Recent Favourites 100-word Challenge!

Dear Reader,

Much as I love Net Galley, I have in fact been reading plenty of books that are not ARC’s! However, lately I’m finding reading them much easier than writing about them. Consequently I have found myself devouring far more books than I am disciplined enough to share with you.

In an attempt to rectify this (and get writing again), I thought I’d set myself a challenge!

Meg’s Recent Favourites 100-word Challenge

  1. Select three books you have read recently that stand out in your memory
  2. Share each book in no more than 100 words (300 words total)

So I’ve selected my three books and, by writing up my reviews first in Word, I’ve (mostly!) stuck to my 100-word limit…here goes!

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Recent Favourite no. 1: Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (149 pages), first published in 2018

Last August I read Summerwater and loved it. Keen to read more of Sarah’s work I selected her novella Ghost Wall. I’ve recently been enjoying a shorter read; in fact, if a book is too long, I won’t even pick it up – yet I’ll devour several novellas back-to-back! Ghost Wall was everything I hoped it would be – and more. Powerful, thought provoking, clever, quirky and utterly unlike anything I’ve read before – I couldn’t get the narrative out of my head. Sarah’s language is mesmerising, and her blending of past and present, ancient history and contemporary trauma was seamless and unsettling…

Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon

Recent Favourite no. 2: Letters to Alice On First Reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon (148 pages), first published in 1984

I love the books that surprise you in life – the ones that turn up unexpectedly, leaving footprints on your heart. Letters to Alice was one of those books. Discovered for me by my Mum in a charity shop, it’s written entirely in letters that attempt to teach the writers niece about Jane Austen. This book was an absolute gem – fascinating, engaging, and humorous, Fay’s tone and outlook are wonderful. Perfect for anyone who loves to read – it’s a beautifully written exploration of the craft of fiction itself. And perhaps, just maybe, you might find a new appreciation for Austen…

I suffer myself from the common nervous dread of literature. When I go on holiday, I read first the thrillers, then the sci-fi, then the instructional books, then ‘War and Peace’, or whatever book it is I know I ought to read, ought to have read, half want to read, and only when reading want to fully.

Fay Weldon, Letters to Alice
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Recent Favourite no. 3: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (234 pages), first published 1963

I’ve had The Bell Jar on my list for a long time. Perhaps a book about suicide wasn’t the most optimistic choice for a global-pandemic-lockdown-read but it certainly altered my perspective on life! Sylvia’s semi-autobiographical book really is a masterpiece – poetic, intuitive, raw and powerful – one of those books that must be read. My overriding feeling throughout was one of gut-wrenching sadness – this book felt like a desperate cry for understanding. It was also a horrifying documentation of the barbaric treatments and lack of awareness for mental health in the 1950’s. In light of the subject matter, I do recommend with sensitivity.

***

So that’s me done! I loved the challenge but it was sooo hard not to just ramble on about such great books!! Although it’s a bit of a catch-22 – if I hadn’t put a stopper on the rambling then I may never have got around to sharing them with you in the first place…!

I’d really love to know if you’ve been inspired to add any of these to your TBR list, or have read any of them yourself – let me know your thoughts in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

I enjoyed writing this post so much that I have already started collecting titles for another 100-word challenge. I have also been reading plenty more exciting ARC’s due for publication over the next few months so stay tuned!

If you also need a bit of a book-blogging boost then feel free to try out my challenge for yourself. I only ask that you cite me as the creator and tag this post in yours – thank you x

Happy reading 🙂

Meg xx

Some other blog posts of mine you might enjoy reading if you enjoyed this post:

Summerwater by Sarah Moss – my other read by the same author as Ghost Wall

Business as Usual by Jane Oliver & Ann Stafford – another wonderful book along the same lines as Letters to Alice

A Woman by Sibilla Aleramo – this was another overtly feminist and semi-autobiographical book that explores experiences that have much in common with The Bell Jar

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