For a long time after finishing my English Literature and Film degree, I didn't really read. There's something about being forced to read a book a week, one that you probably wouldn't have chosen yourself, and then having to sit and pull it apart that kind of takes the joy out of it.
However, recently I've been picking up more and more book and I'm getting my love of diving into a fictional world back at a rapid pace! I thought I'd share a little round up of the best books I've read recently, in case you were looking for some reading inspiration!
Being an English Literature and Film graduate (First Class, baby!) I love books that have been turned into films. I think if they have been deemed interesting enough to be made into a full length movie, then there must be something there. Obviously this isn't always the case and sometimes the films destroy the book (or occasionally the other way round, I'm looking at you Death Comes To Pemberley). I'm yet to watch the film of Still Alice, and I'm hestitant to because even though Julianne Moore won the Oscar for her portrayal of Alice, I'm scared to won't be as personal and heart breaking.
Still ALice follows the story of Alice Howland, a language professor from Harvard, who at 50 years old, discovers she has Alzheimer's Disease. The book is written in the first person, and it's so frustrating to follow Alice's train of thought when she has forgotten why she came in a room, or goes upstairs for a jumper before she goes out and ends up sat on the sofa with a cup of tea reading a book because she forgot to leave the house. It's sad. Really sad. How much this devastating disease takes away from such a brilliant mind is horrible, and yet I loved Alice and the book so much. I hope the film does it justice.
The Rest Of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness
I wasn't sure what I was going to make of this one; it's a Young Adult which I admittedly love, and usually read in days but this sounded a bit odd. The premise is that Mikey and his friends sort of live around an "event", think Divergent or the Hunger Games without Tris or Katniss. They struggle through their everyday lives of high school, relationships and generally being teenagers while there's a sort of invasion happening in the background. It's like Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Twilight, but in a good way. It's not easy to explain, but I really enjoyed it and was very glad I gave it a go.
Me Before You / After You - Jojo Moyes
Another one that I read after hearing it was going to be a film; Me Before You is a British Nicholas Sparks type book. It will make you cry (I'm made of stone and I CRIED, didn't even tear up at the film though...), and I know there's been some controversy about how it portrays paraplegia, but I saw this as the story of two people in a very difficult situation and nothing else. Me Before You is lovely, Louise Clark is lovely and we can all see ourselves as the twenty something girl still living in a small town with her parents (at least I can). However, what happens when she goes to work for the Traynors and meets Will, who believes his life is now over after an accident left him paralysed from the neck down, is slightly less known to us. I really liked it, and it was a departure from my usual, slightly more serious reads.
After You is the sequel; it follows Louisa after the events of Me Before You and how you continue to live after your world and everything you knew about it has changed. I liked this one less, as it missed the charm of the first book but it was an easy read and was nice to catch up with Louisa.
The Martian - Andy Weir
Are you sensing that I really like to read books that have been turned into films? They are definitely my go to in the book shop/Kindle Store. I actually saw The Martian before I read it, which is unlike me. However, the two are SO similar that it didn't really matter, there's just a slight change to the ending, and less days of Mark Watney being alone on Mars but the jist is exactly the same. If you've not read it or seen the film, The Martian is about a Mars mission which encounters an extreme sand storm and has to abort, on the way to the shuttle to launch, Mark Watney is blown away and speared by a stray bit of debris. The crew leaves him, thinking he's a goner; but lo-and-behold, he's not! So he is stranded alone, on Mars, with no way to get home and no way to contact NASA. The book is mainly his diary, chronicling his daily life as the only person on the red planet. It's very science-y and space-y, but if you like that (which I do) then I'd definitely give it a try!
Room - Emma Donoghue
And another one... Room has stayed with me even though I read it months ago. It's like nothing I've ever read and the ending pretty much destroyed me emotionally. Room is about a 5 year-old boy Jack, who narrates the story, Ma, his mum and Room. Ma was kidnapped as a teenager and put in a small room in the back garden of her captor's house. Jack was born in there as a result of Ma being raped by her kidnapper, which continues to happen throughout the book although through Jack's five year old eyes. It's so interesting to see how Jack sees the world, which to him is only Room as he's never left it. The film was possibly more heartbreaking than the book; it's not actually sad but just so emotional and powerful. I don't think I'll read it again, but I definitely won't forget it.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child - JK Rowling
First things first, there are no spoilers here! I know a lot of people are waiting to see the play, and I don't want to be the one to spoil it for anyone! I really loved being back in the Harry Potter world; just opening the book and reading it made me feel the excitement of being 11 again and discovering the Harry Potter world. It wasn't the story I would've liked it to be; there were some missing people, some odd character choices, some odd plot choices. But just reading it felt so magical, that I couldn't hate it. It won't be canon to me, but it was lovely to be back in the world that played such a huge part my childhood for the 3 days it took me to read.
Have you read anything good lately? Any book recommendations?
[Cover image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41315642@N04/4279916058/ ]