Ever since I was a whipper-snapper I have adored reading; staying up far after my bedtime to finish that next page etc. – Rebel from the very start, I know.
However, the world of Harvard Referencing soon took over and I took a short and not so welcome break from the world of literary delights.
Any kind of getaways, particularly holidays in the sun, are a fabulous chance to recharge and stick my nose firmly in as many books as possible!
Being fiercely anti-sunbathing, (with my skin it’s a waste of time unless I fashion citing my beauty inspiration as Sebastian from the Little Mermaid), I use relaxation time to sit firmly in the shade and get lost in another world, or indeed to become further informed about this one!
Here are some of the books I have thoroughly enjoyed of late.
Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
The heaviest of all the books (not literally; I only had a 15kg luggage allowance…) and the only non-fiction read I opted for during my holiday, was this incredible debut book from the extraordinarily talented Reni Eddo-Lodge.
I urge everyone, especially those of us who live in Britain, to read it.
In our schools, British black history is completley absent from the curriculum and we instead only ever learn about the civil rights movement in the USA, which is highly ignorant to our own past. Without acknowledging the past, how can we ever truly move on to a better future?! This book gives an excellent overview of civil rights and race tensions in the UK, and I was shocked that probably 90% of the information Reni gives us in that first chapter, I had never been taught, told, or came across in mainstream media.
Although I would like to consider myself a fairly ‘woke’ individual,this book taught me SO much; especially when it comes to white privelege and racism’s inherent ties with gender and class.
NW by Zadie Smith
Smith’s name has long been on my radar, thanks largely to the ‘High Low Podcast’, so when I stumbled upon this beauty when browsing my hotels book shelf I simply had to pick it up for a read. It was fate.
Zadie’s style and prose are incredibly unique, admittedly it took me a chapter or so to fully immerse myself in her words. But once my toes were dipped I fell straight into the deep end and fell in love.
To steal wikipedia’s description; ‘The novel is experimental and follows four different characters living in London, shifting between first and third person, stream-of-consciousness, screenplay-style dialogue and other narrative techniques in an attempt to reflect the polyphonic nature of contemporary urban life.’ Bit fancier than I would’ve been able to put it!
I ended up reading the whole thing in less than two days, which considering the amount of pasta breaks I had, is pretty impressive and testimony to its excellence.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completley Fine by Gail Honeyman
Now this book has certainly had it’s fair share of hype. It drifted into my conciousness after seeing it blazened at every bus shelter in the north east, as well as countless instagram story reviews.
I ordered it off of Amazon prior to my holiday, and boy am I glad. It is so addictive, you start off unsure with your likeness to Eleanor then a few chapters in you’re devotion and empathy for her grows massively and you just can’t put the book down. To quote my good pal Wiki once more, It is ‘the story of a young office-worker in Glasgow with a scarred face and a troubled history who learns to overcome her habitually solitary lifestyle’.
I am absolutley over the moon that reading has come back into my life in a big way!
If you do have any book recommendations please send them over my way.