A Novel By Franz Kafka
A trained lawyer, German speaking Czech-Jewish novelist Franz Kafka is widely regarded as one of the major 20th century literature figures, even though most of Kafka’s writing was actually done in his spare time. He fuses elements of realism and the fantastic to explore themes of alienation, anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. Considered one of his best-known works ‘The Metamorphosis’ is one of those rare books that completely sucks you in and I for one, couldn’t put it down.
The plot follows the story of a traveling salesman named Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find he has transformed into a ‘monstrous vermin’ – an insect. Initially, Gregor sees the change as temporary, and locks himself into his room worried about losing his job, but as time passes, he begins to adapt to the change, under the eye of his family who are horrified he has turned into an insect.
This incredible book symbolises how flexible the mind can be, and how the body follows. It questions our place within our family, and the opinion that society may have about changes that occur within our lives. As the sole provider within his family, Gregor became completely useless; and therefore, his family began to treat him in accordance. Even though Gregor’s mind adapts to being transformed into an insect and he becomes used to it, sadly, his family do not.
Something particularly striking about this book is that we never know why Gregor became an insect, and possibly even more powerful, Gregor, does not question it himself. This deep analysis of being conscious of who we are, our place in society and our self-consciousness is a masterpiece. I am certain it’s a must read for anyone and everyone.
Everything I know about love
By Dolly Alderton
London born author, Sunday Times columnist and podcast host, Dolly Alderton explores themes of love, female friendship, and her experiences living as a millennial woman in her work. She has a column Dear Dolly in Style magazine, has worked as a story producer for Made in Chelsea, written and directed two independent films; The Confluence and Anna Island. Alderton co-hosted a hugely popular weekly podcast The High Low and has published two books, a memoir, Everything I Know About Love and a novel, Ghosts. She’s just a all round brilliant woman!
This book is hilarious! Everything I Know About Love is an absolute must-read have for any millennial who wants to laugh! A candid read, about Dolly’s relationship history from her university years through her twenties, she vividly recounts falling in love, tales of disaster dates, one night stands, getting dumped, getting drunk on great nights out and hideous hangovers – Dolly’s writing style is just like a conversation with a friend, and totally relatable!
Dolly, documents her life, the struggles of early adulthood, the highs and the lows, the uncertainty, the sex, the heartache, the embarrassing moments – even a series of lists, and recipes. All with the underlying notion being that you are enough. I can say with absolute certainty that you have to add it to your reading list!
Lettres à Yves
by Pierre Bergé
French born Pierre Bergé shared his life with the great fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent for fifty years. After they met in 1958, they became romantically involved and together launched Yves Saint Laurent Couture House in 1961, later splitting amicably in 1976 and remained lifelong friends and business partners.
These letters, written to Yves after his death relive their carefree early days, revealing secrets of their private conversations, their personal lives, from beautiful memories in Marrakech to the addictions Yves had for drugs and alcohol, and his depression. This homage uncovers how hectic their relationship was, yet deeply passionate.
“I remember your first collection under your name and the tears at the end. Then the years passed. Oh, how they passed quickly. The divorce was inevitable but the love never stopped.” – Pierre Bergé
This powerful little book written by Pierre Bergé to the love of his life Yves Saint Laurent is a beautiful, heartfelt farewell. A wonderful read.