book review · books · lists · Shar

Summer reading

Hello Virtually Read friends! It has really been a while and as you can probably tell Shanti and I have been busy and distracted and are still not really sure what the direction/future of this blog is to be honest. But anyway, down in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the summer holidays! I’m working so it’s not eXacTly a holiday but I do have more free time than uni! So here’s some books I have been reading or want to.



Away We Go by Emil Ostrovski

I had never heard of this but picked it up on a whim at the library (I went to the public library straight after my last exam after having spent the last monty studying in the university library). It’s this strange dystopian and I don’t know what’s going on

The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright

I actually got this out to inspire myself to study for an exam (I had a essay question option on Latin names) but mostly read it afterwards. It’s quite interesting but also dry occasionally, about latin species names, their quirks and conventions.

Recently finished

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I borrowed this from my flatmate and it was SO SAD but also so good and important and basically I’d give it 5 stars. It really opened my eyes about Afghan history a bit.

Going Solo by Roald Dahl

This was also a recommendation. It had definite colonial undertones (and overtones) and wasn’t very questioning of the war, or at all pacifist (although there was a very interesting description of Dahl meeting a Jewish person and not knowing why they couldn’t stay in Germany, as well as him talking about how as a pilot you were trying to get machines, not kill people and he didn’t want ti kill people but did want to fight Hitler). I guess what I found most interesting was his photos from actual 1930 and his first hand descriptions of fighting in the war.


On the list

There are so many books on my list really. I think I need to get my reading muscle back into shape after barely reading anything in the last few months. Here’s a few.

The Inheritance of Lossy by Kiran Desai

This is set in India, is fairly famous, and sounds cool. The idea is to make it kind of a buddy read with a friend.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Again, a recommendation, although I’m not sure if I’ll like this.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

I started re-reading this, then lost my copy (which I’m very sad about as I had written all these notes in it right before I’d started uni when I first read it, and also because I was halfway through when I lost it and quite engrossed).

There are a lot of maybes as well: Blue like Jazz//The Taming of the Shrew//Love in the Time of Cholera//Time for a Tiger//Brave New World// Winners Take All

So, that’s a very brief update on my reading life. Do you have any recommendations for me? I am very desperate for fun things to read but am out of the loop enough that I haven’t quite thought of what I want to read yet!

9 thoughts on “Summer reading

  1. I read Going Solo for school ages ago, and I found it interesting. Reading a personal account of such a hugely important time in history is intriguing to me, because one person’s view is so limited, and you only get a tiny slice of what was going on really. It makes me think about how history is so hard to understand/see while it’s actually happening, and how we can really only look at it years later, when we piece everything together.
    Recently I have read some thought-provoking Middle Grade contemporaries that I thought were very good: House Arrest, Knock Out, and See You in the Cosmos. They really stood out to me in the genre and I would try them even if they don’t sound like much. The first two are actually companion novels and written in verse, and the third is formatted entirely as recordings. I also read an autobiography called They Cage the Animals at Night about a kid who was in and out of foster care in the 1960s. It was pretty interesting, but it felt more like a Dickens’ novel than a true story for some reason.


  2. Some cool stuff in here Shar- I’d give kite runner 5 stars too (but don’t rate any of. his other ones) reckon its about humanity not just about Afghanistan and you could do more of Gabriel Garcia (Love in the time of Cholera is my pick.) and you might want to try The Hate U Give which is a young black woman in USA and very trendy and all. Actually it did not quite work for me, though has some really good insights about people. But it did work for lots of others and got rave reviews everywhere.. for somethign really interesting try “the Mistress of spices” . and if the summer is weighing heavily there is always Dostoyevsky or James Joyce. But better to spend your free time either climbing big mountains or dreaming of doing so.


    1. Not quite ready for Dostoyvesky yet I think. And I have of COURSE read The Hate U Give, who do you think I am, honestly. 🙂 Maybe I won’t try to read any of the other books and try to read some Gabriel Garcia. Thanks for commenting!


  3. “Yes Yes” to Love in the Time of Cholera :). Have you read any other books by Marquez? This one can feel a bit long if you don’t read it quickly. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend One Hundred Years Of Solitude instead.


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