Reading Wrap Up | March 2019

Reading Wrap Up | March 2019

I am finally showing you the books I read in March. March was a decent reading month for me. I finished 4 books in total, but because I got stock in a massive fantasy novel (that was nearly 1000 pages) I didn’t read as much as I feel I could have. I probably could have read 1 or 2 more books if I hadn’t been so busy at work. Still, four books is my usual number of books I read, so I am really not too fussed about the number. Here are the four books I read in March 2019.

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Book Review | February 2019

Book Review | February 2019

book review february 2019 reading wrap up

In the month of February I definitely read a few more books again and therefore we have another video today in which I tell you all about those. I read a total of 4 books in the month of February. That’s all the books I managed to finish, but I also started listening to Audio Books. That is a new thing for me and I haven’t finished any yet, but I thought I’d mention it, because I have been very much enjoying listening to some books as well. For now though, let’s get to the books I did manage to finish last month.

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Classic books worth a read

Classic books worth a read

Having majored in English lit for 6 years at uni ensured a decent amount of a classics have been read and accumulated over the years. For a long time, I even favored reading classics over easier reads as that’s what I had most experience with and I wasn’t quite sure what else to read. Today I’m sharing 7 of my favorites that are definitely worth a read if you haven’t gotten round to them yet.

classics worth a read books review

J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre
Bram Stoker – Dracula
Edgar Allen Poe – The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings
Willa Cather – Song of the Lark
Arthur Conan Doyle – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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Book Review (December 2016)

Book Review (December 2016)

I know, I know: 2017 is already well under way, but I have one last post for you to wrap up 2016. I hadn’t gotten round to reviewing the book I read in the last month of the year just yet. I read a total of 6 books. One of them being the worst reads of the year and one quite possibly having been the best. So it was a month with ups and downs. It was the month in which I finished my Goodreads reading challenge and I managed to tag on 2 other books at the end, making a grant total of 52 books read in 2016. For 2017 I hope to do the same, so feel free to join me over on Goodreads.

Book Review (December 2016)

Nick Hornby – About a Boy
Janet Hannah – The Wish to Kill
John Niven – The Second Coming
Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
V.E. Schwab – Vicious
Sam & Nic Chapman – Face

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Combined book review #6

Combined book review #6

I’ve been doing some reading again and thought it about time to review those books again. I read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, a detective novel, a modern classic and a book that wasn’t worth my time. Curious to see what I read and what I thought of these books? Then stay tuned as I give a short summary of each book and then give my opinion on them. Enjoy your Sunday!

The list. I am playing a bit of catch up here. I read most of these books at the end of 2014, but due to falling ill with a nasty flu and a busy time at work, reading wasn’t at the top of my priority list. I picked up again with Gone Girl and One Flew… I am currently trying to decide what book to read next. So please leave a comment down below if you have any suggestions.

Veronica Roth – Divergent

Tris grows up in the Abnegation faction. At the age of 16 her test is inconclusive, which means she’s Divergent. She makes the choice to join Dauntless instead: leaving her parents and life as she knows it behind. She starts training to be Dauntless, falls in love with her trainer Four, and in the mean time she figures out what it truly means to be Divergent.

This first book holds an interesting concept, though I constantly felt it had been done before. I can only deal with so much ‘dystopian, but supposedly utopian’ young adult books. It is too obvious who Four is right from the start and the different factions sound interesting but are in no way worked out enough to be believable. However, it taps into ideas of ‘who are you’ and ‘who do you want to be’. Is that a choice you make or are you born that way? And what if your personality is so different that you could break the system? The story is entertaining and easy to read though and it sucked me right in.

Veronica Roth – Insurgent

With Tris’ world having fallen apart in book 1, she travels to Amity only to be betrayed again. And again, and again, and again. Even by people close to her. Only to be rewarded with complete and utter confusion about her ancestors and what is behind the fence.

The second book started off at a lull in the beginning, but became as entertaining and addictive as the first one. In this one Tris keeps on playing with her life. Her relationship with Four becomes more complicated. This book focuses on following your heart, forgiveness and similar themes to the first book. Too many sudden plot changes make this book a tad unbelievable though: people supposedly dead suddenly aren’t dead or are in fact on another side they said they were on. But again a very enjoyable read that is a quick and easy no brainer.

Veronica Roth – Allegiant

In which Tris goes outside the fence and finds out that no matter where you go, the world is a mess. She finds out the truth about her mother, is sucked into leading another rebellion and the love of her life, Four, loses his sense of self which could cost him or Tris (or both?) their lives.

The third book in the series is a complete changeover from the first two. Where I enjoyed 1 & 2, book three, just doesn’t cut it for me. First there is the Matrix type double dystopian world theme. Was that really necessary? And the double pov is confusing at best. Secondly, there’s the fact that suddenly Four is no more than a little boy in a young adult’s body? Most of the storyline is predictable as there are little hints that are given in books 1 & 2 as to what might be the deal in book 3. Yet again, this book contains a few plot changes that are too bizarre to do the story any good. I do think that the ending is quite interesting. The main problem with this book: if people knew what is outside the fence, then why isn’t anyone inside the fence taught about it?

