Book Review | The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë

24874353A collection of some of Emily Brontë’s most emotive and incredible poems. 

This poetry collection was a really incredible thing to read in the morning! The night is darkening round me is actually one of my favourite poems, so to have it in a book on my shelf finally is awesome!

Most of these poems are about death and depression, and I think for a little collection like this I would have liked more variety because she wrote some really beautiful poems about nature and not all of them are dark! I also would have liked all of them named or none of the named, but that’s just my personal preference!

The collection is really emotive. I really connected to Emily through some of the words that she wrote, and I think that it’s incredible what she has left behind. I actually annotated the book at one point, and wrote something along the lines of, “When she wrote these, did she know that in hundreds of years in the future someone would be reading them?”

All of the Brontë’s are awesome writers, and I love having a collection of Emily’s poems – now it’s time to move onto some of the other sisters! (Oh, and it’s contested that one of the poems in this minute collection might be Charlotte’s, which was a really interesting observation. I like that people obviously selected these poems, as opposed to just chucking them between two black and white covers.)

The Night is Darkening Round Me is #63 in the Little Black Classics collection. 

Rating: 4/5

Source: bought at a store. Perhaps Jarrolds?


Book Review | The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

24874335Marx and Engels summon the working class to join the Communist party in one of the most influential writings of its time. 

I can’t actually believe I’m reviewing this, but I picked up this Little Black Classic and review it I wish to!

I actually agree with a lot of what the Manifesto says. I think that people should be equal – I really hate capitalism. (I highly recommend reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, by the way. It’s one of my favourite books of all time.) However, I feel like the way Marx and Engels go about it is really counter productive. As I wrote in my reading notes, “Why is there so much violence everywhere?”

I can see why the ideals of the Manifesto took off, especially in Russia during this time when there was a huge split between the rich, poor, and those in the middle. Marx and Engels seem to write about the people, and it’s easy to see why people believed in them.

However… I have to say, I did think I would get more from this. I expected to feel empowered, but I actually felt a little bit scared that this small, 52-page booklet changed so much of history. It’s humbling and entirely terrifying.

The Communist Manifesto is #20 of the Little Black Classics series. 

Rating: 3/5

Source: bought

Book Review | The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen

This Little Black Classic showcases a collection of short stories that Jane wrote to entertain her family when she was still a teenager. 

These stories are so sweet! They are definitely not up to the scale of Jane’s later works, so if that’s what you’re wanting, this isn’t the place to find it. However, Jane does real good in these short stories and I found myself laughing aloud with some of them.

Some of the reading matter really did shock me, though, from Jane’s era, so I can’t imagine what her family thought of them! The phrase “dead drunk” continually crops up, for instance. Either way, they were pretty mature stories – more of a teenager trying to both entertain and impress her family.  Continue reading

Book Review | Knots and Crosses (Rebus #1) by Ian Rankin

118828Haunted by his past, John Rebus has been in the police force almost since leaving the brutal SAS. He’s worked in Edinburgh for years, and everything’s been mostly quiet of late – until two girls are abducted, and later found dead. Rebus finds himself thrown into the case, but do they hit much closer to home? And what about the mysterious letters that keep finding their way to him? 

This, as you will have seen by the title to this post, is the first in the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin. My grandma let me borrow the first one (and, for some reason, the 14th? I think those are the only ones she has, although I do want to read these in order!) and I read it in just one day!  Continue reading

Book Review | Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman

How to summon success, banish drama, and raise hell with your coven. 

Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman introduce you to witchcraft for the modern witch in this handy little guide. From everything to finding your colours, banishing toxic friendships, and how to handle truly terrible Tinder dates, the girls show you how you can be a badass witch in the modern era with spells, rituals, and just a whole lot of empowerment. 

I’ve recently become really interested in witchcraft, so this book has come at the perfect time for me! It’s a really simple, and plain gorgeous, little guide to the modern witch.  Continue reading

Book Review | Come Close by Sappho

24874364Beautiful, lyrical poems about love, sexuality, Greece and the Gods. Sappho lived c.630-570 BCE on Lesbos in Ancient Greece. 

Little Black Classics celebrate the range of Penguin Classics; 80 books for Penguin’s 80th birthday! Come Close is LBC #74. 

Sappho is truly one of my favourite poets. People scoff at me for enjoying her poetry and even just talking about it, but try reading this collection and then come to talk to me! Lots of people just think of Sappho as “that lesbian Greek poet with no complete poems” (all of these are true!), but she’s also so much more.

Many of Sappho’s poems were lost to history. A lot have been collected from vases and pottery, but I really love how it’s not complete. I feel like the fact that it isn’t complete actually tells us a lot more! We can invent around it, and, thankfully, the parts which have survived are just beautiful. 

Sappho writes about family, relationships, the gods, and even Troy! I never knew that she wrote about Troy, so having a chapter in this book about Troy was a real pleasant surprise, and I really enjoyed it. The Trojan War is one of my favourite truth-myths, so having it written about by another poet was really pleasing.

I love Sappho, and I also love the Penguin Little Black Classics. I really, really recommend this book (it’s only 80p!) and hope you enjoy some new Ancient Greek poetry.

You can check out my collection of Little Black Classics here!

Review | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

The KonMari method of tidying has revolutionised organisation and minimalism all over the world. Since the age of 5, Marie Kondo has been tidying her own house and life, and has had clientele all over Japan. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying intends to teach you how to only keep the items that you truly love, how to discard the rest and to make your space into one in which you are truly happy. 

I really want to downsize my things, and to make my space into a happy one. I have enjoyed sorting through my things already, but reading this book has made me really excited to start tidying and making my place into a happy place!  Continue reading

Book Review | Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Dee is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance.

But Dee doesn’t realize that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world.

And she is his next target. – from Goodreads

Having read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which I really enjoyed, I was looking forward to Lament. However, it wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Continue reading

Top 3 Books I Read in July 2017

Over the course of July 2017 I read 17 books! Of those, here are three which I really loved:

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1) by Laini Taylor
    I looooooooved this book! It was wholly encompassing and a brilliant fantasy novel. Karou is a really interesting character and Laini Taylor is such a fabulous writer. I really, really loved this book, and I highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t wait to read Book 2 ASAP!
  2. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
    Oh-em-geeeee! This book was FABULOUS! It doesn’t actually come out until September 2017, but WHSmith have copies already for the Zoella Book Club. This is such a brilliant book about feminism and zines, and I really hope it inspires so many young people out there when it officially comes out.
  3. HHhH by Laurent Binet
    This book has a lot of hype surrounding it; and it’s very easy to see why. This is the most unique book I’ve ever read. It’s a historical novel like no other, and it’s about two parachutists who I can’t even believe I haven’t heard of before. I would have loved to have written this book myself, let me tell you that! If you love history, if you love faction, if you love uniqueness, read this book!

So there you have my three favourite books of July 2017! What did you read this month? Have you read any of the books I wrote about here? Let me know in the comments below! 😀

Book Review | Ink by Alice Broadway

32827036Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all. – from Goodreads

I thought that the premise and, indeed, the execution of Ink was such a brilliant idea. I love that this is a really tattoo-positive novel, too.  Continue reading