June Books: Non-fiction must-reads and queer manga

June was nothing short of a tentative month, commencing with an interminable reading slump and culminating in an freak total of 11 books read. Partway through the month, I decided to switch gears and focus on reading books with more black and LGBTQX+ representation, as I realize that this is still a very niche part of fiction and literature that I myself have been neglecting.

We are seeing trends arising within the book community where the focus has shifted to amplifying the voices of underrepresented voices, but I sincerely hope that rather than fade into the inconsequential oblivion that trends normally do, this newfound awareness will continue to be a talking point, ultimately culminating in a greater presence of black, person-of-colour, white-adjacent and queer representation within the mainstream publishing industry.

Shown below are all the books I read in June, which I will also review individually so as to critique them in greater depth. Please check out the Book Reviews page to read more!

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams –

This book can be described a much needed contemporary voice within modern fiction that shows the harmful effects severe anxiety and abandonment issues can have on human relationships. Queenie has recently broken up with her long-time partner, Tom and this sets her down a tragic path of bad decisions fuelled by unresolved childhood trauma. The narrative also has moments of light humour as a means of comic relief. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

PET by Akwaeke Emezi –

Set in a surrealist utopia, Lucille is a place where ‘monsters’ once ruled, wielding all the negative isms of harmful oppression until the ‘angels’ rose up and overthrew them. Years later, a young transgender girl called Jam, who leads a happy life with her kind and accepting parents in a newly transformed Lucille, encounters a strange creature. It has come to her world to hunt and needs Jam’s help to uncover the identity of a monster hiding in plain sight. This book is extremely current and paints a truer picture of society in its representations of gender identity and poly amorous relationships. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie –

We Should All Be Feminists is a short commentary on the political movement, based on a Ted talk of the same name that was delivered by the author. It deftly dispels misguided notions of feminism and by way of practical experiences argues its relevance in many societies where gender based discrimination is still a threat to many. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trans Like Me: Conversations For All Of Us by C N Lester

This book gives all-encompassing insight into the transgender community, exposing the hostile and structural transphobic sentiment that many suffer, simply for being who they are. It matter-of-factly analyses the existence of trans people throughout human history, highlighting that the existence of other genders outside of the limiting gender binary, do very much exist and are valid. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For more of what I read in June, including commentary on my manga picks, see the video below!

Lochanreads on Booktube

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Why I’m No Longer Talking To Black People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Audio book Reviews

Black Representation In Books

On May 25th 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a black man called George Floyd was brutally murdered by police officers for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer, called Derek Chauvin, who was kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, subsequently causing his death later on that day.

The death of George Floyd and other black American citizens at the hands of gross police brutality has sparked widespread outrage and was the catalyst for a renewed campaign in the Black Lives Matter protests, not just in America but also in the U.K. and across the world.

Source: Euronews

The victims of racially charged hate crimes and police brutality are distressingly many in number and include among many others; Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, as well as numerous peaceful protesters injured in Minneapolis protests.

These heart-wrenching events occurring in shocking succession has seen not only an overwhelming worldwide support of the Black Lives Matter campaign, but it is also inciting many to question their attitudes towards race and in some cases, their unassuming complicity in the systemic racism of their social structures.

This awareness has also led many within the book community to actively seek out books written by mainly black but also person-of-colour authors. It has sparked a much needed conversation regarding the representation of black authors/black main characters in fiction but also across a wide range of literature.

An article from The Guardian made the following observation;

A major survey conducted by the Publishers Association last year found that “significant progress” was still needed to improve racial diversity, with only 11.6% of respondents identifying as BAME – lower than the UK population (14%), and significantly lower than London (40.2%)

Black Writers’ Guild calls for sweeping change in UK publishing -The Guardian

This prominent disparity really emphasises the need for more black representation within the book community. I find it genuinely upsetting and a source of great sorrow that it took such drastic measures for us to finally be having this conversation.

