Literary Life: May in Review

Another slow reading month, however, this has been my busiest month since February.

Currently Reading:
Pure by Andrew Millar
Inferno by Dan Brown



I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smithictc
“This is a coming of age story that so fits my own; I completely understand that feeling of being just on the edge of understanding, of never feeling intelligent enough – somehow missing what everyone else understands. Cassandra epitomizes falling in love when young – to desperately desire that person to love you equally; to fantasise and know the fantasy will never come true – even if just because you fantasised about it. When Neil and Simon, the American owners of Cassandra’s castle home, visited, you sensed the complete bafflement and arousement of change in the air. I felt as if I too fell in love with befuddled Simon, and so felt for Stephen – more adult than anyone ever gave him credit for. I Capture the Castle, for me, was a journey of love in all its guises; its depiction of how selfish we are in love, and the selfish things we do for it, was beautiful. Apart from Mortmain, the eccentric genius, each character acted selfishly and irrationally in regards to their love for one another (Mortmain is selfish in general, regardless of love.)”

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plathplath 3
Another novel as relevant now as it was on publication; darker than I Capture the Castle and more poignant in its stark depiction of a young girl’s reality. As with other novels I have loved, I tried to read The Bell Jar a few years ago and failed through lack of understanding. Now, I completely understand the suffocation Esther feels mentally and socially trapped beneath the bell jar, a metaphorical representation of the Patriarchy. This novel, so progressive for the time in which it was written, discusses mental health, depression and women’s rights in a frank and unabashed manner, voicing the thoughts I am certain countless women shared.

Pepperland by Barry Wightman17256802
“Although Pepper is our protagonist, I found the character of Sooz more intriguing. An interesting, but on occasion annoying, character, when we first meet Sooz she is a typical young activist, angry at what is going on in the world without understanding, or wanting to understand, how it happens. This attitude eventually gets her into trouble from which Pepper must eventually rescue her, however, it is her research and ideas which ultimately assist him. Sooz feels like a valid and insightful reflection of how determined, intelligent young individuals can often make big mistakes while trying to fight ‘The Man’.”

What have you been reading?

4 thoughts on “Literary Life: May in Review

  1. The Bell Jar is one of those books i’ve been meaning to read for ages, so was good to see your mention of it. Must move it up the list!

    I’ve been reading Why be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, and more recently Oral Literature in Africa by Ruth Finnegan, a free Creative Commons ebook from


    1. I’m always (stupidly) dubious about free ebooks – I love free books, why is getting an ebook so bad.

      Do read it if you get time, it was well worth the wait – I’m pleased I’ve come to enjoy it now rather than loving it earlier on in life.


  2. A slow month, but a good one! (Well, ok, I’ve no idea about Pepperland, but the other two are classics for good reason). I keep walking past The Bell Jar in the shop, one day I’ll actually get ariound to reading it, it always makes me stop and consider. I’ve just finished a YA that was gritty and really good, Dare You To (no weak heroines), and trying to ease myself out of a mini reading slump with a light romance.


    1. As predicted this month is looking better, a bad month tends to be followed by a good one. One unread book in the mix though, sad times.

      Good YA is so hard to come by, glad you’ve found one you enjoy. Have you read the Divergent series?


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