Brushstrokes in Time – Sylvia Vetta

“I come into this world Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow.” My Bank Holiday Monday has not quite gone the way I expected it to. I had planned a Spring clean, preparations for the coming week at work, perhaps a walk. None of this has yet happened. I have instead read, from start to finish,…

Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman

I have always adored Norse Mythology. I love the way that the Gods are, despite being all-powerful, as flawed as humans. Thor is reckless. Odin is self-centred. Loki – well, Loki is the most amazing character I have ever come across. Greedy, cunning and always scheming. I’ve read many depictions of Norse mythology, from many…

Quicksand – Malin Persson Giolito

  “You are innocent until the courts have ruled that you are guilty. What kind of weird statement is that? Either you’re innocent all along, or else you did it, right from the start.” I’d never heard of Malin Persson Giolito before I picked up this book, drawn in by its cover and a description…

Top 10 Non-Fiction Books To Expand Your Mind

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot The value of non-fiction books is so often overlooked in favour of other, more instant sources of knowledge (cough…internet…cough), but sometimes there is nothing so beautiful and…

Engleby – Sebastian Faulks

“Lonely’s like any other organism; competitive and resourceful in the struggle to perpetuate itself.” Everyone knows Sebastian Faulks; Birdsong is an immensely popular novel (with good reason, it was impeccably researched and written with precision). I’m not sure if Engleby is as well known. I have no idea if people like it. I’ve never heard…

The Sense Of An Ending – Julian Barnes

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” This book’s synopsis immediately drew me to it. It is a study of human memory, and whether the past as we recall it is actually what happened – and if it’s not, whether anyone can say what…

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

“I assumed everything bad in the world could happen, because everything bad in the world already did happen.” I bought this book for two reasons. Firstly, when I’d mentioned that I enjoyed American Psycho to a friend, they recommended this to me and secondly, the big red sticker on the front which says ‘from the…

Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin

“There’s a great satisfaction in knowing that we’ve made good use of our days, that we’ve lived up to our expectations of ourselves.” When I bought this book, struggling with the stresses of full-time work and study, I wanted a magical fix. I thought it would be easier to clean the house if I made…

La Bête humaine (The Beast Within) – Zola

“As if one killed by calculation! A person kills only from an impulse that springs from his blood and sinews, from the vestiges of ancient struggles, from the need to live and the joy of being strong.” If you haven’t read any Zola, you must! His characters are always flawed, gritty and real, forcing their…

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then-who knows?-maybe…

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

“We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.” I had never heard of Murakami until my leaving party at my first ever proper job. I was moving away, and it was a sad…

30 Books To Read Before You’re 30 (part two)

This is part two of my list of 30 books to read before you’re 30 (the big day is coming around all too quickly for me…). If you haven’t read part one, you can find it here. So, without further delay, here are numbers 16 – 30: 16. The Old Man and The Sea –…