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    • Hayley

      March Supporter Giveaway   03/02/2019

      So March has crept up on us and I'm thrilled to finally show you the GREAT (he he...) March giveaway!     This time we have a gorgeous print of The Great Gatsby's most famous line from thestorygift.co.uk AND a Great Gatsby tea from the Literary Tea Company! This particular tea is Peach Blossom (which sounds delicious and I kind of wish I could keep it myself...) and the tin features another Gatsby quote.  If you'd like to see the other literary teas available (there are lots, I spent ages looking) you can find them both at the Literary Tea Company's etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany) or at their own website, theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and if you're not a supporter but want to be included in this months giveaway you can become a supporter on patreon here... https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month. Good luck!  


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About Angury

  • Rank
    Super Bookworm
  • Birthday 08/04/1993

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  • Reading now?
    The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Gender
  • Location:
    Devon, UK
  • Interests
    Music (Violin)
    Psychiatry (Forensics, Cultural)
    Medical Anthropology
    Medical Humanities

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  1. I decided to take a break from non-fiction and read some short novels. The first was Sum: Stories of the After Life by David Eagleman which was incredible. It is filled with 40 very quick and simple stories about what the afterlife might look like. The stories not only reflect the lateral thinking of Eagleman's mind but also make you pause about your own goals and dreams: would things really be better if you got everything you wanted? The book is a reflection of the type of stories I would love to be able to write; unique, creative and insightful. The second novel was just as good: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It tells the story of a man with the IQ of approx 60-70 who dreams of being smart. He undergoes a scientific experiment where his IQ progressively gets higher and higher. The novel is written via 'progress reports' which the protagonist writes himself. The writing style changes as his IQ becomes higher and higher; vocabulary, punctuation, grammar all change but so do his views on life and the people around him. It's actually a very sad novel but one that is told so beautifully. I have come across some fantastic books this year even though it's only March. My writing is also growing. I have written 8 articles in the past month, some of which I have submitted to magazines etc. I'm really enjoying myself and have got myself into a routine where I write everyday. My aim is for my writing is: 1. To get published in a magazine 2. To complete a short story Reading-wise, I am just about to start The Colors of Purple by Alice Walker and then possibly move on to some short stories to get some inspiration & delve into the genre a bit more. 
  2. I always recommend Lydia Davis for short stories. She is one of the most original writers out there and the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. Shes' been described as 'the master of a literary form largely of her own invention.' Some of her stories are only a sentence or paragraph long - I have always been fascinated by Davis's ability to play with words. I don't think I've ever read a writer like her. You can find some of her short stories online if you want to get an idea of her style before diving in.
  3. I've just finished reading both the guidebooks to Wittgensteins Tractatus & Philosophical Investigations and the original works themselves. It was far easier that I expected it to be; the guidebooks were very clearly written and I don't think I would have been able to interpret the original works without them. They also offered stimulating discussion points which I've still been pondering. What struck me most about Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is not so much the content but the way he goes about arguing his point. It's a different way of thinking i.e. understanding the meaning of a word based on how it is used and the idea of language games themselves. Particularly interesting is the link (or lack thereof) between language and our representation of the world. It certainly brings a different perspective on the idea of Newspeak from 1984. I have now started reading A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy of Science by Samir Okasha before moving onto Thomas Kuhn and Karl Poppers works. This all makes me feel rather intelligent..
  4. Thanks Hayley! I've just finished reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus with the help of two guidebooks: A Very Short Introduction to Wittgenstein By AC Grayling and a Companion Guide written by Michael Morris. Wittgenstein was a philosopher who wrote about the philosophy of language and how it relates to reality. It's a very interesting field of study and while I had read around the subject I felt too daunted to read the original works themselves. The Short Introduction & Companion Guide were fantastic though, and not only helped me to understand what Wittgenstein was actually saying, but also gave me an idea of how his works have affected the world today and continue to do so. There are a number of areas of philosophy which I have read around (a little) but have always felt too daunted to read the original works. This has now given me a bit of a boost. I've made a little collection of works which I now would like to finish by the end of this year: Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations alongside a Companion Guide (I will be reading this next). Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Poppers three works: Realism & the Aim of Science, The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Conjectures and Refutations alongside the short introduction books of science. Idealism: A History of Philosophy & Routledge Guidebook to Berkley's Three Dialogues (with the original works) alongside the short introduction series to Berkley, Heidegger, Hegel & Schopenhauer. Barthe's Lovers' Discourse & On Fine Writing, Nabaokov's Lectures on Literature alongside a Companion Guide on Derrida's Deconstruction and the short introduction series on Critical Theory, Structuralism & Post-Structuralism & Hermeneutics. What an exciting year it's going to be..
  5. Hi Abir. Interesting list of books so far. What type of genres do you enjoy reading? I have to say, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favourite novels. I've read a couple of the others on your list but can't say I was a big fan otherwise.
  6. Oh dear. What made you disappointed with White Teeth? It's on my TBR. I have such started both the Tractatus by Wittgenstein and the Routledge Companion Guide at the same time to hopefully help me understand what I'm reading.
  7. new here!

