Towards the end of last year, I decided to take a look at some of the books on my shelves that I read but never reviewed and got to doing just that. you can see that first part here, in which I reviewed Citizen, The Blood Countess and Soulless. Today for part two, I reread The Magic Toyshop, The Color Purple and The Bone Season and let’s get into my thoughts on them!
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
What I Remember: I really love Angela Carter as an author. I’ve read The Bloody Chamber twice and I think that’s absolutely brilliant and I’ve got a couple of her other books on my shelves waiting to be read already. What I remember most about this one was how weird it is, so I’m excited to see what I think of it this time around.
My Thoughts Now: So this was definitely still weird. What I didn’t remember was how uncomfortable and uneasy this whole thing made me feel. I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t love it this time around. Angela Carter is still an incredible writer, but in terms of actual enjoyment, it wasn’t as good as I remembered. What I do have to say is this is one of those books that feels rich with literary history, if you know what I mean. It’s almost as if Carter has taken pieces of different things, put it together and then dialled up the weirdness to a level that only she can. So I’m walking away from this one as much in awe of Carter as ever, but less so with this individual book.
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
What I Remember: I read this back in 2013 during my last year of high school, and so I have absolutely no memories of what I thought of this or what happens in it. I suppose I can remember that I did like it, but my reading didn’t go much further than that back then. This time I’m hoping to do some more reading afterwards into Alice Walker, as well as watching the film adaptation which I’ve never seen.
My Thoughts Now: I thought this one would take me at least a few days to read, but instead I managed to read it in a couple of hours. Once I started reading it I just had to keep going until I was done. I don’t know how much of this story I actually like—Celie has a pretty awful life through most of this so it’s hard to enjoy the story as such. Just like with Carter, I’ve now got a real appreciation for Alice Walker’s writing. After reading this I did go on to watch and read a whole bunch of interviews and reviews and essays about this one and Alice Walker’s work in general. I found this amazing video which includes an interview with Alice Walker as well as a few recordings of her reading poems and excerpts of The Color Purple which I found really interesting. I’m hoping to go on to read some of Walker’s other books later this year.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
What I Remember: I was honestly kind of shocked when I realised I hadn’t reviewed this one, but it worked out brilliantly because I was one book short for this post and I’d been planning to reread this anyway. The Bone Season is one of my favourite series, though I’ve only read the first two so far. It’s been a couple of years though and with book four out now, it’s finally time to revisit this.
My Thoughts Now: This is still incredible. I’d honestly forgotten about most of what happens in this one and pretty much all the characters apart from Paige, Warden and Jax. I really loved the world building this time around—I think I did last time too, but I appreciated it a lot more this time. There are also so many other characters who I’d forgotten about who were really interesting and that I’m excited to hopefully see more of in the next three books, and hopefully into the rest of the series. This definitely still has a place on my favourites list.
Have you read any of these? What are some of the books you’re hoping to reread?