20:36

I am currently reading The Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. Admittedly, this has been a book that I began reading at the start of the year and then left unfinished. Months later I picked it up again, read a couple of chapters and then left it until now.

While I still have a penchant for reading; my leisure time has adjusted to fit in with my working lifestyle. After work I try and exercise, catch up with friends and family, as well as edit video footage and keep up with my current shows. I find myself too tired to read by the time I crawl into bed; which leaves me with a small window on Sundays to catch up on some reading. On Sundays I try and make time to go to a cafe by myself (either to edit or to read). While I do miss more carefree days spent reading book after book, the nostalgic yet reassuring feelings do return when I settle down to read. It really is amazing how books can shape and mold a person through the written word.

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22:14

My latest reading adventure was American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. My exploration of genres has taken me far and wide but I think this was my biggest challenge yet.

I believe most people have heard of American Psycho and know it to be quite intense. The first couple of chapters ease you into the life of Patrick Bateman. He is suave, good looking, fashionable, knowledgable in music, fashion and food, and comes across as a ‘normal’ guy. His violent and psychotic tendencies are not revealed till later on, shattering the illusion of normality. Patrick struggles with the reality of his life: drugs, women and working on Wall Street. His encounters with his victims increase as his interest in socialising in fancy restaurants subsides.

Going into the book with a few notions of the plot did not prepare me for the intensely detailed scenes depicted. I found some of the torture/murder scenes very graphic and difficult to read. I did the unspeakable and had to skip over sentences and paragraphs due to their violent nature. This very much added to my character profile of Patrick Bateman as a psychopathic killer.

Uncomfortable reading aside; the book was written very well with clear character development through out. Patrick starts off as a put-together, knowledgable man who has the world at his feet, nevertheless by the end he becomes dishevelled, shaken and one who has lost their grip on reality.

My next reading venture will definitely be one with lighter undertones!

21:12

The latest book I finished reading was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is such a well-known book but I found myself not picking it up until my mid-twenties. I never studied it in high school like some of my fellow twenty-somethings did, nor did I hear much about the actual plot of the novel.

Reading it at my current ages has allowed me to appreciate the depth of the story and of the underlying teachings. I also think that reading this after two of Khaled Hosseini’s thought-provoking books enabled me to have a more open mind, and a broader perspective.

I have always considered To Kill A Mockingbird a ‘classic’ book. One of those books that the wider population has read (or at least heard of). A sticker on my copy states ‘over 30 million copies sold worldwide’, which is quite the feat. I am glad to be able to experience such rich culture and detailed lifestyles through the power of the written word. I am also glad that my knowledge of history and its stories has broadened.

20:30

My most recent book venture was Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale. Sometimes it feels refreshing to break out of my usual book genres and to read something a little more extreme.

Takami writes with an intensity that is gripping. While the book boasts plenty of gore and violence, there is a depth to the character development and storyline which is enrapturing.

23:28

I am back in Edinburgh!

On my journeys back and forth from my hometown I always make sure I bring a book (or two). This time round I brought with me Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

Once I get into a book; I get into a book. There was one point in my train journey that I was so engrossed in my book while at a station that I almost didn’t see my connecting train pull in. I have missed reading so much! That feeling of wanting to find out what happens is such a rush! With being busy with university and all, it was nice to have a break and read.

Thoughts on this book? Wonderfully written! Bravo J.R.R. Tolkien, bravo. I have watched all of the LOTR films but there is something about the written word that makes things all the more magical and mystical. One of my favourite parts was the descriptions of the elves. They are described so beautifully and down to every detail, and I believe the films also did well to capture that beauty and elegance.

Next conquests? I think I am going to leave the LOTR trilogy for now simply because my university term is starting again and The Two Towers is pretty hefty. My gift of Norwegian Wood is of reasonable length, and looks to be something I can easily pick up when I have time. Norwegian Wood it shall be!

01:28

Quiet days spent reading in cafes are like battery recharges.

I finished reading The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter on Sunday. I enjoyed the short albeit morbid takes on classic stories and they were all very easy reads. Some of the stories are only two pages long, so a definite recommendation for a busy individual.

I started reading An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green and I like it so far. I enjoy how John Green writes and though his writing sometimes seems aimed at younger YAs, I think they can also be applicable to those older too.

02:17

I added 6 books to my ever-growing collection today! And while I do not usually post photos on this blog, I am a little proud of my wee hoard of books.

I read a variety of books in a variety of genres. My book taste ranges from fantasy/magical worlds to intense murder mysteries, to human behaviour studies to young adult themes. This academic year I will not really have time to read due to my dissertation work load, but I know that I will have my books to fall back on when I graduate and inevitably end up unemployed for at least a few months.

On the left are my university textbooks (which admittedly I rarely use) which currently serve as a makeshift book end. On the right are my novels in alphabetical order by author’s last names.

Most recurring authors: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock series) and John Green (various works).

Most recently purchased: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

Currently reading: The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories by Angela Carter.