A #TBR20 Update: Books 13 – 16

Well, it’s been a while since I posted! I have been reading quite a bit lately; I’ve been trying, and often failing, to limit my time online. The #TBR20 reading challenge is becoming more, well, challenging, as I try to read the books I have consistently avoided. I feel like my tastes have changed, but I am nearly there!

#13: Mad, Bad and Sad by Lisa Appignanesi

I had been reading this book, off and on, since I started this reading challenge. I feel that I should have read this book years ago, as I might have enjoyed it more in the past. Since I bought this book (many years ago) I’ve read a lot about the women in this book who suffered from mental health problems – Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, e.g. – so I wish I’d read it at the time. It’s very interesting if you want to look at the recent history of women and mental illness, written by a psychoanalyst.

#14: Immortality by Milan Kundera

I felt a similarly with this novel! Perhaps if I’d read it when I bought it I would have been more impressed by the more meta aspects of it. It is clever and evocative but it just didn’t grab me the way I wanted it to.

#15: The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

This novel is beautifully written, and doesn’t shy away from the harsher aspects of nineteenth-century life. It follows John Clare after he is committed to an asylum. Tennyson also makes an appearance. It is a thoughtful novel and a quiet novel.

#16: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Eva Luna is a great story that fuses historical fact and magical realism. The protagonist, a wonderful storyteller, prefers to imagine life at its most interesting, and she narrates the book in this way. Everything is so much more fantastical here. I read this novel quickly and hope to read some more Allende soon.

I feel that, with these four books, I am seeing how my reading tastes have changed. I have been reading books that don’t appeal to me much anymore, and it sometimes feels like a chore. There are only four books left to read now, though…