Whiteness within literature has long been considered the default, the bastion of normalcy. The book industry is still predominantly white, from those who preside over its publishing houses to its authors to those who sit on awards committees. It should thus come as no surprise that in this environment, we would expect to mainly read about white protagonists, with little to no representation of other ethnicities. Now that these conversations are becoming a lot more mainstream, we really need to support black authors and campaigns to amplify black voices, thereby disentangling the net of deeply entrenched structural racism within the publishing industry.

Books By Black Authors Recommendations;

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

“Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can’t afford to stay silent.”

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Booktube Review of Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race + Thoughts on the BLM Movement;

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE 😉

Ways To Help The Black Lives Matter Movement;

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

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Thank you for reading! x

The Secret She Kept by J.S Ellis

The Secret She Kept is a suspenseful, hard-hitting, psychological thriller about the murder of a girl called Lottie, who has a terrible secret hidden away on her laptop. By way of several recordings and other clues, this laptop possibly holds information as to the mystery behind her death. Before she died, she entrusted her laptop to her best friend, Anthony, and it now rests on his shoulders to decipher what his usually sweet and docile friend could possibly be hiding? Who could’ve killed her and why?

Firstly, let me express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the author for sending me her book in exchange for my honest review. The Secret She Kept is due to be released later this month (23rd June) after which it will be available for purchase on Amazon in both the formats Kindle and Paperback.

The Secret She Kept possesses a compelling sense of urgency that from the very beginning kept my focus invested in the story throughout and also added an alluring layer of mystery. The unique way that Ellis tells the story by means of Anthony’s narrative coupled with Lottie’s recordings was very creative and novel in a way that I found enjoyable. Despite how plot-driven the story is, I felt that the characterisation was altogether strong, in the way the characters are described and their individual traits explored. For example, we know that Anthony is a sculptor by trade, seems a bit reclusive but altogether a genuine person who is always willing to help his friends in their time of need.

The plosive hard-hitting sentences does create a sense of urgency and necessity but it also made it seem a bit too skeletal and in need of more fleshing out and more character building. I would have especially loved, and believe there was greater scope for some more still, drawn out moments from Anthony’s narrative throughout. However, judging The Secret She Kept on its enjoyment value alone, I would highly recommend this book as quick and easy-to-read piece of entertainment for all avid thriller readers.

About the author: J.S Ellis is a thriller author. She has a degree in creative writing, English literature, and digital marketing. She lives in Malta with her fiancé and their kitty fur baby Eloise. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either cooking, eating cheese and chocolate, or listening to good music and enjoying a glass of wine or two.

Website https://joannewritesbooks.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorJ.SEllis/
Twitter @joannewriter
Instagram @author_j.sellis
Goodreads http://bit.ly/2P8a9xx
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-s-ellis

Thank you for reading and please follow the link for more Book Reviews x.

Asian Readathon Month

This month throughout May, I will be participating in Asian Readathon Month which was created by the widely known blogger and book YouTuber, Cindy Pham from @readwithcindy. I love participating in themed reading challenges, albeit with a dominant leaning towards picking up any particular book on any given occasion i.e. mood reading as it is affectionately termed.

As well as using this occasion to re-read some of my favourite contemporary books, I thought it was a brilliant initiative to incite conversations that eliminate stigma unfairly being levelled towards Asians, particularly individuals of Chinese descent, in light of the global spread of coronavirus. But also how those at the very centre of such gross discrimination are themselves espousing the same level of intolerance towards Africans in parts of China.

So in today’s post, I will be sharing with you some of the books I intend to read specifically for Asian Readathon Month. Please also check out the video below where I go into a bit more explanation as to my reading choices and share a superb recommendation that you all ought to read expediently.

My TBR for Asian Readathon Month plus one recommendation

╰⊱♥⊱╮ღ꧁ ꧂ღ╭⊱♥≺

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Published in 2017 by Penguin Press, this book is about a political clash over the custody of an abandoned Chinese baby that threatens the seamless order of a picture perfect community. Click the picture to read my full review!

2. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Keiko Furukura has been working in the same convenience store for the last 18 years and seems content to continue doing so despite external pressures from friends and family. Little do they realize though, that Keiko’s job is her only means of knowing how to respond to almost any social interaction. Convenience Store Woman was published in 2018 by Portobello Books.

3. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees was published in 2017 by Corsair and is a collection of short stories, all relating to the lives of Vietnamese individuals in pursuit of some form of refuge. A beautifully written set of stories. To see the full review, click the photo (pictured left)

4. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Published in 1987 by Kodansha Ltd, Norwegian Wood is the abstract and symbolic story about Toru Watanabe who hears the song, Norwegian Wood aboard a flight and is transported back to his disillusioned past, full of loss and longing.

╰⊱♥⊱╮ღ꧁ ꧂ღ╭⊱♥≺

Are you reading anything in particular for Asian Readathon Month or taking part in any other reading challenge? Please let me know in the comments!

Click here for more Book Reviews!

Books Taught Me Something New – Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

To quote from my Books That Changed My Perspective post, the book discussed in today’s post “ha[s] not only revealed to me my ignorance on certain issues of great societal and political importance, but also perfectly exemplif[ies] the fact that reading isn’t just a means of escape but rather a means by which we become enlightened.

But rather than go into philosophical depths of the book I’ve chosen to feature, I’m going to focus specifically on the things I learned, in the hope that you will be encouraged to give it a read.

Today’s post was inspired by Hayley @Backpacking Bookworm who is a fellow book blogger and good friend of mine, so please do go and check out her fantastic reviews and also follow her on Bookstagram. Also thank you to Hayley for getting me posting again! I’m not nearly as regular as I should be .. :/

Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman (2010)

2013 Netflix adaptation – Series 1 cast

Orange Is The New Black is a memoir all about the real life events that took place in Kerman’s life subsequently culminating in a 15-month prison sentence.

Kerman is a freshly graduated college student with no definitive plans for her future and thus finds herself coaxed into the life of drug trafficking. This attractive life in crime doesn’t last though and soon she gives it up, finds a steady job and lands herself a dream finacee. Until her world is upended when six years later, she is convicted and sentenced to 15 months in a woman’s prison in Danbury, Connecticut.

I largely enjoyed listening to this book and felt absolutely bereft when it ended, as I feel like the book did an excellent job of taking the reader on the narrator’s journey. Though some parts seemed pedestrian and quite banal, in that it was mostly a comprehensive look at daily life, I learnt a great deal from this book.

I felt completely enlightened on life in prison and the book certainly debunked previous misconceptions I may have had. As well as commenting on the harshness of the environment that the prisoners are forced to live in, it also looks at the general feeling of solidarity they all have and the way they assimilate into their new surroundings, the fact that the prisoners often leave prison with a new skill or trade and in some cases, an education.

It discusses the ineffectual training prisoners receive when being prepared to assimilate back into the outside world. During this section in particular, Kerman reminisces about a time when a fellow prisoner asks the trainer leading the class, how one is supposed to get a job upon leaving prison, to which a sub-par response was proffered.

Above all, this book taught me the reason why ex-convicts often re-offend and land themselves back in prison and that was probably the most poignant lesson of all. Kerman speaks of fellow prisoners who have left Danbury, with no family to speak of and a feeling of no future prospects. Such would explain why, in some instances, ex-convicts fall back into a life of crime, beacuse in prison, there is a sense of family, albeit the hell-like setting in which they live. Life on the outside can be just as hellish, with all its stigma, oppression and inequality.

There are several other points of political import I could expand upon, such as the narrator’s realization of her social privilege and her acknowledgement of the social customs and idiosyncrasies of other nationalities and races. Though Orange Is The New Black received quite an average rating on Goodreads and though I would slightly agree with that rating, I would still recommend this book, purely for the level of insight I gleaned whilst reading it.

This novel was later adapted for television by Netflix in 2013 and with a very respectable IMDB rating of 8.1 out of 10 (at the time of this post) and six seasons under its belt, I may feel inclined to watch it!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Art Of Making Memories by Meik Wiking

The Art Of Making Memories was written by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark who is also known for writing the New York Times best seller, The Little Book Of Hygge.

