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Book Review: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

From reading A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, the impression I am left with is that this is some serious, before-its-time, groundbreaking and highly intelligent writing, which went down back at the start of the previous century, when the state of things for women was very dire indeed, and when the kinds of opinion which Woolf put forth were the furthest thing from popular culture you could find. I think Virginia Woolf must have been very brave to write this book. She seems to have been pretty independent, with money from an inheritance keeping her free from relying on men, and more so than independant in her general life, she seems to have had a very independent mind. Because I don’t think it could have been very easy at her time to reach the conclusions and have the thought processes that she did, I think she really needed to…

Book Review: Animal by Sara Pascoe

“Economics underwrite love – any human who cannot support herself is vulnerable to others, and if we romanticise that vulnerability, if we continue to idealise it, we’re permitting the infantilisation of women and maybe even creating victims.” – Sara Pascoe Boom. Mind. Blown. Reading this book made me so happy. It was as though Sara Pascoe had cracked open my mind and made all my thoughts sound coherent and intelligent. It really is wonderful that someone is saying the things that Sara Pascoe says, because they are so important. It is also a very tender book, which comforts and validates you, providing hope for self acceptance and understanding. Animal deals with eating disorders, self-harm and self-hatred in a very thoughtful and respectful way. It is a book which delivers feminism with humour, warmth and anger, and I for one thought it was a very powerful read. Pascoe does not hold…

Confessions of a Slow Reader

Hello! I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday. Do you have any Sunday rituals? In my family we have Sunday Breakfast, which today I have had with my grandmother who is visiting. I got up before her, at eight, and I spent the morning reading some more of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Now, you might be following me on Instagram, and thinking, but weren’t you reading that two weeks ago? And yes, I was. But I am a slow reader, and so I am still reading the one hundred odd pages long book, two weeks later. I have always been a pretty slow reader, and I am still not sure how I got through a literature degree, or how I kept my head above water in the publishing industry, or how I built this whole identity around books and being a reader, when in actual fact, I don’t really read all that much. It often…

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Oh, what a book. What a read. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is perfect. It is everything that should be voiced and sent out into the world. It is a thoughtful, intelligent, forcefull and kind note on why we should all be feminists. I say note because it’s a very short book, definitely one you can read in a single sitting. Adichie explores gender roles and the societal norms and ideas surrounding them, what her personal definition of feminism is and the ways in which men and women are put into boxes and expected to conform. She talks about personal experiences from both her native Nigeria and the U.S., and she does so in a warm and honest way, inviting you to see her accounts from a feminist perspective. The essay really, really resonated with me. Everything she talked about seemed to me familiar or very understandable, and…

London Book Haul

‘When life looks like it’s falling apart, it may just be falling in place.’ – Beverly Solomon So, I recently went to London, and I stopped by a Waterstones and also Oliver Bonas. I picked up some wonderful new books and a few other little knick knacks, and I’m very pleased with my purchases. Living in Norway, I can’t really find the books that I want to read in the bookshops here. I’m an international reader and there isn’t much of a market for my books where I live, which is a shame, but it only makes my trips to the UK even more worthwhile (also Amazon orders are my saviours).  More than anything, i just love the atmosphere at Waterstones. It’s as though the shop itself is just one big, old material declaration of love to literature. I love spending a good hour just browsing, picking up books…

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

“He had hoped to spot the flickering shadow of a murderer as he turned the file’s pages, but instead it was the ghost of Lula herself who emerged, gazing up at him, as victims of violent crimes sometimes did, through the detritus of their interrupted lives.” ― Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling This is the second time I’ve picked up The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling), and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as when I read it the first time around, which is quite a feat for a plot-driven crime novel. I’ve said it before, but I just find J.K. Rowling’s writing to immersive! It really feels as though you are right there with the characters. I think the reason why I enjoy reading this book so much is because the characters are so intriguing. The detective, Cormaron Strike, has a powerful presence, full of character and mystery.…

Book Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

‘They have said to you that man rules over woman as Jesus rules over the Church. But I say unto you that woman rules over man as Mary guided her infant son, with kindness and with love.’ – Naomi Alderman, The Power Oh my gosh. I absolutely loved  this book. The Power by Naomi Alderman is a rushing, roaring, thrilling story of a world in which woman are more powerful than men, and what the political, societal and individual consequences of this are. It really is a page turner. The book follows different teenage girls, and a few other characters, as they discover and develop their newfound power. We see events unfolding all over the world, as riots and protests and revolutions take place in women’s favour, and religious uprisings where God is female occur. But power can corrupt, and a world in which females are the stronger sex is not necessarily better. The language…

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

‘He never seemed to grasp the immense mutability of human nature, nor to appreciate that behind every nondescript face lay a wild and unique hinterland like his own.’ – J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy I quite adore J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. This was my second read, and it was just as good as the first. The thing about Rowling’s writing is that it is so immersive, it very much brings you in, as though you are really sitting there, with a warm cup of tea before you, chatting to all the inhabitants of Pagford, the fictional village in which the novel is set. The story is definitely driven on by its characters, of which there are very many; their histories, their sorrows, their joys, their jealousies and resentments and their comforts and delights. The story jumps from one character to the next, always following the events surrounding the death of Barry Fairbrother,…

Book Review: Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman

I’ve listened to the audiobook Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression With the Crab of Hate by Susan Calman, comedian and writer from the UK. I really enjoyed listening. The book is warm and funny, fuzzy and silly and has an all round friendly and feel-good vibe, but at the same time it deals really sensitively and intelligently with the heavy subject that is depression. I really like this approach, it’s so dreary when the word depression immediately makes everything dark and heavy, and I much prefer Calman’s way of dealing with it, inviting you to laugh at both her and yourself and all the silly ways of the mind. The book is both a memoir, a guide and a source of information. Through her own personal experiences and a wide and thoughtful collection of facts, she systematically goes through the various aspects of depression, and gives advice on how to deal…

Harry Potter: My Great Childhood Adventure

Happy 20th anniversary to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!  We put the books out on display at work today, and I felt so happy and proud to see them standing there at the front of the library. I can hardly believe it’s been that long,  it seems just yesterday that I fell in love with the magical world of witches and wizards and the great big castle filled with wonders and horrors. Oh, how I adore those old and battered books. Harry Potter meant so much to me when I was a kid. The books brought me a lot of comfort and hope at a time when I was really struggling to fit in and make friends with my peers. They made me feel like it was okay to be different, a little weird and a little wonky. Just so long as you had your wand at the ready! I grew…