November Book Reviews

Despite the business of November (essay writing, running pancakes up and down restaurants, jetting off home for my birthday and travelling to Durham to spend time at my boyfriends’) I managed to find a good portion of time to devour some paperbacks, an audiobook, a couple plays and a poem of epic proportions.

This month, I tackled a book Christopher Paloni wrote when he was just a teen, read a lot about murder and deceit, fell in love with some strong female characters and, of course, listened to a Harry Potter.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

The third Harry Potter audiobook of the year takes the form of the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I cannot deny that I did not tear up on the tram when Sirius asked Harry to move in with him and leave the Dursley’s forever.  God, if you have not read these magical books then what have you been doing?  I do not think I will ever tire.

Eragon by Christopher Paloni

I have tried and I have failed to read Eragon before (much like my relationship with His Dark Materials up until this summer).  It has a slow beginning.  It doesn’t marvel at dragons.  The protagonist, Eragon himself, is not fazed by his dragon, and apparently, neither is anybody else until much, much further on in the book.

Do not fret and do not be put off by the stagnant beginning; Paloni’s first novel is elegant, brilliant, enthralling and exhilarating once tension begins to build.  I cannot wait to read the remaining three books in the New Year.

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman’s second novel in the His Dark Material’s trilogy introduces Will Parry, a teenager whose father has mysteriously vanished on an exhibition, with Lyra Silvertongue – who has just travelled through the rip in the sky her father, Lord Asriel, has just created.

Will and Lyra. Lyra and Will.  

One of them becomes the possessor of something important which will change both of their destinies forever.  I believe I will be in love with their friendship for the rest of my life. I wish The Subtle Knife could go on forevermore.

Arden Of Faversham by Unknown

My second favourite tragic play I had to read, study, present on and write an essay about this year – Arden Of Faversham is about badass women going for what they want.  Based on the true murder of Arden Of Faversham at the hands of his wife, Alice Faversham, the play is brilliant, an easy-read and allows you to remain a firm grip on what the hell is going on throughout.

Parts of this play have been accredited to Shakespeare too, for all you literature buffs.

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Unless you are being forced to read this for English A Level/University studies like I was then do not read this book if you are looking for a good time.  Do a Bird Box – put on a blindfold and throw that book away, you do not need that kind of stress in your life.

This epic poem is epic, to say the least.  There are no stanzas, no linebreaks – just solid reams of text for 500+ pages.

If you are still up for tackling John Milton’s poem, I suggest you read the long book synopsis’ via Shmoop before embarking on each section.  I promise – it will save your life.

The Duchess Of Malfi by John Webster

Is there anything sweeter than revenge?  How about murder?  The Duchess of Malfi is another play which centres around a powerful female, The Duchess herself, and sees her fighting for her right to live.  Not as good as Arden Of Faversham, but a more dramatic play which I believe would be PERFECT on the stage.

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