With the evenings drawing in and the onset of winter mere weeks away, I'm sure I'm not the only one using the shift in seasons as the perfect excuse to settle down wrapped in the duvet with a selection of good books- whether that be old faithfuls or newer releases. Over recent weeks I've really caught the reading bug again (perhaps something to do with the release of a certain Harry Potter playscript!), and it's been lovely to get lost in the pages of a selection of required reading, especially as a way to relax at the weekends or on the train on the way home at the end of the day. As such, my current 'shelfie' looks a little something like this:
The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy is a book I discovered when I was studying for my A Level in English Literature and Language- and thanks to a wonderfully inspiring rendition of 'Mrs Midas' from my teacher, I found myself hooked from the outset- nearly 10 years later, it's probably one of the most thumbed tomes on my bookshelf. It's a beautiful book to read aloud, and full of humour too- I'm yet to find a poetry collection which makes me laugh quite as much as these sharp, succinct stanzas do.
I'd snapped up Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín in anticipation of the film release last year and with the intention of reading it when I went on holiday, but as with all of the best laid plans, I was scuppered by a serious shortage of time (and shortage of holiday too!) So, having now watched the film, I'm finally delving into the pages of this beautifully crafted narrative- one which strikes a real chord with me given my Irish roots.
As well as historical drama, another great love of mine is real history, and Mary Beard's SPQR is proving to be as gripping as any Game of Thrones story. Engaging, clear and full of insight, this tour of Ancient Rome is completely compelling- and Mary Beard is perhaps the best teacher I've never had!
Finally, Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. If you're a fan of The Toast, you need this book in your life. To give too much away about the sheer joy contained within the pages of this book would be to completely spoil the experience, but suffice it to say that I managed to devour it in an afternoon, amidst some serious spells of laughter- get it or regret it!
What have you been reading recently?
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)