Books, History, and Everything in Between

I’m the type of person who can so easily get lost in the world of a book, in the stories, characters and words, so that when I try to resurface from it, I don’t know what to do with myself.

It’s not just one type of book: I’ve gone through liking so many different genres, and taking a fancy to one book, finishing it, and then craving a different kind of book – or conversely, getting sucked into ‘phases’ of genres for ages.

Now, it’s not like I’d just read that one genre of book. I’d read others, but that genre would prevail – I almost breathe it. You know those books that set up a fire in your heart, or give you that anticipatory feeling when you want to read them? That’s what I experience when I get a passion for a certain ‘brand’ of book and though I love other books I read, it’s the type I’m obsessed with at the time that makes me happy, until a book comes along that changes my preferences. Woah, it sounds like I have romantic relwhnships with books or something… Errr, moving on.

It happened with books along the line of Harry Potter first, then fantasy (Game of Thrones), then a long period of adoring Dystopia (The Hunger Games, Halo by Frankie Rose). Then Contemporary books and then a wild love for Science Fiction (the 5th Wave, Worldwalker Trilogy, Atlantis Grail). My tastes have flitted back and forth within these genres, fit with little subsections of them – LGBTQ+ Contemporary, books that are so cliché it hurts (I read them after books that make me cry) and then, in between periods of going between genres, I read miscellaneous things here and there. You could say I have a… Varied love of books.

Now, after a stint of reading contemporary, and scouring Goodreads to find books, I’ve fallen in love with historical literature, and historical fiction. I’m not surprised either: history’s always been something I’ve liked, from Romans to the English Revolution to wartime stories; it’s now combined with my love of reading to create something that’s entirely too addicted to raving, and annoying people, with her rants about how amazing a book is.

I blame this on Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a book that made me cry so much that I made myself ill, but a book that rekindled my fascinwhn with the lives of ordinary people in war, of stories of people that didn’t change the world but were heroes and heroines nonetheless. It was amazing, and the thing is, stories like that happen every day in every war; it gave me a snapshot of things that could have existed, and showed me that war ends in tragedy for so many people.

I now have a deeply rooted respect for the classics, but specifically written in times of history which interest me. Take the Victorian period, for example; the lifestyle there is something I’ve always read up on, or tried to find out about. We’re studying Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté, which is set just in that time, and I couldn’t put it down.

True, I had a reluctance to read it when I was younger and even before I started, but that was because of its size, and I worried that the vocabulary would be too much. I was so, so wrong; I’ve nearly finished with it, occasionally start writing and speaking in the style of Bronté, and have been known to scream “YAAASS OHHH SO CUTE!” when talking about some scenes between Mr. Rochester and Jane. I can’t help it: I got frustrated with Jane at the beginning, but the way she interacts with Mr. Rochester is great.

Historical fiction written nowadays is one of my favourite things, simply because it gives a new perspective on everything. Jane Eyre’s quite progressive for its time and I love that, but fiction written about the past with a modern view in mind is so interesting to me. After starting Jane Eyre, and needing a break from the very heavy language, I wanted to read some romance because a) I needed cuteness in my life and b) I was in the mood to not think too deeply for a while. Perhaps, then, I shouldn’t have started the Storm and Silence series by Robert Thier. I don’t know how to summarise these books, except to say it opens with Lilly Linton – potentially the most fantastic girl ever – dressing up as a boy and attempting to go to a polling station to vote. She doesn’t take shit from anybody, and it involves a controlling billionaire bastard who goes through character development, and also Victorian society, humour, solid chocolate, Feminism and a main character who sticks up for herself and is just. Brilliant. I could scream about this series forever, because it was just what I needed to get me interested in the Victorian era again, and coupled with Jane Eyre, made me crave even more.

Basically, I’ve concluded that I need to get a life that preferrably involves historical books, because I love them so much. I plan to read Pride and Prejudice, as well as Chaucer, and various other books as well as lots of historical fiction written recently. Um, and obviously do work as well, and study… I’ll never get anything done at this rate!

I wanted to share with you my simple love of books, and just how scarily ecstatic I get about it. It’s not a side you see often. Who knows – maybe next year, I’ll go back to constantly reading Sci-Fi; I’Ll just have to wait and see.

Do you have any recommendations for great books?

