Exeter, Devon UK • Feb 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Recent Reads: A Rundown of a Bookstagrammer’s Top 3 Autumn Reads

Recent Reads: A Rundown of a Bookstagrammer’s Top 3 Autumn Reads

Manon Martini, a Bookstagrammer, explores her top three books fit for this autumn season.
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Image: Manon Martini

As a Bookstagrammer, I often find myself flooded with all sorts of books in my TBR pile, from feminine literary fiction to cinematic non-fiction. In this review run down I give you my top three pics for the winter season so that you can figure out what to prioritise – you might want to add these to your Christmas list! 

Weirdo by Sara Pascoe 

Sara Pascoe’s literary debut, Weirdo, is a captivating exploration of the modern female condition through the lens of its deeply flawed protagonist, Sophie Collins. Pascoe delves into the intricacies of Sophie’s life, offering readers an unfiltered and poignant experience of the complexities of contemporary existence and what it means to navigate womanhood. 

One of the book’s most remarkable aspects is its unapologetic embrace of imperfection. Sophie’s life is a palimpsest of unhealthy obsessions, self-inflicted debt, and negotiation with her body. Her menstrual cycle becomes a recurring motif throughout the book, impacting her narrative perception and self-worth in a cyclical fashion. Pascoe maps an often overlooked aspect of the female experience with her unflinching storytelling and character description. 

Sara Pascoe’s literary debut is a triumph, a narrative that transcends the boundaries of traditional storytelling to offer an unfiltered look at the contemporary woman. Weirdo is an exploration of the feminine condition – Weirdo is rage, its kindness, its absurdity, and its chaos. 

Cinema Speculation by Quintin Tarantino 

Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation combines autobiography with film criticism in this much anticipated read. Tarantino weaves his own intriguing voice into the text – creating a personal connection that’s often missing in conventional film criticism and non-fiction more generally. 

What sets Cinema Speculation apart is Tarantino’s unique perspective on film analysis. He doesn’t get bogged down in technical details, but when he does offer insights, they are artistic, expressive and poignant. The book’s core consists of essays on various films from 1972 to 1981 – its footnotes and asides add depth to the analyses, drawing from conversations with renowned directors like Peter Bogdanovich and Walter Hill. 

One of the most striking features of the book is Tarantino’s alternative readings of classic films. He challenges traditional interpretations and encourages readers to view movies from an alternative perspective. For example, his take on the Body Snatchers movies as a form of rebirth rather than murder offers a fresh lens through which to approach film. 

While some may find Tarantino’s writing style liberally peppered with expletives, it reflects his unfiltered passion for cinema. If you’re looking for a book that reinvigorates your love for movies and challenges your perception of classic films, Cinema Speculation is an absolute must-read. It’s a testament to Tarantino’s prowess not only as a filmmaker but also as a captivating author who, I hope, continues to share his cinematic wisdom with the world. 

Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto 

Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto is a captivating collection of stories of Hawaiian culture, folklore, and women’s experiences. Kakimoto’s unapologetic and fearless storytelling explores themes of femininity, identity, and the enduring impact of colonisation on Native Hawaiian women. The stories are haunting and thought-provoking, with a rich blend of horror and magic. They don’t rely on traditional monsters or murderers, but instead, they are filled with ghosts and the grotesque, offering a unique perspective on the horrors and wonders of femininity. 

The narrative explores themes of rage, desire, and the constant struggle for agency and control over one’s own story. It’s a stunning debut that challenges societal norms, advocating for the right to live authentically, free from judgement and expectation. 

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