Last week I didn't manage to do a lot of reading, with University finishing and going back home and celebrating my sister's birthday. What I did manage was:
A review for Lady Audley's Secret by Mary E. Braddon.
Lady Audley's Secret (1862) was one of the most widely read novels of the Victorian period. It exemplifies "sensation fiction" in featuring a beautiful criminal heroine, an amateur detective, blackmail, arson, violence, and plenty of suspenseful action. To its contemporary readers, it also offered the thrill of uncovering blackmail and criminal violence within the homes of the upper class. The novel makes trenchant critiques of Victorian gender roles and social stereotypes, and Braddon deliberately creates significant sympathy for her criminal heroine, who rebels against the "marriage market."I had actually already read this one a couple of months ago and somehow it managed to slip my attention.
And a review of The Rilke Alphabet by Ulrich Baer.
The enduring power of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry rests with his claim that all we need for a better life on earth is already given to us, in the here and now. In twenty-six engaging and accessible essays, Ulrich Baer's The Rilke Alphabet examines this promise by one of the greatest poets in any tradition that even the smallestoverlooked word may unlock life's mysteries to us.
Fueled by an unebbing passion and indeed love for Rilke's poetry, Baer examines twenty-six words that are not only unexpected but also problematic, controversial, and even scandalous in Rilke's work. In twenty-six mesmerizing essays that eschew jargon and teutonic learnedness for the pleasures and risks of unflinchingly engaging with a great artist's genius, Baer sheds new light on Rilke's politics, his creative process, and his deepest and enduring thoughts about life, art, politics, sexuality, love, and death.This one was very interesting and different from what I've read lately.
However, what I'm reading this week is a lot more exciting! Here's my current reading list:
The Fifteen First Lives of Harry August by Claire North.
The extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character - a story of friendship and betrayal, loyalty and redemption, love and loneliness and the inevitable march of time.
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.
As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.'
This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
I'm having doubts about this one. There just seem to be massive gaps in North's idea about the reincarnation etc. and these are really messing with me enjoying this book.
The Wish by D.S. Affleck
If you could have your very own wish, what would it be? Fame, fortune, or magical powers? Everyone dreams, but for Jamie Lomax this might just be a reality. By chance he discovers a magical orb which legend states has the power to grant him anything he so desires. But there's a catch. He has to earn the wish by helping five people, and he doesn't know who or when this might be. Before he has a chance to explore this amazing opportunity, he meets with the true owner of the orb - an ancient warrior powerful beyond belief - whose appearance proves that the legend is true. However, if Jamie wants to see his wish granted, he will have only thirty days to fulfil the prophecy. And if he fails? He forfeits his soul...So, how about you? What are you reading?