Close Film Analysis: Rear Window

Hi All,

My second essay I’m sharing is from my first years at university where we were given 3 films we could choose to analysis and one particular scene from Rear Window stood out and I knew I had to focus on that.

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The section of Rear Window I chose to focus on is the scene after the neighbour’s dog is found strangled by Thorwald’s flower garden. The scene looks at investigating the supposed murder of Mrs Thorwald by her husband further. I chose this scene as it shows how the women forward the investigation into Thorwald and are shown to be equal partners with the main character of Jefferies.

 

The scene opens with a fade from black to show Jefferies, Lisa and Thelma looking out the window towards Thorwald’s flat. The shot keeps the main characters in focus whilst the rest of Jeffries’s apartment behind them is slightly blurred and out of focus. The way this is shot draws attention directly to the main chapters. The layout the characters stand in helps with the focus as they are shown to be in a clump near the window looking out of it. The point of view that Hitchcock uses creates the feel of voyeurism within the audience as we are watching people who are watching their neighbours. The framing of the beginning of the scene reinforces the idea of voyeurism as the shot fits within the frame of the cinema screen. The shot changes into Jefferies’ point of view as the camera shows what he can see through his long lens camera. The shot through the camera means that as an audience we get his perspective and view point in the moment and we can understand what his motivation behind watching Thorwald even when he was told that Mrs Thorwald is away with her sister by Detective Doyle.

 

After the shot through the camera through, Hitchcock uses the group shot again and this is used for a sustained period. The length of the shot builds up tension over what will happen with the situation with Thorwald. The tension relapses when Jefferies’ asks Lisa for the photograph viewer to prove that Thorwald strangled the neighbour’s dog who dug out the flowers. Hitchcock switches shots quickly when the audience know Jefferies is looking at a photograph he took of the garden before Mrs Thorwald went missing. The way that Hitchcock switches shots quickly means that the audience is experiencing the comparison between how the garden was and the way it is different now.  The shot tells the audience that they are watching the scene from Jefferies’ viewpoint.

 

The quick shift between the group shot and the shot through the lens helps the audience realise that the pace of the piece has changed and the focus is now on proving Thorwald killed his wife. The pace between them shows that Jefferies has urgency to his actions as he has to convince Detective Doyle that Thorwald is guilty. The next frame returns to the group shout and the way that Lisa and Thelma are physically mirrors how tense the audience are. They are hunched together trying to watch Thorwald clean his bathroom and the image that is created shows the tension of the moment physicalized.

 

The use of sound in the scene fits into the idea of the city and the way lives overlap with no real contact between those involved. The diegetic sound used is includes the faint humming of the cars on the street opposite Jefferies’ and the honking of the horns of those cars. The noise of children adds a sense of the type of place Jefferies’ flat is located in the city. The lack of music in the shot helps the audience focus on how the narrative develops. The lack of music means that that the diegetic sounds from outside Jefferies’s apartment seem more prominent and they seem to normalise the situation the characters have put themselves in.

 

The development of narrative in this section of Rear Window is done through the building up of tension about Thorwalds’ suspicious behaviour. Lisa’s and Thelma’s interest in the case and the fact they now want to help prove that Thorwald killed his wife shows the narrative of the film has developed to show the change in the women’s’ attitude towards Jefferies’s investigation. The difference that this portion of the film holds different from earlier parts is that Thorwald is treated with more suspicion from Jefferies and the women who now accompany him with his investigation. The lack of support from Detective Doyle makes the continuation of the investigation from Jefferies seem as an act of rebellion and as a way to prove the Detective that his suspicious and claim were serious.

 

Overall, this section of film shows a development in the mind of the audience and in Jefferies’s that Lisa and Thelma can aid the search and that his relationship with Lisa is as hopeless as he thought at the beginning of the film. The scene makes clear the continuation of suspicious behaviour that is making Thorwald seem guilty to the three characters and to the audience.

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Academic Focus: Mother Courage and Taste of Honey

Hi all,

 

Bebe here! I thought I would use my blog to start promoting my academic writing as some of it is very good. All these essays are from previous years and have been submitted and marked so it’s open to share publicly.

How do two of the playwrights use dark humour, music hall or other comic forms to address the social and political concerns of their era?

