january reads.

Made a smashing start to that Goodreads Challenge...

...although it should be the least of my priorities right now. I didn't quite hit my target for 2019 (44/50 - so close!) But still, I'm aiming for 50 books again this year and I reckon once my dissertation is done and dusted I'll be on a roll. But I've done seven and here they are: 

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante. My favourite of the lot! This is the second book of four in The Neapolitan Novels series and I've totally fallen in love with the characters of Lila and Elena even when (or maybe even more so) they're not particularly likeable. But that's what I love about Ferrante's writing, it's explosive and she's unafraid to address the ugly side of human nature. I cannot wait to continue this series but I'm saving it as a post-dissertation treat!

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This was a thoughtful surprise gift from a friend, it's her favourite book and I can see why it means so much to her. In general I really enjoy post-war American literature as I think it was an interesting era. This book blends sci-fi, which isn't my usual kind of genre, with real life historical events resulting in a bonkers story but it works. 

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. As with the film, I struggled with the age difference as it made me feel quite iffy. That being said, it's still beautifully written and perfectly captures just how painfully exquisite love can be. I found the ending to be unnecessary however and thought the film finished where to book should have stopped too.

What a Time to be Alone by Chidera Eggerue. Uncomfortable at times but revealing, I'm quite torn about this book. On the one hand it offers empowering advice on how to be alone (surprisingly enough!) but equally I felt a little as if there was no room for love or compassion. We have to look after ourselves but let's also look after each other too. However I do get that not everything in the book is applicable to me personally and the parts I wanted to take on board have really resonated with me. 

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. The book I enjoyed the least. To me it felt quite pretentious and tried too hard to be deep and meaningful but it just didn't click with me. I also didn't give a shit about a single character!

Dior Catwalk by Alexander Fury. A coffee table book, but a book all the same so it's included - especially as it's so beaut! Dior is one of my favourite fashion houses, I love every era under every creative director and it was a joy to look at the collections in closer detail. I really want the Prada version of this too.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This book! I didn't enjoy it, yet I read all 720 pages in a week anyway as it still managed to suck me in. It's essentially trauma porn in the form of a fictional novel and I couldn't decipher any kind of meaning from it. What is the reader supposed to take away from this? The main character goes through so much that to be honest I felt like it got to a ridiculous point that was unbelievable. However, despite this I felt a strong sense of love throughout the book rather than a deep sadness like most people (I was warned it'd get me down.) Jude goes through so much abuse but he also is surrounded by unconditional love from others and to me that's what shone through the most more than a sense of suffering. 

Let me know if you're on Goodreads! Mine is whatjosiereadnext and my book instagram is here. 

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