    A PhD on Finnegan's Wake! That sounds like a great conversation starter. Do you find you're still able to enjoy reading works which you are also studying? (Just curious as I did very badly in English Literature!) Anyway, welcome to the forum - I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
  8. Ulysses by James Joyce

    I was hoping to bring this fascinating discussion back to life. I have had my eye on Ulysses for a while now but I am in two minds; should I try and read Ulysses 'on my own' or with a companion guide? I've heard that Ulysses is best enjoyed reading aloud and taking in the prose. But I'm also aware it's a book I will stumble over and having a companion guide as back up might be helpful. Any thoughts?
  9. I've got some days off and was planning on diving into my books but am really struggling with Elliot's Adam Bede.
  10. I've spend two months on my A&E rotation so far and it has given me a lot to reflect about. I find myself becoming more and more distant as a doctor and seeing patients in the terms they present in e.g. 'headache' 'abdominal pain' etc. I have so little time to see each patient and so many to see that in a way I think this is a defence mechanism. This ties in quite closely with the book Milkman that I just finished and our discussion above. It's interesting to have such a different perspective when you're so far away from the action. Having had these thoughts swirl around in my head for a while, I decided to write them down. Now, more than ever, I feel like I view the human body as a machine more than anything else. I never thought I would say that. Fluid goes up and down and round and round, in the hole and out the sides, down the glass and past the eyes, Side to side and up and up, I watch the bubbles as they fall, numbers rise and fingers flash, wires stiffen and alarms go off. Here I stand with skin and blood, the pulse of man beating through the mud, liquid squirts and curtains wobble, shoes slide on floors as blue men struggle. Here I stand in the land of men, tools in hand as God repents. https://www.angury.co.uk/the-mechanic/
  11. Yes, I think that had a lot to do with it. There are some strong characters in the books and I think their identities do come through, but you don't really feel close to them. It almost feels like the people the narrator is talking about aren't really people.. like they don't matter.. which I guess is what the author was aiming towards. It's incredible how Burns was able to do all this through such simple language. I think the novel is a testament to the power of language.
  12. Your comment actually got me thinking Hayley. As I was reading the book I didn't feel like it was a sad or difficult read. I can't say I felt many emotions at all. Thinking about it, I'm not sure if it was because of the style of writing - informal and from the perspective of someone for whom this is normal - or my own desensitisation. I think it's mainly the style of writing, which again makes it such a good book. And it's only after you made that comment that I realised, hang on! this is actually a horrific topic to write about! I think I found To Kill a Mockingbird more emotional as we were viewing the world from perspective of an innocent child whilst still holding our own understanding of the past. Whilst with Milkman I felt that I was really drawn into the plot and things like segregation and sexism were normal in this world.
  13. What an inspiring read; especially the encouragement for writers. It's interesting to hear things from a publishers perspective and how they work. Thanks for the interview Hayley, it has stirred my thoughts.
  14. Best stream-of-consciousness novels

    I just google'd this - it's exactly the type of thing I'm looking for, thanks Hayley. I've just bought it so I'll let you know my thoughts soon.
  15. I must admit it wasn't 'my kind of book' but I can see why it received so much critical acclaim. It's a groundbreaking piece of work for the time that it was written in, and even more importantly, it brought English Indian literature to the Western stage. The story itself is well done. It follows the history of India following its Independence through the eyes of a young child. Personally I didn't find the plot very engaging but I have to admit the writing was well done. I would however recommend it - I do think it's an insightful piece of work.