I wish I could give some extraordinarily compelling excuse for my extended absence over the past few months: alien abduction, Freaky Friday-esque body-switching, or an improbable scenario in which I somehow discover that Jules Verne was right all along and the earth is indeed hollow and inhabited by dinosaurs, and I end up shacking up with Brendan Fraser and making it all the way to China through the Earth’s crust. But sadly the excuse is, as ever, an extraordinary banal one: a new job, the kind of cold that’s so persistent that after a few weeks it brings along a few of its friends and turns your sinuses into its own personal party bus, all combined with the usual leg-dragging laziness.
Now, I realise that this is not strictly a book-related post – hence my vague Dr Seuss reference. Consider this me branching out a little, one small step at a time.
I wanted to discuss something that I’ve discovered since I’ve been in the UK. Something I wasn’t quite expecting. It has to do with sleigh bells and turkey and Michael Bublé.
Yes, like the famous Dr Seuss character, I have found my heart growing two sizes (metaphorically, of course, or else I’d be having some far from jolly health complications) and embracing the spirit of Christmas. And I think it perhaps has quite a lot to do with setting, with the weather and general atmosphere of Edinburgh in early December.
If you’re a lit major like me – or, indeed, if you’ve ever studied just about any subject in the humanities and/or the sciences – you’ll probably remember a moment some years back when you realised that you had two brains.
And no, I don’t mean literally, in a kind of futuristic space-agey way (let’s face it, one brain is often hard enough to keep track of, and you probably don’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘bad hair day’ until you’ve got two craniums to deal with). But if you’ve ever been involved in an area of prolonged study that requires you to think critically, to analyse, to dig for deeper meaning, then you’ve probably found that this kind of thinking begins to leak into your everyday life.
Suddenly every image, word, and sound is hiding something under its surface. A movie, a television advertisement, a newspaper article – it’s never just that. It’s a text just waiting to be deciphered, and you begin to approach every such text with the question, ‘what is this film / advert / cloying but frustratingly catchy pop song trying to make me think?’. And, perhaps more importantly, ‘am I going to let them make me think that?’.
Cue dramatic music, please… because I am finally ready to resume normal life. Yes, that’s right, I’ve finally finished my university work for this year. That means that I can now return to regularly programmed human activities, such as showering, holding conversations that last for more that fifteen minutes (and are related to something other than essays and assignments), and actually, you know, leaving the house more than twice a week.
So what have I got planned for my extended summer holidays? Well, I can’t say for sure yet, but I can say with some certainty that it will involve a lot of books.
What’s that hint of warmth in the air? Is it really time to shed the scarves and socks already? Yes, sadly my favourite season of the year is drawing to an end. And although I occasionally like the breezy warmth and the petal-strewn gardens of spring, this year I’ll be spending most of my time inside, studying for my classes and bemoaning the fact that all too soon, we’ll have to apply sunscreen before going outside to check the mailbox. Thanks, Australia.
Welcome, one and all, to Majoring in Literature! As you’ve probably already guessed, I am a literature major with a deep love of reading and far too much time on my hands. I am also currently one or all of the following:
a) Finishing a degree in literature
b) Panicking about my future as I have no qualifications apart from said degree in literature
c) Reading more than two books at once
d) Living in Australia
e) A girl
I have what might charitably be called an ‘eclectic’ taste in books; I read across many genres and time periods, but I’ve yet to settle on a favourite. I also have a rather unhealthy book-buying habit. When I was younger I used to read every book I owned before I would even consider buying a new one. But these days I find my self-control is a lot weaker. Not to mention that I’m no longer plagued by the problem of saving up all my pocket money dollar by dollar. As a result, I have dozens of unread books that I’ve picked up from bookstores, second-hand book sales, and Christmases past, present and future.
But if there’s one thing I love more than buying books, it’s talking about them. And since I still have a full three months before I head back to university and the patient ears of my fellow literature students, I’ve decided the best solution is to share my thoughts in blog form. Partly because I need a new hobby, and partly because I don’t know how much longer my long-suffering parents and siblings can listen to me ranting about my latest read before they stuff my mouth full of cotton wool and lock me in the cellar to await the first day of semester.
So here’s what I’d like to do with this blog:
1) Share reviews of the books I’m reading
2) Finally get through all the books on my To-Read shelf
3) Find out what others think about the books I’m reading (have I got it completely wrong? I really want to know)
4) Expand my reading tastes and experiment with some new genres
5) Gain the ability to boast about the fact that I have finally grasped twenty-first century media
6) Make lots of numbered lists (because I really like making lists)
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll find something here to interest, amuse, or even just divert you. I love feedback, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment or send me a message.