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01.06.2018- On My Bookshelf #5

Friday, 1 June 2018

I don’t know about you, but for me summer somehow seems synonymous with getting lost in a good book. Perhaps it’s something ingrained from the days of holidays past, where I used to get through a new tome every day and a half or so (often resulting in a suitcase laden with prospective reads!), and would always relish being more or less completely cut off from the world and as a result being able to get completely lost in a good story. Looking back, it seems almost impossible to imagine being that disconnected these days- indeed, as I type this my Instagram feed is undoubtedly filling up with images of people on their early summer breaks- but there’s something fantastic to be said for being able to resist checking your phone so regularly when you’re in holiday- in fact, the experience would be a welcome diversion from constantly feeling the need to be reachable, no matter where in the world you might be. Indeed, the breadth of imagining which came from reading so much on those childhood fortnights in the sun is something which, looking back, actually really helped to focus my mind in terms of other things too- whether that be schoolwork, scrapbooking or anything in between. Whilst I might be being a tad nostalgic, there’s no denying the simple pleasure which comes from switching off for a few hours- preferably with a good book in a shady spot outside- and there are a few new additions to my bookshelf which I couldn’t recommend more for the season: 
 

I’d been anticipating the release of Madeline Miller’s Circe for ages, and when it arrived I put all of my other reading on hold to give it the undivided attention it deserves. Now that I’ve nearly finished it, I’m feeling really bereft- especially as it’s been a real tonic to get lost in after recovering from my operation back at the end of April. The premise is simple but intriguing from the outset, reassessing the character of Circe through a female lens rather than as a figure on the periphery of so many other male-centric classics, most notably The Odyssey. Reclaiming her as a fully rounded, three dimensional voice is a master stroke, and the narrative is wonderfully enriched for being written in the first person too. Miller really gets under the skin of Circe, with her experiences vividly springing to life and encounters expanded to be fully realised. A read I couldn’t recommend more, especially if you’re heading off on your summer holiday. Another current favourite is Kimothy Joy’s That’s What She Said, which hit shelves in the UK a few weeks ago. Having followed Kimothy on Instagram for a little while, this book was a must-purchase for me, particularly as it focuses on inspirational female voices, marrying their biographies and quotes with some beautiful illustrations. As well as illuminating any bookshelf, I think it’s a wonderful option for gifting too- and a book you’d never tire of perusing. 

What have you been reading recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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