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:
In December I joined the Classics Club, which is an online club/challenge to read a certain amount of classics within five years. You can find my list of 100 books here.
Every once in a while The Classic Club host a spin, which is a simply a little game to pick your next read from the list of classics. I have to create a list of twenty unread books, from my Classics Club list, and on the 9th of March they'll announce what number was picked. The book that corresponds to the number on my list is the book, is the one I will have to finish before the end of April.
Here my list:
The number picked is 3. I love Daphne Du Maurier's books, so this won't be a problem at all.
It's been more than a year since I quit blogging, and I'm so glad to be back again. Instagram, my favourite social is great for quick posts, short posts, but when you want to post a list, or a schedule, or thoughts on a book, its not the place. I know that I won't be the most regular poster, and I also don't need too many commitments in my busy life, but reading books is something I do daily, so posting every once in a while about the books my kids and I are reading, shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Lately I've seen quite a few people posting about the Classics Club challenge. The goal is to read 50, 100, 200, or more, classics within the next five years, and to post a review of each finished book on your own blog. Of course I must join!
I have chosen to commit to 100 classics, to be read within the next five years. That looks like a lot, but 20 books per year, sounds a whole lot easier to do.
Here the books I've chosen for this challenge, in no particular order:
I know for a fact that when I have a plan in place, I read more purposefully and it encourages me to keep going. Most of these books that my boys will read in the coming years, so its good for me to preread them, and to be able to discuss these with them. My start date is 1 January 2018, and the date I have to be finished with this list is 1 January 2023.
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“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.”
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