Friday, 17 July 2020

Six Reads to Get Your Teeth Into

Firstly, I want to encourage you to read as much as you can on the Black Lives Matter movement and our unforgivable history. We all have some extra time on our hands, now.  Please use your voice, sign petitions and reflect on your own resultant biases of structural racism. Whether you read an article or several books, self-education is so important. As it always has, and always will be. 

I am aware that the following books I am going to recommend are written by white authors. My goal from now on is to diversify my reading with more literature written by black authors, to allow more insight into what they are experiencing. Although I will never understand, I stand. 

These are some links that I have found beneficial to my self-education: 1 // 2 // 3

As a literature student who suddenly has more time on their hands, I have discovered a very foreign concept: reading for pleasure. My degree has meant that this had become a thing of the past. If I picked up a book that was unrelated to my degree, I would feel guilt. Also, after spending hours at the library reading, all I really want to do is fall asleep in front of Netflix — oops. 

However, now lockdown has suddenly given me a thing called extra time, I began picking up books to read instead of study. I realised, in some sort of shock, that I actually do enjoy reading. I felt as though I had been transported to a time before GCSEs and A-Levels, when a book was just a book and not something to analyse to death. 

So here I am, recommending some books to feast your eyes upon. Some I have read for university and enjoyed (a sadly rare thing) and some, I have discovered otherwise. 

If you need a warm hug in the form of a book:
Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton
Dolly can explain how you are feeling/have felt in a way that you cannot. I read this at the start of lockdown, having been leant it by a pretty decent friend (hey Hebes). Honestly, I just wish I had read it earlier. This book acts as a reminder that you are never the only one going through sh*t. There were several times that I would stare at the page in awe or message friends saying 'we went through this.' To anyone who identifies as a woman, please read this book. To those who have been heartbroken, here's the link to purchase it. Just do it, thank you. 

If you want lyrical prose/poetry:
Dart, Alice Oswald
This was part of my assigned reading for university. Amongst the likes of James Joyce and T.S Eliot, it was a breath of fresh air. The poem is composed on the River Dart, piecing together ridiculously gorgeous description with almost scientific conversations on water treatment. It's a beautiful, beautiful piece of writing and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be reminded of why they love literature.

If you want a classic that's a bit easier to read:
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Short and witty, this scrutinises politics through the depiction of animals on a farm. It is a brilliant way of examining controversial topics such as communism, and definitely worth a read if you want to branch more into classical literature.

If you want a different take on the classics:
Longbourn, Jo Baker
I read this quite a while ago and, as a lover of Pride and Prejudice, really enjoyed it. It tells the same story, but from the servants' point of view. It's small things like their annoyance at Elizabeth Bennet's muddy skirts that made me laugh, and realise that there is much more to a story than what goes on 'upstairs' in a period narrative.

If you want a more lighthearted read:
Shopaholic Series, Sophie Kinsella
I started reading these when I was younger, and still keep up with the new releases. Becky Bloomwood is a shopping addict, and the series follows her antics as she gets married and has her first child. There is something about Sophie Kinsella's characterisation that makes these so worth reading; her characters are absolutely ridiculous yet somehow believable. They certainly make for a fun read if you want to have a break from complex plots and drama.

If you want an eye-opener:
This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay
The NHS is such a pivotal part of British society, and its running is more topical than ever with the current fighting of a pandemic. It is an amazing institution that deserves to be looked much more than they are. My boyfriend who is studying medicine recommended this read, that offers an insight into the daily (and nightly) runnings of a hospital. It makes you laugh and cry within the space of a minute, and had me sobbing in a Spanish airport. Honestly, I believe everyone who knows of the NHS should read this book.

So there's a few recommendations to keep you busy in lockdown. You can keep up to date with what I'm reading over at my Goodreads; come and say hello! Also please pop your recommendations below, I love to discover new books and am willing to try anything.


  1. loved this Loz - some great recommendations x

  2. These are some great recommendations here - I almost was going to study English Literature at university before I realised that I would probably fall out of love with reading very quickly! A Level was enough for me; I still have all of my annotated books on my bookshelf. These are some great recommendations; some I haven't heard of before so will be downloading them onto my kindle (ran out of space in my bedroom for anymore physical book copies, haha!) to get around to reading. Longbourn sounds amazing - I love Pride and Prejudice after my GCSE English teacher taught it really well (she was amazing) so look forward to getting stuck into that. I recommend The Giver of Stars by Joyo Moyes, which is one of my recent favourites - it's an historical fiction. Just requested to add you on Goodreads too - always love to find more book friends!

    Paige // Paige Eades

    1. Thank you, Paige! I think it's the struggle to distinguish between work/play that I have to grapple with, when it comes to reading. I have no doubt that when I finish my studies, the love will fully come back - it's just a bit difficult, sometimes! I also studied Pride and Prejudice for GCSE and loved it, I recommend 'Longbourn' for a completely different insight. I'm going to head over to Goodreads to add 'The Giver of Stars' to my wishlist, and to add you back!! X

  3. Oh Animal Farm, i am loving your suggestions! It's really important to keep informed as much as we can about movements like BLM. Thanks for sharing