Confessions of an English Literature Student: September

Please note: All actions conducted throughout this post are not commonly practiced by all English Literature students – it’s just me, well I like to think other students do but I highly doubt it, so again, this is just me.

Let’s start at the beginning. It’s a few weeks before the start of 3rd year…

It’s the end of August. September is dawning. You remember you have a reading list, you haven’t read anything from that reading list, you don’t have any of the books on that reading list in your possession! – $@!% – You search for the books on Amazon but you find that they are cheaper on Ebay, score! Oh, second hand? You think, ‘ah, a few coffee rings, some creased spines and dog-eared pages, it’ll be okay.’ Add them all to your bag. Proceed to checkout. You want to pay extra for next-day delivery because you’re an idiot and you left it too late and need them as soon as possible. Turns out next-day delivery is more expensive than the books themselves – what?! – So you go back to Amazon. You see that Amazon works out cheaper (next-day delivery included)! – Better! – Proceed to checkout, pay, order confirmed – success!

The next day you are expecting the books to arrive. It’s not a clothes or shoes delivery, so you haven’t been hanging around the front door all morning or peering out of the windows waiting for a delivery van to park up – puh-lease like I do that anyway, who am I kidding? Of course I do that – but these are just books (spoken like a passionate English Literature student, eh?)

The books finally arrive. You unbox them to make sure they’re all there. Really you are secretly checking the thickness of each one, as you calculate how long it would actually take you to finish each one. Ah, you can get each one read in two days easy! In reality: Two weeks tops – give or take a few days – for each one. You place your mini library in a pile on your desk, you aim to start reading straight away. The pile isn’t touched for two weeks. The new term starts in two days. You panic. Time has gone too fast, you’ve been too busy…binge watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix all Summer. You pick up the slimmest book of the lot. By luck it is also the first book on the reading list. You begin to read it. The introduction is long, like really long. You skip that and find the first chapter. Eleven pages in you put the book down. It hasn’t enticed you yet so you think ‘time for a cuppa’. You make the tea. You sit in front of the TV.

Forty-four minutes later. The episode you have just viewed has ended on a cliffhanger. You’ve finished your tea…a while ago. You need to know what happens in the next episode. You reach for the TV remote, but then hesitate. You reach for the book instead, good girl. You tell yourself to read up until the next chapter. When you reach the next chapter the plot finally begins to get interesting, so you continue reading. Ah, false alarm, the book has hit a lull. The book gets placed down (again). You say to yourself ‘you love books, you really do!’

You tell yourself, you’ll read more tomorrow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The confessional chronicles is a little something I thought would be fun to share with you guys. It’s basically an update of what I get up to at Uni (or haven’t got up to) but kind of like a behind-the-scenes version of all the kafuffle and chaos that comes along the way – I know every student at some point can relate with. Stay tuned for my first day of third year…

Sincerely,
the bookworm finding it difficult to finish a book (oh the irony!)
x

P.S. I do love books, I really do!

Book Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Okay all you bookworms, I got a little something for you. I only do book reviews when I really think the book deserved to be buzzed about (or if it was so awful that I don’t think any human should read it, ever.) But The Miniaturist definitely deserves to be buzzed about!

My first take on it was just how refreshing it was to read! Within the sea of newly published print that are piled up in Waterstones, WH Smith and are top selling on Amazon – Burton’s book stood out to me. Okay, you know the whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? – (C’mon I know we all do it) and I’ll admit I did that with this one, it was Waterstones’ whole ‘limited edition book cover’ and the ‘exclusive only at Waterstones’ promotions that got me – and I was bloody glad it did! It’s a rare gem that is beautiful inside and out, Burton’s writing style is reminiscent of the classical greats, yet the modern twists of language and its fluidity when telling the story is what makes it unique.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is a pretty looking cover, right?

So, now about the actual story….

Burton takes us back all the way to the year 1686, Amsterdam and with the year and setting this story immediately oozes a uniqueness and quality that other recent publications lack. Although the story is written in English the thing that makes it different is the Amsterdam-ian phrases that Burton slips into the story when talking about a certain type of food or dress, it brings the culture of the setting alive!

The reader is viewing this world through the eyes of our protagonist, the very young Petronella as we witness the way she adjust to her newly married life and the complications she also has been married to. We are whisked back to the very old, highly religious and traditional ways of society where there are clear divisions of those that are prestigious and the paupers. The characters Burton has created live in a world we are not familiar with, we gain a taste of the harshness of the real world yet it offers a hint of a fairy-tale –  from evil sister in-laws to slaves and secrets, it’s constantly full of surprises! It made me go ‘WHAT!?’ a couple of times with a few gasps and once maybe I think I was like ‘NOOOO’ whilst my jaw had dropped for a few pages. So yeah, the perfect page-turner and in my opinion, a modern classic.

And I suppose that’s all I can really say without giving it all away!

If you’ve already read it and loved it as much as I did – or maybe you hated it, its not everybody cup of tea – but I’d still love to hear your opinions!  😉 And recommendations for reads are always in need, so please give me some! Need something to escape from my uni reading list!

Bookworm out!