Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Things I Read in July

Oh HAI again, internet folken! That's right, my things I read in July post is right on time and in tip top condition, look at me go! I guess I covered this somewhat in my very very late things I read in June post, but July basically consisted of me being off work for two weeks due to some (keyhole) surgery (nothing to worry about, but it was ow), and then going back to work and being very very very busy. Although I had two weeks to read to my heart's content, I mostly watched Six Feet Under and felt reasonably bad for not being at work (and read a few books), and since I've been back at work I've been doing a few extra hours here and there to help out, and consequently have been (almost) too tired to read, like, ever. HAVING SAID THAT, I did in fact finish 9 books in July, but having said THAT, three of them were totally comic books and one was a children's book. Why yes, I was comfort reading, why do you ask?

Here they are though, and honestly they look like an impressive bunch!

Let's delve a little deeper, shall we?

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This is not, as you may know, my first time reading this book, but it was maybe my most therapeutic. When you wake up from day surgery, after you've been in recovery (where they have the goooood drugs), they make you sit on the ward for two hours to make sure you're not going to keel over or whatever, before they let you go home. I am not a very good waiter and I'm especially not a good waiter in hospitals, and I didn't really want to hold a book that could fall onto my stitches and what have you, so I opened my trusty kindle app where I keep a copy of Attachments, in case of emergency. Attachments saw me through that two hours, and when I woke up in the middle of the night because of general anaesthetic sleep, it saw me through until morning, too. Thanks, Rainbow.

Moomins Vol 2 by Tove Jansson
Ah, the Moomins. I basically think about the Moomins every day and am even considering getting a Moomin tattoo, but whilst I love them and find them adorable and know their basic philosophies (and love that a cartoon even has a philosophy), I haven't actually read many of their stories. I started to rectify that this month, first with this volume, which is made up of about 4 or 5 comic strip stories, ALL OF WHICH are fabulous. I enjoy being validated of my love of moomins, by actually reading the Moomins, ya know?

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
You've probably read this already. Everyone else seems to have done, but I, as always, had it on my shelves for ages, but avoided it like the plague because have you SEEN the size of it?! This was foolish because this book is unbelievably good. By good, I mean, obviously, that it ripped its hand into my belly and pulled my guts out, then squeezed my heart until it broke, and, you know, I won't labour the point- it's really really really sad. I can't tell you anything, obviously, but I did spend the last 100 pages softly weeping, and it was only soft because it was about 1am at that point and my boyfriend was asleep next to me. This book is truly an emotional journey, and I am both mad at it for breaking me, and in awe of it for the same. Read it if you want to remember what it feels like to wholly inhabit a fictional world, and to care for characters as if they're (your own) flesh and blood.

Moomins Vol 3 by Tove Jansson
I'm pretty sure I read this to come back up from the A Little Life low, and hey, it worked. There's nothing like the Moomins to cheer you up, it has to be said.

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
Oh hey, it's the second book in the quadrilogy that I really liked when I started it in June! I believe I started reading this pretty much straight after My Brilliant Friend, but it fell by the wayside a little post-op. This was still great- a more mature narrator means that things get much more complicated for her and her brilliant friend, and I am all over the whole thing, if I'm honest. I feel like I definitely need to write a whole post about these books once I'm done with them, because feeeeeelings, I have tons of them!

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
I've written before about my love for this book (it was my everything as a child) and it's one of the books that has made it to pride of place on the 'vital books' shelf next to my bed. I felt like reading it one day during sick leave, and by golly that's what I did. It took me about a morning, and it was a beautiful and nostalgic slice of loveliness. *dances off into the sunset*

Something New by Lucy Knisley
Have I mentioned that it's WEDDING SEASON in my life at the moment? Because it is and aghhh (2 DAYS TIL MY SISTER'S!!!) Something New remains my favourite thing I have read about weddings, and it will take a lot of beating - it's essentially the story of Knisley's own wedding, interlinked with various wedding traditions and why they're a lot of nonsense. It makes me sad that both 1) I didn't go to her wedding which seems ace, and 2) we're not best friends already, cause honestly I think we could find a LOT to talk about. Still, I will have to be satisfied with following her on instagram and counting down the days until her next book (Kid Gloves) comes out - I'm sure THAT will become my favourite book on having babies, T.B.H.

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
Oh Paul Auster. I don't think I've ever been disappointed by Paul Auster, but this one did feel especially good to me. I'm not sure how many of his novels I've read over the past... I'm gonna say 8 or so years when he was first introduced to me at university, but there are some things I've come to expect from him and The Brooklyn Follies hit all of those, and hard. The references to books and art, the plucky young man, even the very capable older man, the strange things happening and fortuitous circumstances... Have I mentioned that I love Paul Auster yet? I'll say this for this month of reading - I usually try to get rid of a few of the books I've read in the month (because, you know, space) but this month I just can't bear to part with any of them, so yeah- it's been that kind of reading month.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
I was determined to finish this in July, and by jove, I totally managed it! I managed it so well, I even had to read something on my kindle on the bus home yesterday because I'd run out of book to read. This is (you may have guessed) the third book in the Neapolitan series, and I mean, just... I feel like a part of me is expecting the quality to drop with each book, and it just isn't happening. IT IS SUCH A GOOD SERIES, I mean, just YES. I would add that the end of this one is probably more cliffhangery than the other two, which means that I will be starting the fourth book today, and just YES I am so glad these books exist in the world.

And that was July! I really did do a ton of comfort reading, and it was exactly what I needed at the time so I'm not even a little bit sorry. August will bring who knows what (other than a wedding and another hen do, AM I DONE YET?!), but I know for sure that I am going to Bristol one weekend which involves a lot of train reading time so squeeeeee *bounces excitedly*. How about you guys?

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