Book Recommendations · reading · Reading & Writing

Finishes and Desperation

What a draining couple of weeks!  I’ve found myself curled up with a book more and more lately, and I’m not complaining.  (The cleanliness of my house?  Well, we won’t talk about that!)

I’ve found that I’ve escaped into words without being able to adequately describe my own feelings.  I catch myself railing on Facebook and Twitter about everything, which isn’t really even my personality.  I’m typically much more reserved and cautious, but I’m still angry and scared.  I’m unsure about so much that’s going on around me.  I hate that it’s 2016 and atrocities like the DAPL and the support of a Neo-Nazi society are happening all around.  I’m hurt.

So I’ve been reading.  I’ve picked books with pretty covers to help me make it through and I’ve lost myself in their worlds.  I’ve had two finishes this week:

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rebecca

Just look at this cover.  And can you believe that I’ve never read this one?  I’ve tried at least twice in the past, but never got past the first couple of pages.  I’m not sure where the block was for me, but I’m glad that I finally stuck with it.

I have been wanting to read this for so long because people talk about how frightening it is and hold it up as an ideal piece of gothic literature.  I haven’t read a ton of gothic literature – but if I could do the whole school thing over again, I would totally be an English undergraduate and get an MLIS for a graduate degree, forget this social work stuff stuff – so I was really excited to finally finish this highly revered work.

And it was good and creepy.  I loved Manderley, the sprawling mansion that is owned by Maxim de Winter – isn’t that just the perfect name?  Mr. de Winter meets his new bride, the story’s narrator, on holiday in Monte Carlo.  She is shy, inexperienced, and working as a lady’s maid for a horrible woman that is humiliating to be around.  Much to the narrator’s surprise, they fall in love with each other, get married, and he whisks her off to Manderley.

Along the way, she learns minimal details about the tragic death of Rebecca, his first wife.  And as soon as she walks in the doors of Manderley, she can feel Rebecca’s touch everywhere.  Could she still be in the house?

This book is totally atmospheric.  I could imagine myself sitting in Rebecca’s morning room and writing letters, reading the newspaper, and going over menus.  I desperately want my own room like that!

This book wasn’t as terrifying as I’d hoped it would be but it was thrilling, nonetheless.  It was a great read for the Halloween season!

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And yesterday I finished a book that was very different for me!  Fangirl is a YA book that centers on identical twins, Cath and Wren.  They are on their way to college and each is fangirllooking for their own unique experience.  Wren wants to meet new people and date boys and go to parties – but she’s always been like that.  The hard part is that Wren is so set on meeting new people that she doesn’t want to room with Cath, which leaves Cath in the roommate lottery.

Cath is a textbook introvert – she is witty and smart, but feels awkward talking to other people.  She is much more comfortable in her online world where she is a famous fanfic writer.  She writes about Simon Snow, which is a sort of Harry Potter-type world.

While Cath is the narrator of this story, we watch both girls find their own ways in this new world.  Cath has a couple of great love interests along the way and there are some really sweet romantic scenes that made me feel like a teenager, which was a great way to lose myself.

I had a hard time putting down this book, which hasn’t happened to me in a while.  I felt transported into this world and it motivated me to read and to write more.  It was just a lot of fun.

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As for future reads, I’ve thought about bingeing on YA for a while.  I downloaded The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater last night- not really something that I gravitate to, but I just want to escape.  I’ve also been thinking about re-reading the Harry Potters, The Handmaid’s Tale, or just inundate myself with the classics.  Really dark classics, like Dostoyevsky, who I’ve never read.  I feel like I want to drown in history – there is so much to learn and I will never get to it all – but it’s so hard to know where to start.  Do any of you get that feeling?  That desperate feeling that there’s so much out there and you won’t even be able to begin to scratch the surface?  It can be so overwhelming.

And I’m trying to do better with this whole blogging thing.  I’m finding that it goes well with working on my National Novel Writing Month project, so I’m hoping to find a new rhythm here.  And hopefully my sense of humor will return too! :p

10 thoughts on “Finishes and Desperation

  1. Katie, I’m angry and scared too, losing big chunks of time on Twitter and Facebook, scaring myself to death with the latest outrages. So of course, in this unsettling time, I’m leaning heavily towards some comfort reading myself. I’m rereading Little Women! it’s so good! So refreshing! They’re all so darn nice to each other, and when they forget to be nice and do something mean, they are so contrite about it! Why can’t the world be more like this?!?

    Anyway, I’ve not yet read Rebecca (!) but your review makes me want to pick it up sooner rather than later. And I really liked Fangirl myself. It’s one of my favorite Rainbow Rowell books.

    Stay strong! Practice self-care! Small acts! (I tell myself these things every day now.)

    Like

    1. Little Women! What a great idea! I’m still trying to figure out what I should dive into next – I think that I do want it to be a classic, but not one that’s too intimidating. It’s so hard to choose! And I’m glad that Rebecca is on your TBR list – I think you will love it.

      Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell and I’d like to read more books about Cath and Wren – I loved them!

      And you have a great mantra there – stay strong! Self Care! Small Acts! The three S’s. I love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie, I’m angry and scared too, losing big chunks of time on Twitter and Facebook, scaring myself to death with the latest outrages. So of course, in this unsettling time, I’m leaning heavily towards some comfort reading myself. I’m rereading Little Women! it’s so good! So refreshing! They’re all so darn nice to each other, and when they forget to be nice and do something mean, they are so contrite about it! Why can’t the world be more like this?!?

    Anyway, I’ve not yet read Rebecca (!) but your review makes me want to pick it up sooner rather than later. And I really liked Fangirl myself. It’s one of my favorite Rainbow Rowell books.

    Stay strong! Practice self-care! Small acts! (I tell myself these things every day now.)

    Like

    1. Little Women! What a great idea! I’m still trying to figure out what I should dive into next – I think that I do want it to be a classic, but not one that’s too intimidating. It’s so hard to choose! And I’m glad that Rebecca is on your TBR list – I think you will love it.

      Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell and I’d like to read more books about Cath and Wren – I loved them!

      And you have a great mantra there – stay strong! Self Care! Small Acts! The three S’s. I love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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