Friday, 20 July 2012

What's on my bookshelf?

Been as I'm a student, and I haven't read at all this summer and I really should be, I thought I'd motivate myself to read more by showing you the excitement that is - my bookshelf!

Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a hoarder, so this is one of two shelves, but the second shelf isn't as organised as this one. It's just a throw-the-book-there-because-I've-finished-it shelf.

- Kenneth Williams Unseen. It's a book of photography of the much-loved Carry On star Kenneth Williams, I've had a kind of love affair with him since I was a teenager, I just adore his screen presence and his personality.
- Shakespeare's Hamlet. My A2 coursework was based on this, and I love this copy because it has Christopher Eccleston on the cover. When we studied Romeo and Juliet for GCSE, my copy had David Tennant on the cover too - the Doctor's in the RSC?
- The Kenneth Williams Diaries. As I mentioned, I love Kenneth Williams and his diaries are acidic, hilarious and moving at the same time, his last entry is utterly heartbreaking.
- Christopher Reeve - Still Me. I haven't read much of this yet, but it's a great autobiography of a great man.
- Michael Caine. This is one book I just don't think I'll be reading. I read autobiographies, and this is a biography, I just don't like the concept of someone trying to narrate someone else's story, I much prefer hearing it from the horse's mouth.
- Ozzy Osbourne - I Am Ozzy. My favourite book by far this year, I couldn't put it down. Of course, I've mentioned before how much I love Ozzy, and this book is no exception. A must read for anyone who likes Ozzy.
- Stephen Fry - Making History. I haven't actually read this yet, it's just sitting on my shelf, has been for a while.
- Truman Capote - In Cold Blood. I studied this at A level and I couldn't part with it, I love Truman Capote, he's always been my favourite author. I just adore his writing style, his persona, everything about him. Everyone has their obscure favourites, don't they? Truman's mine, the amazing cross-dresser that he was.
- The Devil Wears Prada. I picked this up in a charity shop years ago in the hope I'd read it because I loved the movie so much, but I'm not entirely sure I like how it's written. Admittedly I haven't given it much chance yet though.

Now before I plunge into the Penguin classics, I'll move to the books slumped on the top. These are all from my Modern East Asia module at uni.
- Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and The China He Lost. It's written almost like a novel of what feels like a fantastical story, but it's all real. I never warmed to him as a person though.
- Peasant Nationalism And Communist Power. This came in superbly useful for my course, but it's not been one I'd pick up again unless I had another investigation into nationalism and communism - maybe for my dissertation?
- China In Disintegration. I do like this because it covers a wide spectrum of approaches and a great deal of time in Chinese history.
- Burying Mao. I love this one. Admittedly, it's not all about Mao as the title might suggest, and if I haven't mentioned before, I love researching Mao Zedong. Call me crazy, I love him. A communist. I love. A communist.
- Sun Yat-sen and The Reawakening Of China. I hate this with a passion. The editor must've been on crack. Ridiculous. For a grammar Nazi like me, I was lucky I didn't burn this on sight.
- Mao Zedong and Twentieth Century China. It's about Mao, what more could I want? Although really it's more about China than Mao, but it's good.

Now onto my Penguin classics. These first few are from my A level Classical Civilisation studies.
- Euripides - The Bacchae.
Sophocles - The Three Theban Plays. Greek tragedies including Oedipus. A clever plot, I'll give it that. I always had a fascination with the Sphinx as a child.
- Aeschylus - The Oresteia.
- Euripides - Medea.
- Seneca - The Apocolocyntosis and Petronius - The Satyricon - We studied the Satyricon and it's the funniest Roman comedy I've read!
Big red divider here.
- PG Wodehouse - Carry On Jeeves. I chose this for an individual study for my A level English Lang/Lit. I adore Wodehouse's writing, it's even better than the show with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, and I never thought I'd say that. But you have to see the show before you read the stories so you can imagine them in the book.
- Mary Shelley - Frankenstein. Let's just say, any core reading for A level English didn't get very far with me, but I came out with an A grade so I can't have done too bad. I didn't read anything more than a chapter of this.
- Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice. Bought this because I adore Jane Austen and I'm in love with the Colin Firth BBC adaptation, but I'll be honest, I haven't read much of this. In case you haven't noticed already, I'm a lazy reader.

Next up are my books from my first semester in English at university.

- Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre. Somehow I have two copies of this. Anyway, I read this for my English degree. One of the few core readings I actually did read from cover to cover. I'm not a big fan of it really, her writing seems a bit archaic in the way it demands your sympathy every time she steps in a puddle.
- Ian McEwan - Saturday. Also read for English at uni. I actually liked this one and I'd recommend it in a heartbeat. Everyone else despised it but there's something about it I adhered to. Although beware of the 20-page-long squash games. And the perving on his own daughter.
- Jean Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea. Despise this with a passion. Disgusting. I don't understand why she'd trash on a classic like this. Her writing's atrocious.
- Andrea Levy - Small Island. Like the concept, but as with most core reading, I didn't get stuck into this one.
- The World's Greatest Short Stories. That's a lie in itself. Dreadful anthology.
- Modern British Short Stories. That's more like it. I love the Dylan Thomas one in here, but once you read it, feel free to call me sick-minded, twisted, whatever, it's not a PG story, let's put it that way.
- Writing For The Screen. I enjoyed every second of my Scriptwriting module but I never picked up this book. I make it my goal to at some point this summer.
- Tyson's Critical Theory Today. This was the staple for our modules and I opened it once. Wow. Go me.

And laying gracefully on top of this part of the shelf are:
- A few old Saxon CDs.
- My Ozzy live at the Budokan DVD my boyfriend gave me.
- The Tiananmen Papers. Once again, my Modern East Asia module at uni demanded I research into the Tiananmen massacre of 1989. I became fascinated. I'll hopefully read this entire book one day soon.

The books not featured here include:
- Russell Brand's My Booky Wook and Booky Wook 2. Can't stress it enough, these are amazing reads.
- Sharon Osbourne's Extreme and Survivor. I read Survivor in under 17 hours I think. I love her THAT much.
- 50 Years Of Carry On. Another Kenneth Williams obsession product. Haven't read it though. Shame on me.
- About 5 Friends books. I love Friends and it seems every Christmas I got a Friends book!

What's on your bookshelf?


  1. Replies
    1. Hehe thanks! Loving your blog by the way :D xx

  2. So much about China! I was there for a month earlier this year, it was a great trip. I should read books like that!

    1. Oh man I'm jealous! I hope you went to some great places! They're really great books but the only problem I find is when I'm examined on them, without sounding racist, all the names are hard to remember in my Western mindset, so I struggle with pronunciation so badly!

      Ali xx


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