Review: Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

Reading this extraordinarily perceptive novel in my garden during the July heat wave, the cover gradually fading in the sunlight and the pages getting crumpled by my fingers greasy with sun cream, I was absorbed into the world of Penelope Lively’s book: one simmering with barely contained emotions and the heat of an extreme English summertime. At just under 200 pages this book is no … Continue reading Review: Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård

Short trousers, redcurrants, summer rain, campsites, tears, electric hand mixers, intelligence, ice cubes, skin and plums. These are some of the objects and phenomena that Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgård describes in his book, Summer. Continue reading So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård

Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the rare pieces of literature that sits in the Venn diagram overlap of edgy teens and Romantic scholars. A tale of creation and loss, ambition and remorse, love and grief, Shelley remains the queen of innovative paralleling, not just in themes but in her characters. Her unique frame narrative of letters, stories, and even her preface never ceases to impress me with its clever overlapping and, while some parts of the tale are so implausible as to seem ridiculous, her intricacy and exquisite language rightly puts Frankenstein in the literary canon.
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Review: Jack by Shane Moore O’Sullivan

“The boys laughed and whispered to me that they were called the Lounge Cats, or something like that, and that they were quite famous. I replied that so was I.” (193)

The taxi driver known as Jack the Hat is undoubtedly a local celebrity in Exeter and its surrounding areas, and had been since long before the publication of this book. This quasi-mythical figure was made known to me before my first year had even started, when a fourth-year friend encouraged me to save the number of his taxi service in my phone. She told me a story of how Jack had helped her friend recover a misplaced credit card, and, in the following months, I heard more and more tales of Jack’s unprecedented kindness and heroism. Continue reading Review: Jack by Shane Moore O’Sullivan

In My Good Books: ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover

Whilst Educated depicts the protagonist’s liberation through education, fittingly this novel leaves the reader educated themselves. Based on a true story, Educated follows the story of Tara Westover who was born into a strict and alienating Mormon family. Set in rural Idaho, as a child Tara has no concept of the oddity of her brutal family life as she must navigate her abusive older brother and the stringent gender roles. Educated tells the tale of extreme devoutness, familial guilt and eventually self-liberation. This page-turner fundamentally preaches the necessity of independent thought and, most importantly, education. Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover

Top Spring Reads

It’s no surprise that when the sun comes out Netflix loses its appeal (or maybe throughout winter you’ve already browsed and binged all it has to offer), and everyone rushes outside to soak up some irresistible sunshine – more often than not with a book in hand. As a reader, nothing beats the sense of being totally immersed within the pages of a novel, so why not foster that feeling by reading something suited to the season? The blissful time is not too far away when compulsory course reading lists will be a long-forgotten memory and any book opened will be one of complete choice. In the meantime, get your spring-reading bucket list in order; here are some suggestions that offer particularly compelling reads at this time of year. Continue reading Top Spring Reads

Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott

Hold the phone. The award winning journalist, Sunday Times Style Columnist, co-host of The High Low and all round mega-babe Dolly Alderton is hitting our very own Northcott this March. After a hugely successful run of live dates throughout 2018, the Exeter Alumni returns to her alma mater to celebrate the paperback publication of her bestselling debut Everything I Know About Love. The paperback, which includes a new chapter Everything I Know At Thirty, discusses the surprising realisations and reflections that come with hitting such a milestone. Promising to be an evening full of love and laughter, it’s an event you certainly do not want to miss. Continue reading Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott