After the success of my first character inspired read-a-thon, I thought I’d do another one this time inspired by the characters Connell and Marianne from Normal People by Sally Rooney. The aim is essentially to base your reading goals and TBR around your chosen characters for a period of time and to read something a little different!
If you missed my last character read-a-thon I channelled my inner Rory Gilmore and checked a few books off her infamous reading list! I’ll be sure to leave a link here if you want to check that out!
I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People earlier this year and fell utterly and unexpectedly in love. The story and its characters are so raw and complex, creating a narrative that is more than just a romance. Be warned, this isn’t a heartwarming and fluffy contemporary read by any standards but nevertheless my reading experience with this book is one of my favourites. The book follows Marianne and Connell and their developing relationship through high school and university, and deals fittingly with the ups and downs of love and horrors of mental health. Even if you don’t read it, I highly recommend you check out the BBC TV adaptation, the entire show is crafted with the upmost accuracy and care, the producers have done a wonderful job at bringing this story to life!
Throughout the book and show both characters read a range of books especially Connell as he studies for his degree, so I’ve chosen a couple that I’d thought I’d enjoy!
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing – This is probably one of my favourite moments of the book, when Connell picks out this book from Marianne’s bookshelf and reveals that he’s read this 1962 feminist classic! It’s instantly clear that he’s not just your average football-obsessed teenager. I read a bit of Lessing at university so I’m eager to dive into more of her work.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – It just so happens that this is our book club book of the month for November! The story follows three young orphans living in Hailsham, a mysterious and oppressive boarding school, where all is not as it seems. Fittingly Marianne picks up this classic as she struggles finding her own ‘place’ and belonging at both school and home.
Emma by Jane Austen – I couldn’t resits adding a bit of Austen to my TBR! Austen’s classic is mentioned during Connell’s seminar and it’s here we get to see him finally come out of his shell and gain some confidence in his literary criticism and analysis.
Temples of Delight by Barbara Trapido – Although we don’t actually see Connell reading this book it is sitting on his shelf in episode 11, so I think it’s fair to say that he’s read it. He seems like the character who would have self control when it came to buying and reading books!