21:54

My latest book read was Charlotte Mendelson’s Almost English. The book follows a Hungarian family (namely a mother and daughter) and their life in the UK. I picked the book because I was enticed by the blurb and by my curiosity of Hungarian culture.

My thoughts on the book? I was not overly impressed with the content because it seemed to lack depth. Just as I was starting to feel a connection with the characters; the book came to an abrupt ending. The last few chapters left questions unanswered and several loose ends. I suspect that the book is aimed at a younger audience hence the character and plot development is less established. This was a disappointing read in my opinion but I guess that’s what I get for choosing books on a whim! Onto my next venture!

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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!

22:19

Is it really almost the end of January already? The days are flying by!

For me January is never an exciting month. After a hectic December I normally spend January sinking back into my normal day-to-day routine. Work is the same old grind: waking up to an alarm, taking the bus to the office, working throughout the day, and then returning home in the evening. Leisure times remain similar: reading, blogging thoughts, watching shows and Youtube videos, swimming, and occasionally babysitting my relatives.

January sometimes feels like the filler month before the year really gets going. I have plans scheduled for the rest of the year however my January calendar page remains empty. People talk about new beginnings and starting afresh in January, but for me it is a return to the old. It is a return to what I know, to how I have lived in the past, and is the waiting room for the rest of the year to start.

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.

22:02

Yesterday I took half a day to focus on myself and caught up on some reading in the lovely (although short-lived) sun. I also went and got myself a cinnamon and sugar crepe from the numerous Fringe Festival food stalls. Having dessert at 3pm is acceptable right? Because “treat yo’ self!”

Recently I have been feeling a little out of sorts because I feel like I do not belong anywhere. That feeling of ‘not fitting in’ is not just reserved for angsty teens trying to find themselves but also for young adults like myself. Some days I feel very distant from my family and friends and can go days without speaking to anyone in person. Admittedly that is sometimes my fault because I hide myself away from social interaction however I would like to break that.

I start my new job this week so hopefully that will serve as a distraction to what I am feeling as of this moment.

22:30

A little background for those who are new followers to the blog:-

  • I recently finished my undergraduate studies at university and am waiting on my graduation in July.
  • I like to read books of all genres.
  • I enjoy documenting my thoughts.
  • I currently live in Edinburgh, Scotland, but I was born in Leicester down in England.

I feel like I hit a mini milestone today. I had my first telephone interview and am pleased to say that I passed it! My interviewer was friendly and informative, and made me feel at ease during the whole process. I have been put forward to have an official face-to-face interview next week, which is very exciting news. Onwards and upwards!

00:15

I recently finished reading The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. I found it a short yet informative read. It was a moving tale of innocence in a harrowing context. While it is in the school curriculum to learn about World War 2, the true devastation isn’t really felt until personal stories are told. I also recently wrote an essay comparing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak with another text, the context being of the same time frame. Both books make a great impact in depicting the lives of children caught up in the throes of war, living with the ideals of a ruler they do not know or understand.

The character of Bruno is easy to identify with. His curious nature and exploratory attitude allowed him to find and befriend Shmuel. This book was an eye opener into the effects of war, not just on the Jews but on the Germans also.

01:03

I recently finished reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. This was something out of my normal reading genre but it was an interesting and informative read.

My thoughts on the book? The book follows the story of the first fast food chains and how they got to where they are today: the triumphs, the law suits and the perseverance of the owners. The influence of the American fast food industry is vast and has seamlessly blended into our everyday lives. Each country around the world has a McDonalds chain; and the food is distributed to billions around the globe. It also raised issues of health and safety, factory accidents, employee benefits (or lack of), and union representation. Advertising for fast food is known to target children as their main audience, and it is widely accepted that the food is of a good standard to be consumed. Early fast food chains had problems with meat suppliers and turned to alternative ones which meant quality decreased as costs decreased. I found some parts of the book very fact-based with little comment from the writer. Scanning through the history of companies and their altercations and protests can be tedious.

While many have sworn off McDonalds and other fast food after reading this book, I am neither here nor there on the topic. There is no doubt that the food is convenient and cheap, but it is also unhealthy and produced in bad working conditions. I would recommend it as an intriguing read, and you can make your own informed decision on the matter.