What scares me the most about this post is that this series is ending soon, and it only feels like yesterday when I was sharing the books I was reading in my first term of university! I’m now scarily enough in my final year of university and I’ve loved every second of it. This year so far is probably one of my favourites in terms of modules and reading lists and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my TBR shelf! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the fifth installment of what I’ve been reading at university!
The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola – I think this has to be one of my favourite books I’ve read during my entire degree, everything about it was wonderful and they’ve even adapted it into a TV show which is an added bonus! I read this book for my Fashioning Fiction Module which explores the different clothing and accessories in novels as in the words of Virginia Woolf, ‘Clothes are but a symbol of something hid deep beneath. The story itself is set in and around a department store in Paris and follows the journey of Denise who must adapt to the inner workings of such a new and influential model of retail.
Orlando by Virginia Woolf – I’m ashamed to admit that before this I had never read any of Virginia Woolf’s novels but you’ll be pleased to know that I really enjoyed Orlando! To make things even better this is another book of my Fashioning Fiction module so I get to study all the wonderful outfits, movements and gender performativity throughout the novel, its a literature students dream!
Gigi by Colette – After watching the trailer for the new biographical drama on Collette, (played by the wonderful Kiera Knightley), I knew that I wanted to look into more of her work and literary influence, so it was ideal when I saw one of her books on my reading list! Gigi is one of her shorter stories and if like me you’ve seen the trailer and actually want to read some of her books, then this is a fun place to start!
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford – Probably one of the most unexpected enjoyments of my course this year as I went into this book with the sole aim of finishing it as soon as I could (I was an idiot and left it till the night before to read, whoops!), however, I was really surprised and ended up finding it a fun and enjoyable read!
Uylesses by James Joyce – A beast of a book, not only in size but in the concentration you need to tackle such a unique and challenging novel. The 700+ page book is set over the span of one day and focuses on the lives of two individuals that eventually meet. Joyce’s stream of consciousness technique, rich characterization, and experimental prose have let it be regarded as one of the greatest literary works in history. At the moment I’m currently having a love/hate relationship with this book because it is just so difficult to grasp but when I finally do I can appreciate why it is so widely appreciated.
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton – Another one of my unexpected favourites this year and is a book that I’m studying on my South African Literature module. World literature has always been one of my favourites to explore and I think the whole history behind South Africa and its political situation is again a really interesting topic to explore. The book is centered around a black pastor who travels to Johannesburg in search for his sister and only son but things take a turn for the worse when his son is found guilty of murdering the son of a local white farmer. What seems like a very simplistic story is actually one of understanding and is one of South Africa’s most powerful novels.