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This is my reading wrap up for the month of July – it’s a little late but I wanted to write a summary of what I’ve been reading in July because I’m not quite ready to write full reviews of my university reading until I’ve begun to study them. Read on to find out everything I was up to in July!

July Wrap Up

Finished Books

In July I finished three books:

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Art of Fiction by David Lodge
  3. I was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Lolita 

I’ve never read a book I feel so conflicted about as Lolita. All reviews highlight how difficult the content matter is, and all reviews talk about how beautiful the writing is – but I feel like many synopsis’ exaggerate the supposed “love story”. Lolita is not, nor do I believe it is intended to be, a love story. It’s about a man who feels owed by the universe, a girl just trying to grow up, and the man, driven to desperate lengths to capture her.

The Art of Fiction

This is a great book looking at the ways classic texts have approached a variety of writing topics, from setting to irony, to naming characters and plot structures and allusions.

I Was Born For This

I am a huge fan of Alice Oseman anyway, so saying it is her best novel yet isn’t an exaggeration. I finished most of the book in one go and ended up sobbing at 3am. Totally worth it!

Other Reading Progress

During July I also started reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost, The Queen of The Tearling and Player Piano. These are all books I hope to finish during August, so I’ll write more about them once I’ve finished them – but keep an eye out for my weekly reading updates where I’ll also be talking about them.

What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!

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Read on to see what I’m reading this week and how I feel about each book so far. I’m changing up the format a little bit again so let me know what you think in the comments!

Weekly Novellique Reading #9

The Queen Of The Tearling

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Where can I buy it?

Click here to see The Queen Of The Tearling from Amazon!

Why am I reading it?

I’ve owned this book for years and I finally got the chance to pick it up and start reading it for fun. I love reading it before bed; the writing is easy to get into and is thought-provoking at the same time.

What do I think?

I’m absolutely loving The Queen of The Tearling! I thought it was young adult when I first started reading it, but I think it’s more new adult or adult fantasy. If you love fantasy but are bored or disinterested in young adult fantasy – or even if you just want to read more fantasy – The Queen Of The Tearling is definitely for you.


Paradise Lost

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Where can I buy it?

Click here to see Paradise Lost on Amazon!

Why am I reading it?

Paradise Lost is on my university reading list for my crime module.

What do I think?

I’m struggling along with Paradise Lost – I really don’t like it, but I have to read it so I’m trying to remain positive. Sometimes we have to read books we don’t like and this is one of those times… hopefully I will appreciate it more once I’m studying it at university.


Player Piano

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Where can I buy it?

Click this link to see Player Piano on Amazon!

Why am I reading it?

Player Piano is also on my university reading list for my crime module!

What do I think?

The first couple of chapter of Player Piano was really difficult to get into, but now I’m over half way through and really enjoying reading it. It has a lot of discussion about capitalism and socialism. Player Piano is set in a world where machines have replaced the majority of manual labour and everything has become effortless – but leaving behind a working class unemployed and in poverty.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments!


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I’m back with another weekly reading update! This is what I’ve been reading this week.

Weekly Novellique Reading Update #8

Neuromancer by William Gibson

[Amazon] I’m still reading Neuromancer – I don’t know why it’s taking me so long but I will finish it if it kills me. It isn’t even that I’m not enjoying it, because I am, but the writing style means I have to focus a lot on the words on the page and I think my focus has been off lately.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

[Amazon] The first time I picked this up I think I wasn’t in the right headspace but I started reading it again last night and I’ve fallen in love. It’s nice to have a break from all the university reading I have – a simple, quick read with a lot of heart, discussing serious issues within fandom culture.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments!


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I don’t usually celebrate release days because I’m always so behind on new releases, but in this case, I feel like I have to make a post!

Happy Release Day, Nyxia Unleashed!

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Amazon / Goodreads

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen was one of the first Netgalley books I ever really loved. I found it during one of my mass requesting batches and I had no idea what to expect, but I loved the title and knew it was vaugely science fiction. What I found was an awesome book with a wide range of representation and a lot of discussion about capitalism, while having, obviously, a strong science fiction theme that was fun to read.