The use of comedic features in the plays act as a way of distracting the audience from one point, and subtly highlighting another. This is used by both Bertolt Brecht and Shelagh Delaney to convey their political and social messages. These are featured in their plays in a clear and interesting way. Brecht’s anti-war message in Mother Courage is hidden through the abstract and historical world that is created. Music is used as a tool of distraction and of subverting the seriousness of the messages. In  A Taste of Honey, Delaney’s use of dark humour and music hall atmosphere highlight the characters’ situation in a more interesting way for the audience. The use of these features creates a complex dramatic piece with varied stylistic approaches.

The play by Brecht was created as a warning to those who thought joining the Second World War was a good idea. The ideas that were put into the Mother Courage and her Children are used solely to show the audience how the war does not have a steady progression and those who succeed are never loyal to one side.  Brecht shows clearly that those who suffer the most are the ones who are innocent and get caught up in the bloodshed of someone else’s battle.

The way that Brecht uses music in Mother Courage and her Children creates the feeling of argumentative duality for the audience. The duality comes from the message it conveys at different parts of the play. The characters of Mother Courage is the key to this two toned meaning. She switches sides constantly throughout the play, choosing to back whoever is the winner in that present moment.

To feed the war you have to pillage

But let your soldiers rest a bit:

For what they need, here’s Mother Courage,

With woollen coats and boots that fit!

Their heads ablaze with lice and liquor,

The boys are marching to the beat!

I guarantee they’ll step it quicker

With boots upon their blistered feet

 

Unless his belly’s full of porridge,

A soldier’s sure to turn and run.

Buy him some grub from Mother Courage

So he’ll know where to point his gun.

They’ll for God and legal tender,

I’ll see them clothed, and feed as well,

And bless the boys, in all their splendour,

As they march down the road to hell

Page 8-9

The quotation above shows the audience how Brecht where Mother Courage’s motivations lie throughout a majority of the play. He seems to take a direct aim at those who profiteer in times of war and conflict. The song seems to claim be arguing that those who use war to sell goods or fund the military are patriotic and supportive of the army. The hardship of the soldiers is countered against the view that those who sell the goods are doing so to benefit the soldiers. Mother Courage repeats the argument twice in the final lines of each verse of the song. The line “I guarantee they’ll step quicker with boots upon their blistered feet” makes it clear to the audience that those, like Mother Courage who profit from war, do so in the view that they are needed to make the armies continuing fighting.

Brecht punctuates the song with clear arguments that those who furnish the armies use in their defence.

Unless his belly’s full of porridge,

A soldier’s sure to turn and run.

Buy him some grub from Mother Courage

Page 9

The short passage from the second verse of the song highlights his point as Mother Courage states that she will feed the soldiers and this will encourage them to continue fighting the enemy. The continuation of the war in this manner and the promise that Mother Courage makes displays the attitude contained by the profiteers. The attitude of business in this song is seen as necessary; otherwise, the soldiers would be defeated. Brecht treats the patriotism that Mother Courage has in that moment as a bad thing, as she is only being patriotic when the business needs it.

Brecht’s own communist view seems to influence the song. The anti-consumerist message echoes throughout it with Mother Courage stating “To feed a war you have to pillage”. The use of ‘pillage’ at the end of the line connects a feeling of violence with that of gaining more stock to sell for a higher price. Mother Courage’s bluntness in celebrating this statement and ideal shows the audience how aware she is of her situation and her advantage. The continuation of this lifestyle seems to be a problem that Brecht dislikes, as he uses ‘pillage’ with deeply negative connotations. The connotations that Brecht surrounds around this phrase with seem to be there to challenge the audience politically.

Brecht explains that a performance of Mother Courage should demonstrate that war is the continuation of business by other means, of no benefit for the ‘little people’ and positively deadly for the virtuous. As the owner of a canteen wagon during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), Mother Courage is a petite bourgeoisie, one of the small fry.

Meg Mumford, Bertolt Brecht, pp68

The quotation from Meg Mumford’s book on Brecht backs up the theory that war is good for businesses and those who profit from it. The view that Brecht tried to portray was one that would speak to the common people. This seemed to be aimed at the first audience and the embedding of Mother Courage as a common citizen makes the audience feel like the experience is more of an objective viewing.

Brecht uses comedy as a tool for distraction in Mother Courage and Her Children. Brecht displays this feature best in scene three of the play, as he uses Kattrin imitating Yvette the prostitute as a way of distracting the audience. The focus on Kattrin rather than on the conversation Mouth Courage, Cook and the Chaplain are having about the war creates the needed detachment between the message of scene and action on the stage.