The series as a whole left me confused in the end. Divergent & Insurgent are quick and fun, entertaining reads. The story world is meagerly worked out and only a few characters are thoroughly thought through and backed up. However, these shortages are used in the story lines to create unexpected plot twists that keep you coming back for more. Allegiant needs to rethink what it wants to be and make up its mind. It is a boring and slow read with small dispersed pockets of actions with a terribly predictable ending and characters that you have grown to love, suddenly give you a change of heart.

Robert Galbraith – The Silkworm

The second novel by JK Rowling under her new penname. This time detective Cormoran Strike investigates the suspicious disappearance of an author past his heyday. Of course, he isn’t just missing as his wife suspects, but is lying dead in an abandoned house. And the most mysterious thing is that his death looks just like the ending of his latest, still unpublished novel. Will Strike be smarter than the Met again? And how can Robin play a role in all this?

Just like the first one, this books takes a while to get going. But, just like the first one, you want to keep on reading to find out whodunnit. The clever thing about this book (and its predecessor) is that once you finish it, you want to read it again, to see if you can pick up on more clues. It’s a thrilling tale that for the first half focuses more on Strike and his life, the case gets woven into it more and more the further Strike finds out clues. Robin, his secretary, and wannabe detective, plays a bigger role in this book than in the first one. All in all, an enjoyable read. I can’t wait for the next Galbraith.

Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl

Nick & Amy are happily married. On their 5th wedding anniversary Amy disappears and all the clues point in Nick’s direction. But something strange is happening: the annual treasure hunt Amy has set up for Nick to find his present may or may not have a hidden layer to it. And what about the diary that Amy did or did not keep? So many questions…

I picked this up because I heard a lot of buzz about it. This is one of those books I desperately want to like: the story is original and well thought through. But there are a few major problems with it. One, it takes more than half the book to get to the point. Two, the whodunnit aspect of it that is upplayed heavily in the first half of the book, is too transparent. Three, the ending is unsatisfying and strange. I mean, how does anyone possibly go from ‘I want to kill you’ to ‘I will play nice’ within the course of a year? And the language is sometimes… just… no…

Ken Kesey – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Chief has been in a ward for the mentally ill at an Oregan hospital for 20 years. The ward is run by Nurse Ratched. She runs it with an iron fist. All the men fear her and the repercussions she has in store of them when they act up. Enter McMurphy: troublemaker, loudmouthed and everything the Big Nurse despises. McMurphy makes it his purpose to try and undermine the nurse at all cost. In the end it is McMurphy’s prowess that puts some life back into the men, but will he succeed to twart the Big Nurse once and for all?

This seemingly simple cat & mouse game is anything but. McMurphy is clever but manages a few times to hit the wrong nerve with the Nurse putting him back at square one. Nevertheless, this book takes you on a journey to explore what it means and takes to be insane. Told from the Chief who forgot about his own strength through years of admission in the hospital, makes for an interesting twist. At certain points I even wondered whether McMurphy was even real or just a figment of his imagination fighting The Combine and status quo The Chief fears so much. I thoroughly enjoyed it, be it sometimes longwinded, but the long conversing writing style surely served its purpose in the scope of the narrative.

What have you read recently?

What I’m currently reading

What I’m currently reading

As you all know, I don’t have much time to read, which is why I love books that I can read in small installments. Hence, why I’m sharing this book with you.

This is QI’s The second book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson. Subtitled: Everything you think you know is still wrong. It’s an incredibly funny book as well as easy to read. It ties in with BBC quiz show QI and this book reads like the show. The quiz is all about facts, many of them you think you know, but in fact depending on how you interpret the information, you are 99% of the time absolutely wrong.

Some examples:

– At what point does water freeze? Apparently it isn’t just 0 degrees Celsius.

– Where does a snake’s tail begin? Not right after its head.

– What country is the river Nile in? (Hint: it’s not Egypt)

And so on and so forth.

All the topics are interlaced and flow together in a very natural way, so you go from science, to animal kingdom, to writing, to history etc. Which actually makes sense and gives you the feel of some sort of story line. All the questions are answered in about a page and a half each, so it’s a quick read too.

What makes the book funny are two things. One, the authors have inserted quotes from the TV series wherever they can, so if you’re a QI fan you will most definitely get the references. Even if you’re not a QI fanatic you will be able to appreciate the book as well and find it funny. The book links snippets of seemingly unrelated info together. For instance, when talking about Caesar’s famous line Veni, Vidi, Vici they also start talking about a bird’s species of the same name. One part that had me seriously cracking up was the question: What language is the Spanish national anthem sung in? First of all the answer is that it isn’t as the Spanish national anthem has no words. They then talk about other national anthems, including the Dutch one of which the book says:

The Dutch seem to have no problem singing about being loyal subjects of Spain, despite not having been so for more than 350 years. Maybe the Spanish should sing the Dutch anthem instead?

The book is filled with snippets like these. So if you’re looking for an interesting read, that is lighthearted and fun too, then this book is for you. I still have about a third to go before I finish it, but I already know I will enjoy the rest of it.

Q: What have you been reading?