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Possession, I Capture the Castle…And Why I Haven’t Blogged For A Month


I Capture the Castle (film)

I Capture the Castle (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I think it’s official: I’m the worst blogger ever. I haven’t blogged in nearly a month? How did that even happen? Well, I sort of know how it happened: I got lazy and I also took a two-week community service trip to Nicaragua. (Which was amazing, by the way – the trip, not the laziness – but doesn’t make for good blogging). So anyway, sorry for that, and also sorry that I only have two books finished to show for it…Not exactly the best way to start off a reading-filled summer!


Possession by A.S. Byatt was, in a word, amazing. Gorgeously written, completely enthralling, and hugely ambitious, it’s the kind of book that allows you to escape the hum-drum mundanities of everyday life (or, in my case, the sweltering Nicaraguan climate) and dive into a fascinating world of academic rivalries, doomed love affairs, and epic poetry. Every page held an ingenious turn of phrase, colorful character, or thoroughly convincing imitation of Victorian-era poems, letters, and diaries. Some books are so impressive that you feel not only as if you’re reading them, but as if you’re experiencing them as a fully immersed participant in an event. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Possession, and my only (very minor) complaint would be that at times I wished for less of Roland and Maud (such academic-y academics, which probably doesn’t even make sense as a phrase, but what I mean is that they were just so serious and their research was so obscure and they spoke so formally all the time…it made me want to force them to watch a couple hours of Jersey Shore, just to show them that there is a world outside of a University library…) and more of Randolph and Christabel, but even in lovely, accomplished, practically flawless novels, there is always something to find fault with.


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith was also a great read, with one of sweetest and most convincing protagonists I’ve ever encountered. I was completely swept away by Cassandra’s descriptions of her life living in a decrepit castle in the English countryside with her eccentric family. It was also interesting to hear a British perspective on America and Americans, too, since it’s a bit of a rare experience for me to be seen as the strange outsider. Cassandra would always point out differences in phrases and customs Americans and British people used, little things such as Americans moving their fork from hand to hand when cutting and eating meat. Things I’d never really thought about before as being different or unique, but apparently are. All in all, a very good and though-provoking read.


• I’m also a little more than halfway through on The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman and it is absolutely brilliant so far. Can’t wait to talk about it more!



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