From Elm 🙂

26 thoughts on “Books, History, and Everything in Between

  1. Great post!! I do the exact same thing!! – stay reading from one genre for ages then eventually switch when a book from another genre really appeals to me! Haven’t read Jane Eyre yet but I’ve actually be planning to for a while…. Recently I’ve finished the Girl Online books by Zoe Sugg (which omg are absolutely amazing btw !!) and the timekeeper by Mitch Albom. I’m currently reading Flawed by Cecilia Ahern which is fab…kind of a dystopian novel that is full of action…it’s like as if you are right there in the story, if you get what I mean!!
    Anyway awesome post as always and best wishes!!! 😊

    • Yeah I totally understand what you mean!! 🙂 I need to read those books! Is the third girl online book good? Also, Jane Eyre is so great

      • Yes it is, definitely! They’re some good plot twists and it’s just as goof as the first two. All same characters are in it with one or two new ones. Defo worth the read. It’s some nice light reading which I like.
        A great, I think I’ll try read it during my next midterm break from school. 😊

    ~Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
    ~Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra/Dhonielle Clayton
    ~To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
    ~Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    ~Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
    ~Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey West
    ~Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
    ~The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    ~Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
    ~Ask The Passengers by AS King
    ~All the Rage by Courtney Summers
    ~Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
    ~A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French
    ~Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
    ~If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
    Also, all of these books are diverse and most are #ownvoices!! (I thinkk). Tell me if you need any more recs – you know who to ocme to!

  3. It’s so great you love books! I admit I haven’t read as much in the past year as I would have liked, but my goal this year is to read a little more (although that might prove difficult).

    I think you would adore Amanda Hocking’s “Trylle Trilogy”; I guess I would say it’s a paranormal romance. I’ve definitely squealed about some of the moments in those books 😂😂 She’s also written another trilogy like that one, called the “Kanin Chronicles”. It’s got more “mystery” involved in that series– a bit of a whodunnit-but I’d still categorise it as paranormal romance.

    Have you read Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations?” I’ve never struggled so much with a book in my entire life– and I consider myself quite well-read. You seem that way, too, so maybe it’s something you could try.

    Don’t ever lose your love of books! ❤️

    • I definitely won’t stop loving books! I adore them 🙂 I haven’t read either of those trilogies, but I do want to now! Oh, and I have a read Great expectations, but I didn’t really like it. It was very very difficult to read

  4. the series that sent me in love with reading is the mysterious benedict society, i recommend them to everyone. they’re supposedly for grade / middle school readers even though they’re really thick but i’ve read them every year at least once and they’re incredibly brilliant and probably my favorite series of all time. other than that i honestly just recommend whatever i’ve been reading and liking which is the YA bookstagram community atm and a lot of shakespeare…

  5. DEFINITELY READ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IT’S INCREDIBLE!! Also I totally relate to getting sucked into one genre of books and not wanting to leave, it happens to me all of the time. That’s why now I’m trying to read two different genres at once, so that hopefully I’ll manage to keep variety in my life 🙂

  6. You will have to let me know what you think of Pride and Prejudice if you get a chance to read it. I tried to recently, and I found it to be a hard read. Mostly because the paragraphs were long and the language isn’t what I’m used to. I know many people who LOVE it. Glad you are broadening your horizons with your reading. It’s a fun thing to do. I’m reading Every Thing Every Thing by Nicola Yoon right now, and it is pretty good. I really liked the writing in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well.

    • I haven’t read the latter book, but I want to so much! Everything Everything was absolutely captivating though; it’s such a thought-provoking read. I’ll definitely attempt Pride and Prejudice, just to see what it’s like!

      • Elm, I agree the Everything Everything is absolutely captivating. Very thought-provoking and touching to the heart. I’m excited about the movie that’s supposed to come out I think this year! Good for you for attempting Pride and Prejudice. It’s interesting that this book is mentioned in Everything Everything.

      • Oh my goodness yes, that is great! I didn’t remember that it was mentioned there though. There is a movie coming out? AAAAHHH!!!

  7. I haven’t read any historical fiction for agessss, but I used to be absolutely obsessed with it! Right now I’m really into YA (especially contemporary) but I do love some literary fiction or an autobiography here and there as well. I’m reading The Trouble With Goats and Sheep at the moment, and I would definitely recommend it, as it’s really very interesting

      • It’s weirdly wonderful – set in 1976, when a woman living in a cul-de-sac goes missing, and two ten y/o neighbours decide to try and work out why. That one’s probably more adult fiction than YA, but it’s very interesting – links in to ideas about being different and how society likes to pin blame on those who don’t fit in. I would definitely recommend it! 🙂

      • It sounds really intriguing — I’ll have to give it a go! I always want tfind new books to read, so thank you! 🙂

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