Better late than never, here’s my wrap-up for march. I read six books, which is not a lot but it’s not a bad number for me, considering I spent most of my time behind the laptop writing a paper. Here’s the list:
The Ladies’ Paradise (Emile Zola)
The Way Things Are (E. M. Delafield)
Travels with my Aunt (Graham Greene)
Cathedrals of Consumption (Jaumain, Serge and Geoffrey Crossick, eds.)
The Odd Women (George Gissing)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (Kate Summerscale)
Cathedrals of Consumption is a non-fiction work I used for my paper, if you’re at all interested in the department store phenomenon of the 19th century give this one a try. Not only is it a fascinating subject (I could start gushing now, but I’ll save that for my review of Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise), but this collection gives a great overview of the department store in Europe and also situates it in context by including an article about the retail development from the 18th century and an outlook on the concept of the mall of the 20th century.
The Way Things Are was certainly an interesting insight into the life of a housewife during the late 20s. I know there’s tongue-in-cheek humour, but really, I couldn’t appreciate this much as I was too depressed by Laura’s life. Travels with my Aunt was pretty great, though I kept re-checking the author’s name as it made such a change from Greene’s other works! And I did manage to read through The Odd Women which really wasn’t long at all despite the size of my edition, and I now feel like I have to read everything else by Gissing! (I can hear my tbr list groaning, poor thing)
And finally a typical read for me, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. And yes, I loved it! Apart from being an amazing mystery, Summerscale also made it a fascinating account of the dramatic changes that took place during the 19th century, from the industrial revolution to the establishing of a detective department.
What did you read in March? Anything that really needs to go on my tbr?