Hi bookies! Long time no see. Guess who is back! (It’s me, duh.)
So as a celebration for the comeback of the worst blogger ever, let’s start with a few books I liked, in no particular order.
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn: Thinking about this book makes me so giddy. It was published in the beginning of this month, but I am thinking about rereading it. It’s set slightly in the future and time travel machines are invented. The main character Rachel is sent along with actor and historian Liam to go and steal the last Jane Austen manuscript before it’s destroyed. In order to do that they have to befriend Jane Austen and infiltrate the everyday lives of the gentry. But Rachel can’t accept the suffering of everyday 19th life and soon she starts making small changes. But Rachel is a doctor and she can’t help wondering if Jane Austen’s mysterious illness could be cured? And how will these changes affect the future?
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: Sometimes a book talks about the experience of reading in such a familiar way that I can’t help calling it a book lovers’ book. I know, that doesn’t explain much about the plot or the genre, but that’s the first thing I need to say about The Thirteenth Tale. If you love books (and since you are reading my ramblings I guess you do), this is the book for you. It’s gothic fiction about a biographer and the reclusive novelist who promises to tell her the truth behind her mysterious past. It gave me a bit of a Wuthering Heights for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the isolated big house and a family’s strange past. One more tip: read this book on a cold day, maybe with a cup of tea next to you. It’s not a summery book at all, so it’d be much nicer to save this one for a rainy day.
Nelly Dean by Alison Case: Speaking of Wuthering Heights this is the retelling from the perspective of Nelly. Actually the original book is also told from her perspective, but this time she tells her own story. Turns out Nelly kept many secrets from Mr. Lockwood when she told him the story of Heathcliff and the Earnshaws. This book gets the tone right and the new story fits well with the original one too. You can imagine these things happening in the background of the main events. If Emily Bronte wrote a sequel, it would be pretty similar to this.
So that’s it for now. I read many more books, but these were three favorites in the past 6 months. I may write about the books that I disliked the most during this time period too, but we’ll see. But now I have to study.
Haha I know, it’s funny to call this Quick Reviews, when all of my reviews are quick and quite short. But that’s because the primary purpose of this blog is to keep a track of the books I read. It’s very personal, so I try not to strain myself and write beautiful reviews. I just write whatever I thought about a book. I sometimes have only a few sentences to say. And this is the case today. I read these books in the last few days, but I never had the time to write proper reviews.
- Ghost World by Daniel Clowes – I have to start with this graphic novel (the third one I’ve read). I absolutely loved it. Loved loved loved it. It made me feel so many things. I was feeling very depressed after I read it, because it felt like something I’d experienced. It’s a story about two cynical and confused teenage girls and the people in their town who are all weirdos and really hilarious. It felt like graphic novel version of Daria, only darker.
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – If Downton Abbey’s Mr. Carson had a book centered around him, this would be it. It’s about a stereotypical butler, one who is very proper and fiercely loyal. He reflects on the past, his former master who was a gentleman, but also a fascist. He is conflicted about his emotions, because even though he disapproves of his employer’s actions, after his death he still feels loyalty to him, and yet he is ashamed about working for him. He also has some regrets about a relationship that could have happened with the housekeeper, but never did, because of his principles and personality. I felt sorry for the guy. It was a beautifully written book and one that keeps your attention through every page.
- This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – I am the kind of person who doesn’t read the newspaper, unless I see that something creepy or violent happened. I don’t have morbid fascination with death, but I have a natural curiosity, which makes me want to know what goes through the mind of people who cause those tragedies. So when I heard that one of the first 2016 young adult books is about a school shooting, of course I had to read it. The good things about it were the diversity of the characters and the way the book was written, through POV of multiple characters, plus through tweets, comments, blog posts.. But it could have been much better. The characters sometimes seemed too simple and similar to each other (but not always). Even though the subject is very shocking, I didn’t really feel emotional after the book. That’s why I gave it only three stars.
- The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick- I read this one today. It’s a book about young girls, all very different from each other, who are forced to participate in a book club where they read Little Women with their mothers. Even though it’s a book for children it was fun and sweet and I liked it, but it’s not my favorite. I actually love reading children’s books so I’ve read some that were better. My favorite characters were actually their mothers, who were all hilarious.
Well that was it. I may be gone again for a while, because I am reading two big books and it will take me a while to read them. But I may try to squeeze in a shorter book if I can.