Posted in book reviews, books, reviews, TBR

Book Review: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

This is something that I’ve been meaning to do properly on this blog for  very very long time. And so here it is, finally!  *Warning slight spoilers*

I’m going to start my book review segment with a classic, Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. This was an especially interesting read because it aptly shows Woolf playing around with writing styles and form.

In her diaries she mentions literally basing the entire novel around a shape similar to that of the letter “H” and even argues that in the most literal sense it is incorrect to call the book a novel seeing as it contradicts everything we associate with one.

I had to read this book for my university course here at UON and honestly found that other people had very mixed reactions to it.

Personally, I loved it. Yes, it was difficult at times but that was part of its charm- the fact that you sometimes did get lost with who was narrating the story, what exactly had happened and the fact that Woolf chooses to emphasise stream of consciousness over other seemingly big plot points.

I especially liked the character of Lilly Briscoe and the entire psychology of her character. She is someone who in other novels would probably be more in the background, not entirely someone key to the progress of the novel- because it is after all focused around her development in particular and the finished piece of art and her analysis of the characters around her. Lilly is obsessed with her painting and the ideas that others put in her head of her never being an artist, because women aren’t good at art. At the end of the novel, she appears to battle through her own insecurities and finishes the painting stating, as she does, “I have had my vision.”

Other than that, as you read the book there are recurring references to the lighthouse in everyday objects, this is apparent as at times the description mimics it – “abstract arabesques” are described centring around pillars as well as other curves and shapes.

This obsession with a final destination, the idea that everything will be better once they reach it and the disappointment that James feels when his dad continuously dashes his hopes of going. In my eyes I saw it as a representation of the things we want but never get the chance to pursue. The focus on characters going to the window, the stability and reliability of it always being there even through the war and storms when some of the characters do not. It comments on mortality and how the characters view themselves and their roles within society.

I feel as though no two people get the same thing from the story and that it’s ambiguity leaves it open to interpretation. For these reasons some people don’t like Woolf’s writing but for someone like me who very much enjoys long musing ramblings from someone else’s internal thoughts- I found this book amazing.

I have Orlando on my shelf at the moment as well as some of her essays that I hope to get round to reading at some point.

Overall, if you’re interested in something a little different and unique to read then I highly recommend this novel. If you’ve read modernist work before then this is a great addition to make, and if not this is a very good example of the form.

5 stars *****

Chat soon!

E xxx

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Posted in books, reviews, TBR

TBR List – March

Hi guys,

This is just a cheeky post before I head off to uni for a lecture. I thought I would just update you on what I have been reading and what I have read this month. So here goes nothing!

  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf- Status: Read.

This was a really interesting read and apart of my university course, the style was  very unique and it was the first Woolf novel I had ever read. I think I plan to do a full review on it soon so stay tuned.

  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones- Status: Read.

I stayed up till 1 am last night trying to finish this book and OMG it is amazing. If you are a fan of the Ghibli movie then I recommend you read where it originated from. I plan again to do another review on this one both on this blog and for the uni magazine.

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- Status: 180 pages into.

I started this one a while ago when my friend Holly got it for my birthday because I am such a huge fan of the movie with Emilia Clarke. It was just that with uni reading and everything it kind of got put aside. But I am glad to say that I am picking it back up to finish because I have been asked to review it’s sequel Me After You.

  • Me After You by Jojo Moyes- Status: Unread.

Well this one is kinda self explanatory after what I just said above, and yes I am doing a review on this for the university magazine. I actually think my deadline was this week but there’s no way I am going to get that done in time. Whoops, I hope they don’t mind too much!

  • Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips- Status: Unread.

I have ordered this off of World of Books and am desperately waiting for it to get here in time because it’s the novel I am meant to read for my literature seminar this week. I have heard good things about this book and apparently it’s a quick read which is nice.

Anyway, that’s everything I have planned to read this month and I shall keep you updated. I realise that I haven’t really touched upon many book reviews on this blog despite meaning too. Hopefully that’ll change, starting this month!

See you tomorrow,

E xxx

Posted in Diary Entry

Suicide Squad, Baby Ducklings, University & Books on my TBR List.

Hi there,

Long time no see, eh? Well for all those who wish to know I got into the University of Nottingham the other day to do a joint honour of English and History! Whoop whoop! I start late September and will update this blog as soon as I know what the hecks going on.

So onto other things. I went to see Suicide Squad today and over to Alex’s house today for the first time since our little hiccup. Everything was fine, thank goodness and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. They even have two little ducklings called Eggbert and Sweetie in an incubator at the moment. Soon to be new members of their animal family.

But yes, my thoughts on Suicide Squad? Well, seeing as Harley Quinn is one of my harley geopfavourite characters of all time I have been looking forward to seeing this movie for at least a year and although in my opinion I loved it, there were parts and patches that felt…. uh a little undeveloped.

I know quite a bit about Miss Quinzel and thought that her and the Jokers characters- although having flashbacks (not all of which made sense)- weren’t as focused on which was a shame since they are meant to be the main characters of the comics at least. That and the fact that Poison Ivy was absent really upset me.

So although I thought it was a good stand alone movie, I found the focus on Deadshot (Will Smith) to be overly emphasised despite him not being as major a character in the series as Harley and the others. So I could see why some die hard fans may have been a tad miffed – he was the core focus of the movie and the development of characters wasn’t as balanced as it should have been.

harley pinkBut Oh well, I still loved Harley ( me and Alex actually went to Halloween as Harley and the Joker last year… I’ll see if I can dig out the picture).

Anyway, onto my ever growing TBR list. I’ll admit I am in the middle of quite a number of novels at the moment but here are the major ones.

By the way I will be starting a series of book reviews and am open to receiving requests (email me if you’re interested) as well as joining forces with other bloggers to write some posts together. I still have a Liebster award post to get too as well… darn I got busy quickly.

TBR List:

  • The Princess Bride by William Goldmanprincess bride
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis
  • Super Better by Jane McGonigal
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Yep, it’s a lot of reading to be doing and that with a publishing internship and being a team member of another site means that I am constantly writing.

Which is actually quite fun, so I’m not complaining.

Anyway, I’ll post more tomorrow!

-E

xxx