November 18, 2014
(I love my Kindle for how much reading I've been doing but it's just not as photogenic as books are!) One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon is lying in bed, reading, with a cup of tea - and now that uni has finished for the year, I've been doing quite a bit of this. Here's a round-up of some of the books I've read in the past few months.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. This is a super fun book! It's not hard to get through at all. The glorification of the British Empire and racism in the book is uncomfortable to read though (it was written in 1873). I may or may not have put my own around the world in 80 days trip on my bucketlist.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Oh man, it was a slog getting through this one. The subtitle is "a novel without a hero" and yes, I ended up hating all the characters in the book.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I enjoyed it! Pretty gripping. I finally saw the movie the other day and it was as good as the book, I was on the edge of my seat even though I knew most of what was going to happen.
Wild Swans by Jung Chang. A family history/autobiography set during the rise of communism in China, told through the stories of the author's grandmother, mother, and then her own. I'm trying to learn more Chinese history, because I sadly know very little of it, and I'm going about this through reading memoirs and historical novels. I found this book really gripping and interesting, but if you're reading it without the intention of trying to understand the politics of this period in China, it might be a bit heavy or dry.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Jennie had mentioned this as one of her favourite books along with Harry Potter and Rebecca, which I love, so I trusted her recommendation of The Luminaries. And oh man, it's a good book. It's very long, about 800 pages, and it actually look me about a fifth of the book to really get into it, but when I got there I was hooked. It's a Victorian era mystery set in New Zealand - in Hokitika, in fact, where we'd stayed a night on our NZ road trip this year (we'd rolled into town after dark and it was so quiet we joked that it felt like a "murder town" - how fitting). Not only was the plot really intriguing, reading this was an amazing experience in itself, I can't describe it. Usually I read for a good story, to relax before bed, or to pass time during a commute, but I was reading this to read. I'll probably buy the hard copy so I can have it on my shelf. It's one of those books I wish I could unread so I can read it again for the first time.
And right now I'm reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Anyone have any book recommendations?
Labels: books & tv/film