The Musings of a Boho Girl

bōˈhēmēən (noun) 1. a free spirit ; 2. a writer; 3. an explorer of the Avant-Garde.

Tag: Ali Smith

Fall Reading

Happy fall, lovely readers! This is my first post in awhile. I hope everyone enjoyed the summer and is looking forward to a blissful autumn. Over the last few weeks I’ve been editing my fall reading list, there are so many fantastic books being released that it was difficult to narrow my list down to just six books. I’m including two political books, which is rare for me but these writers produce compelling articles.

 

51vHGuldlNL.SX316

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates releases on 10/03/2017. Coates examines the Obama era and the president’s historic candidacy. He has written insightful essays for The Atlantic and was recently awarded the MacArthur Fellowship. Coates has always written nuanced essays and I’m looking forward to reading this book. You can pre-order We Were Eight Years in Power here at Waterstones  or at Barnes & Noble.

Ali Smith is an international treasure. Usually people are national treasures, but Ali Smith’s star shines brighter than the United Kingdom. She has readers across the pond that adore her. Winter: A Novel releases on November 2, 2017. It is the second novel in her quartet. The synopsis is intriguing, check it out here. The first novel, Autumn, was longlisted for the Man Booker. Do read it if you haven’t already. You can pre-order Winter here or here.

The third book on my list doesn’t have a release date in the US, but it’ll be available in the UK on October 2, 2017. The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is a beautiful picture book suited for children and adults. Jackie Morris is a talented artist, whose illustrations are the perfect match for Macfarlane’s nature words. If you’ve read Landmarks, then you know how mesmerizing Macfarlane’s books can be. You can find it here at Waterstones.

The Future is History by Masha Gessen. This book is an examination of Russia as a failed democracy and Vladimir Putin’s rise to power created an autocracy. Gessen follows four Russians. The book sounds like a cautionary tale as Gessen offers readers a grim reality of what happens when democracy ends. The Future is History releases on October 3, 2017 and can be ordered here.

David Hallberg is immensely talented and one of the most beautiful dancers I’ve ever seen. I was thrilled to learn he wrote a memoir. Hallberg is known for being the first American dancer to join the Bolshoi Ballet, but a long time ago I went to the ballet one evening and watched him perform. He’s special. This memoir includes how he recovered from a serious injury, one that sidelined his career for more than a year. A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back releases on November 7, 2017. You can pre-order it here.

I’ve become obsessed with Queen Victoria and her little dog, Dash.  Jenna Coleman is superb in this PBS period drama. So while I wait for the second season, I’m reading Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria: A Novel and forming a strong love for Lord Melbourne. Not sure he was the Byronic hero that Rufus Sewell’s portraying, I saw his portrait in the National Portrait Gallery and was immediately fascinated by his tragic marriage. You can find Goodwin’s novel here.

What’s everyone planning to read this fall?

 

Summer Reading List

IMG_1084

Happy Summer, lovely readers! Hopefully you’re all enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, I wanted to share my summer reading list. Some of these books are quite long so I’m not sure I’ll make it through the entire list. There are a few suggestions in case you’ve read the books on my list. Also check out the summer issue of the Paris Review, which features an interview with one of my favorite writers, Ali Smith.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Autumn by Ali Smith

img_0843

“Imagine if time could be kind of suspended, rather than us be suspended in it.”
Ali Smith

Read the rest of this entry »

Fall Must Reads

I love autumn: the Starbucks fall themed drinks, the vibrant leaves, and the new books. The best books tend to come out in the fall. This year the literary gods have blessed us and we’ll see books from Jonathan Safran Foer, Ali Smith, and Zadie Smith. I’ve been excited about these releases for months now. I’m not alone, friends from Israel to France to Rhode Island have pre-ordered Foer’s novel. So here are my Fall Must Reads:

Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Reading List

Embed from Getty Images

Happy New Year, lovely readers! 2016 is going to be a year of brilliant new books so I’ve put together a reading list that I plan on following this year. My New Year’s Resolution is to read more Javier Marías. We were standing in Plaza Mayor when my friend said Marías lives there. Embarrassed, I finally admitted to him that I didn’t know who Marías was. That was almost ten years ago, since then I’ve seen his work reviewed in the Los Angles Times. Most recently his book, The Infatuations was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award. I haven’t read The Infatuations but I have read A Heart so White, a haunting novel about the past.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ali Smith Discussion: Public Library and other stories

IMG_0486

Her book is everywhere including The NT Bookshop

I wasn’t planning on writing a post this early. In fact I’m still overjoyed that I met Ali Smith. She’s brilliant and really lovely too. I almost didn’t make it to the event. At 17:00 I was stuck in a cab on Jamaica Road telling my driver that I rearranged my entire trip just to come to this event. He becomes quite determined and begins backing up and turns left then the driver takes an alternate route that leads us off Jamaica Road. I’m not familiar with South East London, but we traveled down a number of different streets just to go around the traffic jam.

When we finally reach the venue, my fare is £59 and he tells me to just forget it, to go inside and get my book signed. He’s the kindest cab driver in the world. So I went in late, but it was a fantastic evening. I would do it all over again even if there were only ten minutes of discussion, although it was much longer. Smith discussed her new collection of stories and who influenced them. There were readings from her book. If you’re local, try to get to King’s College London: Inventing the modern novel on November 9, 2015 (18:30-20:00). Ali Smith is thoughtful and engaging with her audience. I’d love to be able to hear how modernist literature has influenced her work, such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. She’s truly remarkable. I can’t wait to start reading Public Library and other stories.

Five Quotes from Ali Smith’s Hotel World

Embed from Getty Images

‘Remember you must live.
Remember you most love.
Remainder you mist leaf.’

I ended up attending a book club again. Maybe it was the cake or the opportunity to discuss Ali Smith’s Hotel World that led me to the basement of an independent bookshop, but there I was holding my copy of Hotel World and eyeing a Whole Foods cake. This novel is one of my favourites, Hotel World is brilliant: five sections about five women, one of whom is dead, and it’s set at the same global hotel branch. Smith skillfully traces the characters’ paths and where they intersect. The final section is a stream-of-consciousness from Clare (Sara Wilby’s younger sister) which is reminiscent of Woolf or Joyce. Here are five quotes from Hotel World:

‘Else wonders where her head would go, if she could take it off and hold it in her hands and then fling it up and set it flying, leaving her chest and her stomach and her legs and her waving-goodbye arms, her head soaring by itself up past the huddles of freezing starlings. The sky would open. The roof of it would come off. She would be so careful up there. She would avoid aeroplanes.’ 67
‘It is much easier to picture her from the photographs in the papers and TV than to try to remember. The photographs in the papers and on TV seem to have wiped Lise’s memory of the real Sara Wilby even cleaner.’ 110

‘Time is notoriously deceptive. Everybody knows this (though it is one of the easier things to forget).’ 103

‘At the bottom of the shaft, colourless in the dark, there was a shoe and a crumpled uniform, both still warm, both going cold. There were three or four coins, maybe more. There was a broken clock. Its plastic shell was shattered and its face was in bits.’ 154

‘& since I will always know off by heart I will not forget the sound of you breathing in the dark & since there was the night when I was eleven when they played the old song about the long and winding road on the radio & for some reason I don’t know why it made me frightened that the earth was full of dead people even the earth round the flowers outside in the garden though I didn’t say anything I was in bed you were in the other bed you said what’s wrong are you scared you knew I was without me having to say anything’ 219

You can find Hotel World here.