Your Summer Reading List...

By Lucy Harbron - 20:01

If you read my Summer Aims post (here) you'll know that I'm trying to read a lot more this summer. So I thought, while I'm trying to read more, I'd share some books I've loved lately to give you some inspo for your summer reading list. I personally like books with more depth that can be interpreted in several ways and force you to think more into the story, so these books are sure to get your brain whirring.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

If you follow me on social media, you're likely to have seen me moaning about this book as I studied it for my A-level. Truthfully, the first time I read Wuthering Heights I really struggled with it as it's such a long (pretty depressing) book and it's easy to get muddled with the characters and plot as the narrative is very nontraditional. But studying it gave me such a huge appreciation and love for this book. Wuthering Heights is so often put down as a love story, but seriously, it's not at all. In fact, to thing Wuthering heights is romantic may be a little psychotic as all the relationships in this book are so soo intense and violent and pretty scary. If you can really dive into this book and let yourself be engulfed by the story, you'll love it. The characters are so in depth and unexpected and the plot continues to take you by surprise until the end, if you can look past the classic language, you'll be hooked. 

Also, the history of the Bronte family is so interesting. The three sisters had to release their stories under male pseudonyms as they believed their writing wouldn't be accepted with their real names as it wasn't 'feminine'. Wuthering Heights is full of criticism about how Victorian society treated women as it focuses on issues like abuse and inheritance laws. Emily's writing is so angry yet so eloquent, give it a go. 

The Coral Sea by Patti Smith

Patti Smith fanatic back at it again, but this. book. If you haven't read of any of Patti Smith's work, please do. But The Coral Sea is so touching. Patti wrote the extended poem as a way to process and heal after the death of Robert Mapplethorpe so it's packed full of emotion but also some incredible imagery. It's incredibly calming and beautiful to read. If you're looking for a quick yet powerful read, this is the one.

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

I LOVE THIS BOOK. It's another one that I studied this year, but the second I started reading it I loved it. The Bloody Chamber is a collection of short stories where Carter takes classic fairy tales or folklore and subverts the characters or twists it to highlight the violence in each story. It's feminist, it's radical, it's thought provoking and quite simply, it's badass! When it comes to these stories you can't trust your instincts, you find yourself feeling sorry for villains and hating the heroes that come out on top. It's such an exciting read and one I always go back to.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This book is surrounded by so much hype and the character of Lolita is so ingrained in fashion and pop culture. I love the film as it's so intense and really forces you to question your morals, so I'd wanted to read the book for a long time. The book is crazy. It's narrated by Humbert Humbert who is in a super inappropriate relationship with Lolita, a child and kinda his daughter. The narrative is so charming and full of self-delusion that it's like sympathy for the devil. You almost find yourself falling into Humbert's facade and even rooting for him a little bit. It's so interesting and cleverly done, it's worth a read even just the experience the narrative style. If you've only ever seen the film, definitely read the book. It shocked me how romanticised the film was and how much drama it missed out, the book in places is so violent and gritty it's almost uncomfortable to read. Definitely worth a read as it's such a cult classic. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is another book with a lot of hype around it but I think it's genuinely worth it. The Alchemist is written like a fable and is full of real-world advice and messages that really resonated with me. The narrative style is super simple and easy to read but the plot is so unpredictable. I was so hooked on the story and so infatuated by the language used, again it's just a lovely, calming read. If you're looking for a book that's a little spiritual and will make you want to underline looaads of quotes, pick up The Alchemist.  

Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

I think it's fair to say that I'm leaving the best to last. This book absolutely ruined me. I read it in like 2 days and it's become an instant favourite, almost life-changing read. Orwell creates a world that is both so futuristic but almost scarily real and recognisable. Even if you ignore how radically political this book is, the story is still absolutely gripping and action packed. There's so much suspense I felt on edge every time I turned the page. I won't ruin the ending for you, but oh my god be prepared it's intense (and world-shattering). READ IT READ IT READ IT !!!

What are your recommended reads?

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  1. Loved reading this! I studied Wuthering Heights for A Level as well and I felt the same; I found it difficult to read on my own but once I started studying it I fell in love (plus my endless love for Kate Bush made the whole experience even better aha!) I really wanna give The Bloody Chamber a go, it sounds so good. I'm also trying to get a lot of reading done in preparation for uni (wish me luck!)

    Nabeela x

  2. Ahh Wuthering Heights and 1984 are two of my favourite books! I love how you said that Emily Bronte is angry, yet eloquent. Before reading this post, I hadn't really heard of The Bloody Chamber, but I think I'd like to read it now. My summer reading list grows and grows.



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