January – Little Women, Sharp Objects and I Left My Tent in San Francisco

For those of you who regularly read my blog you’ll be aware that one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read at least one book a month. This month I have actually finished 3 since returning to Spain in the New Year. While trying to think of a title for the post I realised that all 3 books were written by women and have female protagonists. This wasn’t intentional but after the way this year has started – and after the inspiring Women’s marches across the world – it does seem quite fitting. It is also not that surprising, I am halfway through another book by a woman and many of the books loaded onto my kindle are by women. So here’s to a year full of fascinating, exciting and heart-breaking stories by incredible women, and men.

 

Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

I started reading Little Women before Christmas, and after a break while I was at home, I finished it in my first week back. I feel like I had maybe started to read it at about 9 at my Grandma’s house while unable to find anything else but had given up after a few pages and watched CBBC instead. I read the entire book in my breaks and thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the characters’ lives while drinking cups of mint tea and listening to the waves. I definitely found myself getting caught up in their lives – I quite often would rage to Else about what I’d read that day – and was intensely disappointed when the ending wasn’t as predictable as I’d first thought. It has, however, showed me how many of the classics I’ve yet to read and has given me the push to download a lot more onto my kindle ready for the next time I need some more sentimentality in my life.

 

Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects

This has been on my kindle since the last time I was in Spain after I was blown away by Gone Girl and decided to read anything I could find by Gillian Flynn. However after reading Dark Places and its depictions of satanic rituals and intensely gory murders I had to take a break and never managed to convince myself to go back and read Sharp Objects. After finishing Little Women I knew I wanted something a little more gritty and some more suspense and twists so I decided to just get over it and start. I am so glad I did. It reminded me why I had started with my Gillian Flynn obsession in the first place – enough hints to keep you guessing but not so many that the ending is insanely obvious. The one thing I disliked was that the ending seemed a little rushed – most of the book is spread over the space of about 2 weeks but in one chapter towards the end they squeeze in a few weeks of what’s happened. Reading crime novels again has reminded me of one of my favourite modules at university and has prompted me to download a lot more to keep up the suspense.

 

Emma Kennedy – I Left My Tent in San Francisco

I decided to read this as I felt like I needed something lighter after Sharp Objects and knew Emma Kennedy would pull it out of the bag. I read another of her books The Tent, the Bucket and Me last year after watching The Kennedys, which is based on the book, and cried laughing from start to finish. The Tent, the Bucket and Me recounts her disastrous childhood holidays while I Left My Tent in San Francisco details her summer in USA with her best friend, Dee after graduating from Oxford. As with The Tent, the Bucket and Me they face a number of hilarious disasters along the way as their trip does not go at all as they had planned. One of the biggest problems Emma faces is the decision about what to do with her life now that she’s finished university – Dee is going to be a Doctor so has her life mapped out. I have never identified with someone more. When I graduated a lot of my friends were heading straight back to University- or had just finished their training – in order to become a teacher. Meanwhile all I knew was that I didn’t want to become a teacher- great Erin, that’s one job out of 1,000,000 that you can cross off your list. A year and a half later and I’m still no closer to a decision. What I enjoyed about I Left My Tent in San Francisco is that despite not having a clue about what she wanted to do Emma Kennedy has gone on to write 9 books and a TV series. Not everyone knows what they’re going to do at 22 – or 23 in my case – but that’s fine, we’ve got our entire lives to figure it out.

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