Wiking’s latest book is all about how we can turn happy moments into lasting memories and in so doing slow down the passage of time. The Art Of Making Memories was published in 2019 by Penguin Books Life.

This book was gifted to me by Penguin Books in exchange for my review, and I would like to thank them sincerely for reaching out to me with this heartening Christmas present.

“In 2018, we conducted a massive global study around happy memories at the Happiness Research Institute: the Happy Memory Study.”

The Art Of Making Memories, pg. 9

Herein we have the stratum for this book. Based on the findings from this experiment, Wiking discusses eight ways you and I can make happier, more lasting memories, and it can be explained simply in the mnemonic; MEMO SNAP!

M eaningful 💍

E motional ❤️️

M ulti-sensory 👃

O utsourcing 📸

S torytelling 📕

N ovel and extraordinary ✈

A ttention ⚠

P eak and struggle ⛰

Among the many positive takeaways I got from this book was the beautiful photography throughout, most of which can be attributed to the author himself. The Art Of Making Memories isn’t just about the content and the dissecting of various statistical analyses, but also the lustrous presentation of the book itself.

The tone of the book is interactive in a way that felt conversationally inclined, made manifest in the many charming quips the author uses and the way he draws upon his own experiences in tandem with inciting the reader to conjure their own.

For example, in the chapter Capture Peaks And Struggles, when Wiking expanded upon the Happy Memory Tip: Consider Taking The Long Route, I was instantly reminded of a winter (an almighty six years ago) when myself and a friend made an impromptu visit to Bergen in Norway and proceeded to frolic about the peak of Mount Fløyen like two protagonists in a Brothers Grimm fairytale.

We made our ascent via the Fløibanen funicular tram service and seemed to mutually agree that the best way to solidify this fantasy experience in our shared memories was to make our descent on foot. The snow that day in December was unrelenting and we were the picture of Himalayan yetis as we battled the elements, but I digress.

The Art Of Making Memories was a heartening read that unlike most other books, not only engages the reader but also impels them to get up and do. It was very hard for me personally to find any issues with this book, other than certain moments where the narrative felt like it was veering off on a tangent, but for the most part, the overall message of the book was altogether cohesive.

The Art Of Making Memories offers an abundance of practical tips and personable writing that was thoroughly enjoyable and thus warrants my recommendation. And of the many things this book has impelled me to get up and do, is to find out more about this “writing retreat” Wiking is planning to organize at some point this year. I must say, I am somewhat intrigued.. (Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Book Reviews

Revolution by Russell Brand

LochanReads on Booktube!

The Writer by J.C. Maetis

The Writer is a distinctive take on events that took place during the early twentieth century, before the onset of the Second World War. It particularly focuses on the lives of Jewish people living in Austria, during a time when a sense of growing disdain finally culminates in outright antisemitic hostility.

The two main characters, Mathias Kraemer and Johannes Namal have a close friendship that not only stems from their shared Jewish heritage, but also from their shared profession as writers. When the rise of Nazism infiltrating Austria threatens to harm them and their families, they both decide to become part of an underground identity change network, in the hopes that this will keep them safe from the clutches of the fear-inspiring state police.

The Writer was gifted to me by the author in exchange for my review. This review is not sponsored.

The Writer began extremely well, with tons of promise and potential. It offers a unique insight that is generally lacking from other books of a similar genre. I really enjoyed reading the initial part of this novel and I felt very much invested in the story, the characters and their development. However, The Writer ultimately fails to maintain this strong start until the end.

I unfortunately had a few issues with The Writer. The novel sets itself up as a POV (Point Of View) novel, where each new chapter explores another character’s perspective. However this structure lacks consistency and even more so as the story progresses. At one point during Johannes’ POV section, the story transitions into the events of a character where Johannes is not present, so he would not have been able to narrate these events, thereby causing the narrative to conveniently shift into the omnipresent third-person.

As we get into the final part of the book, the thriller element and accompanying sense of urgency it tries to convey starts to become very rushed. Also I started to become disillusioned with the relentless use of exclamations – The safe was open! The gun wasn’t there! – that became especially prolific towards the end. It felt like the novel was trying to create suspense, but this too fell short for me.

