Another month has passed in 2018 – didn’t February seem to fly by? I managed to read two books this month, although admittedly I was a lot more ‘successful’ on the film front, after having watched five that I’d never seen before!
Book #1: Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Had I as many souls as there be stars / I’d give them all for Mephistopheles
This was one of my assigned texts for uni, and one that I’d heard referenced on many occasions but had never experienced in its original form. Doctor Faustus follows the title’s namesake in the actions he takes after selling his soul to the devil, and the inevitable count down in years until he has to forfeit his life.
As a fan of studying Renaissance literature in particular, and especially dark tales, I was excited to read this one, and it didn’t disappoint. Doctor Faustus is incredibly ambitious in its challenging of religious expectation; pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable to be written and performed. Faustus is also a very complex character, with ambiguous motives and dilemmas all over the place, leading to a very interesting take on the concept of Hell and damnation. While I really enjoyed reading this play, and read it in one sitting due to its short length and relatively accessible language, I can only imagine how incredible it must be to see performed!
My only issue was that some parts were very confusing and made little sense: one scene featuring Helen of Troy and the Pope seemed particularly out of place. That being said, once I do some further analysis of it I’m sure the point will emerge and I will have one of those beautiful literary moments where everything just seems to come together and all you can do is shout about how much you love books and how much of a genius the author is.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Book #2: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
I had a lot of thoughts on this book that needed a much more in depth explanation than I can offer in this Reflection, so you can check out my full review here. The main points, however, were:
- Very confusing world-building
- Action after action after action after…
- Strange language choices
- Inspiring friendships
- A solid ending
Rating: 2/5 stars
Gravity (2013) – Repetitive, but visually stunning (3/5 stars)
Call Me By Your Name (2017) – Slow for the first hour, but a beautiful portrayal of romance (3/5 stars)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010) – Surprisingly very gripping, with an often hilarious experimental style (4/5 stars)
Killers (2010) – Not the genre I’d usually reach for and generally quite predictable (2/5 stars)
Black Panther (2018) – An important, original masterpiece and one of the best films produced by Marvel (5/5 stars)
All in all, I feel like I’ve read and seen a fair variety of books and films this month. It’s rare that I will read a book that I rate any lower than three stars, but you can’t always expect every month to turn up consistent five star reads! Next month, I’m home from uni for half of it and I’m hoping that with a lack of course books I’ll be able to read at least a couple of the books that have been on my TBR shelf for far too long.
First book for March: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
As always, thank you for reading and let me know what your favourite and least favourite reads of February were!