Aaah… is there anything better than just to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea when it’s cold and dark outside? My soul is ancient and thus I think there’s nothing better than doing just that on an autumnal day. So I’ve listed the books that I will be reading these upcoming weeks in a new edition of the one and only Almost Famous Writer Book Club!
House of Names – Colm Tóibín
Cola Tóibín’s 2009 novel Brooklyn is one of my favourite novels of all time (but much more of a Spring read, in my opinion) and that’s why I thought I would love his latest novel House of Names all the same. The story is set in ancient Greek and follows the infamous myth of Agamemnon who sacrificed his own daughter to save his army in battle. Three years after the murderous act, Agamemnon returns home only to find the shatters of his family and to face the consequences of his decision.
En we noemen hem – Marjolijn van Heemstra
With my internship at Passionate Bulkboek I’m diving more and more into Dutch literature and one of the novels on my list is the award-winning En we noemen hem by Marjolijn van Heemstra. It tells the autobiographical story of Marjolijn herself, who decided on her eighteenth birthday that she would name her firstborn son after a family hero who fought during World War II. Years later, when she is pregnant with her son, Marjolijn revisits this decision and dives into the family history to found out who she is naming her son after. The book navigates through the myths and truths of Marjolijn’s family history, as she tries to figure out how the past can influence the future and whether or not it should.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman
This one has been on my “to read” list for quite some time and this season it’s finally time to dive into Gail Honeyman’s incredibly popular debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. As the title already suggests, the novel follows the story of Eleanor Oliphant, who is indeed completely fine – but not really. She has carefully timetabled her life and makes sure every step is repeated every week. The same clothes to work, the same lunches every day, and the same two bottles of vodka during the weekends. But as those things tend to go, this carefully mapped out life is not sustainable, and Eleanor’s life will be changed in ways that will not only force her to face her current situation, but also her past.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
After watching Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale series, Margaret Atwood’s novel simply had to go on my “to read” list. The show was disturbing on so many levels, but also so so important and engaging, so I’m very curious to read the text that started it all. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the new republic of Gilead, where fertile women have become Handmaids, the breeding machines of society. Offred is a Handmaid who has lost everything: her name, identity and family. But she and some of the other Handmaids are fighting back…
His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman
Some of my favourite novels are definitely the installments of the classic His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Set in an alternative universe where humans carry their souls outside of their bodies in the shape of animals, called daemons, Pullman tells the story of the young Lyra. I’m absolutely sure that if I had a daemon, it would have been a seal and that would’ve been slightly impractical but SUPER cute. But back to Lyra, who goes on this big, beautiful adventure in Pullman’s universe, where witches rule the skies, bears fight for their kingdoms in the North and the Magisterium does everything in their power to keep the secret that is Dust…
So these are the five novels of the Almost Famous Writer Book Club this Autumn. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll return to my couch and my nice hot cup of tea, and start reading.