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Sunday, 7 August 2016

I adore reading and find the escape into fiction rather enthralling, yet as I live my day to day school life I do find it very difficult indeed to find time to actually read some of my own book choices. Therefore, as soon as my summer holidays started following my endless stream of exams, I decided to create a sort of list of the books that I wished to read before I was to go on to sixth form in September- what with going on holiday to California and having the last few backs back home in England, I have managed to get through a fair few books, and will even hopefully get through a couple more before the impending date of my return to school.

In this post, I thought it might be nice to share with you all a few of the books I have read and enjoyed reading over the past few weeks. I really do like to read a vast array of genres and types of books, so there is hopefully something for everyone on this list, to give you all a little bit of inspiration of something to read in the future maybe (I do hope so anyway, as I definitely know the struggle of trying to find a book that I feel in the mood to read)...

Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín

Brooklyn is the book that I am currently enjoying having a read of (although I probably will have finished it by the time that this post goes live), and is almost definitely a book I would recommend despite the fact that I am yet to finish it just now! 

Set in the 1950's (a period of time that I just adore due to the clothing and movies of the time etc), a young girl called Eilis travels to New York from her home in Ireland in search of a better life. There she experiences many different things, from overwhelming homesickness,to finding new love, and exploring the marvellous city around her. However, amidst her happiness a tragedy back home leaves her with heartbreaking choices to make...choices that leave me very much anticipating how this wonderful story will in fact end, and have had me hooked to this book from the very first page. 

I think I will definitely have to report back to you all once I have actually finished this book, although I do expect that they last 70 or so pages that I have left will be just as good as the first 180. This lovely novel has also been adapted into a film (I think it came out sometime last year), which gives me even more an incentive to finish reading it, as much to my excitement I found out the other day that it is soon to arrive in Netflix!

Sweet Caress & Any Human Heart - William Boyd

If you have never read a book by William Boyd before, I will say straight away that I absolutely recommend a read of as least one of the many novels that he has written! Over the past couple of months I have read two of his glorious books starting with Sweet Caress; a fairly new book that I in fact first spotted on the shelf in WH Smiths, and noticed as being up there in the top of the book charts.

Sweet Caress is the story of a female photography called Amory Clay, that is written in autobiographical form and also contains many of the supposed photos she shot during her incredibly interesting life. Of course, Amory Clay and her life is merely a work of fiction, however I must say that whilst reading Boyd's fabulous interpretation of her experiences, you would easily be mistaken to believe that she was in fact a real person indeed! This story contains everything: period detail oozes through throughout giving you the perfect insight into life in the 20th century, as well as emotion and heart warming accounts of Amory's family and many loves and losses...

After throughly enjoying Sweet Caress as much as I did, I just knew that I had to invest some of my time into another William Boyd book (namely Any Human Heart, which is one of his more well-known works and has also been adapted into a television series in the past). This book follows pretty much the same set up as the previous book and details the life of another individual, a writer named Logan Mountstuart, as he lives through the many decades of events that made up the 20th century. I again relished in reading this book, and got through it rather quickly despite the size of it because I found myself enjoying it's contents so much- the detail of this book was again fantastic, and the emotion and vivid description conveyed consistently throughout is again enough to lead you to believe that said character was in fact, almost definitely a real person!

What I love most about these two William Boyd books though, is that they aren't specifically aimed at one group of people, or placed into solely one genre of fiction- they really do include a little of everything from war, to romance, to exciting plot twists and turns. This makes said books perfect for consideration by anyone out there in search of a new book to read...these tales of lives lived in the most extraordinary ways and circumstances really are gripping, and I would definitely say that I would happily reread both of them in the future!

The Graduate - Charles Webb

I do really also enjoy classic books (especially the Penguin Modern Classics, as not only are a lot of them fantastic reads, but most of them have also later been made into very well-known movies, which are great to watch after having read the book), and having been intrigued by the story of 'The Graduate' for some time, decided that I definitely wanted to read it a couple of weeks back.

I must say, a lot of this short book is dialogue based which mightn't be to everyone's taste, but as you start to read through the pages that story does indeed get more gripping, and you begin to value just how good the writing of it actually is. If you have ever seen the movie of the same name, then you will most likely know that the story entails, but for those of you know haven't, it is based on a young graduate named Benjamin who feels he knows nothing about what he wants to do with his future now that he has left school. After being seduced by his Dad's business partners wife, and beginning an affair with her not so long after, he then falls in love with her daughter and from there his life begins to unravel evermore. 

As I previously mentioned there is a well-known movie based on this sixties set novel, and after reading and enjoying The Graduate so much, I am definitely going to prioritise watching the film in the near future too! This book, I must say, is probably perfect to read on holiday or in similar circumstances where you don't want to focus immensely on the book in hand- The Graduate has a pretty simple concept to understand, and because of that the 200 page book is the perfect easy, relaxing read!  


It was quite difficult to try and depict a little about each of the above book's stories without giving too much away to you all (no one really likes a tale being spoiled for them at the end of the day), but hopefully from what I have wrote, you can all get a glimpse into the plots of the books I have mentioned, and understand why I loved reading them so much!

I do hope you all enjoyed this sort of post, as I don't believe I have ever really spoken a books on my blog before, despite the fact that I am quite obsessed with all things literature! For that reason, please fell free to let me know about any books that you would recommend in the comments below, as I am defintely up for adding more and more novels to my growing reading list!

Olivia xo

P.S. You can find all the books mentioned above HERE


  1. I'm recently reading James Patterson's Murder House and I'm hooked! I love posts like this because I love finding different books to add to my reading list.
    Jen / Velvet Spring x

    1. I will defintely have to look out for that one, thank you!

  2. Great list!

  3. I have been looking for some books to read when I am on holiday so will try some of these, thanks for the recommendations! xx

    1. No problem! Hopefully you will like reading these books!

  4. The graduate sounds really interesting! I love reading classics so this will have to be added to my list! I feel exactly the same about reading and school so have been trying to get as much done before I start English lit in sixth form hahaha

    1. If you like classics I definitely think you will like the graduate!

  5. I am a lover of classic reads like yourself! Brooklyn and The Graduate have been added to my list! Which was your favourite book?x


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