On my birthday (November 9th), I woke up to several messages that looked something like this: ‘Happy Birthday! OH GOD DON’T CHECK THE NEWS!!!’ Despite the good intentions of my friends, as we have all had the horrible experience of learning: Trump is impossible to ignore.
According to every good story ever, hate doesn’t win*. How long are we supposed to wait for that outcome, exactly?
Times like this – like when my country voted for Brexit – it is very easy to feel distant from the rest of humanity, to start seeing the whole thing as nothing more than a mass of hatred and misunderstanding.
This is a bad road to go down. Even though I know that – even though we all do, really – it still feels like a cliff I am forever scrambling up the edge of. For me, the footholds are often my books.
Fortunately for me, on November 9th I acquired some new books. (courtesy of my mum – thanks, mum!)
My reading list for the next few weeks is as follows:
After Alice – Gregory Maguire
When Alice fell down the Rabbit hole, she found Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But how did Victorian Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?
Gregory Maguire turns his imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings – and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Caroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, sets out to visit Alice but arrives a moment too late. Tumbling down the rabbit hole herself, she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and bring her safely home from this surreal world below the world.
The Death of the Moth and Other Essays – Virginia Woolf
A while back I read an essay from this collection called ‘Street Haunting’. It is about that moment when you feel compelled, for no particular reason, to abandon Netflix and wander the cold streets alone, creeping in the windows of random houses and imagining the lives of the strangers living there. This is the sort of thing I do all the time, so I thought I should ask for the book in order to find out what else Virginia and I have in common.
If you haven’t ever read a Virginia Woolf essay, please do. They are almost always absolutely wonderful.
The Pedestrians – Rachel Zucker
As I’ve recently written, I’m having a poetry moment. I found Rachel Zucker on Stephanie Danler’s instagram.
*J.K. Rowling has a lot to answer for, honestly.