The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of The Goldfinch. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014, I’d read a few not-so-positive reviews of it, one even claiming that it was the most un-finish-able book of last year, and to be honest that wouldn’t have been that surprising as it is a huge door-stop of a novel, running to 864 pages! So I approached it with caution, half-expecting…

thesound andthefury

The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

This is a pretty difficult book. It’s definitely what you would call ‘literary’. I have now read it twice and I’m still not totally convinced I get it, so if you give it a go, it will take a little perseverance. However I actually really like it. The novel narrates the decline of the Compson family, an old aristocratic family from the American South, over two generations. It is divided…

middlesex

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I wrote my undergradate dissertation on this novel because I love it. It also turned out to be very topical as this year transgender is definitely ‘having a moment’ (although I dislike the way transgender has been treated like a trend rather than something real people actually live through). Middlesex was written in 2002, a good decade or so before this sudden cultural interest in everything trans, and it is…

the handmaid's tale

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a well known dystopian novel, now possibly almost as iconic as George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty Four or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I usually like the dystopian genre for the way that a distorted version of our society can critique the flaws that are sometimes ignored. I think they also do a pretty good job of reminding you of the things you should be grateful for! The novel’s…

Americanah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I enjoyed this book because it challenged me to think about things that I don’t usually think about very much: namely, race. I think the most important thing that Americanah showed me is the significance of white privilege and the way that, in Western society, we now tend to push race out of the picture and pretend that racism, and specifically institutionalised racism, doesn’t exist any more. While I knew that…

tender is the night

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tender is the Night was Fitzgerald’s last completed novel (he never finished The Last Tycoon) and there is an autobiographical element to the narrative which I think makes the story more poignant. It has the same beautiful style as The Great Gatsby although it is somehow not quite as magical. it is still a wonderful book and I love reading anything by Fitzgerald but it didn’t grab me in the…

NW by Zadie Smith

I’m not really sure why I picked this novel to read, as I’ve read ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith and I didn’t rate it very highly. However I am glad that I decided to give Smith another chance as, in my opinion, this book is a lot better than her previous novel. It’s a really compelling story and the characters are diverse and interesting. The narrative style is very unique…