I’m just about on time to write my June wrap up which makes a nice change considering how slow I’ve been with my tags and blog posts this month.
Despite this, June has been a good month! I’m slowly but surely getting back into my love of reading (thanks to a specific book) and I’m really looking forward to the amazing books I think I’ll read next month.
So without further ado, let’s have a chat about the books I read in the month of June!
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin
Jane Austen is one of the world’s most beloved authors, giving us characters like Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Yet not much is known about her life – her family destroyed the majority of her letters and diary entries. Claire Tomalin has written this book to fill in the gaps of Jane’s life.
I absolutely loved this! I adore Jane Austen and her writing and am now even more in love with her as a person. Claire Tomalin does a fantastic job at showing the truth about Jane; her wittiness, her cleverness, her humility and compassion…
Claire Tomalin explores all areas of Jane and her sibling’s lives, completely shattering the false idea that Jane Austen remained close to her home of Hampshire her whole life. I found it really interesting to read more about how Jane’s experiences shaped her novel writing, how specific people she met and places she visited inspired her novels.
The book isn’t dramatic. Jane did not live a dramatic life. You can truly feel Jane’s excitement and pride when Sense and Sensibility gets published come through on the pages. This book taught me so much more about one of my favourite authors than I knew before and from reading this book one thing is for sure; I would have definitely been friends with Jane had we lived in the same time.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
My boyfriend read this book and really encouraged me to read it afterwards (primarily because he wanted someone to discuss it with!) I’m sure a few of you will have heard of Jordan Peterson before, given his (sometimes) controversial opinions and talks he gives. Despite this, he is a pyschologist and university lecturer and his cleverness and wild thought process really does come through in this book. Each chapter focuses on a different rule that Jordan Peterson thinks can help to bring order to our otherwise chaotic lives, as well as meaning and a way to navigate the world and our relationships to ourselves and others. The chapters take you through a whole journey and that’s no exaggeration. I mean, how many people can link the minds and relationships of lobsters to the rule “Stand up straight with your shoulders back”?
I would like to add that I did not agree with everything that Jordan Peterson said in this book. At points, I found his writing style to be a bit too erratic for me. However, I do think it is important to read books from people with other opinions from you.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Case by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
I’m sure by now that a lot of you, like me, would have already read the first book of this series called Before the Coffee Gets Cold. I really, really loved that book and this second book in the series was no exception.
Through this book we are returned to the comforting and cosy walls of Tokyo’s Cafe Funiculi Funicula. In this book we meet even more people hoping to travel back in time to meet loved ones, as well as meeting some familiar faces again. This time around, we meet someone who wants to travel to the future which I think brings an interesting and different angle to the story.
The time-travelling rules are the same, the café is the same, the message throughout the book is the same; we need to deal with the past to be able to move on in the future.
I loved this book! I loved the bittersweet, melancholy tone throughout the novel; a lot of the stories do focus on death, missed chances… I would recommend reading this somewhere you can have a good cry afterwards.
Reading both of these books really did make me think, if I travelled back in time, who would I hope to meet?
Desire by Haruki Murakami
My second Murakami read after falling head-over-heels in love with Norweigan Wood. This is a collection of short stories that have been compiled by Penguin Vintage Minis. They’ve taken short stories from a range of his larger, short story collection books.
I loved the blurb of this book and it was really what made me want to buy it, so I thought I would write it out here: “You’ve just passed someone on the street who could’ve been the love of your life, the person you’re destined for – what do you do? In Murakami’s world, you tell them a story. The five weird and wonderful tales collected here each unlock the many-tongued language of desire, whether it takes the form of hunger, lust, sudden, infatuation or the secret longings of the heart”.
“Weird and wonderful tales” is definitely a correct description of this book. But the stories are so much more than that; all of them really made me think quite deeply. I did some research after I finished each short story and everything I read kept telling me that Murakami didn’t intend for aspects of the story to be read/interpeted in that way but I think the fact that my brain went into overdrive instantly, that’s what makes his writing so beautiful and profound. I loved that he explored different forms that desire could take. It’s too hard to choose my favourite story in this collection.
I think this book would be a perfect introduction to what you can expect from Murakami. It’s honestly made me want to devour everything by him.
Thank you for reading!
What did you read this month? I’d be interested to know!
Love, Zoë x