Books to Read in a Weekend

The weekend is the perfect time to sit down, relax and spend a great couple of hours reading a book. If that book is shorter than 200 pages, it’s even possible to read it in full during only one weekend. Even if you are a content slow reader like me, who is not bothered anymore about not being able to read for many hours in a row, sometimes it just feels fulfilling to finish a book in two days. I haven’t managed to read many books in a single weekend, to be honest, but you could certainly read the following books in only two days (or even one).

 

Os Armários Vazios (Empty Wardrobes) by Maria Judite de Carvalho

When Dora Rosário’s husband died, she mourned him for 10 years. She couldn’t have anticipated how her outlook on life was about to change. Empty Wardrobes is a story about how three women let their lives be influenced by men. As it has an unreliable narrator, readers are forgiven for constantly questioning whether the characters actually acted in the way we are being told that they did.

 

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

A story about the decisions made by the women in the life of Chris Baldry, The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West features believable characters and various visual descriptions of the natural settings. After a long time without having news from Baldry, his wife and his cousin received the visit of Margaret Allington. She told them that he was in hospital with no memory of the last 15 years. Continue reading

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Non-fiction Books on My Wish List

Non-fiction November is just around the corner. Although this year I’m once again not taking part in this initiative to promote reading more non-fiction books (there are so many fiction books that I want to read instead…), I decided to share with you some of the ones I have on my wish list. Maybe you’ll get some new ideas for books to read.

My wish list of non-fiction features more books than the seven below, but these are the ones that I’ll probably prioritise in the future. They cover various topics, from the Troubles in Northern Ireland to feminism.

 

How to Be Animal: What it Means to Be Human by Melanie Challenger

I’ve only recently added this book to my wish list. But it’s certainly the one I’ll get to first, since I’ve always found the topic it explores interesting – how us, human beings, don’t tend to think about ourselves as animals. Melanie Challenger draws on various disciplines to explore how humans come to terms with being an animal and how it affects our experiences. Continue reading

‘Ghost Wall’ by Sarah Moss

My rating: 4 stars

Fiction books that focus on relevant social issues can sometimes feel merely like a lecture. That is, fortunately, not the case with Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss. It is an atmospheric and convincing character study that denounces extremism, xenophobia, violence against women and misogyny. These themes are perfectly incorporated into the plot and clearly combined with the personalities of the characters.

It was summer. Silvie, who is the narrator of the story, and her parents joined an encampment in rural Northumberland organised by the archaeology professor Jim Slade, whose aim was to recreate life during the Iron Age. Her father, a bus driver, was obsessed with discovering more about the way of life in Ancient Britain. He also seemed to give excessive importance to English purity. In the past, he hadn’t let Silvie eat traditional food from other countries. Her mother subjugated herself to all of his needs and whims.

As Silvie intersperses the recalling of the events at the camping site with other memories from her life, her personality becomes fully understandable. She didn’t know what she wanted to do in the future, but she aspired to some sort of freedom, in order to escape from her domineering and aggressive father. That is probably the reason why she listened with interest as the professor’s students spoke about travelling around Europe and seeing the recently fallen Berlin Wall. Continue reading