On a random whim I’ve decided to take part in Friend Friday today. The theme is books, and it struck a cord, because of what I’m currently reading:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Kate Bush song of the same name was the last song we played at our wedding reception, and while we were planning the playlist, Dave and I looked up the synopsis on Wikipedia! It was all very confusing with people of different generations marrying each other so when my book group decided to do a classic, I suggested it.
I feel like such a philistine saying this, but I’m finding it really hardgoing. I haven’t managed more than a chapter at a time, and even then I’ve sometimes had to go back and re-read the end of the previous one to work out what was going on. Plus I really don’t like any of the characters, they all just act so horribly and we don’t know enough about their inner life to come to like them anyway. Maybe if we found out something about Cathy and Heathcliff’s actual feelings, as opposed to just the endless repetition that they are each other’s soul, it would be better.
I’m only halfway through though, and willing to be persuaded of the book’s merits. I think that Andrea Arnold film that’s coming out will be good anyway!
And of course, the song is brilliant (this is the 1978 version with extra scary eyes)
Since I’ve been quite negative about my current read, the rest of my five choices are books that I really like.
1984 by George Orwell
For ages this was my favourite book. I really love the detail in the bits about how language controls reality, and the bit in the middle from the book about how international politics/war/economics works. I’ve read it 4 or 5 times, but the last time I read it I didn’t like it as much as the times before. The idea of an all-powerful organisation controlling the minutiae of everyone’s life just seems so of its time and doesn’t chime with my understanding of how society works now.
But definitely read it if you haven’t yet!
The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
This is another book club one, my friend randomly discovered it in the library. It’s about a headstrong girl with a talent for carpet making set in 16th century Iran, but feels really contemporary in the barriers she encounters. And some really powerful scenes when she falls in lust with her arranged husband. A total discovery!
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
A story of a young American tracking down his family background in the Ukraine. The historical bits I’m not that bothered about, but the contemporary bits I love. The language of the Ukranian translator (played in the film by Eugene Hutz of Gorgol Bordello) had me laughing out loud all the time. At the same time, the actual plot, which is loosely based on Foer’s own history, is really moving.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
A satirical novel about the futility of war, set among US soldiers in the Second World War. I’ve spoken to a few people who really don’t like it, but I think it’s hilarious, serious and brilliant.
What are you currently reading and what are your favourite books?
See here for the rest of this week’s Friend Friday posts.