Thursday, 5 March 2015

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING




Seeing as it's world book day I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write a book related post, the first of many I hope!

I study English Literature at university so I don't get a lot of time for 'recreational' reading, luckily I usually really enjoy the texts I have to read. This semester I've been studying a narrative module, which basically just means reading fiction novels... my degree is basically my favourite hobby (yas).

Of course, I don't love everything I read but I was pleasantly surprised by this one



My Uncle bought this little collector's version of Great Expectations for me a few years ago but I neglected it until I had to read it for uni (I admit, I feel a little guilty about that). I had preconceived ideas of what I thought a Dickens novel was like, but I definitely wasn't expecting such a gripping, surprising and beautifully written book. I'd worked my way through a lot of the classics between the ages of 13-15, but I'm glad I didn't experience Dickens until now. There's something about the excruciating passion that runs throughout the prose and the controversy of Pip's character that I feel I wouldn't have been able to appreciate at a younger age. Great Expectations is full of subtle complexities and is a very clever novel, I felt satisfied and very fond of it by the time I finished. I think it might have earned a place in my (imaginary) list of the best books I've ever read, it's that good. I got just a tad obsessed with GE and watched the 2011 BBC mini-series (which I was quite disappointed with) and then the 2012 movie starring Helena Bonham Carter (which was great and much more satisfying). Undoubtedly, Charles Dickens deserves his legacy as a great British author.

I was much more familiar with the next book


The first Jane Austen novel I ever read was Pride and Prejudice back when I was eleven. I'll admit, reading a classic at such a young age wasn't easy and it was only when I read it for the third time that I actually understood what on earth was happening. I then made it my mission to read all of Austen's novels, and succeeded by the time I was fifteen. Because of this, Austen and everything Austen related has become a source of comfort to me, because it's so familiar, like Harry Potter or Meg Cabot's gripping teenage fantasies. 

The first time I ever read Emma I only got halfway, I tried again a while later and managed to complete it and kind of enjoy it. It definitely wasn't my favourite book by Austen but reading it now a few years later I found it much more pleasant. Yes the plot can be a bit mundane at times, but I think the big twists make up for that. Also, Emma is not a universally loved character, a lot of readers probably dislike her, but as I get older I find myself with a preference for controversial characters. I feel like they're far more three dimensional, and possibly more realistic. A perfect hero/heroine tends to get a little boring. I got a little obsessed and watched the 2009 BBC mini-series (surprise surprise) which I quite liked! But out of every version I've seen of Emma... I think the youtube series might just be my favourite. It's more of a loose interpretation but very cleverly done, plus the actor who plays Mr Knightley is pretty great too...

which leads me onto the third and final book 


Ok so obviously this wasn't a set text buuuut once I start obsessing over... well pretty much anything, I can't stop for quite a while. It's a real problem. Different interpretations of a novel are a little risky, especially when they're not written by the original author. But Amanda Grange manages to expand on the information Austen provides us of Mr Knightley and give him more depth while remaining true to his character and the rest of the novel. Definitely an interesting read for Austen fans :)

I hope you enjoyed this post, I'm hoping to make it a regular thing! If you want you can leave a comment below letting me know what books you've enjoyed reading recently, and if you're also a bit of an obsessive fangirl... :)
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2 comments

  1. Love it!! I have been wanting to read classics and has been lazy :p but reading your reviews make me wanna try. Cant wait for another list of what youve been readingg

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    1. Aww I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you!

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