The Chaplain and the Cook go behind the wagon with Mother Courage. Kattrin watches them leave, she leaves the watching and go to Yvette’s hat. She puts it on, then sits and put on the red shoes. From behind the wagon, Mother Courage is heard talking politics with the Chaplain and the Cook.

 Mother Courage What’s the news from the front?

The Cook  No one knows where that is.

 The stage directions from scene three show clearly the effect Brecht wants to have on the audience members. The fact that Mother Courage, Cook, and the Chaplain are hidden from view creates a separation for the audience member from the point they are talking about. The discussion of the serious topic of war mixed with Kattrin imitating Yvette and playing around in front of the audience means that they do not fully listen to those behind the wagon.

 In A Taste of Honey, Shelagh Delaney uses dark humour to amplify and convey her argument. The politics of the play relies on the audience finding those moments funny yet realising the serious and poignant meaning behind it. The dark humour is hidden in with the distraction that comes from the scenes containing Helen. Delaney, similar to Brecht, uses a character as the tool for the diversion and creating the trait of being forgetful and easily distracted in the role of Helen. The final section of the play displays this as the tension is broken when Helen deviates off the topic of the race of the unborn baby onto where her hat is located.

JO: If you don’t like it you can get out. I didn’t ask you to come here.

HELEN: Where’s my hat

JO: On your head.
HELEN: Oh yes… I don’t know what’s to be done with you, I don’t really. (To the audience) I ask you, what would you do?

These moments relax the audience as they appear when some sort of confrontation is happening beforehand. The fact that Delaney uses this makes the audience question what happened before hand. The fading tension and the changing of the topics highlight the change in tone to the audience.

Delaney uses the direct address in “I ask you, what would you do?”. This makes the audience think about their own response to the situation of an unwed teenage mother carrying a mixed race baby. The reflection asked by Helen of the audience harkens back to Brecht, who used a similar in his own plays to get across the agenda he was promoting. The sharp switch from the end of Jo’s line to “Where’s my hat?” shows how the character of Helen is attempting to survive in the world she is in, where her life is more monetary comfortable but difficult due to the unstable relationship with Peter.

Delaney uses a mix of music and humour in the first scene of the play and this creates an effect of nostalgia for the past. The feeling of nostalgia Delaney has in the play relates to how Manchester was changing in the post-war years with the destruction of the slums and the movement of those people to high rise flats. Helen’s nostalgia over an old job in a pub shows how she prefers her past and the feeling of happiness that it contains.

HELEN: (looking at the aspidistras) That’s nice, isn’t it? Puts me in mind of my first job, in a tatty little pub down Whit Lane. I thought it was wonderful… You know, playing the piano and all that; a real get-together at weekends. Everybody standing up and giving a song. I used to bring the house down with this one. (Sings)

I’d give the song birds to the wild wood

I’d give the sunset to the blind

And to the old folks I’d give the memory

Of the baby upon her knee

Delaney brings the song into the play naturally, so it has the feeling of being a recall of a memory from Helen’s younger days. The inclusion of the song shows the audience how her memory of the younger days is connected to music. This musical connection seems to suggest that Helen relies on certain songs and the imprint these left on her brain.

The way Helen discusses the meetings at the pub conveys the idea of the breaking down of close-knit communities due to the splitting up and forced movement of these families into the newly built council houses and high rises. The phrase from Helen “a real get-together” shows that the communities were a central part of life in Britain

At one of a series of public meetings held in 1937, one resident argued that: ‘Whitehawk and Manor are held up as shining examples of slum clearance but I can tell you that a good 50 percent of the people would willingly return to their hovels … so that they might enjoy a little community life and a little friendliness.’

This extract from Slum Clearance, Privatization and Residualization, displays how the residents of Brighton during the slum clearances; that took place between the twenties and the thirties, were aware of the attitude of the residents who lived in the demolition areas. The view that the resident gives of relates to the one that is featured in the play; as Helen seems to think that when the community was there; somehow life was better as there were the friendships there.

Both of the texts rely heavily on using the comedy and the humour to convey their message. Brecht talks about how war is an endless cycle that goes around with allegiance and foes being interchangeable with their actions. Brecht creates these complex characters who display the duality that is found from those who benefit from those situations. Delaney, on the other hand, uses the black humour and moments of music to reveal the real life situations that the characters are in. The black comedy that Delaney uses creates the feeling of displacement from those who were moved to the newer housing when the slum housing was destroyed.

