November Reads

Hello there, how are you? I’ve gotten out of the groove of writing over the past couple of months so I’m very much pushing myself back into the groove as it is what I enjoy best. I haven’t been reading as voraciously due to being a little overwhelmed with working out the whole career and all that jazz business but I have perked up a little recently and have just finished Norwegian Wood by Murakami. It was my first venture of his books, I know that he has a huge following and lots of people have recommended him before but I hadn’t picked him before this.

I did enjoy it, it’s definitely different but readable. I’m struggling to describe it truth be told, as it has a strong narrative and developed characters but there is something unique about it, the best way to describe it would be to say it isn’t like anything I’ve read before, the closest to it would be Sally Rooney’s books. Both distinctive and intense. Set in Tokyo, the late 60’s, it deals with first loves, first sexual encounters, suicide, mental health and growing up. He captures those fragile years of your late teens before you turn twenty with such vivid detail, the pangs of being independent and working it all out for yourself. I connected a lot with the sudden realisations that you are in charge of your life now and going away to University breaks that childhood bubble. Our main character is strong and silent but likeable and you feel a certain sympathy for him as he navigates the world of love. The sex content is explicitly detailed and covers everything from late-night porn watching as well as the more intimate first times. It works because the reality is, at that age, sex and love are such a significant part of your existence, especially at university when you are thrust in to a deeper pool of new people to meet and ultimately seek out as a partner. I really enjoyed the book, so much rings true about the pangs of first loves and how you want to feel so deeply and that be it for the rest of your life because why can’t you love each other forever and ever?! There is so much to enjoy and connect with in this book, I would recommend if you enjoyed Sally Rooney’s books and want to try something new.

Next up is Becoming, Michelle Obama - the big book of the year. It feels like everyone is talking about it online at the moment and I happened to find myself in Waterstones and picked up a copy. I’m only a short way in but I’m completely hooked and have this need to know more. After reading and loving From The Corner of The Oval Office by Beck Dorey-Stein who worked at the White House, I’m so intrigued to find out what it was like to call it your home, a home where you couldn’t make a cup of tea for yourself as there was always someone to do it for you. I’ll definitely be coming back with a full insight and review but I can say now - it’s one for the Christmas list.

After I’ve made my way through Becoming, I’ve got Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker to enjoy. Passed on from a friend, who thoroughly enjoyed it, this is a reimagining of the Trojan War from the female perspective. Looking forward to this one. So what’s everyone else reading??

Sarah Tebb