Reading, escapism and distractions

A Level Results Day is tomorrow, and for the first time in two years it’s not me that’s receiving them. This time last year I was lying on the floor in my bedroom using all my willpower to avoid looking at grade boundaries and frantically trying to distract myself.

This year, Wordery have launched a new campaign called Around the World in 80 Books, and there’s nothing like a book to distract you from real life. Looking at it, I’ve realised I’ve only read a pitiful amount of books on here, so I’m going to talk about some of the ones I have read, and the ones that I am definitely adding to my wishlist.

Let’s visit Denmark, the home of Lego and my favourite Shakespeare play, Hamlet. Not only has it influenced my favourite Disney film The Lion King, but Hamlet is such an interesting and complex character that it’s earned the prize of being the only written work that I truly enjoyed when studying works for my English Literature A Level.

Travelling not too far across, in the pretty land known as the Netherlands, we find the setting for John Green’s most well known novel, The Fault in our Stars. It deals with the very delicate topic of cancer, but I feel like it’s important to address these things in novels in a way that doesn’t only show the illness itself. Hazel is a likeable, funny, intelligent person and it goes to show that your illnesses and problems don’t have to define you. A good book to read if you missed the bandwagon when the film came out a couple of years ago. John Green’s other books are cool too.

Lastly, I’m going to head to the homeland of some of my family: Germany. This country is the backdrop to The Book Thief. What’s interesting about this book is that it’s told from the perspective of Death, and the personalisation of death itself makes it feel more surreal, witty and intriguing. If you’re a fan of history, people growing up and complex relationships, then you’ve come to the right place.

There are also many books on this list I want to read. Coincidentally 100 Years of Solitude (Colombia) is on my booklist for one of my modules in University next year, and Evita (Argentina) interests me as I saw the musical many years ago so it would be interesting to go back to the roots of the story. What I love about this list is that it gives people the opportunity to experience stories from all over the world, and not just British and American books.

Long story short, if your summer reading isn’t going to plan, here’s a thing that might kickstart a reading binge. You’re welcome.

PS: Shoutout to Wordery for including a Welsh book in their list. I’m a patriotic soul.

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