Even though there are only two books below, I’ve actually read four books this month. But two of which I have already read many times before, and re-lived in the form of audiobooks read by the brilliant Stephen Fry – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Need I even review these? I don’t think so, they’re golden and I don’t believe there is a need for another review saying so. Instead, I’ll stick to just those two books I read for the first time:
- The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
- Things That Are: Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals by Amy Leach
“How easily we have got used to it all, as though we knew what was coming all along,”
I was drawn to this book by its dystopian genre. I have a soft spot for this style, and as someone who’s very much aware of the impending damage that climate change presents, I have often considered how this would intersect with my desire to have children. Hunter tells the story of a mother and baby’s first year just as the country collapses due to flooding. But the premise did not live up to its promise.
I do love a good metaphor, especially powerful and poetic ones featured in The End We Start From, but there’s a limit. Overuse kills the impact and I felt that this book was ‘flooded’ with metaphors instead of substance. It felt like a diary, but not in a good way. I’m sure this style was obviously intentional, but I felt I was missing some desperately needed context and description. It was a real shame for me to be disappointed in this novel – I was so ready to love it.
I would still be tempted to read more from this author, but I would go in with lower expectations. At least it was an easy read, but not one I’d particularly recommend.
“The bear in the sky is sometimes mistaken for a ladle or a prawn, or the government, while the bear on the ground rarely is.”
I’m ashamed to say how much this book taught me about nature! I keep confidently exerting my new favourite fact about Panda’s and their bamboo addiction. Once you’ve come to terms with the style of writing that Leach uses, you can embrace this book, but it still had its downsides.
Leach goes through nature picking and choosing random features to discuss in this book. What I loved about her style was the use of personification. This stopped the subjects becoming dry and made the book feel much more magical. There’s no doubting her skills at creative nonfiction.
Although considering the topics, I would have liked to see some beautiful complimentary illustrations. Chapters focusing on certain flowers/plants could have been vastly improved by this – I do not like to feel the need to google something. But I also feel it would have added a nice whimsical aspect just to pull everything together.
Like I said, if you can embrace her style, it’s fairly enjoyable even if slightly bizarre. I’m not sure I would actively seek to read more of Leach’s work – it felt like too much effort to plow through her writing.
I begin my Master’s course in English Literature and Creative Writing in September! Hopefully, this will just improve my reviews but while I’m getting used to the workload, my personal reading may take a back seat. In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.
Happy reading. 💕📚