Currently reading ~ 21st July

Just a quick mid-week catch up from me. There won’t be any reviews this week as I don’t think I am near finishing a book. Last week I whizzed through An American Marriage, and finished A Tale of Two Cities, however, this week I have started two new books that have been on my TBR pile for a very long time.

Image: Violet Daniels

I read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch last year and completely fell in love with the writing. A few years before I had read The Secret History and really enjoyed it, but The Goldfinch was really something else.

The Little Friend is the first book Tartt published back in 2003, before she had received so much literary acclaim. Being a fan, I of course wanted to pick this up. It is written in the same fashion as The Goldfinch, as Tartt centers on one narrator’s intimate perspective to tell the story. This time it is told through the perspective of twelve year old Harriet, living in Mississippi in the 1970s.

One day when Harriet was young, her brother was found hanging from a tree in the family’s yard, and ever since his murder hasn’t been solved. Harriet sets herself the task of solving the murder despite her family’s hesitancy. Harriet is bright and observant – making her an excellent narrator for the intricate story that follows.

I’m only around 200 pages in out of 624, but I am really enjoying it so far. It’s definitely a slow burner, as to be expected, but it already contains so much suspense and intrigue that will inevitably keep me reading. Tartt has such an eye for detail and ability to write literary and poetic prose, which is what I love so much about her writing. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this! Although I feel like I should savor it as Tartt usually takes 8-10 years to write a book!

Also how beautiful is this cover? 🙂

Image: Violet Daniels

This has been one of the most sought after books since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and I can totally see why.

Although I’m only about 1/3 of the way through, Eddo-Lodge writes in such a clear and concise way, making even the most complicated issues easy to understand. She provides a well informed account of black history in Britain and how our education system has typically left the worse parts out (Britain’s involvement in the slave trade, colonialism and the race riots of the 1980s to name a few examples) and makes a case for a revolution in how British people understand racial inequality.

She goes on to tackle other sections to uncover how racism is embedded within our institutions and takes a look at white privilege – however, I haven’t got that far yet! It’s safe to say I’ve learnt more in these first 100 pages about black history than I was ever taught at school.

I would highly recommend this! Really accessible but super informative.

My July TBR as it stands

  1. An American Marriage
  2. A Tale of Two Cities
  3. The Little Friend
  4. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
  5. How I learned to Hate in Ohio (e-ARC/NetGalley)

General update

This week I’ve been having a bit of a break from writing, last week I churned out quite a lot of stuff and now feel a bit burned out. I think I’m going to focus on reading instead, and just jotting down writing ideas when they come. I’ve been getting back into running this week, not doing anything crazy but just easing myself back in.

I recently hit a milestone of 100 followers and am feeling very grateful for this little online space I have crafted for myself.

I’m still pitching to other publications and having no luck… but I am not giving up and still trying so that’s the main thing! Many places, including big ones like The Guardian have been hit really badly by Covid-19 and it’s not surprising that their commission budgets have been slashed. I think it’s going to be really hard for me to get things published, so I’m going to focus on my blog and other smaller, student/graduate ran places.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing reviews and uploading them to YouTube, but I am really not sure. I love the idea of it and think they could potentially reach more people but I also know that the platform is flooded with other people doing the same thing. If you have any thoughts on this, let me know!

That’s it for now. Hope you are all keeping well and safe.

Violet xxx

Currently reading: a tag

I came across this neat little tag from Blair’s blog, you can see the post here. Looked like fun so I thought I’d join in… Here goes.

How many books do you usually read at once?

Now, when I was younger I used to be so bad at this and find myself reading five or six books at once. I’ve learned to reign this in a bit and now usually read between 2-3. Most of the time I read one fiction or one non-fiction or will be breading one physical book, mixed between an eBook on my Kindle.

Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?

Nope – to be honest I struggle to use a bookmark most of the time I read.. Usually it’s a random piece of paper or a sticky note! Or worse.. a folded down page (:o)

Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

They usually end up all over the place to be honest! But I tend to place them on the arm of the sofa where I like to curl up and read, or my Kindle will be on my bedside table.

What time of day do you read most?

It tends to be in the morning – during isolation I’ve been reading first thing when I get up as my brain feels freshest, I usually use this time to read non-fiction. I tend to read more fiction in the evening or before bed as it requires less concentration…

How long do you typically read in one session?

If it’s a short snippet, anywhere between 30-50 pages. If I read for an hour or so it will be more than that, but it depends on the book (and if I’m enjoying it or not haha)

Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket off?

Always try and avoid hardbacks at all cost but YES the jacket has to be removed so it doesn’t get scuffed and flap about, can’t deal with that.

What position do you mainly use to read?

Usually curled up on the sofa or in my bed with my knees up, resting the book on a pillow. But I can read on my Kindle in any position as it’s so lightweight.

Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?

Usually – yes. When I’m working I like to read my book on the commute and on lunch breaks. But alas, I am not working at the moment due to COVID-19.

How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?

Usually only at the end, but the other day I did a mini review in the middle of a read, which was interesting. Sometimes it can be nice to know what people think mid way through a read I think.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

  1. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
  2. Green and Pleasant Land by Stephen Shahbazian (a Reedsy book, still awaiting publication)
  3. Lonesome Traveler by Jack Kerouac

I tag… (and anyone else who wants to do it too!)