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Amazon / Goodreads

Nyxia Unleashed is the second book in the Nyxia Triad and it is released into the world today, July 17th! I’m super excited about how the events of Nyxia are going to continue. Aliens? Heck yes, sign me up!

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Amazon / Goodreads

I’ll be posting a full review once I’ve finished my eARC, but from what I’ve read already, I’m super enjoying the next book in this unique series. So, happy publication day Nyxia Unleashed! I look forward to reading you – and the final book in the triad, Nyxia Uprising, when it releases next year.

Have you read any of the Nyxia books? Let me know in the comments!


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I haven’t done a monthly wrap up in what feels like forever, so here’s what I’ve been reading and posting in May.

May Wrap Up

I only managed to finish ONE book during may – this was because for the majority of May I was finishing university with exams and assessments taking up my time.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’ll be posting a full review for Gone Girl, but a short summary: it was a super quick and interesting read that kept me interested throughout and I’ll be looking at other Flynn books in the future.

However, in May I’ve also been reading my way through SIX other books.

In terms of blog posting, in May I’ve been posting about…

What books and blogging have you been enjoying in May? Let me know in the comments!


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I don’t always review the books I study for my degree, but I have some things to say about a few of the books I’ve encountered. Dracula, in particular.

REVIEW: Dracula

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

[ amazon // goodreads ]

TITLE/COVER.

Regardless of which Dracula cover you end up with, they all feature a dark shadowy figure and, usually, the colour red. The title itself, Dracula, immediately makes it clear that this is about a vampire: everyone associated Dracula with gothic conventions and vampires. Even if you know next to nothing about the actual book, you’ve probably seen images from the various film adaptations over the years.

CHARACTERS.

The characters were infuriating, and I hated Dracula for a long time precisely because of this. It wasn’t until we began to start analysing Dracula that I read an essay arguing this was intentional: Dracula is supposed to be “anti-realistic”, the essay suggested, because this adds to the horror. The reader can see the characters are being stupid and making bad choices but are powerless to stop them. With this reflection, I can understand why the characters seem incapable of stopping their ‘vulnerable women’ from becoming vampires – Dracula is the kind of text you have to unpick to like because on a surface level, everyone is useless and none of it is believable.

PLOT.

I found it difficult to force my way from Dracula the first time around. The plot takes a long time for anything to really happen – despite this, it is still a book you need to reread to get the best experience as a lot of the newspaper clippings and diary entries don’t make sense in the larger picture until you know what is happening. It also features a giant amount of unreliability from all the characters, and characters with several name changes, so the first reading can be confusing.

THEMES & ANALYSIS.

For me, Dracula becomes interesting when we look at it from a psychoanalytical perspective. What this means is looking at how unconscious desires are explored through the medium of books: in this case, unconscious desires around hunger – both literal (eating) and metaphorical (sexual desires).

It is also super interesting to look at the various things vampirism has been used as a metaphor for across the film adaptations, ranging from discussing femininity and the unconventional ‘New Women’ of the time who were demonised and dehumanised, to discussing invaders from a foreign land (especially as immigration is still such a hot topic), to comparing vampirism to AIDS. As I talked about in my essay on Dracula, the metaphor of an actual supernatural threat for any group of people is problematic to say the least, but it reflects how society demonises specific identities – the LGBT community, women and immigrants to name just a few.

OVERALL.

I’m giving Dracula a rating of 2.5* – this isn’t to say I didn’t like it or I won’t talk about it, but had I read it on my own I wouldn’t have thought much of it at all. I think Dracula is definitely a product of its time, but the main reason I’m marking it down so harshly was due to the ending; after pages and pages discussing morals and ethics about vampires and what it means to be human, nothing… particularly happens… the great evil is supposedly defeated but we never really get told anything for definite. So, in conclusion: Dracula is interesting, may even fun, to analyse – but not great to read.

Have you read Dracula – what did you think? Are there any books you’ve found interesting to analyse but don’t personally like? Let me know in the comments!


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