Alice and the Fly by James Rice book cover
So summer is finally here – long, lazy months where reading is top of the agenda. Of course, I have been plotting my summer reading in typically librarian-like fashion – no laid-back perusal of beach reads for me, thank you very much – I have an ambitious plan to cover off some of the more gaping gaps in my literary knowledge. Currently this exists as a jumbled word document of suggested readings from Samuel Richardson to the History of Hip Hop. Aptly, I have titled said document ‘Things I should know’ and I am hoping to be a more rounded reader come September (I know, don’t I make reading fun!). This means that, all going well with my grand scheme of self-enrichment, you will likely see my reviews tending towards the classics end of the literary scale in July and August.

You might have already noticed this with my recent reviews of Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd and Austen’s Mansfield Park. Hopefully this focus will suit some of you and alienate only a few. You may have noticed in June that I didn’t post a review of my main read for the month: Alice and the Fly. I have been holding onto the review of that for a few weeks as I have an interview arranged with the author and I’d like to post this at the same time as the review. Do keep an eye out for this in July – Alice and the Fly is, I think, a decent contender for a summer read, despite being not at all summer-y.

From my reading list – and some of these may be re-reads on my part, but books I haven’t read for a while an warrant a re-appraisal – I’m going to be posting about The Great Gatsby this month. In fact, I am about to sit down to watch the film, so I shall hope it lives up to the book! I am also hopeful of putting down something on Sartre’s Nausea, which is a book I seem to have read at least four times without actually remembering anything much beyond the first twenty pages. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure Nausea is the book that first introduced me to the word ‘autodidact’ – a mantle I have tried my best to assume in some form ever since.

I am also reading Emma as I seek to get through all of Austen’s novels. I’m not quite sure I will post about this in July, but possibly I will. Sometimes I need a little time to digest novels from one author to avoid them bleeding into one another too much (although sometimes this is preferable).

I suppose really I ought to try some light, contemporary fiction too, to get into the spirit of beach reads. Hopefully the right book will cross my path between now and next we meet…

Notable Posts from June
Review: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Review: The Establishment by Owen Jones
Review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen