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 –…

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

With my 30th birthday looming soon, I’ve compiled a list of the books I think are important to read before you’re 30. Some are on the list for the intellectual development they provide, some simply for the pure joy of their entertainment. In no particular order, here is part one…(part two here) 1. The Hitchhiker’s…

The Turn of the Screw and The Aspen Papers – Henry James

“Of course I was under the spell, and the wonderful part is that, even at the time, I perfectly knew I was. But I gave myself up to it; it was an antidote to any pain, and I had more pains than one.” Ok, this is technically two books but seeing as they are both…

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” This book has been in the media a lot recently because of a new adaptation coming soon to television (or is it out already? I’m usually a few months behind when it comes to tv…). I read it recently and have struggled to…

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) – Choderlos de Laclos

“How characteristic of your perverse heart that longs only for what happens to be out of reach.” Back when I was in college (far more years ago than I feel inclined to admit), I thought I was devastatingly cool. The reason for this was that I always carried around various battered, dog-eared copies of 18th…

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

This may be too well known a story to review properly, the film starring Christian Bale being so popular, but when I started this blog I promised myself I would review those stories I truly love, and this is one. If you are one of those people who prefers to just watch the film adaptation,…