About

Here, where the world is quiet;
         Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
         In doubtful dreams of dreams

So that’s a pretty obscure quote to open the “About” page of a blog with! The inspiration for creating this blog, its URL and the above quote all come from the same poem, entitled “The Garden of Proserpine” by Algernon Charles Swinburne, and it neatly sums up a lot of what I love about books and how I approach writing for this blog (also the poem happens to be a favourite of mine, and well worth a read). For me, this blog is a quiet corner of the internet where I can spill my thoughts on books, and hopefully you can get something out of the resultant ramblings.

I’m 20, I live in the UK and I will be starting my English degree at Oxford University in the autumn, so a lot of my reading choices are influenced by potential reading lists for next year. I’m trying to explore and develop my critical thinking about literature in preparation for next year, while also keeping my writing style both accessible and fun. Writing about all of these books will hopefully help them stick in my brain so I’ll be in the best position possible to make the most of my degree course come October!

As you can see, this blog has been made and maintained for pretty personal reasons, but ultimately I love sharing this stuff. Any feedback on my writing is hugely appreciated, and I’m always open to book recommendations. I started out on here writing about some pretty weighty novels in the canon of English literature, and though that’s pretty important for me right now, I like to keep an eye on the variation of literature I read in terms of genre, period, authors and wider popularity.

All of my blog posts are book reviews (I don’t really find “book hauls” or anything similar all that interesting), and where I’ve reviewed a few books of a particular genre or author, I’ve helpfully included some submenus above.

Hope you like it, and thanks for visiting my blog!
Jonnie x

6 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the books you’ve read. I just started this blog a month ago, for personal reasons similar to you, and I didn’t really intend to get so far. I also like in the UK (London) and had been planning on studying English lit (I’m 19, so just finished my A Levels), at Oxford. I applied to study at Merton college, and was accepted- it was all great! But then I decided that my dream has actually always been to write. It was very spontaneous, and I do regret going through that rigorous application process only to decide I didn’t want to go after all, but that was also an experience for me too. How have you found your time at Oxford?

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    • I didn’t expect to love keeping a blog so much either, it’s such a lovely pet project to have on a gap year ^_^ So you’ve decided against going to Oxford? Merton’s a lovely college – as I’ll be going to Mansfield, we get to share their sports grounds! I loved my interviews and I’m really excited (though quite nervous) to start in the autumn.

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      • Are you also on a gap year? 😀 I haven’t decided against it, but I think for now, I’m content with my decision. I can always apply again- I have not ruled it out. Were you sent a reading list? I do remember the incredibly long reading list for the first year, which sort of terrified me but also was quite thrilling to go through. Do expect a lot of work! (I don’t suppose this calms the nerves) I have a friend at Merton who has told me about the frightening workload- but at the same time, it is also very gratifying, and I’m sure you’ll love your time there! I really liked my interviews at Merton, and everyone was so nice. Good luck!

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      • Yes, working two jobs and then reading and watching masses of books and TV 🙂 I currently do not have a reading list, though you may be able to tell from my book choices that I’m attempting to predict what will appear – so I will likely get around to reading The Handmaid’s Tale as you so wonderfully advised! I think the workload is the scariest prospect for me, but I can’t wait to finally be studying just one subject that I love and can completely immerse myself in.

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      • 2 jobs? That’s really impressive! How do you have time to keep updating the blog? Your reading list is very accurate – I have to admit. Spot on. Were you told which period you’d be studying for first year? Your enthusiasm will get you through the workload, I imagine 😀 as long as you enjoy it, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s also amazing to be around students who love reading just as much as you.

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  2. If you’re studying Literature at university I highly (HIGHLY) recommend The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (and the rest of the Norton collection especially the Victorian Age, The Restoration and Eighteenth Century and reading around modernist lit.) Having a general idea of Freud, Jung, Darwin, Nietzsche, Hume, Woolf, bit of Greek mythology and Jean-Jacques Rousseau will also help you get to grips with the degree. Give me a shout if you’d like any more info and all the best! It’s a fantastic degree 😀

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