What I Read in August

After an insane month of reading in July, it’s only fitting I guess that I only read one book in August.

Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney

Overall, I’m still not certain what I think of Sally Rooney’s books, I have now read Normal People and this book, and I’m not sure if I like her writing style or her main characters. I love that she writes books really, properly set in Ireland. I also think that her books resonate so much with people roughly my age because she is really, very good at expressing the neuroses, the anxieties, the inner thoughts of people in their 20s and early 30s.

This book mostly tells the story of Alice and Eileen, two best friends from university who are now navigating how to be friends after university. Their story is partly told through the emails they send each other and through traditional story telling. On the periphery of Alice and Eileen are Felix, the young factory worker that Alice meets when she moves to a small town after the success of her first novel and her resulting stay in a psychiatric hospital. And Simon, an older neighbor boy of Eileen’s family, who Eileen has always had a crush on, but never quite allowed herself to properly act on.

The one area I really like, one that I don’t know if gets addressed enough in media, is the post-uni, post-college days. All your friends scatter to their various jobs, some get married and start having kids almost immediately, and none of you have enough money to be able to visit each other often enough to properly maintain friendships. Everyone is a bit lost, no one knows if they studied the right things or got the right jobs and everyone is wondering about going back to school, changing jobs, or just generally not quite knowing what they are doing or what to do. And I think that Sally Rooney really captures that in this, and the conflicts that it can bring up in your school friendships.

So that’s it for the month, I have a couple books ongoing that I did think I would have finished by now, but I’m hoping to get some serious reading done on vacation this month.


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