book swap, creative writing, novel

Month 1 Book Swap: Enduring Love

My first month of book swap (August) has now come to an end and I have sent on Enduring Love by Ian McEwan to the next reader in our group.

enduring love

 

From reading the blurb for this book, I don’t believe it is one I would pick up in a shop and take home. However, that is the best thing about book swaps – you end up reading things you perhaps never would otherwise.

The novel focuses on Joe’s passionate relationship with Clarissa, intertwined with another love forced upon him by Jed. In amongst the complexities that build between these three characters, the novel discusses religion, science, trust, mental health, and the difficulties of pursuing the right career.

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan was a very intense book and my favourite bit about it was its unpredictability. With each chapter, I did not expect or anticipate at all what would then be revealed and I often found myself frustrated and having to read on because I just could not predict what would come next or how a certain issue would be resolved.

However, whereas my last review of Stoner by John E Williams was that it was a book that anyone could read and relate to, Enduring Love is perhaps not for everyone. I occasionally found myself lost in some of the detailed ramblings about science from Joe which perhaps detracted from my reading. Nevertheless, I would say that the fewer sittings this book is read in, the better, in order to keep on top of the details, the characters and to not get distracted by some of its background complexities. The times I spent longer reading, the more I found myself enjoying the book.

This novel is mysterious, creepy and very unique and for these reasons I would still highly recommend it as one to read.

 

 

 

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creative writing, love, poetry, rhyme

Through the window.

window


I stand at the sash window,

Looking out on clear moonlight;

In the middle of the city,

But in the silence of the night.


The distant hum of a motor;

Leaves rustle in the breeze,

But the houses stand so still

On this August ‘summer’ eve.


The silhouettes of rooftops

Etched out upon the hill,

Victorian homes and Georgian ones;

Framed through the windowsill.


I stand here, quiet with wonder,

Looking out upon the night –

Bay windows and some sash ones,

Burning with an amber light.


These streets hold so much history

Of generations before,

Before they were converted

And whole families roamed four floors.


The chimney stacks remain,

Though no smoke now will you see,

From our little attic flat;

My first home at twenty three.


But, just for one moment,

When outlines are all I can see,

I pretend it’s 1921

And how these streets would be.


Those amber lights in the windows,

Are open fires burning bright;

As children sit with homemade toys

And wooden tops bring such delight.


The dim Victorian street lamps

Which now watch over parked cars,

Would navigate the way

For a motorbike and cart.


I stand at the sash window

Upon which the whole moon shines,

And realise that these city streets

Will stand the test of time.


livingthroughlines 2017.

creative writing, love, poetry

September in Salzburg.

Pastel facades

Beyond and behind;

Dusty white clouds,

Gentle sunshine.

20150908_121305_Richtone(HDR).jpg

Narrow streets,

Busy and alive;

Staggered grey roof-

Tops reaching high.

 

A balanced fortress

Watching down

On the grey and

yellow surrounds.

 

Nestled in hills

Lined by trees;

Protected by nature

The city sleeps.

20150908_131107_Richtone(HDR)-001.jpg

Coffee in cafes,

Hidden thoroughfares

Of shining cobbles

And winding stairs.

 

Käsewurst for you,

Pretzel for me,

Strolling the city

In happy company.

 

Warm by day,

Pleasant by night;

September in Salzburg

A beautiful sight.

 

livingthroughlines 2017.

 

book swap, creative writing, novel

My First Book Swap

Yesterday I received my first book of our Book Swap Project in the post, and here it is:

enduring love
ENDURING LOVE BY IAN MCEWAN

I haven’t read an Ian McEwan book since On Chesil Beach in around 2010 and so I’m really looking forward to this. I did watch Atonement last week for the first time which is based on McEwan’s novel, but I don’t think that quite counts…

livingthroughlines.

book swap, creative writing, love, novel, prose

Stoner, by John Edward Williams: Book

I bought this book a while back and after a pause in reading at about Chapter 4 a few weeks ago, I was determined to finish this on our holiday last week and in the evenings since being home.

The first thing I will say is, I would advise this as a read for absolutely anybody and everybody. 

stoner
“A stunning novel… more timeless, more important, more real, than most novels can ever hope to be”The Snow Child

Usually I find myself making excuses for why I don’t have time to read, but this weekend I found myself making excuses as to why everything else could wait whilst I sat curled up in the duvet on the sofa engrossed in Stoner.

This novel is the most beautifully simple story about the life of a simple man. This is not a story about any elaborate adventurous event, or a far fetched fantasy, but focuses on the ups and downs of what in the grand scheme of things, is a very ordinary life.

And that, in my opinion, is what makes this novel so overwhelmingly brilliant and something everyone should read. It touches upon the disappointments of the everyday, the fragility of time in our lives, the dangers of comfort zones and the results of settling for what we think is enough. Whilst the main story of Stoner’s life is set in the 1920s and 1930s, many of the issues touched upon remain wholly relevant to the world today.

What resonated with me the most, was the reoccurring waves of a sense of ambition and passion that Stoner has throughout the novel for pursuing his research, which continue to be overwhelmed and suppressed by the speed at which our other daily commitments take over. This is something I continue to lose a battle against.

John E. Williams made me feel sympathy, sorrow, love, hope, ambition and melancholy in just the turn of a few pages.

 

book swap, creative writing, novel, prose

Living through lines: of books

Up until now I have kept this blog focused on poems, but this week I have had a change of heart after finishing an incredible book which all I want to do is talk about.

This also comes at the perfect time as myself and some friends from University a couple of years ago, whom now live several hours away from me, have decided to start a Book Swap Project to encourage us all to read more. Today I received my first book in the post and so from hereon I will also be sharing my thoughts on the books I will be reading.

First stop is last week’s novel (which I am now sending on as my first book swap!) which has left me deep in thought for quite some time…

family, grandad, grandparents, love, poetry, rhyme

The House that Grandad Built. 

You are everywhere, 

But nowhere in sight.

Teak wood glory,

A nod to your trade.

I had never noticed,

The gleam of the gold mirror’s frame

On your living room wall,

Yet now it’s vintage presence

Has pride of place in mine.

And what of the music

That you spun her around to

At just 16 years of age?

I will dance all the same

Underneath our slanted ceilings

As he takes my hand.

All four of the rooms

Contain a token of you,

Of memories before my time

That your love can no longer

Quite remember to recall.

Each day I sit upon your chair

But no longer on your knee,

I sit beside a new man,

With whom you would be pleased.

Your home and your history

That you had to leave behind,

Now sit upon the table tops

And fill the walls of mine.

 

©livingthroughlines 2017.