Title: The North Water
Author: Ian McGuire
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Summary (from inside flap): Behold the man: drunk, brutal, and bloodthirsty. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the hunting waters of the Arctic Circle. Also aboard is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation and no better option than to embark as the ship’s medic on this ill-fated voyage. In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which a man can stoop, but now, trapped in the wooden belly of the ship with Drax, he encounters pure evil and is forced to act. As the true purposes of the expedition become clearer, the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic water.
The North Water is an interesting novel for me to sit down and write a review of because it’s not my usual sort of book, not by a long shot. For whatever reason, I tend to shy away from books about surviving in extreme conditions, long voyages by ship, or anything set in arctic environments, yet this novel has all three of those elements. Why in the world then, you may be asking yourself, did I decide to read The North Water by Ian McGuire? Why, the Man Booker long list, my dear Watson! Continue reading “Man Bookering: The North Water by Ian McGuire”
Welcome to Part 4 of my Sunday Morning Book Chats series, where each Sunday I sit down and chat with bookstagrammers about life, the universe and everything (okay, not quite, but you get the idea!). We’ve had three parts so far – Alison from @littlebookwormig, Saoirse from @xleptodactylous, and Ani from @boundless_being – and this week I’m very excited to welcome the lovely Jennifer from @thetirelessreader! 🙂
Continue reading “Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 4 – Jennifer from @thetirelessreader”
Welcome to Part 3 of my Sunday Morning Book Chats series, where each Sunday morning I sit down with a different bookstagrammer to talk about life, books, and how they got started. Our first guest was Alison from @littlebookwormig, last week we had Saoirse from @xleptodactylous, and this week we have the lovely Ani from @boundless_being!
Continue reading “Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 3 – Ani from @boundless_being”
Title: Valley of the Dolls
Author: Jacqueline Susann
Publisher: Virago Press
Summary (from first page): Dolls -red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there’s nowhere left to go but down – to the Valley of the Dolls.
Valley of the Dolls is one of those books that I’ve known about for a while but I’ve never felt motivated to pick up and read. Truth be told, until a few months ago I didn’t actually know what Valley of the Dolls was about. I knew it was supposed to be quite scandalous, that it had a pink cover, and that I was 95% sure it was made into movie. It wasn’t until I discovered that this year, 2016, is the 50th anniversary of Valley of the Dolls (it was originally published in 1966), however, that I finally took the plunge and decided to buy a copy for myself and check it out (it does help that it came in the gorgeous Virago Modern Classics edition you see above.) Continue reading “Sex, Drugs, and Show Business: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Valley of the Dolls’”
On July 21, 1899, a baby boy was born to a couple named Clarence and Grace Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois. Named after Grace’s father, the young boy was called Ernest Hemingway, and he would grow up to become one of the greatest American writers of all time.
As one of the most notorious names in literature, Hemingway arouses a multitude of feelings among readers: some praise his genius, others detest him, while others just think he’s plain boring. Like him or not, however, you have to admit that Hemingway has left a profound impact on the way we think, write, and read literature. In honor of Hemingway’s 117th birthday this Thursday, I’ve put together a list of books for those who wish to celebrate the day by reading about the man himself, or just for those folks looking for a good bit of scandalous literary history (and let’s be honest, Hemingway’s life was full of scandal). Continue reading “A Hemingway-Inspired Reading List”
Today is the day – it’s time for the second part of the Sunday Morning Book Chats series! Today’s guest is the wonderful Saoirse from @xleptodactylous (if you haven’t read the first part in this series, you can find the link here). A former book blogger whose been on bookstagram for over a year now, she has just under 5,000 followers and is currently reading her way through the massive #InfiniteVariety2016 reading challenge (it’s over 200 books long, can you even imagine??).
Continue reading “Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 2 – Saoirse from @xleptodactylous”
Title: Revolutionary Road
Author: Richard Yates
Publisher: Vintage Books
Summary (from back of book): From the moment of its publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road was hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs. It’s the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who lied on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.
“That’s how we both got committed to this enormous delusion – because that’s what it is, an enormous, obscene delusion – this idea that people have to resign from real life and ‘settle down’ when they have families. It’s the great sentimental lie of the suburbs, and I’ve been making you subscribe to it all this time.”
If The Great Gatsby and the television series Mad Men had a love child, I am almost 100 per cent convinced that the result would be Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Continue reading “Revolutionary Road: A Novel of American Disillusionment and the Dangers of Suburbia”