A really really good reading week this week. I didn’t read a lot, but what I did read was AMAZING! I Am, I Am, I Am, a memoir by Maggie O’Farrell was just astonishingly wonderful, as was Naomi Alderman’s The Power!
The Power – Naomi Alderman (5 stars)
What an incredible piece of fiction. Fast-paced, thought-provoking, horrifying and wonderful, it tells the story of a world where women discover they can channel electricity. The entire structure of society shifts, and Naomi Alderman tells the story of the change through a variety of voices. Margot is a politician. Tunde is a young male journalist. Roxy is the daughter of a crime lord, with incredible power. And Allie is an abused young girl who becomes a cult leader. It is absolutely fascinating. I loved the little asides reframing historical artefacts in the context of the women’s power. A perfect book club read!
A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab (4 stars)
This was a reread because when I tried to read the second book I realised I had forgotten absolutely everything! But it was just as wonderful the second time around – the characters are amazing. Lila is a gutsy thief whose main desire is to be a pirate (HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HER?) and Kell is a royal messenger with a tendency to smuggle. And of course, they meet when the world falls apart a bit… I also love Rhys so much; he is the prince and Kell’s surrogate brother! I forgot how much I loved Kell’s coat which has way more than two sides. The magic system is marvellous and crossing over between worlds is super cool, and V. E. Schwab is just so talented! (Sorry about the rambling!)
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death – Maggie O’Farrell (5 stars)
This book. This freaking book! Absolutely incredible. Each chapter is its own little vignette, titled for a part of the body, a part of the body which has almost resulted in Maggie O’Farrell’s death. From the very first page, where she describes her disturbing encounter with a man who murdered another young women days later, I had chills down the back of my spine. Each tale is told with incredible insight (obviously, being a memoir) and in divine prose. I cannot wait to get my hands on her fiction now. But this book is one which I would enforce on everybody, male or female. It touches on mortality and vitality and many other ‘-alitys’ too. It particularly riled me seeing Maggie’s struggles as a woman in her chapter about childbirth where an obnoxious obstetrician dismissed Maggie’s concerns for her own health. And then her chapter on her daughter’s allergies. Just incredible and heart wrenching and life affirming. READ THIS BOOK EVERYONE PLEASE!
Touch – Claire North (4 stars)
A really mesmerising science fiction thriller. Kepler is a sort of ghost, one who can move into any body with just a touch. Kepler can then live that body’s life – for a moment, a day or for years and years. You know those moments where you sort of wake up to yourself and can’t remember the past few moments? It could have been a visit from Kepler himself. The book starts with a shooting, and takes the reader on a wild ride as Kepler tries to discover who is intent on erasing their existence. While it could have been confusing, with Kepler flitting in and out of different bodies, Claire North never lost me. It was a brilliant piece of fiction and I can’t wait to get stuck into some of her other work!
The Beauty and the Beast – Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, illustrated by MinaLima (3 stars)
While the illustrations and interactive elements were marvellous, this is not a fairytale I enjoyed in its original form. It was OK, but I much prefer the Disneyfied version. 😛 I definitely struggled with the flowery and repetitive language. There were more fairies than the Disney version too! But this series of classics illustrated by MinaLima are definitely worth owning for their beauty. MinaLima Design were the geniuses behind much of the design for the Harry Potter film franchise!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling (Narrated by Stephen Fry) (5 stars)
Do I even need to say anything? I spent 80% of my time listening to this bawling. Stephen Fry truly was the perfect person to take me on this journey again and I’m so glad I now own these and can revisit them! (Probably next year sometime! Hahaha!)
What have you been reading this week? Have you read any of my favourites from this week?