2015 Reading Challenge – Reviews Pt 2

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I mentioned it on Sunday that I was working on book reviews and well here they are, a little later in the day than usual because words escape me sometimes and I ramble a lot. This is your warning, but please enjoy my thoughts on the last five books I read (10 books down, 30 to go…and 7 and a bit months left of the year). Part One of these is here and more info on the challenge I am undertaking is here.


1) Post Office – Charles Bukowski – 3/5 stars

You know I finished this book over a month and I still can’t tell you if I even liked it all that much. I think I liked the style it was written in, maybe. I mean it mirrored the way in which Henry lived his life in many ways (although I could maybe have done without the section that was purely letters towards the end, that seemed to drag a bit, although that may have also been because I was in this sun and coffee (sorry) induced haze and I had just gotten into a stride with reading and then it got disrupted by letters.

I can tell you I strongly disliked Henry, but also was held by the book by a probably morbid curiosity to find out what the hell was gonna happen to him. I can also tell you that this won’t be the only Bukowski book I read and that on the whole it wasn’t that I didn’t like this book, or even that I liked it (it almost seems like indifference at this point…not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I have no idea why this book has made me so damn indecisive, it’s uncharacteristic of me usually) but it did stretch muscles in my brain that I haven’t fully used since my degree ended (almost exactly a year ago and holy shit how did that happen so fast???) and that was making me think critically and it gave me an itching to mark that book up with a pencil and analyse the hell out of it. (I could do that here but I could go on and on and on and I am already doing that enough.)

2) All I Know Now – Carrie Hope Fletcher – 3.5/5 stars

So I read this in a weekend when it arrived because nothing else was really holding my attention and I was feeling a bit restless. I am just a bit younger than Carrie (but if we were at the same school we would have been in the same year) so a lot of things that she talked about I had kind of already learned through life and growing up. However I will say that it served as a great reminder for some things at a time when I really need them to try and help propel myself forward where everything seems to be spiraling slightly. It also helped provide a fresh perspective on some things that can become a bit muddled in my head on a day to day basis.

Bonus, I learnt that maybe I am not the only person who enjoys using the shift key paired with both the 9 and 0 ones (they are the bracket keys on my keyboard, because I have also learnt over time that not all keyboards are created equal). Bonus, bonus, Carrie’s illustrations in this book are beautiful, my personal favourite is the interval one which is here;

3) The Night Circus – Erin Morgentstern – 5/5 stars

I honestly don’t even know where to start with this book. I am in love. Completely and utterly in love. (Is that a sufficient enough review here…)

Okay,but really this book is beautiful. From the very first page I had a feeling that I was in for something great. Heck just looking at how beautiful the cover was suggested greatness (even though I know you shouldn’t judge). The world of the circus is something that is almost jealousy inspiring, why doesn’t it exist? Seriously why. The monochrome aesthetic of it all and the flashes of red and the wide array of talent on display in the circus that Morgenstern mentions and the detail, oh gosh the detail. I got lost in it all at times, and the brief sections where you yourself were transported there were maybe my favourite, if I can even say such a thing about this book.

I haven’t even actually talked about the story of it all which was compelling to read and took turns that I never would have expected and the ending. I have been jaded by many an ending in my time as both a reader and also in film and television (yes I am mentioning this again), but this one was so beautiful and conclusive (which I knows sounds ridiculous, but I watched the Lost finale…).

This is one of those books I will tell everyone and their dog to read. Do it, you won’t regret. Or at least I don’t think you will. Once the world of The Night Circus sweeps you up it’s hard to let it go. Definitely one of my favourite books ever. Ever.

4) Choke – Chuck Palahniuk – 4/5 stars

You know what I learned about myself throughout uni, metafiction fascinates me. Anything that breaks the fourth wall I am mildly obsessed with. I wasn’t joking when I said I might like this one purely from reading that first line. And I did. I mean I also thought it was a tad ridiculous and Victor Mancini is a dickhead, but hey he never actually claims to be anything else, in fact it is stressed a lot throughout that he has some kind of complex and you can’t really forget it. I sped through this book because I found myself really enjoying Palahniuk’s style.

Obviously it has it’s faults and limitations and give me the space and I could write whole essays (yes, plural) on it, but honestly, I would recommend it.

5) Attachments – Rainbow Rowell 4.5/5 stars

I love Rainbow Rowell. This is the third of her books I have read (one to go) and I loved it also. Fangirl is up there in my Top 10 favourite books and although I try not to go into things with expectations I kind of had some for this book. I had heard nothing but good things about this book. And I was not disappointed (once you get past the slightly creepy nature of Lincoln’s job). First of all, I completely forgot that there was near widespread panic about the turn of the century so reading about them having a minor freak out about what the new millennium would bring in 2015 was a little bit very much hilarious.

What I loved the most about this book was the email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer (can I just say that sometimes it felt like Beth had a direct link to my brain with some of the things she said). They were hilarious and the emails were such an interesting way to get to know these two characters. Lincoln was largely likeable and it was fun to watch him grow as a character throughout the book. And again a conclusive ending (I’m not saying I didn’t like the ending of Eleanor and Park buuuttttt at the same time I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT SAID!!!!!). It was a good, enjoyable read (and also I love Rowell’s tendencies to set her books in the not so distant past) and I highly recommend it to people. And now I just need to read Landline, I can’t wait.

So that’s it. Second set of reviews done. I am currently 18% (according to Goodreads) through The Book Thief and I am enjoying it, Zusak has a great way with words. So I am maybe another month away from another one of these mass reviews (and 4 books behind schedule now. I can do this…definitely, maybe)

*deep breath* Parentheses count: 18. See you on Sunday!

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  • adeleinglasses

    I loved reading your reviews Sophie, you’re a great writer, you’ve made me want to check them out, particularly “The Night Circus” – that one has been on my radar for a while but your review has confirmed that I *must* read it!

    • Sophie

      Well thank you for that! And I honestly cannot recommend that book enough, I finished it and wanted to start it all over again I loved it so much. I hope you enjoy it whenever you get around to reading it.

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