Book review, binge watching and more…
As I type this post my fingers are almost blue from being so painfully cold. Winter has well and truly arrived and I already wish it would go away! Despite embracing the usual winter habits of indulging in multiple cups of tea and snuggling near the fire, the cold still manages to bite and nibble at my fingers and toes. I prefer the in-between seasons, spring and autumn, the temperature is much more agreeable and doesn’t offend my extremities so drastically.
One good thing about winter is the feeling of not being expected to spend your days outside, and though warm spring days strolling through forests with the dappled sunlight scattering shapes across the shrubs, I also love reading and staying indoors. It is the ever tormenting curse of the introvert, we wish to go out and experience all of these amazing adventures that we read about, and yet there is another part of us that wants to curl up on the sofa, with a blanket, a cup of tea and a great book to keep us company. Unfortunately for me, I feel as though it is always one or the other, I’m either so busy out doing things that it’s just a whirlwind of endless events, or I’m cooped inside reading for days on end (I’m a bit of a binge-reader). The latter is my current state.
It took me a while to get back into reading, I love to read, but sometimes feel like I have readers-block. I start a book but then can’t get into it, so I move on to another and another and I end up with a pile of partially read books. So I decided to get a book by one of my favourite authors, in hope that she would be able to break this painful cycle.
Hannah Kent did just that! I am currently half way through her book The Good People. I loved her debut novel Burial Rites which is set in Iceland and follows the tale of a convicted murderess, in ways it drew on similar themes as Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (another fantastic read) which I will be talking about a bit later on. Anywho, The Good People is set in Ireland and plays off the idea of religion and folklore, which both held heavy influence over people. I won’t go into too much detail but I’ll let you know my full opinion once I’ve finished it. Kent’s writing style is fluid and atmospheric, an early scene in the book depicts a funeral and the detail of the tobacco smoke in the air and too many bodies crammed into the room makes you feel as though you’re experiencing it directly. If you haven’t encountered this incredible author yet then I implore you to buy one of her books, you won’t regret it.
Onto my next obsession (and netflix binge) Alias Grace. I read this a few years ago, along with The Handmaid’s Tale and The Stone Mattress, after getting majorly obsessed with Margaret Atwood’s work. I have yet to see the rendition of The Handmaid’s Tale but have heard good things. Alias Grace was incredible and scarily similar to the way I had imagined it the first time I read it. The roles are well cast, the locations reflect the book beautifully and of course it has been brilliantly adapted for the screen due to Atwood’s input. I couldn’t recommend it enough, although for anyone who likes a clean ending with everything being tied up in a neat bow then prepare to be disappointed because there are aspects that will leave you frustrated and slightly confused, but I won’t ruin it for you.
As you can probably gather there are specific genres that always seem to pull me back, both Burial Rites and Alias Grace were based off of true events. So this week I have given myself the challenge to write either an excerpt or poem based off of a historical crime… I’ve not quite decided which one yet though. I better get researching!