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April 30, 2016

Current favourite books


Being stuck in a good book is one of my favourite things in life. I enjoy lots of the books I read, but there's a difference between a book you have a fun fling with and a book that fulfils you emotionally (yeah I just compared reading to romantic interaction because there is zero amount of the latter in my life). My "favourite books" were the Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables and Sherlock Holmes series up until the last few years, but I feel like I've outgrown them. The three below are the current reigning champions; stumbling across books like these is why I read.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. One of those books that almost put me off, but I'm glad I continued with. It's set in 1800s gold rush New Zealand; the setting is bleak and wild. At first it feels like there are too many characters and too little plot movement, but when I pushed on I got sucked in. It's got mystery, violence, and a bit of magic, with the threads all tied up at the end (maybe left a little frayed). The book is beautifully written and structured and something you read for the experience of reading.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I saw this book mentioned around the blogosphere a lot, but it sounded a bit wanky. All the same, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I love the setting and imagery that was created in this book - the isolated, insulated college atmosphere, and friendships made strained by a terrible secret. It's a sad story, but enjoyable to read.

Don't Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier. This is a compilation of short stories, rather than a novel. I think the only reason I bought this was that it had a fun green cover; I'm glad I did. I would include all of Du Maurier's short story compilations in my favourite books to read, actually. I've read some of her novels, out of which the only one I've really enjoyed is Rebecca. I think her writing style is best suited for the short story form - quite dramatic in style and plot, which makes for really suspenseful shorts but makes longer stories feel overdone. My favourites are Don't Look Now, Monte Verita, and The Doll, all of which gave me goosebumps.

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