch, but the play itself I felt showed the strength and struggles of women. It was a celebration of the matriarch, the centre of each family who brought the individual tales to work as one. It may centre around a coal mine, but the overriding struggles are the people of this community, not the harsh surroundings they undertake. It showcases a world of physical labour, fierce pride and a sense of worth, but at what cost to the human race?

The production triumphed in its use of the stage, set in the round, the set becomes very intimate, stretching out towards the audience; allowing us to feel ever closer to the events we witnessed. The portrayal of each character, showing their strength and weakness echoed through the play as the tale span out before our eyes.

Husbands and Sons 1

It’s certainly not a production to miss, Husbands and Sons plays at the Royal Exchange Theatre until 19th March 2016.

classics · Lawrence · literature · review

The Rainbow

The RainbowAs famous as D. H. Lawrence is, I have to admit it was not until this week as my course reading specified, that I sat down to read my first Lawrence novel: The Rainbow.

It certainly surprised me. I was under some illusion it would be long over-descriptive romantic language, pleasantly this is clearly a modern book on nationhood, progression and society.

Banned back in 1915 after its first publication, Lawrence alters the status quo on what was acceptable to have in literature. Full of modern ideas, contrasts of generation and certainly with Ursula a sense of modern time is unearthed and rewritten. It presents, especially in terms of women, the vast growth in possibilities, education and freedom unknown in the restriction of the past. Yet as our knowledge grows, so too must our desire to explore this new world.

I loved the resemblance this novel holds with Wuthering Heights, the story of generations, altered heroines; new yet utterly familiar. It creates an impression of honest change at the beginning of the 20th Century, as we face a time of exploration; internally and externally. The continuous mother and daughter relationships echoes the novels need to move forward, as time demands.

This novel rose above my expectations and is a classic everyone should read.

classics · fiction · literature · review

The Enchanted April

The Enchanted AprilOn recommendations from a very enthusiastic bookseller at Oxford Street’s Waterstones, I entered into the world of The Enchanted April. To be taken back to the 1920’s as a group of women fought against the status quo of their husbands expectations.

Elizabeth von Arnim manages to create four very head-strong characters, whose view on life mystifies me. Their power at the time to almost renounce their husbands for a month was certainly quite unexpected, adding a twist immediately to the tale.

It felt as though each woman, needed that removal from her normality, her home, her husband to find herself. That once these distractions were taken away, they were able to understand themselves for the very first time. I enjoyed seeing how each characters played out her connections and life decisions, and in a way reconnected with herself.

Yet as ever, once such strong characters are placed together bickering must begin, adding a charm of comedy to the storyline.

It’s a wonderful classic, which surprised me in its easy reading and intriguing story line; certainly well worth a read.

book review · books · classics · literature · review

Little Black Classics

IMG_4130On the 80th anniversary of the very first penguin books, a collection of 80 classics have been reproduced all at the wonderful price of 80p. The most difficult part; deciding which ones to buy!

Like many others, and I’m sure this blog has made it clear, I love books; in all shapes and sizes. I enjoy exploring authors of new and old, one by one adding to my collection. So with the release of the Little Black Classics, it seemed a perfect opportunity to explore and expand my literature collection.

IIMG_4133 therefore tried my hardest to whittle the collection down to ten, for my first purchase at least. I went in to Waterstones without having previously decided on my choices, instead I waited to see what took my fancy. I chose mostly based on the authors, some of whom I’d read and enjoyed, others who I felt it was about time to start reading their work. Others came from the title, which caught me for no particular reason, each backed up by the tiny blurb on the reverse. One was recommended for me while I stood and stared at my options for far too long, and my final choice, Darwin’s It was snowing butterflies is for a friend who introduced me to the Little Black Classics.

So with ten new books purchased, it’s time to start reading them and watch my collection grow…