I have been absolutely and violently against kindles for several years. Claiming like a nanby panby English student that ‘It’s just not the same’, ‘I love the smell of a new book’, ‘I love picking a new book off the shelf and feeling like I’m the only one in the world that’s read it’. no. I have changed my mind. And frankly I am embarrassed of my former dismissal of the godsend that is the kindle. The kindle has reignited my love of a good read. After my degree I was put off books, the embers were fading to black. Being forced to read absolutely kills all joy of reading for pleasure. But now I have a kindle everything has changed. I have read more since the beginning of January than I have since I finished my degree. Here’s what I’ve read of late:
When I find a good book I can’t put it down and with a kindle it is that much harder to pull yourself away. Due to the fact I spend half my life sitting on a train my new kindle has been a nice distraction from all the commuters sitting opposite me practically crying over the January blues. I really want January to end but until does I am fully prepared to live inside a book. Hopefully that way pay day will come a bit quicker.
Life Of Pi
I will admit that I fully intended on reading this book so that I could go and watch the film. But I’ve now read the book but I am yet to see the film. Anyone that can write a novel that is 75% set on boat with only one character and a tiger and still keep the reader enthralled is definitely someone I respect. To be honest I found the first few chapters until the shipwreck quite dull, the comment on religion and the family dynamics didn’t really get me going but on recommendation from other readers I persevered. It is a simple story with an interesting ending that I am still wondering about today. It doesn’t really feel like you’re reading this book because it’s so visual, it very much feels like the words are jumping off the page and creating the images in front of you. This is one of those books that you never forget and I really hope the film lives up to my expectations.
Now jumping from a literary classic and a thought-provoking tale to a bit of dystopian fiction might seem a little odd but it seemed like a perfectly natural progression to me! I saw the film of the first book so I didn’t bother reading that but clicked buy on my kindle for the last two books in the trilogy. For teenage fiction I think this trilogy is quite dark and more than a little harrowing in places but definitely one of those books where you would do anything to be the main character. In this case Katniss Everdeen and myself were one. I unashamedly admit that of all the books I’ve read in the last few year, even those that I had to read for my degree, I read these two the fastest. I was satisfyingly devastated when I finished the last book of this trilogy. The kind of devastated you should be when you finish a really good book and have to face the reality that you are not a 17 year old vigilante living in a futuristic dystopia. Even more satisfying is the lack of happy ending, it’s more of a content ending and a whole lot more relatable.
Strangely, I read The Help because I had already seen the film and loved it. So as I was reading I already knew exactly what was going to happen but I didn’t care. This book had me thinking and talking in a Deep Southern American accent and I was truly gutted when it ended. Written from the point of view of three women one white woman and two African-American nannies this book tells the story of racism in the 1960s. But this book is not so much a social commentary as it is an exquisite example of storytelling it gets its point across without being overly serious or harrowing. But this book feels deeply personal. I can not imagine anyone from any background turning the last page of this book without feel affected in some way. It knocks the wind out of your sails in the most gentle and moving way possible and is the sort of book that will stay with you. I haven’t been able to read anything else for a week since I finished the Help because I am still wallowing in the fact that it’s over. Everyone should read this book and the film really is something special as well.