Reading Like Marianne and Connell for a Week | Weekly Read-a-thon Wrap Up

This past week I participated in my own mini read-a-thon and based my TBR around Connell and Marianne from Normal People by Sally Rooney, with the aim of reading something a little different. 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. I highly recommend just checking 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!

Like the characters, books are a huge part of my life and it is through the written world that I’m able to find solace and comfort! What I’m really enjoying about these character read-a-thons is the range of book, authors and genres I’m getting to explore, plus I’m ticking a lot of books of my classics/books to read before you die TBR! All of them are bringing back memories of my time at Univeristy, and its actually quite nostalgic and reminder of why I love to study English.

Over the past couple of months I’ve read some really psychologically heavy and emotionally exhausting books so I plan to keep it lighthearted and seasonal during December with some cheesy Christmassy reads, so if you’ve got any recommendations then please leave them in the comments below!

I’ve also already got my next character read-a-thon planned and I’ve made sure to leave a few clues throughout this post to keep you guessing…

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This is one of those books that stays with you even after finishing it. I’m struggling to put my thoughts into words because I’ve got so much to say about it! In short, I really enjoyed it! The unique premise, complex characters and beautiful writing style come together to create a masterpiece. If you haven’t read it yet and are looking for something ‘different’ then add this one to your TBR!

The Collected Works of Frank O’Hara – I didn’t read the whole collection but I did flick through and pick out a couple of poems, and I’m gutted I didn’t read more of his work when I was studying at university! His highly personal and intimate poetry that takes subjects found in daily life in New York, just makes me want to visit the city more! Hopefully when its safe to travel, I can start planning a trip over!

Emma by Jane Austen – Three words, eight letters: I loved it! The subtle humour and irony that is hidden within Austen’s novels makes her books more than just ‘romance novels’. I will admit Pride and Prejudice will forever be my favourite of Austen’s novels, but Emma was still a wonderful read, and I especially enjoyed Emma’s character development!

The Golden Notebook by Dorris Lessing – There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, one in particular is the way in which Lessing writes, I’ve got so many beautiful and poignant quotes highlighted. But there were moments where I struggled to keep reading, nevertheless I’m glad I did!

Till next time, XOXO.

Reading Like Marianne and Connell for a Week |Weekly Read-a-thon TBR

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!