Books

2015 Reading Challenge – Book Reviews pt. 5

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Whew *deep breath*. That was quite the month wasn’t it. And I now feel very wintery (but then again when don’t I?) and just about ready to fling myself into this whole writing 50,000 words in a month thing *and another deep breath*. Anyway on to today’s post.

It’s another batch of book reviews on this Sunday afternoon for you lovely people.

Truthfully at points in the reading of these books reading seemed like the hardest thing ever and pretty much the last thing I wanted to do (I was tired, a little bit rundown and the only thing on my brain was sleep). So some of these books felt like a long hard trudge through the blerugh. Starting with this one:

1) On The Road – Jack Kerouac – 2/5 stars

Good God. This book was almost like Post Office 2.0. Except I know I don’t like it. I mean I can understand why people love it objectively speaking, but personally I almost didn’t finish it. It had flashes of brilliance and moments where I was so into the narrative and this adventure that Sal was going on, but that would fade into me just not giving a shit again very quickly. I think my main problem is that I didn’t like the protagonist and at times I wasn’t a huge fan of the way it was written. I mean part of me would recommend it because it’s one of those books, but another part of me is like stay away at all costs. Do with the contradicting message what you will.

2) Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen – 3/5 stars

Austen’s way of writing is right up my street. I love it. I don’t know why specifically, but I do.

However, and its probably because of aforementioned want to sleep, I got so very, very bored with this book. After about 3 chapters I just stopped caring about these characters. Honestly just didn’t give a shit. I tried to, I really did, but I didn’t. And here’s my main problem with Austen, which is massively to do with the fact that I live in 2015 and Austen doesn’t, but the final chapters of all her books are just a huge summation reassuring the reader that although it kind of didn’t look like it throughout the majority of the book, all the female protagonists did get married. I just wasn’t fan of this particular story, it was like 200 pages in which nothing that resembled progression happened. In fact nothing really happened at all, but they did all get married in the end. I might read this at a different time when I’ve had some distance from it and don’t have such a vivid recollection of how boring I found it, we’ll see. (I probably won’t though, Emma be better. Please.)

3) Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H Lawrence – 3.5/5 stars

Yes, I see all you people on the train silently judging my book, cover complete with a nipple and everything and I raise you with that whole 50 Shades debacle that apparently we were all okay with when it happened.

But I digress, I can see why this book was banned back in the day. The moments in which outrage would erupt from the people are very clear, ya know with it’s casual extra marital affair and the swearing (on more than one occasion I read the c word (the one that rhymes with hunt) half asleep and before 9am) and the fact that a woman appeared to have complete autonomy of her decisions and her sexual desires. I see the ban-worthy material and I liked it.

I’m not surprised that I liked this book or anything, but I had just been jaded by a classic and was wary of jumping straight into another one. And don’t get me wrong there were parts that I struggled with because they just didn’t hold my attention and I should probably not go into the ending because I could write essays as to why I didn’t like it and then I would just pick apart the whole book as the English student in me is prone to do.

But yeah, I would say give it a read.

4) The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde – 4/5 stars

This is a me thing but I learnt that Wilde is a good literature palette cleanser. After moving through three books that seemed never ending at points jumping into a reliable Wilde play was just what I needed. For one it was a quick read and I need that right now as this year is fast coming to an end and I have quite a lot of books left to read. And secondly it was just an enjoyable read. And it’s funny. Like actually funny. Still.

Plus the film adaption has Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon in it and that’s always great. (Yes, I watched the film before I read the play. And yes, the film is pretty good adaption. Better than the Dorian Gray one which couldn’t even be saved by the presence of Colin Firth unfortunately. Done talking about him now.) Read it, that’s the point I am trying to get at.

5) 1984 – George Orwell – 3.5/5 stars

I have heard things about this book. Great things. Some not so great things. Both opinions are to be expected with books that have been deemed a classic. But it does lead to expectations. And I think it almost met them with me.

There was this whole section where I would rather do any other menial task except reading the pages ahead of me because they were so damn boring, and honestly I don’t think they were all that relevant? I mean I personally didn’t carry on reading the book at think at any point ‘oh that thing that happened during that meta part is important to this section’, but that have just been me.

I found the whole plot interesting and liked how it made you kind of take stock and think about society and all that jazz. And power, the way it plays with and explores power and those who have, those who don’t and those who think they do, I liked how that ran through the book. It was kind of a powerful (pun not intended, but welcomed) story in that respect. And similar to Animal Farm it’s still relevant even now.

So with the exception of that one part, I would definitely recommend this book.

*

And we’re done with another batch. Who knows when the next one will come, I sure don’t as I’m only about half way through the next set of five. And I figured out the other day that I have about 60 or so days to read 14 books and because I am foolish 3 out of 14 are over 500 pages…I love a challenge.

Parentheses count: 7. See you tomorrow!

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