Every Book I Bought During Lockdown

I have a problem

After what can only be described as the longest and most crap year of our lives, finally, we seem to be coming out of the other side of lockdown. Unless you happen to live in the north of England, in which case – gutted.

Anyway, I saw this idea on booksandquills Youtube channel and had to do it myself. It turns out I’ve spent all the money I was going to be ‘saving’ by ‘living at home’ on books. Don’t worry though, I did it all in the name of self care, so really, when you think about it, it’s absolutely fine and totally justified. I’d say it was more of coping mechanism to deal with the stress of the pandemic, if anything. xx

Or maybe I need to have a word with myself.

The question is, how many have I actually read or reviewed? And are any of them actually worth reading for yourself? Grab yourself a tea, this is going to be a long one.

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

Here she goes, talking about Girl, Woman, Other for the 65th time on this blog. I’ve mentioned this book soo many times and it has to be my favourite read of the last few months. P.S. It’s not included in the above picture as I’ve loaned my copy to a friend.

Read it? Oui.

Reviewed it? Yes – you can read it here.

Recommend it? YES.

The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams

I kind of skim-read this play late last year when I was researching Tennessee for my diss, but I didn’t READ it read it, you know? Now that I have, I’m in love with it. It’s Williams’ semi-autobiographical detailing a night in the life of Tom Wingfield, his overbearing mother and his mentally-fragile sister, Laura.

Read it? Yes.

Reviewed it? Nope.

Recommend it? If you like plays, definitely.

The Sound Mirror – Heidi James

I bought this book after Bluemoose Books, who were suffering after the pandemic, put out a call for help on Twitter. It sounds nuts – ‘Tamara is going to kill her mother, but she isn’t the villain. Tamara just has to finish what began before her birth, and put an end to the damage encoded in her blood.’ I’m very excited to review this, it’s on my TBR for September.

Read it? No.

Reviewed it? No, but watch this space.

Recommend it? We shall see…

The Essential Kafka – Franz Kafka (includes The Metamorphoses; The Castle; The Trial)

I haven’t got a clue why I bought this. I guess Kafka is one of those authors I feel like I should have read, but honestly I didn’t even finish Metamorphoses and that’s supposed to be the best one. It’s about a man who wakes up having turned into a big bug and has to adjust to his new state of being.

Read it? Hmm, not sure 15 pages counts as reading it.

Reviewed it? Nooo.

Recommend it? Yeah, I feel like I haven’t given it much of a chance and maybe someone else will be totally gripped by it.

Rodham – Curtis Sittenfeld

This has to be the weirdest idea for a book I’ve heard about probably ever, so obviously I ordered it right away. Rewriting the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton without her having married Bill, Curtis Sittenfeld has thrown a spanner in the works for the Clintons.

Read it? Yes.

Reviewed it? Ya you can read it here.

Recommend? Probably not. I feel like this was a great idea badly executed. Soz :/

Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

I think I bought this because I hadn’t read any South African literature. Which actually is still the case, as I haven’t gotten round to reading this either. It’s the story of David Lurie, a denounced English professor who goes to live with his daughter. However, they become victims of a savage attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.

Read it? No, but I will.

Reviewed it? Nope.

Recommend it? I’ll let ya know.

Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie was one the most talked-about books over lockdown for sure. We read it for our July book club pick and it was great! It’s all about the life of Queenie Jenkins as she struggles to deal with her job, her breakup and her place in society.

Read it? Yes.

Reviewed it? Yes! Read it here.

Recommend it? Definitely.

The Mirror and The Light – Hilary Mantel

In June or July, I said that I was going to read all the books on the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. So far, I’ve only read Dominicana because I ordered The Mirror and the Light without realising Hilary Mantel had basically written the bible with her historical novel.

Read it? Does one page out of 879 count?

Reviewed it? Maybe in the next few months. Maybe.

Recommend it? If you have a spare lifetime, yeah.

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It’s this month’s book club pick!! If you’d like to join, you can read all about it here.

Read it? Just started! So far, I love it.

Reviewed it? Keep a lookout for the start of September!

Recommend it? Who knows?

Tokyo Ueno Station – Yu Miri

Yu Miri’s intense Tokyo Ueno Station was actually one of the options for this month’s book club; ‘Kazu is dead. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo’. I would have chosen this over One Hundred Years of Solitude but, we move.

Read it? No, but I want to!!

Reviewed it? Hopefully one day soon.

Recommend it? Yes, I need someone to read it and tell me what it’s like. I’m intrigued!

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty – Florence Given

Again, this was hyped up sooooo much over lockdown that I ordered myself a copy straight away. I’ve had a little leaf through and I will definitely give it a proper read when I have time. I did read somewhere, though, that she throws around the words ’emotional manipulation’ and ‘abuse’ like they’re going out of fashion. Hmmmm, not sure about that.

Read it? Not yet.

Reviewed it? No, I’m probably not going to either but who knows.

Recommend it? I can’t personally, but the girls say it’s good.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

Finally! Something I’ve actually read this summer! READ. THIS. BOOK. I cannot stress this enough.

Read it? Yes.

Reviewed it? Yes, read it here.

Recommend it? Definitely! This has to be one of my favourite books ever.

Things Bright and Beautiful – Anbara Salam

Things Bright and Beautiful featured on my Summer Reading List 2020 aaaaand I still haven’t read it lol. Even then I said it was an impulse buy, and it looks like the impulse to read it has not yet returned. I feel like this is definitely a summer read, so there’s always next year?

Read it? No

Reviewed it? No but it did feature in a blog post (sort of).

Recommend it? Yeah, maybe? I heard about it through a youtube video so I guess people really do like it.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Our first ever book club pick! It really captures the mood of 2020 – f*cked up. I feel like this is one novel where ‘don’t believe the hype’ really hits home. It’s really good, but it’s not as good as you think it’s going to be (that’s my oPiNioN).

Read it? Yes!

Reviewed it? Yes yes! You can read about our first book club pick here.

Recommend it? Hmm yeah why not.

Stoner – John Williams

Stoner was one of the first books I read this lockdown. It’s the kind of novel you’ll keep coming back to. I included it in my Quarantine Recommendations and still count it as one of the best.

Read it? Yes yes yes

Reviewed it? Hmm, kind of? If that blog post counts.

Recommend it? Yes, always.

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer

This kind of doesn’t count – it’s a re-purchase. I thought it would be funny to reread and review Twilight after Stephanie Meyer announced Midnight Sun.

Read it? Of course.

Reviewed it? Yes<3

Recommend it? If you want to be transported back to 2008.

Midnight Sun – Stephanie Meyer

The pièce de résistance. I’m just over half way through this gargantuan retelling of Twilight from Edward’s perspective so expect a review in the next few days. What a horrific sentence.

Read it? I’m at page 403 out of 700:)

Review it? Yes, buckle your seatbelts for what is sure to be an earth shattering piece of literary criticism.

Recommend it? Unless you had an enormous, hand drawn poster of Edward Cullen in your bedroom like I did when I was 12 years old, no.

Intimations – Zadie Smith

I’m pretty sure I got this with a ticket to a Penguin Random House discussion with Zadie Smith that I never attended (oop). Anyway, I’m excited to give it a read. I love her.

Read it? Not yet.

Reviewed it? No, but expect one soon – it’s very short.

Recommend? I’ll let ya know asap.

Anyone else lost the will to live?

I’m pretty happy with that though – 10 out of the 18 books I ordered have been read. It could have been worse<3<3<3

But please, someone take my Amazon Prime away.

Published by Lily Evans

writing about books

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