Book Reviews

21.1.11



i mentioned in my previous post that i've been feeling particularly grateful for the ability to read of late. These are a few sneaky wee insights on the books i've completed so far this year.


'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf
i'm pretty sure this book is meant to be a literary masterpiece, of some description. It seems to be held in high esteem. i'm sure that the window and the lighthouse have some great, deep intrinsic meaning; that the characters are an amplified illustration of the time's social norms; and that the painting is a powerful symbol of time's passage, or some such thing. But.. honestly? i didn't get it.

Virginia Woolf is a beautiful writer - 'Mrs Dalloway' was one of my favourite reads of last year - but i did not understand this book. i just kept waiting and waiting for something to happen ..and nothing ever did.

It's probably my own fault - i'm sure i'm missing the point - and it almost feels like blasphemy to say it, but i didn't enjoy this book. Sorry!


'Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost & Found in the Loony Bin' by Norah Vincent
i don't know any other way to say it, so i'll just come out with it: i freakin' loved this book.

The basic premise is that Vincent, as an immersion journalist, admits herself voluntarily to three very different inpatient treatment centres for mental ill-health. The perspective is hugely American, with their system being a world apart from the UK's NHS provision; and, by the end of the book, her focus has shifted somewhat to her own issues with mental health; but i really enjoyed the idea and her insights into the effects our environment, background and relationships can have on our health.

Well worth a look!


'The Center of Winter' by Marya Hornbacher
Marya Hornbacher is, i would suspect, a fairly well-recognised name in the world of mental health literature thanks to her biographies 'Madness' and, in particular, 'Wasted'. This is her first (published) foray into the world of fiction.

It seems that her writing style is equally page-turning whatever she writes and this was an enjoyable and easy story to read.


'Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation' by Donald Miller
This book was written as though addressing others who had grown up without the presence of a dad. i'm fortunate enough not to be one of those people.

Despite that, i took quite a lot from this book. i love Donald Miller's no-nonsense attitude and his take on humanity and God. This book is definitely worth reading and gives some beautiful reflections on human relationships and a father-figure God that i appreciated, especially from a Youth Work point of view.

A simple but very worthwhile read!


According to my planner on youversion.com, i've read 9.3% of the Bible this year too, but i shan't 'review' that, except to say.. isn't the Bible funny?!

And there we have it. My utterly insignificant thoughts on this year's books.

No comments:

Post a Comment