References

Delaney, Shelagh, A Taste of Honey, London: Bloomsbury, 2008

Brecht, Bertolt, Mother Courage and her Children, trans. Tony Kushner, London: Bloomsbury, 2014

Jones, Ben. (2010). ‘Slum Clearance, Privatization and Residualization: the Practices and Politics of Council Housing in Mid-twentieth-century England’, Twentieth century British history. Vol:21 (4)  pp.510 -539

The Reading Habits Tag

Hey all!

I thought i’d get back in the swing of my blog starting with this book tag i stole amshuman.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I like my bed. It’s so soft and i can stretch out on it, unlike my rather small and cramped sofa chair.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I use bookmarks, train tickets, cardboard receipts, old business cards i’ve been given, small metalical ones, pretty much anything that is small in width and won’t dent the book.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

I like to read a chapter and finish it before i put it down. Sometimes i won’t start a chapter if im tired and will not want to finish it or if im not feeling the book.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I generally snack during a readathon but i will have a drink by my side if i’m reading/doing anything at all.

Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Music generally. Sometimes i have Netflix on but not very often.

One book at a time or several at once?

During term time, i have my university books and my pleasure books but i like to have only one of each at any one time.

Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere. I always have a book on me.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

I read in my head.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Not really unless it’s a short story collection or a poetry anthology.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I cry for broken spines.

Do you write in your books?

I underline quotations i like. I’ll write comments only to amuse myself. Example “Morrisey’s a prick” as a character in Tracks by Louise Erdrich is called Morrisey and i hate the singer.

And now I nominate…

Anyone who hasn’t done this.

Glad to be back!

Bebe XXXXX

 

The Return of the King (or the runner of this blog)

Hello all!

Sorry for the absence but life took over. A short recap of the things that have have happened since November.

  • I finished the Goodread’s reading challenging and read a total of 250 books. I beat my original goal of 90 with great ease.
  • I set my 2016 goal to 100 books which i have 31 of to date.
  • Seen 8 theatre shows (Cleanesed, Waste, Hapgood, Eddie Izzard x2, Derren Brown: Miracle, The Moderate Soprano, Les Miserables) and one concert (Nightwish)
  • Met my hero twice (Eddie Izzard)
  • Saw three great films and worthy of five star reviews (Deadpool, Lobster, Crimson Peak)
  • Celeberated my first christmas alone
  • Lost horrifically at bowling twice.
  • And most importantly, am currently half way through my degree!

Updates may not be totally stable but i will try to keep to some sort of schedule.

Book Problems: Book Collector

I have an issue. I buy multiple copies of the same book and it doesn’t even matter if i have another copy or two or three, i will buy another one.

This is only limited to a small number of books that i do this with.

  • Gone with the Wind (x4)
  • 1984 (x2, had a third but someone has not returned it yet)
  • The Bell Jar (x3)
  • The Fog (x2)
  • Harry Potter (At least two of each book in the series)

I have various copies of all of these and can not wait to build my collection of these up. The different covers, hardbacks and paperbacks, photograph, painting! All of these are beautiful.

I will always collect these and i do not plan in stopping these actions any time soon. I do get judged on it but i don’t care anymore, these bring me happiness!

Thanks for reading!

Bebe XXX

Wrap Up: October 2015

Hey guys!

This is the annual book wrap up! I thought it was going to be a low reading month but some how, i’ve managed to read a little bit less than normal. I’m back at uni now so the the reading for that is the main worry and taking on 30+ hours at work a week isn’t helping either! Some books i read at the beginning of the month so i can’t write much about them! Book blur! The star rating is still there though.

Graphic Novels

  • Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection- Kate Beaton

This was a book that spilt me. it was a very funny collection of graphic shorts but i felt that a couple of the shorts were not funny and a bit mocking of the feminism movement. I would still read this again though as it did make me laugh out loud many times. Star Rating: Four Stars

  • X-O Manowar, Vol 1: By The Sword- Robert Venditti

I did not really enjoy this until further into the graphic novel and even then i found the characters a bit unrelateable to deal with. I think if i continued on with the series further then i might enjoy it more but there is very little to hold me to eith the stry or the characters. Star Rating: Two and Half Stars

  • Road Rage- Joe Hill Star Rating: Three and Half Stars
  • Ender’s Game- Christopher Yost Star Rating: Three and Half Stars
  • The Fade Out, Vol. 2: Act Two- Ed Brubaker Star Rating: Five Stars

Fiction

  • The Bell Jar-  Sylvia Plath
  • The Forgotten Garden- Kate Morton Star Rating: Four Stars
  • Mary Barton- Elizabeth Gaskell Star Rating: Four Stars
  • Dead Man’s Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31)- Agatha Christie Star Rating: Three and Half Stars
  • On the Road- Jack Kerouac Star Rating: Three and Half Stars
  • The Historian- Elizabeth Kostova Star Rating: Four Stars
  • The Catcher in the Rye- J.D.Salinger Star Rating: Two Stars
  • Mansfield Park- Jane Austen Star Rating: One and Half Stars
    ,

Plays

  • Mother Courage and Her Children- Bertolt Brecht

This was a university read. It was another re-read for me as i read this about two or three years when i was going through a major play binge during my BTEC years. It is an insightful read that adds layers of narrative and detail to a much needed anti war and moral message. Star Rating: Four Stars

  • A Doll’s House- Henrik Ibsen

‘A Doll’s House’ was a book i never wanted to read. I tried to read Ibsen before and could not do it at all. This being a read for my Modern Stages course, so i had to read it! It was enjoyable but i would not go running towards my library bookshelves for another too soon. Star Rating: Two and Half Stars

Non-fiction

  • Stephen Fry’s Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music- Stephen Fry

This is one of the books i remembered picking up a few years ago and couldn’t remember it to well, so it earned a much needed re-read. This is a fantastic book focusing on classical music from early earth to the early 2000s when it was written. It is told in a funny, poignant, and clearly defined style. It’s a brilliant book for classical music beginners or old pros! Star Rating: Four Stars

Short Stories/Short Stories

  • Eleven Kinds of Loneliness- Richard Yates Star Rating: Four Stars
  • I Hate and I Love- Catullus Star Rating: Four Stars

See you next time!

Bebe XXX

Book Problems: #0by16

Hey guys!

This is something that’s been bothering me for a while. People (ie. Booktube) have decided that all TBR’s (To Be Read) piles should be 0 by the time 2016 comes around.

I don’t have a problem with people wanting to have a clear TBR and heaven knows how big mine is (currently 170+ at last count). I sometimes feel overwhelmed and like i have a lot to read and a lot of choice. I collect books and i love buying them and i don’t complain about how many i have, more about the lack of space for them but that is another problem.

I could never get down to zero by the time 2016 begins thanks to work and university and i think that the aim to get to it can be disastrous. It feels like a huge amount on pressure. It feels like some booming voice is saying “you have too many books! Have you read them? Why not!?” and that pressure isn’t fair on anyone.

I will not take part in anything that seems to force a mindset on people. I hope anyone who is taking part isn’t feeling attacked and if that is something you genuinely want to complete, good luck to you. If you feel forced into it, don’t.

Bebe XXXXX

Wrap Up: September 2015

Hey guys!

A few house keeping notices

  1. I have read a lot of graphic novels this month (14 in total) and if you want to see what ones they were click here!
  2. I am putting a hold to book hauls for a while cause of uni and its too much effort for such a non essential post!
  3. I will try more discussion posts and will upload them soon!

Poetry

  • Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt- Dr. John Cooper Clarke

, I have been a fan of Dr. Cooper-Clarke for the past couple of years and found this in a local book shop. I loved the poems and love how his voice is so distinctive and funny. It’s a huge joy to see him live and go watch him hereStar Rating: Five Stars

Fiction

  • The Prisoner of Heaven- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This was the last book in ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ series and this felt like a suitable ending which wrapped up the whole series nicely. The characters from ‘A Shadow of the Wind’ returned and it was so nice to be back in the lives of Firmen, Daniel, Bea and Sempre Sr. I felt that the story works as a stand alone but it works much better as part of the series. I thought that the translation was beautiful and that both Zufon and the translator did a beautiful job.
This is a must read series for any historical fantasy series and can not wait to read this again in the future! Star Rating: Four and Half Stars

