I adore reading. The feeling you get when you are right in the middle of a good book, the mixture of joy and excitement about what is to come but the dread of it ending, is the sweetest of feelings - so simple, so complex. I often say if I could construct my perfect holiday it would be sitting somewhere warm by the water reading; however creating that perfect holiday when you are married with two children is a little tricky. But a girl can dream...
In this Love Chronicle I am going to share a handful of books that are either my favourite or just recent good reads, I may have to make this a series within a series of journal entries as trying to condense my list of most-loved books is a task I fear almost impossible.
Conversations With Friends & Normal People by Sally Rooney
Normal People is a sort of love story about two people who met in school and then follows them to life in university at Trinity College in Dublin. The story has the two main characters circling one another as they try to find their way in young adult life. It covers the complexities of family, privilege and human communication.
Conversations With Friends has two college students at its center, forming a relationship with a married couple and from there we are taken on a rapid story about affairs, wealth, family and the lengths some will go to in order to live at the edge.
The highlights for me from both of these books is Rooney's ability to write about interpersonal dynamics with such ease and acute detail. In Conversations With Friends she makes the reader care about pretty selfish, unlikable characters. Completely intrigued by their actions and motives I found myself finding some connections between the characters and myself - I believe this to be Rooney’s writing skill, to be perplexed by the character’s interactions with each other but then softened by their internal dialogue.
Normal People has been picked up by the BBC for a TV series which along with Rooney’s next novel I can not wait for!
Milk & Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about the experience of love, loss, femininity and abuse. Written by Rupi Kaur, a brilliant, articulate poet and artist who writes so eloquently about raw and painful topics but always lands on hope and beauty to help balance our view of the way human beings operate in the world. Rupi performs her work live and it feels like a slam poetry event without the scores. One of my favourite pieces below.
I am a bit of a traditionalist in that I like to read books properly - not on a device, not on Audible. I like turning pages and holding the story. I had wanted to read Mentors and had not found the time so I caved and listened to it via the Audible app and I am so glad I did. Putting my huge fandom of Russell Brand aside I think hearing him tell this story and break down the impact different people have made in his life really elevated the story. He talks about the benefits of giving and receiving help and the impact having mentors in all areas of his life has influenced his life for the better. It is an easy read (listen), it compels you to think about why we reject assistance and leaves you with a desire to connect and extend help to those around us.
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