I’ve been doing a lot of beauty and skincare related blog posts recently, so I thought that I would switch it up abit. I. A huge book reader, I’ve read hundreds – but out of all those books that I’ve delved into there are only four that I feel had an enormous impact on me.
Those books though different in story, all come down to the same emotions, anxiety, fear and love. These books changed my perspective on life, took me to a different world and of all things made me feel. Two of these books I relate to so much I got them tattooed.
Right so in no order, onto the books! I’m not doing reviews, these are just short descriptions of the books. I really want you to read them for yourself, without another persons opinions in mind.
The Time Travelers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
The book that you will always remember. Nothing like the film!
Synopsis : “This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.” – The Book Depository
This is probably the book I have read the most, it’s a book you think about for months after reading. It’s written in first person, through the eyes of our two main characters. It’s brutal, frustrating, bittersweet and absolutely beautiful. I cry every time I read it, my heart aches. As you progress through this book,yes it’s a long one, you begin to feel like you know these people almost to the point of being best friends. You know there fears, worries and dreams. I’ve never read a book similar to it. It says it’s a love story, but it’s far from soppy and so much more than that.
We Have Always Lived In The Castle – Shirley Jackson
A thriller with a hidden story
Synopsis : “Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn’t leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family.” – Amazon
This is a strange little short read which spoke to me on a deeper level. Shirley Jackson wrote her pain into this book, she wrote her fear and worry. To me this is ultimately about isolation an anxiety. Two of the things I know on a personal level. Now I’m not saying that I’m a murderer who locked herself in her castle but I certainly took emotion from the feelings expressed in this book. If you like horror/thrillers it’s definatly worth a read. Her writing style is beautiful some sentences so gorgeous and innocent you can’t forget them.
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
The book that transports you to another world and leaves you breathless
Synopsis : “This story is a rare and utterly engaging experience. It tells the extraordinary story of a geisha -summoning up a quarter century from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan’s dramatic history, and opening a window into a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. A young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Her memoirs conjure up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha – dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the land’s most powerful men.”
Let me start by staying that Arthur Golden paints a picture so vividly you could swear that you were there. Though the story is not 100% true to actual geisha it’s close. You grow up with this little peasant girl, you know her so well. She’s a strong female character a force to be reckoned with. This book is comical at times, it makes you laugh – but it also makes you grieve, feel anger and heartbreak. If you read only one of these books I couldn’t recommend this one more. It takes you to a dying world a disappearing way of life. It tells you her story In so much beautiful detail you feel like you’ve lived a geishas life yourself. I’ve read this book so many times and will do many more.
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The book who’s words are on my arm. The woman who inspires me most.
Synopsis : “When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously. Sylvia Plath’s only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath’s own life and descent into mental illness, and has become a modern classic.”
Sylvia Plath is one of my biggest inspirations. Always. Before her death (sadly from suicide aged 30) Sylvia forced her way into a male dominated role. She was honest raw and unapologetic. She had suffered with depression from a very early age and wrote about it truthfully, in a time when mental illness was taboo and completely misunderstood. This book mirrors Plaths Life for the most part and her writing style is engrossing. If this book does one thing, it makes you want to know more about this spectacular woman, you will want to read her poetry, admire her drawings and wish more than anything that she could have been saved. The Tati I have in honour to her is my most simple. But the one I get asked about the most and the one I hold dearest. If you’ve ever felt not good enough, if you’ve ever struggled with mental health this book will speak to you. Empower you to fight?
“I took. Deep breath and listened to the old bray on my heart. I am, I am, I am.”