  • Junk- Melvin Burgess 

I bought this book and while ago and when it came to reading it, i was uming and ahing if i should actually read this. I thought the premise about two young people who run away from their oppressive parents and through a bad association, they get hooked on heroin or ‘junk’. Both main characters, Tar (or David) and Gemma were both presented as tragic characters who did not ask for sympathy but explain their reasons for taking it and their relationship with the drug itself and how it affects them. The book is a mutli-voice first person story and i think that really helps with understanding each character and the motives behind the actions they do. This was a very powerful book and as a former addict, i understood some of the emotions and arguments presented in it. Star Rating: Four Stars

  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)
    Salisbury, Melinda

This had a really interesting concept behind it and it had many a twist and turn that made it a highly enjoyable read! The plot centres Twylla and how she has been told how her “gift” causes death to traitors and the book develops into a mess of emotions and surprises. I loved this book so much and can not wait until the second book is released and find out what happens to new characters being introduced. Star Rating: Five Stars

Non-Fiction

  • Hiroshima-John Hersey

I bought this at the beginning of the month from the National Theatre book shop for ONLY £1.99! WHAT! It focused on the events of Hiroshima from the morning of the event and detailed the lives of several individuals and it is horrific and beautiful and interesting. A great non fiction read. Star Rating: Four and Half Stars

Love from

Bebe XXXXX

August 2015: Wrap Up

Hey guys!

I’m not including my booktubathon books in this as this is linked here but i’ll continue from the point of finishing the seven challenges!

Graphic Novels

  • Umbrella Academy, Vol.1: The Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy, #1)- Gerard Way

This was an interesting one. It took a while for me to get into it but it got good after the first part of the book. I liked the story and the way that the characters developed over the course of the bind up. The plot was good but it was quite weak and confusing in some places. Star Rating: Three and Half Stars  

  • The Crow- James O’Barr

I’ve never seen the film but i was aware of the mystery that surrounded it. I read this and i was not aware of the comic book origins. The art work was brilliant and i loved the plot and how the story progressed. It was a great book and it makes me want to continue on with the other books available! Star Rating: Four and Half Stars  

  • Deadly Class V1: Reagan Youth- Rick Remender

It took me a while to get into this graphic novel as i was a bit confused by a couple of the premises introduced. As the story progressed, these became clearer and more interesting. I am planning on picking up the second volume of this soon so i can find out what happens to this interesting gang of killer misfits!  Star Rating: Four Stars  

Non Fiction

  • Hair: Let the Sun Shine in- Eric Grode 

This was a bit of a disappointment for me. I’d seen this book before and was so excited to learn the history behind this amazing musical. It was lacking in something and i wish i had never read it. Star Rating: Two and Half Stars  

  • The Communist Manifesto- Karl Marx 

I thought this book was eye opening as i believe that communism is a brilliant political theory. This was my first book by Marx and it made me want to continue with reading more by him. A fantastic book and a fantastic chance to look at the founders of communism first hand. Star Rating: Four Half Stars  

Fiction

  • The Stepford Wives- Ira Levin

This science fiction book was thoroughly enjoyable. I’d heard of the film(s) and planned to watched them one day. I loved the story and the way that it played on fears of the women of the 1960’s. The main character was a bit annoying a times but i really rooted for her to escape and not to become as the other women had done in the story. Star Rating: Four Stars

  • Tipping the Velvet- Sarah Waters

This was one of the ‘big’ reads of my year. The play is opening soon and i plan on seeing it! This is a historical lesbian romance and it is soppy, romantic and tragic as anything. It follows Nancy ‘nance/nan’ King from eighteen when she first met Kitty the music hall star to twenty five. It is a beautiful book and it is a necessary LGBTQIA+ read. Star Rating: Four and Half Stars  

  • Red Dragon- Thomas Harris

I have finished all the Hannibal books now! I loved this one as you got to meet Will Graham and Dolarhyde and get into a fantastic serial killer’s psyche. I prefer the book to the film and wished that Harris wrote more books with Graham and Lector working together as i would love to hear about previous adventures. This book is a fantastic start to an amazing series that builds up the man and the myth, Dr Hannibal himself. Star Rating: Four and Half Stars  

  • Rivers of London- Ben Aaronovitch

I read about this author as he was listed as a speaker at the Greenwich Book Festival. I read this book and thought it was al-right. I loved how the character was in police and he was a young black man, as many books i have read mainly feature white main characters. I thought the story was interesting and the way he characters were developed was good but i do not plan to continue with this series. Star Rating: Three and a Half Stars  

