3 // All the Books

I can't remember the last time I didn't have a book on the go; to put it simply, reading has become an intrinsic part of my being. I've grown up among dust-coated and inked individuals – and the flick of a page has become second nature. And yet, I don't feel as if my humble blog lingers enough on the specific books I've read across the years. And so, in order to share more of the books I've read, I've allocated each of my books a number – and, with each of these posts, I'll ponder and muse over a randomly selected array of my books, noting my thoughts on aspects of them.

Rebecca by Daphne du Marier
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
Rebecca follows a lady’s companion who finds herself wrapped up in the life of Max de Winter, a handsome widower. After his sudden proposal, she is whisked away to live with him at his estate, the ominous and brooding Manderley. Upon her arrival she’s inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten (least of all by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers).

The first line of this novel is iconic – nobody can deny that. Every time I read the first line, I find myself inexplicably compelled to reread Daphne du Maurier's Gothic masterpiece – Manderley's call is simply irresistible. Within REBECCA, Daphne du Maurier brings together romance, mystery and the Gothic to create a sinister tale of secrets and betrayal. Perhaps, years after reading this, you won't remember the nameless protagonist, or her husband, but you'll certainly remember the sinistrous image of Manderley – and what an image it is.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
“Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
Girl, Interrupted follows the time 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen spent at the McLean Hospital – a psychiatric hospital renowned for its famous clientele, such as Sylvia Plath. Her memoir offers vivid portraits of her fellow patients, and challenges our perception of sanity and insanity, mental illness and recovery.

Girl, iNTERRUpted is a fascinating and stirring read – though somewhat difficult to love. After all, it's not a book you can say you 'enjoyed' reading. Despite the choppy and brief style, it offers many glimpses of great profundity & I can't imagine Susanna Kaysen's story being told in any other way. Ultimately, Kaysen's words make you think – and that's the best thing a book can make you do.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
“Books don't offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”
Cloud Atlas jumps between centuries and space, as character’s lives intertwine and their fates interconnect. A reluctant voyager crosses the Pacific in 1850. A disinherited composer gatecrashes in between-wars Belgium. A vanity publisher flees gangland creditors. Others are a journalist in Governor Reagan’s California, and genetically-modified dinery server on death-row. Finally, a young Pacific Islander witnesses the nightfall of science and civilization.

Cloud Atlas is insanely well written. As I wrote in my review: 'Both compelling and thought-provoking, and complete with a vivid, cinematic approach, Cloud Atlas is shamelessly captivating.' Mitchell's prose is magnificent, and the structure is flawless. Despite a somewhat rocky beginning, I truly recommend this book (especially for a dreary rainy day).

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
“Oh, monsters are scared," said Lettie. "That's why they're monsters.”
The Ocean At the End of the Lane is, more than anything, about the darkness hidden within adolescence. As a middle-aged man returns to his childhood home in order to attend a funeral, he finds himself drawn to the farm at the end of the road. It was here he first met Lettie Hempstock, her mother and her grandmother; Lettie claimed the pond was an ocean, and, when he returns to this pond, the strange and haunting past comes flooding back.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a treat, simple as. It is, perhaps, my favourite book by Neil Gaiman. This said, I've sat here for a few minutes stumped as to how best to accurately describe this novel. So, instead, I'll share a quotation from it (in the hope you may find yourself smiling and nodding): “Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?
See my first of these posts HERE

10 comments:

  1. I have all of these to read! I'm particularly looking forward to Rebecca, I've heard excellent things about all of Daphne Du Maurier's books.

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    1. I need to read more books by her! Rebecca never fails to blow me away. :)

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  2. I adore Rebecca, the first line gets me every time <3

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  3. Wow I can't believe I haven't read any of these books. I have heard of The Ocean at the End of the Lane though. It sounds like a perfect read for me right now because tomorrow I'll be attending a funeral :( I like reading books that coincides with my mood.

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    1. Aw I hope you're okay! It's a very well-written and touching read.

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  4. My parents have a copy of Rebecca lying around the house somewhere and I've been meaning to read it for a while.

    Glad to see the love for Cloud Atlas too! I read it back in June and it has already become one of my favourite books of all time. As you said, it's ridiculously well-written. The way Mitchell makes it seem like six completely different people wrote the book is stunning. And that final paragraph still gives me chills whenever I re-read it. So incredible.

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    1. Yes! It has one of my favourite last lines!

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  5. I haven't read any of these books, but the Neil Gaiman book keeps popping up on my radar, so I'm definitely going to make time to read it this summer!

    I'd also love to try Cloud Atlas. I've heard nothing but good things about it!

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    1. I don't know anybody who didn't enjoy it. :)

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