Reading Update: June

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I’ve done it! I’ve completed my Master programme and I’ve handed in my Master thesis*, all 18,960 words and 43 pages of it! I’m rather proud of how hard I’ve worked this month and what I’ve managed to achieve. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my thesis supervisor is just as impressed with my work as I am…

Even though I was busy writing away, I still managed to read a few things this month; a couple of comics, an essay collection, and four novels. I think it really helped that I read a mixture of different formats and genres; it ensured that I didn’t get bored and fall into a reading slump, and it also allowed me to wind down and take a break when my ‘thesis-ing’ (a new word that I’ve invented and have been using all month) got too much.

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

After reading Neverwhere last month, I caught the Gaiman bug and now I want to read all of his novels. Potential goal for the rest of 2016? This particular novel was great! It was magical, touching, and a tad creepy. I just can’t get enough of his writing style and the charming adventures that he weaves. 4/5 stars

  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

I loved this graphic novel so much! It was funny and adventurous and had a kick-ass female protagonist – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The art work was amazing (great colour palette!), the plot was great, and the characters were so brilliant. I think I’m actually going to re-read it again, right now! 5/5 stars

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This novel was simply beautiful. I was entranced by the descriptions and besotted by the characters. Every page was filled with magic and mystery, and I enjoyed every minute of it! 4/5 stars

  • Books v. Cigarettes by George Orwell

Orwell is one of my favourite authors of all time. His writing has always had the unique power to make me laugh one minute and think deeply about sociological issues the next. This collection of essays was particularly entertaining and profound. I learnt about Orwell’s boarding school experiences, his thoughts on censorship and patriotism, and what it’s really like to run a bookshop (it’s always been my dream, but Orwell has scared me off a bit!). 5/5 stars

  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

This is an Indian novel about one man’s journey from servitude to entrepreneurship. I enjoyed the read as a whole because I felt like it had a lot of interesting things to say about corruption within Indian politics and the relationships between servants and masters within an Indian setting. However, it was very difficult to sypathise, or actually feel anything at all, for the protagonist. This is a major thing for me when reading a novel; I have to either love a character or absolutely despise them in order to fully enjoy the narrative. I also think that Adiga went a little overboard with some of his criticisms of India, which felt a little contrived at times. 3/5 stars

  • Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

This is probably my least favourite Murakami novel so far (out of the 6 books of his that I’ve read). The plot was entertaining enough and kept my interest, but the events were very predictable and not as magical as some of his other novels. 3/5 stars

  • How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman

I went to a cat cafe in Amsterdam with a couple friends and I found this book there. It was hilarious! As someone who loves cats but doesn’t own one (I live in a student dorm), the cat cafe was the perfect place to get my ‘cat petting fix’. Not only does the place have a whole bunch of adorable kitties to play with, they also have a range of cat related games and books. This book in particular contains a collection of comics about cats which were both so very funny and (speaking as a previous cat owner) somewhat based on truth. It made me laugh quite a lot, causing me to startle several cats in my vicinity. Totally worth it though! 4/5 stars

Now that I’m done with school (it’s still sinking in and I’m kinda freaked out by it!) I’ll have a lot more time for reading. It’s something I’ve been seriously looking forward to – I already have my July TBR pile ready and waiting 😉 Plus, July is my birthday month so I’m definitely going to treat myself to some lazy reading days!

Did you read anything interesting in June? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂

 

*If you’re interested, the title of my thesis was “A Study in Masculinity: The Representation of Masculinity in 19th Century Popular British Fiction”. In particular, I focused on how the use of science in the Sherlock Holmes stories and in The Island of Doctor Moreau (by H.G. Wells) portrayed the masculinity of the protagonists. I even managed to make literature and science collide (did you see what I did there? did ya?) in my thesis!

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