  • Scarlett- Marissa Meyer

This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series and my goodness, it was good! I loved how the story continued of CInder and Prince Kai. This book introduced Scarlett and Wolf who broke my heart in two.I had a cry for about ten minutes when Wolf seemed to betray Scarlett and was actually the enemy. I loved this book and i can not wait to continue the series later this month. Star Rating: Four and a Half Stars

  • The Angel’s Game- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This was another book in an awesome series! This was the second book in the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ and it acted as the prequel to Shadow of the Window. I did not love it as much as i did the first book but i loved how the character of Daniel developed over the course of the novel starting as a young man working at a newspaper to a middle aged man, losing the woman he loved and reigniting a lost friendship. The theme of relationships and friendships played a key role in the book and you saw how it changed him for the better and the worse. Star Rating: Four Stars

  • Only Ever Yours- Louise O’Neil

I was really nervous going into this book given my own history with ED and depression but i found that even though people said it was a triggering book, luckily it didn’t affect me at all.  The plot centres on freida who is brought up in a school for the wives, concubines, and nurse maids for future generations and future controllers of the country. I found this book really emotional and i ended up crying a lot at what happened to freida. She was built up to be a tragic character and she filled her part perfectly. The way the story built up really meant that as a reader you wanted her to get the guy and escape from this world with one of the only decent characters in the book. The girls in it were mostly the same and they all had the same “i want to be no.1 and become a wife” personality. It is a must read and it is one of the few YA books that seemed cross generational.  Star Rating: Five Stars

  • Cuckoo’s Calling- Robert Galbraith

Gearing up for the release of the next book in the series meant reading the one i had not got round to reading yet! I have read the second one before and picked up the first book in hardback for cheap. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it properly and after that i loved it. Comaran Strike and Robin are amazing as characters and i loved how their relationships developed over the book until by the end, he could not do without her and her skills she brought to his detective agency. Comaran is a interesting character and he was well rounded. The only problem was when Charlotte was mentioned and she was not explained clearly until the 2/5 of the book. Star Rating: Four Stars

Anthologies

  • Anthem for Doomed Youth-Wilfred Owen 

This book was amazing! It was filled with breath taking poems from the front line of the first world war. One of my favourite was ‘Disabled’ which was alarming, shocking and upsetting.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
This was part of the Penguin Classics series celebrating their 80th birthday and it makes me want to find out if there is anymore poetry out there by Owen. Star Rating: Four and Half Stars  
  • Trigger Warnings- Neil Gaiman

I have Gaiman on my ‘must buy blindly’ list as every book of his is amazing. I had been craving some short stories for a while now and this filled the first i was having! Gaiman did something i’ve never seen in an anthology which is to explain the origins of the story and why it was written. It’s filled with the usual mix of dark tales and fantasy. This collection is a must for any Gaiman fans! Star Rating: Four and Half Stars  

  • Tomorrow- Joseph Conrad

This was a set of three short stories published by penguin. I loved the way that they all had the same vibe of creepiness and a bit mysterious. I did like them and i would recommend this to any fans of horror, especially classic horror.Star Rating: Four Stars  

Book Unhaul #2

Hey all!

These are the books i am planning on giving away to various charity shops due to various reasons!

I Have Two Copies And Therefore BYE BYE!

These are books i have more than one copy of and i don’t need the second copy.

  • Silmarilllion- J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Three Theban Plays- Sophocles

Tried To Read

This next set of books are books i’ve bought, won or been given that i tried to read but for some reason or another i didn’t like or couldn’t get into. I’m not going to explain each reason why but its a mix of not liking them or being disappointed by them.

  • Vittorio the Vampire- Anne Rice
  • The People’s Act of Love- James Meek
  • An Untamed State- Roxanne Gay
  • Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen
  • Perks of Being a Wall Flower- Stephen Chobosky
  • Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia
  • Bone Tree- Greg Isle
  • Flood of Fire- Amitar Ghosh

Read Them Before And Didn’t Really Like It/Enjoy It

These two are books i read in the past couple of months and have not got any plans to read again due to low star ratings. 

  • Rebel Blood- Rilley Rossmo
  • The First Phone Call From Heaven-Mitch Alborn

These are all i’m getting rid of for a moment. I’ll probably have anther sort out soon but i’m happy for now!

Bebe XXXX