The Sacred River by Wendy Wallace
I am not quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up The Sacred River, probably a mystery set in a faraway land involving lots of Victorian spirituality; what I got instead was a beautiful story of health, recovery, scandal and love. This is a wonderful book full of strong female protagonists, all so different, yet all so similar. Young, severely asthmatic, Harriet, her beautiful mother, Louisa, and their religious aunt, Yael; all confined in dingy, foggy London, and all rejuvenated by the wonders of Egypt. This is not a happy, fluffy tale, but it does wonders for the soul.
The Sacred River is published by Simon and Schuster on 1st August 2013. You can follow Wendy Wallace on Twitter: @slangular
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A new dystopian for me to love and a must read for any book addicts I think. Set in a world where firemen start fires rather than extinguish them, burning all books to prevent society from having their own thoughts and ideas. Walls are replaced by giant TV screens where people interact with their ‘family’ and experience everything visually. There is also a war, between countries and between those who want to destroy all books and those willing to save them.
Considering this novel was published in 1953 – before the internet, HD and flat screen – it is a testament to his vision that this book is just as poignant now. Books are being forgotten, technology is vital to our existence, it’s scary if you really think about it. We are moving into a time where our lives are lived online as much as in person, and that changes us as a species. Food for thought.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
If English G.C.S.E taught me anything it was how not to understand Shakespeare; I loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice, but did I understand them?- probably not. It has been with this mindset that I have traversed my adult reading – avoiding Shakespeare – until now. Hamlet was surprisingly wonderful, dramatic and witty; there was barely a moment when I grew tired of what was happening. I was certain the language would leave me struggling to understand the story, but that was not the case.
“Thou know’st ’tis common,- all that lives must die.”
“O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! O fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead!- nay, not so much, not two:”
What have you read recently?