June 2021 Reading

I’ve been slowly making my way through Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) for months now, as am I now trying to get through books for uni. All in all, not my biggest reading month but hopefully leading to something good.

(Also a little reminder that I will be sending out my first newsletter tomorrow! If you would like to receive it, you can sign up through this link, or go to this site’s menu click on “newsletter”. You will then type in your email address, then receive an email to confirm the subscription. Thank you!)

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writers & Lovers exceeded my expectations; I absolutely loved it! Each scene, each character, each word, held so much weight and importance. This book feels important. I love the continuous reminder of her mother, and the realistic way in which grief comes to us in waves, in which we forget people have died. I love the simplicity of the protagonist’s (Casey) days, yet the complexity buried within her routine, too. A beautifully told book, one that will stick with me for days.

500 Miles by Deborah O’Ferry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has a lot of heart and great themes of friendship and forgiveness. The plot was thoughtful, and the characters were realistic. I also loved that it was set in Australia. My main issue with this self-published novel is the length; the story is dragged out longer than necessary, with a lot of repeated sentiments that I grew tired of.

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full of elements I love in novels; simple storytelling with complex undercurrents that make you stop and think. Short chapters that offer glimpses into a world different to your own. Thoughts of a narrator that shift between agreement and sympathy. This book was beautiful in its simplicity, and offered nuggets of observation, so much so that I could read it again tomorrow and gain a different perspective to how I read it yesterday. I know some people call this book depressing, as it is about a middle aged single woman as she drifts in and out of other peoples lives, observing them without connecting, leaving her mark whilst remaining relatively invisible. And in that sense, it isn’t a happy book. But it is smart, and comments on things that we all notice and experience. Maybe. I do, at least.

Life Mode On by Joanne Orlando

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Exploring the science and statistics behind screen addiction and offering a way of taking back control in a situation where we often feel powerless (how many people mindlessly scroll even when they aren’t enjoying it?). This book is shaped like a gift book – hardback, colourful pages, capitalised words. This is what drew me in because I didn’t want to read something overly heavy, I wanted someone to give me the facts in an accessible, understandable way. So while you could dig so much deeper into screen time, this was a good foundation for discussing the power of technology and social media.

Happy reading!

Sarah xx

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