Hi, Hey, Hello!
So, as promised last year (what, what??) I have one final set of book reviews for my 2015 Reading Challenge. Which I failed to complete, I got to 28 of 37 in the end. Look I have an image that shows my year in books and everything.
But the books that didn’t make it last year I have tried to put into this year’s list, as well as the stray books that I bought throughout the year…because I have a problem (I don’t actually think I do, but others might want me to quit with the books for the time being). The new list will come tomorrow, today I have some loose ends to tidy up so let’s get to it shall we?
Red Dragon – Thomas Harris 4/5 stars – I don’t really know what I expected from this book. I think a part of me thought it would be one of those books that I was gonna read but not really enjoy (and boy have I read a lot of those in my time). But woah was I proven wrong. I was hooked within pages and then burned through it in a matter of days. I got annoyed when I realised I would have to get off the train and go home/to work, I just wanted to read it until it’s conclusion. Something about the world Harris created is slightly addictive. The hints of Hannibal Lecter, the whole Dolarhyde character and the way he is built up. I felt the suspense. I mean I wouldn’t recommend it to people who are particularly squeamish because it can get pretty graphic at times and if violence ain’t your thing then stay clear. Otherwise go for it I say.
The Secret History – Donna Tartt 4/5 stars – I started this book in Orlando in June…of last year and never broke 200 pages (there are over 600 of them) so once I removed my train ticket bookmark from its position and flicked back to the beginning (and re-read 196 pages) I got back into it. I honestly can’t tell you why I stopped reading this months ago because it is so right up my alley in terms of style, and it has you gripped from the first pages (or it did me at least). I loved the fact that it was all told reflectively because there was this juxtaposition between present him and his actions of the past. I like that the whole story is told in this murky grey area because I think from a narrative point of view that was important. It was interesting that it was told from an outsider perspective, who always remained as such, because it meant that you were also an outsider trying to assess the story as a reader. I loved Tartt’s writing style so so much. One thing I didn’t like? The ending. I dunno why but it left me unsatisfied after a great 600 or so previous pages.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt 3.5/5 stars – Because the perfect book palette cleanser after a hefty 600-something page novel is an 800 or so page one. Now objectively I can understand why this book did well, and I think I liked the recurring motif of the story, as slightly morbid as it was (effectively everyone is The Goldfinch in question…at least that’s what I took from it). I, unlike TSH, quite liked the final chapter even though it was depressing af (but also slightly uplifting). And I like about 80% of the rest of the book because I could have done without the other 20%. I dunno it just felt…unnecessary to me. A but cyclical in a way. I almost found myself skipping over parts or just skimming over them quickly. Again I liked that it was told reflectively and Theo as a character felt pretty real and was one that I felt invested enough in to continue reading until the end (because we all know that doesn’t always happen). The plot wasn’t predictable by any means which was something I was wary of potentially happening after the first few chapters so that was great. I mean its a long read, even if you’re a relatively quick reader I feel, but overall I would say that it’s a worthwhile read.
My True Love Gave To Me – Various Authors 4/5 stars – And here we have my festive read to be read over the festive period that was my holiday and was cut very close in terms of completion in that I finished it on the 31st December 2015. The nature of short stories means that they can be read in one sitting (bonus) but also means that some I loved and some I didn’t so much. Personal highlights were Midnights, What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? (and no, not just because the main character had my name and yes, despite the fact that it includes apple pie with cheese.) and It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown. I mean we might be rapidly moving away from the need to snuggle down in all the blankets with some kind of fire (I have never actually done this, but I like the image) with Christmas lights twinkling away and disappear into an equally festive world, but if you fancy a bit of Christmas in June (or whenever) then one of these might set you up nicely.
And with this I conclude the 2015 Reading Challenge. Now, onto the next one (which I may or may not have already started making a dent on…)
Parentheses count: 13. See you tomorrow!
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