It feels like every year since 2016 has tried to trump (bad choice of words) the previous one for shittest year ever. 2019 was a terrible year for many reasons and a lot of us were hoping the new decade would be a time for change. Unfortunately, 2020 had different ideas. Thanks to the medication I’m taking, I’m one of the more vulnerable people, so I’ve essentially gone on lockdown for the foreseeable future. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work from home, which is taking a bit of getting used to. I’m also lucky that I don’t really need to go out for anything major. I’ll have a few of my regular hospital appointments and stuff but that’s not a major issue. Of course, it will mean a lot of time spent inside. I’m an introverted bookish person, so I figured that this would be a good thing in the end. I had visions of me reading endlessly and using my spare time really well. So far, that’s not happened. I’ve become lazier and less productive outside of work. To inspire me, I decided to make a list of the books I was hoping to get through during my period of isolation. Well, it can’t go any worse, can it?
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
This is the book that I’m supposedly currently reading but I’ve barely made an impact. It’s a book that I’m really excited to read but I just can’t get into a reading frame of mind. I’m hoping that having more time in the mornings is going to help me. If I get up at my usual time, it’ll give me an hour or so for reading.
Winter in Sokcho by Elisha Shua Dusapin
I first saw this book on Instagram and fell in love with the cover. When I looked it up on Amazon I fell in love with the synopsis, so I had to buy it. It’s the story of a young woman who works in a guesthouse in a tourist town on the border of South and North Korea. When a French graphic novelist arrives at the hotel, she agrees to accompany him on his way to discover the real Korea. I think it sounds like a beautiful read and I can’t wait.
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
This book is everywhere right now and I imagine you’re pretty sick of people mentioning it. Still, it feels like such an important book and an interesting one. It tells the story of the five women killed by Jack the Ripper. We still don’t know who Jack the Ripper really was but he has become infamous. The women he murdered have become a footnote in history. This book finally shows the world who they were.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Joint winner (though I like to think of it as the true winner) of the Booker Prize, this is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for ages but I’ve been trying to limit the number of books I buy this year. Thankfully, I’m pretty smart. I got a load of book tokens for my birthday so I was able to add a few things to my collection. Including this bad boy. This definitely feels like it’ll be my kind of thing.
Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)
Babs. What a gal. As Batgirl she was a phenomenon and did some great things. After being injured by the Joker, she didn’t let her disabilities stop her. Becoming Oracle meant that she could continue helping Batman and use her other skills to keep people safe. It’s no wonder that the daughter of Commissioner Gordon is such a legend. Barbara is an inspirational female character who shows tenacity and the strength to carry on against the odds.
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
Another new addition. I hadn’t meant to use all of my vouchers in one go but I kind of panicked when it became clear I was going to be stuck inside for a while. Not that I was ever going to be without books but it suddenly seemed imperative that I put an order in. I still have £20 left to use but most of it is gone on a few books and a couple of preorders. There was no question of this book making the cut. It sounds creepy, original and incredibly exciting. Plus, that bloody cover is amazing.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
I don’t know how old I was when I read this book but I was definitely too young to get it. Or at least not enough to remember many years later. I know that I did read it because I can remember having the book in my possession. It was one of those awesome black and white split covers with a simple O and X in each half. I’ve always remembered that cover but, for the life of me, have never been able to remember the plot. I don’t think I read any of the others because, as I say, I don’t think I really got it. Seems like now is the perfect time to read it and get it right.