Two months of this new year have flown past. It's been two busy reading months, as I decided to look less on my phone, and more into my books. That's also the reason I have not been blogging.
Here my short reviews of books I read in the past two months:
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
An emotional book, about two sisters who get separated after birth. The first two chapters tell of their very different lives, and each following two chapters follows the next two of their descendants. A beautiful debut novel about the slave trade,
and black history. 4/5
Call of the Wild, by Jack London
This book, told from view of a dog called Buck, is about how men abuse and exploit him for their own convenience during the Klondike Gold Rush. A beautifully written short story that leaves a lump in your throat. 4/5
(read for the Classics Club)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë
“I imagine there must be only a very, very few men in the world, that I should like to marry; and of those few, it is ten to one I may never be acquainted with one; or if I should, it is twenty to one he may not happen to be single, or to take a fancy to me.”
“You may think it all very fine, Mr. Huntingdon, to amuse yourself with rousing my jealousy; but take care you don't rouse my hate instead. And when you have once extinguished my love, you will find it no easy matter to kindle it again.”
At times slow, but beautiful novel. Anne Bronte tells the story of Helen, wife of an alcoholic. She flees with her son, and comes to life at Wildfell Hall, under the name of Mrs. Graham, a widow. She falls in love with a local farmer, Mr. Markham, but can't give into that love, until the death of her husband. A truly heartbreaking story. Less dark than Wuthering Heights, but just as dramatic. 5/5
(read for the Classics Club)
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr
Even though not the most beautifully written book, it deals with a topic not many children's book touch: death. My boys and I were both deeply moved and saddened by the destructive power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. This book is short, and easy to read, but I would be careful to recommend this to children younger than eight or nine. Do I think this will become a children's classic? I honestly don't know, and it really depends on the fact if other books will be written on this subject. The writing isn't the best, as I already mention. There are a lot of short sentences, which gives it the feel or a book for lower elementary, but the subject matter is definitely upper elementary. 4/5
(Read for the Modern Classics Club Challenge)
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
“A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself.”
This was my last full length novel by Austen that I had not read yet, and it did not disappoint. Ten years ago, when I fell in love with Austen's writing, I would not have loved this as much as I do now. No. We get to know the main characters well, the lovely ones, and the not so loved ones (Mrs. Norris!). I love how Austen shows the shallowness of some of her characters, and I enjoy getting all worked up about the less likeable ones. I'm not going to tell you about the plot, as there isn't all that much to tell without giving away spoilers. It's just a wonderful, feel good story. 5/5
(read for the Classics Club)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Yes, you live with your feet in the mud and there's no time to be thinking about how you got in or how you're going to get out.”
This book describes one ordinary day in a Russian labour camp: the cold, the sameness, the cold, the dreariness, the cold, the hunger, and mostly, the cold. This short read is well worth the time, and it will definitely make us appreciate our own comfortable life a bit more. It wasn't by far as graphic as I assumed it would be. 4/5
(read for the Back to the Classics Challenge and the Classics Club)
The Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”
This was my first Agatha Christie novel (and a reread), and I enjoyed it a lot. I read this together with my oldest son, and we both loved the surprise ending. This will definitely not be my last Hercule Poirot book, as he's one interesting fellow. 5/5
(read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge)
Other books I read:
The Back to the Classics Challenge for 2018 has been posted at Karen's blog. It's one of those posts I impatiently wait for from mid-November onward. My challenge for this year, is not the reading part of the challenge, but the review part. I think I've participated two years now, and only managed one review. Oops!
Here are 2018's categories, and the books I chose:
A 19th century classic.
Middlemarch. This has been on my tbr for years. Some love it, some hate it, it's long... guess why I haven't read it yet?
2. A 20th century classic.
Catch-22. My husband is reading it, so I must as well. I actually bought this book, because my husband uses the phrase 'that's a catch-22' a lot, but has never read the book.
3. A classic by a woman author.
Gone With the Wind. This was my Mum's favourite. What I shame I haven't read it sooner.
4. A classic in translation.
The Master and Margarita. A book I know absolutely nothing about.
5. A children’s classic.
Rilla of Ingleside. I've slowly worked my way through the Gables series, and I will review the last one.
6. A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction.
A Study in Scarlet. For sure, you will not believe, that I have never, ever, read or watched a Holmes book, movie, or series. NEVER!
7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction.
The Time-Machine. My boys bought me this book. I guess that means one has to read it.
8. A classic with a single-word title.
We. Ever since I heard of this book it intrigued me. Russian and dystopian. win-win?
9. A classic with a colour in the title.
A Clockwork Orange. Honestly. I read the first page, and shelved it. But, it's short. No excuse, right? If, it's going to be a disaster, I may swap this one for Woman in White.
10. A classic by an author that’s new to you.
Therese Raquin. Kate Winslet mentioned it as her favourite. Not that I'm a huge fan of her, but the book grabbed my attention since.
11. A classic that scares you.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I'm attempting to read this with the group of ladies on the Ambleside forums.
12. Re-read a favourite classic.
Jane Eyre. Two years ago I read this, and have been wanting to reread since.
post contains affiliate links
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
Spreading the Feast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com