As you can tell from the title, today I am going to tell you about the books I have read and currently reading. Unlike my previous ‘recently read’ posts, this one involves my first audiobooks! Yippee!
- Emma – Jane Austen
I will start off with my first audiobook! Since I do an English degree, I know many people that use audiobooks a lot, but I personally had never given it a go. Anyways, since we were in lockdown I decided to sign up to give it a try and I was not disappointed!! I loved the fact that each character was read out by a different actor, it made it really easy to follow and it was definitely more interesting. For my first audiobook I decided to choose Emma by Jane Austen. This book kept appearing in discussions in my first year at uni and I had never read it before so I thought this was the perfect opportunity! I really did enjoy this book and finished pretty quickly. Emma is a character that is confident that she knows best and schemes to find a suitable husband for her pliant friend Harriet, only to discover that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own. *spoiler* This is demonstrated when Emma realises she loves Mr Knightly only after Harriet expresses her feelings for him herself. This novel also was home to some amazing quotes. Here are some of my favourites…
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”
“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control. ”
“Without music, life would be a blank to me.”
“You must be the best judge of your own happiness.”
2. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy
I don’t know if I have said on my blog before, but The God of Small Things (also written by Arundhati Roy) if by far one of my favourite books, so I was expecting great things with this one before I had even started reading. This book is based heavily on Indian culture and politics which made it a harder read for me, but overall I LOVED IT. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness includes some fascinating characters. We meet Anjum, who used to be Aftab, who runs a guest house in an Old Delhi graveyard and gathers around her the lost, the broken and the cast out. Then we meet Tilo, an architect, who, although she is loved by three men, lives in a ‘country of her own skin’. When Tilo claims an abandoned baby as her own, her destiny and that of Anjum become entangled. I can’t recommend this book enough! I am also lending this book to my friend Lauren (I will link her blog here) when we meet up again since we were both huge fans of her previous books.
Favourite quotes from Roy’s second best masterpiece…
“Enemies can’t break your spirit, only friends can.”
“Love, after all, is the ingredient that separates a sacrifice from ordinary, everyday butchery.”
“Sleep came to them, quick and easy, like money to millionaires.”
“I use the word love loosely, and only because my vocabulary is unequal to the task of describing the precise nature of that maze, that forest of feelings”
“Trees raised their naked, mottled branches to the sky like mourners stilled in attitudes of grief.”
3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Another audiobook! This book has been sat on my shelf for ages and for some reason I have not been able to read it yet, however, when I finished listening to Emma, I saw this on there and decided I was going to listen to it instead of read it. I don’t feel like I need to say what this book is all about as I am sure most people have already read it, but I really loved it. Whilst doing my A Levels I remember us studying an extract from the book, but I never did get round to reading the whole thing, but since we are in lockdown I have finally done it!
Think that is all I have to say about this one, but I would definitely recommend 🙂
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.”
“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”
4. East, West – Salman Rushdie
East, West is a collection of short stories demonstrating what happens when East meets West. Fantasy and realism collide in this book and it was also a really quick book to read. I read this in my uni room when my lecturers we all on strike and I had nothing to do (probably why I read it so fast) and I really enjoyed it. The first third of the book is a collection of stories about the East, then the second third is about the West before they finally come together in the final third of the book. This is the first book by Salman Rushdie I have read and I am interested in exploring some others of hers in the future.
“Her last smile, which he watched from the compound until the bus concealed it in a dust-cloud, was the happiest thing he had ever seen in his long, hot, hard, unloving life”
“He was puzzled now by the bitterness that had infected her smile.”
“We felt bad for him, but who listens to the wisdom of the old today?”
5. Silas Marner – George Eliot
Realism at its finest! George Eliot is a woman omfg. Whattttt. This book is intense, but heartwarming. Wrongly accused of theft and exiled from a religious community many years before, the embittered weaver Silas Marner lives alone in Raveloe, existing only for work and his precious hoard of money. But when the money is stolen and an orphaned child finds her way into his house, Silas is given the chance to transform his life. His fate, and that of the little girl he adopts, is entwined with Godfrey Cass, son of the village Squire, who like Silas, is trapped by his past. I really enjoyed this book once I got started and would definitely reccomend it.
“Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least-instructed human beings.”
“Love once, love always”
“The kindness fell on him as sunshine falls on the wretched – he had no heart to taste it, and felt that it was very far off him.”
6. Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
Open female authorship yippee 🙂 The book Oroonoko deals with the issue of slavery. In the novel, Behn tells the tale of the African Prince Oroonoko, who falls in love with a young girl named Imoinda. This prince has been educated in Europe and holds a great reputation with his people. Imoinda is stolen from Oroonoko by his grandfather, the present king. Later, when the Prince is out leading his soldiers in war, the King sends him a message of regret for what he did and hopes that his grandson will not seek revenge. The King decides that Imoinda must be sold as a slave because she has betrayed him by being with Oroonoko. Oroonoko finds himself on a slave ship bound for the West Indies but is treated well because of his clothing, education, and royal demeanor. He is bought by a man named Trefry and Oroonoko is now called Caesar. At the slave quarters, the other slaves hail him as their leader, and he rediscovers Imoinda, renamed Clemene.
The ending is very unpleasant and if you are wanting to read this book don’t read my next paragraph!
Oroonoko realises he will never be free and that his child will be born in captivity. He informs Imoinda that he has decided to kill her honourably, take revenge on Byam, and then kill himself.
It’s a powerful and sad ending, but it definitely worth a read!
Finally, I wanted to share some quotes I found on Pinterest recently (you can follow my Pinterest here) and I thought since many of you are book lovers you may like them as well. Kinda cringe I know, but here you go! 🙂
This whole post has involved a lot of quotes so I will end to here! Thank you for reading if you made it this far, hope you are staying safe!
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