About the Blog (and Me)

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

C.S. Lewis

C.S.Lewis’ problem is one that is very familiar to me, as I’m sure it is to you.

I caught the reading bug at a young age. I used to stay up past my bedtime, huddled up under my duvet with a torch, reading as late as I could. It didn’t really matter what I was reading, whether it was a prescribed reading from school, a borrowed book from a friend, or an old favourite from years before. A far more simple judgement was passed on the books I read- either I loved it, or I forgot about it.

As we get older, however, it becomes far more important to assess whether a book is worth reading before starting it. We have less time to read, and what time we can give over to this hobby needs to be used in a way that is valuable to us. We need reading as a respite, not an addition to the boredom of daily life.

This point became even starker to me as I progressed through my undergraduate degree in English Literature. Suddenly, it wasn’t just my enjoyment that mattered when deciding whether I should read the book. External ideas (fuelled by my imposter syndrome as a first generation university student) about the academic worth of books began to influence my reading decisions, forcing me to create quite a pretentious reading list for about a year. By this, I mean, I read War and Peace just so I could say that I had read War and Peace.

I’ve just graduated, and I’m about to start a masters course in English Literature in September. After submitting my dissertation, I began to read for pleasure properly, probably for the first time since I was 18. I went to a book shop, I scoured the popular fiction section and I looked at what was popular on social media (TikTok advocates very strongly for certain books and I couldn’t just ignore that). I went home with some books that I thought would be interesting to me, rather than books I thought would validate my position as ‘the reader’.

This blog is going to try and offer book reviews that can speak to both the simplistic enjoyment of books, and a more academic assessment of them. I’ll be reviewing books that I’ve read for pleasure, and ones that are part of the reading lists for my modules at university. I think that offers more of an accurate picture of how we read as adults, half for our entertainment and half to serve a higher purpose, maybe to educate us or offer different perspectives on a certain place, topic or issue that we might not encounter in everyday life.

I hope you enjoy these reviews, and maybe find some inspiration for your own reading in them.

The Bookworm


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