Since I had my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I’ve gotten a lot of new books to read during this summer.
These books aren’t just any books, they’re mostly historical fiction (and some non-fiction). Why? Because I love history and next year I am going to study this intriguing subject at university! (Yay!)
I can tell you all about my enthusiasm concerning my study, but for now, let’s focus on the books I’ve received as a gift from my very lovely family and friends.
First of all, I want to discuss two classic novels: Brave new world and Fahrenheit 451.
They seem to be a bit similar to the dystopian novel 1984, a book that I (as I am sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts) still amazes me every time I think about it.
Both books are fixated on a dystopian world (just like 1984) in which the government plays a big role in the lives of individuals. The government controls and brainwashes its people.
A lot of writers nowadays seem to be obsessed by these dystopian kind of worlds, as seen in lots of young adult books, like The Hunger Games or the Divergent series.
Although I used to love reading dystopian novels, I’ve become a bit more withdrawn towards them, since they sometimes tend to become an unending repetition of the same story line and the same characters (note: please prove me wrong if you know a dystopian ya-novel that you thought was amazing and I might still give it a try 😉 ).
However, I still love the setup of science fiction worlds and because I’ve been studying a lot of classic novels for my English class, I also read 1984 and secretly fell in love with it just a tiny bit. I hope Brave new world and Fahrenheit 451 will give me the same feeling of absolute horror (because of the cruelties the novel depicts) mixed with admiration (because the writer invented such a complex and yet credible world).
Next up, I’ve got some incredibly nifty books for a future in which I’ll be able to travel through time :P. These books are How to be a Victorian, Medieval Lives and The Time Traveller’s Guide To Medieval England.
I already love these books so much and I can’t wait to read them. No, not because I really think I’ll somehow become a time traveller after reading. It’s because I think the novels capture my true passion for history so well: they tell you what it must have been like to live in a different time.
I mean, isn’t that wonderful? All these stories of people from foreign worlds which we would never have known about if it wasn’t for historians.
It’s like travelling through other countries and discovering new cultures, only by staying indoors and reading some very beautiful books (armchair travelling it is called, I think).
Third on my to read list now is The Girls by Emma Cline.
Although this book isn’t exactly historical fiction, it does have a historical feel to it. Why? Because the book contains big references to the Charles Manson murders in the 1960s.
This man had a whole bunch of followers during the hippie era, who believed every word he said about an apocalyptic war between black and white that had to be launched before they (he and his followers called themselves “The Family”) could emerge from a hole in the desert and “rule forever”. Sounds pretty disturbing, doesn’t it?
What’s more disturbing is that they actually savagely murdered several people to carry out their crazy plan.
Although the writer herself states in the beginning of the book that “this novel is a work of fiction” and “any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental”, it isn’t very hard to see the resemblance between the book and the actual events.
The book takes place in the summer of 1969 and tells the story of a fictional character, Evie Boyd (as I said, she is completely fictional and doesn’t resemble a member of The Family), who meets “the girls” and their leader, Russell. She is drawn into their world and gets obsessed with these girls.
Meanwhile, Evie doesn’t realize that everything will come to an unthinkable, violent conclusion…
The synopsis inside of the book tells you: Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
If this doesn’t sound super scary and thrilling at the same time, I don’t know what does. I’ve already done some research on Charles Manson himself and read a Dutch book about it in high school. I am really excited to find out what this book will come up with.
So… these were most of the books I’m planning on reading this summer. I will probably post something about these novels (be it a review or a quick overview or even an extensive reflection, I’m not sure yet) as soon as I’ve had the time to read them.
For me the question now arises: What do you think about these books? And what are you going to read this summer?
Leave your thoughts down below!