Part of the writing business is, of course an avid love of reading. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a TBR pile, and frankly, I’d feel lost without a stack of new worlds to explore. Every time I promise myself I’ll finish what I have before I buy even one more book, I come across an article, review or a shiny cover that grabs my attention, and before I know it, there’s one more TBR item sitting on top of the pile.
In the upcoming twelve months, I will be posting about what I’m reading this month, and what I got through last month, whether it be half a novel, four novels or some short stories. That way, at least I’ll know what I got through, even if the pile isn’t any smaller!
This month’s novel actually appeared on my TBR pile twice, once because I came across the spectacular cover at the shop and was enthralled enough to buy it. A few days later, the lovely people at the YA Chronicles gave me another copy when I bought some of their book boxes (which, by the way were a lovely way to decorate my office and quench my need for new books all at once…). An interesting read, and far from the usual speculative realms I find myself in.
In Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton; Louise is struggling to come to terms with her life as an ordinary, or less than ordinary person, barely making ends meet, trying not to screw up what she has and hoping, desperately that the magical ‘something’ will happen before she’s 30. When she meets Lavinia by chance, she’s drawn into Lavinia’s rich, colourful life and for a moment, all seems magically perfect. But perfection never lasts and Louise has to ask herself many important questions, including how far she’s willing to go to live the life she dreams of.
In some ways it is a jarring read, with a story partly told by Louise, and partly from an more omnipotent point of view, it asks some uncomfortable questions, and gives even less comforting answers. Louise is somewhat endearing as a narrator with relatable life circumstances who is rapidly drawn into a world she finds fascinating and fickle. She is unable to make herself give up Lavinia, even if she is self centred, yet charming, and always holds the attention of the room and the page.
Worth the time, both for the bohemian characters and the study of life in the wannabe arts scene of New York, Social Creature was an easy read and definitely worth looking past the sparkly cover.
Next month, I’ll be starting out on Bird Box by Josh Malerman. Not sure if I’ll get through it all since it’s NaNoWriMo and I’ll be up to my ears in novel drafts, but it’ll definitely be fun trying.