Posts in Books
Shelf Tour: The Classics Part II

It's time again to examine one of my bookshelves and write a few mini reviews. If you missed my last Shelf Tour, make sure you check out that post here. We're looking at classics again this time, either ones I haven't got in Penguin Classic form, or some more recent works. As I said in my previous post, I read many of these books years ago, and have probably completely forgotten their contents (so useful!), but we're going to plough on anyway. It's going to be a long one, so strap in.

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Shelf Tour 1: The Classics

In a vlog a little while back, I suggested doing shelf tours for those of you who might be interested in a more detailed look at what I've got on my bookshelves, and lots of you seemed keen. I figured it would actually be a lot easier for me to do this on the blog than on video, so I thought I'd start with the classics.

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Young Skins Review

I recently read Young Skins by Irish author Colin Barrett, a slim volume of short stories, all of them set in a nondescript town in County Mayo, and to tell the truth I’m still kind of undecided about it. The opening sentence of the first story, ‘The Clancy Kid’; “My town is nowhere you have been, but you know its ilk”, sets the tone not just for the setting but for the characters, too. They are characters you have seen before, the type of people you may know, though their stories are made poignant and thought-provoking by Barrett’s clipped prose style, that buttoned up effect that seems to make the emotion seem even more unbearable or tragic. Whilst that opening sentence seems to demonstrate the best of this style, there are times when it can seem overwrought (just a sentence later, the narrator of ‘The Clancy Kid’ says, “The Atlantic is near; the gnarled jawbone of the coastline with its gull-infested promontories is near.”)

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Americanah Review

I think this is the first novel I have picked for the book club which I have really liked and found few faults with. It is a novel that follows two Nigerian characters, Ifemelu and Obinze, teenagers in love who drift apart when the former goes to pursue further education in America. Mostly the novel focusses on Ifemelu and her new life in America, though there is some description of their lives in Nigeria, and a section dedicated to Obinze’s abortive few months in London.

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