Overall, The Writer was largely enjoyable and has undeniable potential.

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Many thanks and appreciation to the author, J.C. Maetis for his continued patience and for gifting this book to me in exchange for my honest review!

My Top Ten Books Of 2019

I’m back from my blogging hiatus to share with you my Top Ten Books of 2019!

These were my best reads to not only end the year but also to end a decade.. Just let that sink in for a moment. The Noughties generation are now approaching their twenties, Myspace feels like an intangible relic, faded into antiquity and we still don’t have flying cars. (Thanks, Back to the future).

But before we look ahead to new beginnings and the buds of a new chapter in history, let us first look back at my 2019 in books.

Lochanreads on Booktube || Top Ten Books Of 2019

No. 10

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid A deeply insightful, enticing read. I believe Reid has perfectly captured a wholly engaging style of story-telling.

No. 9

The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonThe best murder mystery thriller I read in 2019! The premise is striking, novel and full of suspense!

No. 8

The Confessions Of Frannie Langton by Sara CollinsDaring, subversive and irresistibly stark. Frannie’s woeful tale lingers in the mind.

No. 7

Adèle by Leïla SlimaniThe most daring book I read in 2019! Adèle’s story is one of raw depth and surprising insight.

No. 6

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather MorrisAn uplifting tale of hope and love in the face of extreme adversity. A gripping read I finished in practically one sitting!

No. 5

Lords Of The North by Bernard CornwallCornwall’s Saxon Series abounds in epic greatness, with gritty and emotionless humour.

No. 4

The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories by Angela CarterPerfectly seductive story-telling at its finest. Voluptuous and alluring, Carter’s fairy-tale re-tellings boast a level of excess that borders on Gothicism.

No. 3

Revolution by Russell BrandA well articulated denouncement of a corrupt and outdated political and economic system. Brand presents a refreshingly unique perspective and makes you laugh whilst doing it!

No. 2

Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe intense love affair between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is the most novel romance I’ve ever read. A timeless and melancholic story of character-driven depth.

꧁ No. 1 ꧂

Gone With The Wind by Margaret MitchellOne of those books every book lover must read! Gone With The Wind is emotionally stirring, timeless and simply unforgettable.

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Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts and if you have any recommendations you would like to share!

🎉 Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! 🎉

To read more amazing reviews, please click here.

Birthday Book Haul!

In October I reached yet another age on the wrong side of twenty, so some lovely friends and colleagues of mine, thoughtfully presented me with a book token as a gift. I have to say, it was a most unexpected gift but I was touched by the sentiment.

And in true lastminute.com fashion, I have only now remembered to make use of it, amassing a total of four new books to add to my ever growing collection. Here’s what I finally decided to buy after spending the best part of Friday afternoon roaming the stacked columns of my local Waterstones;

“As much a story of paradise found as it is of paradise lost…Extraordinary.” – New York Times

Call Me By Your Name was written by André Aciman and published in 2007 by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. It was later adapted for cinema in 2017, starring among its cast, the Hollywood actor, Armie Hammer, who also narrated the audio book.

This contemporary romance is about “a blossoming romantic relationship between [an intellectually precocious and curious 17-year-old boy named Elio Perlman and a visiting 24-year-old scholar named Oliver] in 1980s Italy. ”

“A gripping read and a haunting story of love, loss and betrayal. Guranteed to move even the hardest heart.” – Independent

The Kite Runner is the highly acclaimed debut novel by American-Afghani author Khaled Hosseini. It was originally published in 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for more than two years.

This is the story about Amir, “a Sunni Muslim, who struggles to find his place in the world because of the aftereffects and fallout from a series of traumatic childhood events.” – Cliffnotes

“A voice of breathtaking beauty, a masterpiece.” – Observer

The God Of Small Things is the debut novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy. It was orginally published in 1997 by Flamingo books and has won awards including the prestigious Booker Prize.

