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Could you live on less than 100 words a day? In the ultra-conservative world of Vox, over 50% of the population has been silenced by technology, stripped of their jobs, bank accounts, and independence, and kept prisoner by bracelets that track their every word (I’ll give you one guess which half).
While Vox has a lot of similarities to The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s still a gripping read – I powered through this one in a four hour sitting. Some of the premise may have been too extreme for me to entirely suspend disbelief, but a lot of Vox still hits disturbingly close to home in our current political climate. Similarly, although I sometimes found the writing was at times a little wanting, the plot drove me onwards to the point where I was still curled up at midnight, desperate to get to the end. I think that Vox has come at an important time – while clearly a work of fiction, it still carries a lot of weight (and scares me a little bit). There’s an uncomfortable realness in the protagonist’s attitude towards matters that don’t affect her … until they do. I’m sure it’s similar to how a number of people behaved in countries that have experienced a massive regime change, but it continues to be a bitter If you haven’t read Persepolis yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Once you’ve read a powerful non-fiction work like that, somehow nothing seems that impossible anymore.
Dracula was the choice for last month’s book club, and after discovering that there’s an audio version narrated by Tim Curry & Alan Cummings (among others), it also seemed to be the obvious choice for this month’s Audible credit. For those who struggle with reading the classics, I seriously can’t recommend a good audio reading enough!
After reading The Tale of Two Cities last month, I was in the mood for another classic novel (yes, apparently I’m crazy). Written in 1897, Dracula could be called the birth of the horror novel. I mean, is there anyone who couldn’t rattle off the major points of this book without having read a word? Transylvanian monster, can’t be seen in mirrors, drinks the blood of virgins…a lot of what was once terrifying and new is verging on hilarious now. And how could Jonathan Harker not see the Big Bad coming? I don’t think Dracula hated shaving mirrors because he had a body image problem…
Given all of the tropes and B-grade horror movie cliches, what I found really surprising about reading Dracula is that there were moments that still hold some genuine terror. Walking home at night with the audiobook playing, there was a shiver or two that ran down my back at the thought of Dracula’s hairy palms (ew), or a certain doomed ship, miles from anywhere in the middle of the ocean. While Dracula may be a little dates (and let’s be honest, it has every right to be), it’s still easy to see how it gave rise to a whole new genre of entertainment. Like Doctor Who and monster movies, it plays skillfully on the innate human fear of things that go bump in the night…
Has anyone else seen Big Magic over and over again in the creative community? I started reading it in July, and I’ve already had so many questions from you about it! But my full review will have to be postponed for one more month, because this month has been all about…
That’s right – Harry Potter in French. And BOY, does it make my brain hurt. I studied french all the way through high school, and there was a magical time when I was almost fluent. Unfortunately, it turns out that when you don’t speak a language for almost a decade, all of that hard work goes right out the window! With my trip to the UK and France in less than a month, I figured it was time to dust off some of the cobwebs and tune my ear into this beautiful language again by picking up the sixth Harry Potter novel on Audible. I’m not going to lie – I had to listen to the first chapter about four times before I could even remember how the book started, and the steep learning curve is definitely still continuing! Also – a wand is called a baguette in french. This is never not hilarious, so you’re welcome.
What have you been reading this month? Comment below to share your favourite, I’m always looking for recommendations!
You can check out some of my earlier Reading Roundups here: