Novels in letters or should that be letters in novels?

A love of notebooks goes hand-in-hand with a love of lists – what else would you be filling all those pages with otherwise. I have several notebooks dedicated to the listing of things. So many in fact that they’re probably worth their own post. So today, I will focus on one in particular: the one especially for all the books I want to read.

I’ve actually got a few of these, including a fancy Moleskine passions one that’s got space for reviews and things. But this one is my favourite I think, mainly because I got it first and also I love the library card-style cover, complete with date stamps.

And why have I picked this notebook to talk about today? Warning, you’ll need to bear with me on this. Because it’s #WriteALetter day; because a lot of the books on my ‘to read’ list are epistolary; and because I was keen to fit in one more #natstatweek post. Tenuous? A bit, but the blogging bug has bitten me!

Creative correspondance

Epistolary novels, those written in the form of letters (though diaries and other documents also count) are my absolute favourite. I think it’s because of the intimacy you develop with the lead character, the sense that you’re privy to thoughts they’d share only with one or two other readers.

Of all the epistolary novels, the ones I know best are Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Clarissa – there, who said studying English Lit would never come in useful! These would be considered the classics of the genre, but those who like their fiction to have been published in the last 100 years or so will be pleased to know that it’s a form of writing that’s alive and kicking. Since the 90s, and not in date order, just what I’ve read and enjoyed, Bridget Jones Diary, Ella Minnow Pea, Who Moved My BlackberryThe Historian, Super Sad True Love Story, and We Need to Talk About Kevin. 

But back to my ‘to read’ list. Next up is The Guernsey Literary Peel and Potato Society. Yes, I know it came out forever ago, but I was saving it because everyone said how good it was and then I got distracted with lots of other lovely books. Now there’s a sense of urgency though because the film adaptation has just started shooting in Bristol. It will star Lily James from Downtown and is due out next year, so technically lots of time as the book is fairly thin, but while it’s front of mind, I’ll dig out the copy I bought.

Can’t wait to strike through this one on my list. Such a satisfying feeling especially as it’s been on there a while.

Happy #WriteALetterDay.


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