“It is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the “Love Laws” that lay down “who should be loved, and how. And how much.” ” – Wikipedia

A Staggering achievement. Brilliantly enjoyable – Nadine Gordimer

The Satanic Verses is the deeply controversial fourth novel by British-Indian writer, Sir Salman Rushdie. It was originally published in 1988 by Vintage Books and is said to have caused widespread uproar in the Islamic community.

“The complex and multilayered plot focuses on two protagonists, both Indian Muslims living in England. Gibreel Farishta is a successful film actor who has suffered a recent bout of mental illness and who is in love with an English mountain climber, Alleluia Cone.” – Britannica

*Lochanreads on Booktube*

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and your thoughts on them.

For more bookish articles and to read my Book Reviews, please click here!

Books That Changed My Perspective

Hey Bookworms! In today’s post, I’m going to share with you some books that completely changed my perspective. These books have not only revealed to me my ignorance on certain issues of great societal and political importance, but also perfectly exemplify the fact that reading isn’t just a means of escape but rather a means by which we become enlightened.

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This book also holds the record for making me cry; a difficult feat to accomplish and indeed one that has never been accomplished since. A Thousand Splendid Suns is the epitome of loss and heart-rending tragedy. It exposes the brutality of a harsh regime that particularly effected the women and young girls of its time, but also carries overtures of something infinitely more hopeful.

The Afghani author, who also wrote the award-winning The Kite Runner, set up his charity, The Khaled Hosseini Foundation in 2008 with the aim of providing humanitarian relief, more economic opportunities for women and healthcare and education for children who need it most. His latest novel, Sea Prayer, published in 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing is a novel about the fear and uncertainty of being forced to flee one’s country and seek refuge, in light of the Syrian war. Hosseini perfectly uses the medium of writing to raise awareness about the suffering and political tensions affecting mostly Middle Eastern regions and the reading of his novels is sure to change one’s perspective.

2. Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda – I had the pleasure of meeting the charming Ivy earlier this year, albeit for a passing moment at a book signing, celebrating the release of her latest novel in the U.K. But it was enough to glean the vivacity of her personality.

Wonder Valley is irresistible in the way it explores the central theme of redemption. It delves into the muti-faceted nature of criminality. This is perfectly personified through the characterisation of Ren, who can’t seem to escape a life of drugs and crime, no matter how much he tries to seek change. Wonder Valley is extremely raw and unfiltered in the way it paints a true depiction of L.A. by commenting on life in Skid Row, which is something that has been expertly airbrushed out of recognizance in most representations of L.A. what I would normally associate with A-list celebrities and pristine neighbourhoods.

Ivy Pochoda is another author who has used the medium of books to raise awareness of the overlooked hardships of people who live in less fortunate neighbourhoods. It also goes into captivating detail about the psychology of sects by means of the desert dwellers of Twentynine Palms and the complex psyche of crime. All these elements perfectly marry to create a story that had a profound effect on me.

3. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell – Interestingly, Gone With The Wind is a classical epic that is said to have been written on the foundations of ‘boredom,’ which I find very intriguing given the monumental scope of this book. Stripped back to its core, this life-changing novel is about the enthralling romance between headstrong Scarlet O’Hara and the snide, coy and cool character that is Rhett Butler. However, Gone With The Wind possesses so much more depth. It comments on the politics of its day, the social norms, it analyses the double-edged sword of slavery and the crippling fear of war.

It symbolises beautifully the romanticism and redundancy of the Old South, with its followers of self-assured arrogance that have been left utterly displaced in the rising of a New South. It develops its main character seamlessly, who grows more ruthless in the face of the many brutal realities that befall her. And it sheds an interesting light on slavery, a perspective where slaves are somehow left feeling bereft and disorientated with their newfound emancipation. In short, Gone With The Wind is a life-changing book that has ultimately become one of my all-time favourites.

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Thank you for reading! I hope I’ve encouraged you to give on of these three books a go and that if you do, you enjoy it as much as I did.

Please also check out some of my latest reviews;

This…novel is about the extremely intense love affair between Mr Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and the societal forces that tries to divide them
Lords Of The North is a historical epic and complement to a series that I’m excited to continue reading more about.