What’s on my bookshelf?

Wednesday 28 August 2019, International students

by Coral Kim

What’s on my bookshelf?

Coral Kim

Spring is a good time to refill my bookshelves. Fall is great for cosying up with a book and a cup of tea. Winter should be spent reading inside with a warm blanket. Still, summer wins when it comes to being the best season for reading, not just because of the dizzying heat outside, but because it’s an excellent time and opportunity to catch up with some reading before heading off to uni.

So, what am I reading this summer? In this post, I want to give you a look at my bookshelf: what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I plan to read.

1. What I’ve read:

Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov). Hilarious. Tragic and creepy, but still hilarious. Along with Nabokov’s America, the mind of Humbert, Humbert was too fascinating; I’m afraid I completely forgot to engage in any academic or critical thinking, so this one is definitely re-read material, but I’ll gladly open it again!

Balancing Acts (Nicholas Hytner). This book was written for people like me. I’ve only been to London twice (the two other times I went as a kid who barely knew anything don’t really count!), but I’ve already been to London’s National Theatre at least a dozen times – and of course I bought tickets to their productions for this September when I go to the UK. London theatre will be an entirely different, even more fun experience for me after having read this book.

2. What I’m reading:

Jerusalem (Jez Butterworth). I first learned about this play because I saw that Mark Rylance—one of my favourite actors—had been in it. I tried and failed to find any video recording of the actual show, but so far Jez Butterworth’s play is incredibly engaging and loud, even on paper. I don’t want it to stop.

The Virtue of Selfishness (Ayn Rand). This was recommended to me by my former high school teacher. I started reading this back when I was taking a summer philosophy course, so it’s been interesting – and challenging – to constantly compare and contrast Rand’s philosophy with that of my other ‘favourites.’ (I say that tentatively because, to be honest, I still can’t figure out whom I agree with!)

3. The ever-growing “to-read” pile:

Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel). Some of you may have detected some kind of pattern already – Mark Rylance! I’ve heard good things about the TV adaptation, so when I found a lovely red paperback of “Wolf Hall” while book shopping in NYC, I had to get it. This book will be the perfect light reading for me to accompany the heavier classics I’ll have to read to be prepared for uni.

The Painted Veil (W. Somerset Maugham). I first read Maugham’s writing in my English class in back in high school, when I got to study his extremely well-known “The Moon and Sixpence.” I found his writing style and themes attractive, and the short summary of this book has succeeded in drawing me in completely—I still need to get a copy of it, though!