On The Bookshelf pt. 4

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Something about the fall makes me want to curl up under a pile of blankets surrounded by stacks of books. I try to read at least one classic novel a year, so I picked from Virginia Woolf’s collection. Side note, I had a teacher in high school who literally said there weren’t many books featuring female protagonists, then we proceeded to read Rebecca. And let’s not forget the Bronte sisters whom I didn’t read until college on my own time. And then there’s, Virginia Woolf, with her giant set of works, that I practically had a panic attack over trying to pick which one to start with! I’m bringing this up, because Charles Tansley was interested in Lily, then he told her women can’t write, women can’t paint. And guess what Lily did? Yep, she PAINTED. I take small comfort imagining him and Mr. Ramsay would be cancelled in today’s world. Anyway, I was glad I picked To the Lighthouse. I loved the symbolism of the sea and the lighthouses un-obtainability. Thanks to the helpful forward in the version I had, I also learned the Ramsay’s were actually based on her family in real life. After excruciating trivial detail at the dinner party,’Time Passes’ was such a shock in it’s shortness in tone and length using mere phrases to set up the final chapter. I enjoyed Cam’s perspective most, she seemed to have a modern day spunk about her.

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski

I did not think I would enjoy this book much. I don’t follow Emily on social media, or care much about the celebrity gossip she gets involved in. If there were a handful of inside stories of the fashion world, I’d be elated. A chapter in, I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in about six hours. The passion and apathy of these essays was wildly refreshing. I admired her honesty in Because hello Halle Berry and her strength in the final chapter. Her acknowledgement of overexposure allowed the mundane and extraordinary to collide effortlessly. These were excerpts of a fellow warrior and I appreciated this debut so much. Her early modeling story of driving to bookings guzzling coffee and blasting talk radio to stay awake and hoping it wasn’t in vain had me laughing out loud. Thanks for sharing the charm and struggles, Emily.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

I was a huge fan of True Colors and Winter Garden in high school. Of course, Firefly Lane was turned into a show on Netflix last year, but I hadn’t followed up on any fresh novels from Hannah in an embarrassing long amount of time. And there are plenty to chose from! Then one day, The Four Winds was sitting on the shelf at the library, mocking me. Set in the Great Depression, it was eery how similar events that unfolded then are parallel to events today. Elsa must battle inequalities to protect her family in an America no one recognizes. Her daughter, Loreda, was a spirited character whose ferocity counters Elsa’s quiet suffering poetically. Escape into this lengthy novel and empathize with the heartbreak and tenacity of excellently written characters.

Here is New York by E.B. White

It is just over 2,400 miles from Phoenix to NYC, and if it weren’t for this never ending pandemic, I would start walking there. This essay is a quick read, only about sixty pages and definitely worth a look. The intrigue and temperament this city is famed for is due largely to the residents who call it home. Even as a visitor, it was noticable how the neighborhoods differ. I found White’s mention of how his neighbor in 1948 didn’t want to leave his two block radius so humourous. He shared the grim flip side of the coin in this metaphor, and New York has had a pretty tough go, but I admire the resilience of this great place, even as it does, and is, evolving. It’s not the greatest city around for nothing folks!

Have you read any of these titles? I hope it was helpful if you are looking for new books to read. If you have any similar suggestions or books we should check out, leave a comment below!

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