Writing the Seasons with Books: Winter

This year I decided to write the four seasons with books. Thus, at the beginning of each of the previous seasons (Spring, Summer and Autumn), I selected books from my shelves whose titles begin with the letters of the name of the season in question. The time has finally come to do the same for Winter!

When I had the idea for this sort of series, I didn’t expect that it would be so difficult to find on my shelves books with titles beginning with certain letters. In order not to pick Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier again, I had to cheat slightly this time, as I’ve done in past seasons for other reasons.

 

Winter by Ali Smith

Told from the perspectives of Sophia and Art, her son, this book, which is part of Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, delves into how dissimilar world views can cause rifts between family members. Art was supposed to take his former partner, Charlotte, to spend Christmas at his mother’s house. As she left him, he decided to pay a young woman to go with him. Although the plot is not outstanding, the characters are compelling. Continue reading

‘Nutshell’ by Ian McEwan

My rating: 4 stars

Ian McEwan is a writer whose work I have mixed feelings about. Some books I really enjoyed, while others I found too dull. Nutshell falls into the first category, thanks to both its original narrator – an impressively intelligent and occasionally drunk foetus – and the frequent lyricism of the prose. In the first person, the resident of Trudy’s womb gradually unveils a plot of criminal intent, involving his mother and Claude.

The foetus can listen to everything people nearby him are saying. That faculty allows him to realise that Trudy and Claude, her lover and his uncle, are planning to act against John Cairncross, his father. John is a poet who hasn’t achieved much success. Despite not living in the same house as Trudy anymore, as she claimed to need more space and time to be alone, he still visits them in the hope of returning to his family house one day.

Throughout the novel, Trudy displays erratic feelings concerning John, but one thing is constant: her irresponsibility as a mother. She drinks too many alcoholic beverages for a pregnant woman. Something that the precocious narrator doesn’t really mind, although he is aware that alcohol can lower his intelligence. During a dinner out with Claude, Trudy drinks two glasses of wine, and the foetus has quite a poetic response to it. Continue reading

Book Haul – March 2018

I bought a total of ten books in March. As I didn’t buy them all at once, it was only when I decided to write this post that I realised how many they were. I can’t truly remember the last time I bought so many books in just a month. The majority of them I’m going to read for my ‘EU still 28’ project, while others were at a discount and I don’t seem to be able to resist a bargain.

To know a little bit more about each of my choices, carry on reading!

 

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

I love the covers of the books by Daphne du Maurier from the Virago Modern Classics collection. Since I’m slightly afraid that they may vanish from the market before I have them all, once in a while, I buy one of them even if I don’t plan to read it soon. Jamaica Inn was recommended to me numerous times. It focuses on Mary Yellan, who, after the death of her mother, goes to her aunt Patience’s home. Continue reading