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Reading has always been a passion for me, but lately, I’ve gone through a time when I’ve read absolutely nothing so this summer I decided to take up reading again.
I’m currently reading books in FOUR languages: English, Spanish, Catalan and Italian. I wish I could read books in even more languages, but for now, I think it’s enough! In English and Italian, I read a little slower because they’re not my mother tongues, but this is a way to learn new vocabulary.
In this post, I’m going to talk about the books that I’m reading at the moment.
The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn
Ria, a new friend I met recently on a literary Facebook group, recommended me The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn*. As a Jane Austen devotee, I went straight to Amazon. It was surprisingly cheap so I ordered it and received it the next day.
The Jane Austen Project is a time travel fantasy novel set in early 19th-century England, more precisely in 1815, when Rachel and Liam, two researchers from the future are sent back in time in order to meet Jane Austen and rescue an unpublished novel.
Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf
You won’t believe it, but this is the first book by Virginia Woolf that I ever read. I never studied her at school and the first time I heard about her was about 15 years ago in the movie The Hours.
Jacob’s Room* is an unconventional novel that can leave you baffled if you’ve never read anything by Mrs. Woolf. Her unique style of writing, filled with symbolism, similes and metaphors, can make reading quite challenging –though not less interesting if you like good literature.
Reading Virginia Woolf is like observing a painting. Characterization is much more significant than plot so don’t expect to see a lot of action.
Set in pre-WWI England, the story follows the life of young Jacob Flanders, from his early childhood till adulthood, narrated from the perspective of other characters, like his mother Betty.
TBH, I’m struggling a lot with reading this book. The narrative is actually very beautiful, but it’s too much descriptive and it’s taking me ages to finish it. I’ve already read half the book, but I don’t know if I should put it down. We’ll see.
Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino
When I told my friend Luca that I was writing a novel, he encouraged me to never stop writing. He’s a great fan of good literature and recommended that I read Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino*.
The story of this book is quite touching. As his sister Esther explains in the prologue, in 1984, Italo Calvino –one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century– was invited to Harvard to give a series of six lectures during an academic course. He worked really hard on the lectures, where he talked about some literary principles that should remain in the next millennium: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity… the sixth lecture was about to be about consistency, but he never finished it. Sadly enough, Italo Calvino died just a week before setting off to Boston so the book was published posthumously.
Six Memos for the Next Millennium is quite intense. I had to read the first lecture twice in order to understand everything, but it’s worth reading if you like Literature with a capital “L”.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
Set in Prague before and during the Soviet invasion in 1968, the book discusses the philosophical themes of lightness and heaviness through the lives of four characters: Tomáš, a surgeon and compulsive adulterer who cheats on his young wife Tereza; Karenin, their dog; Sabina –Tomáš’s mistress– and her lover, Franz.
This is the second time that I read this novel and, honestly, I’d never get tired of it, not only for the extraordinary story but also for the unquestionable beauty of the narrative and its deep reflection on existence.
My Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella
The last book of my current reading list is My Not So Perfect Life*, just another chick-lit novel by the bestselling author Sophie Kinsella.
I bought an Italian edition of this book at the Alghero airport bookshop when I went to Sardinia this summer. TBH, it’s the first time in my life that I read a novel in Italian –I had read poetry, but not narrative–, and I’m amazed that I understand 90% of the text, especially if I read it aloud!
Katie Brenner is a 26yo small-town girl who absolutely loves London. She works at an important branding agency, where she’s known as Cat, which she believes is a more sophisticated name.
Her female boss, Demeter, seems to have a perfect life: She is incredibly wealthy, smart and glamorous. Cat looks up to her but fears her at the same time, and she wonders if she’ll ever make it in London and have a life like Demeter’s.
What’s on your current reading list? Tell us in the comments!