Not a terrible reading week, but I didn’t get as much done over the Easter long weekend as I would have liked to. Still, I can’t complain about eight books being ticket off the TBR!
FOUR non-fiction titles this week! Inferior by Angela Saini is about the scientific studies into the differences between men and women, and the scientific justifications used (often falsely) to depict women as inferior to men. It was written very conversationally, but still intelligently. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see Saini speak at the Sydney Writer’s Festival! 🙂 Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon was a complete delight, as I would imagine Iris herself is. It was bright, colourful, sweet and fun. I want to be more like Iris!
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach. I thought it would be stuffy literary fiction. Instead, I was treated to a beautifully atmospheric historical fiction, with a fascinating central character, Anna. There were also gangsters and seedy nightclubs and excellent, sassy colleagues. I loved it and didn’t want to put it down!
Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic was a cute walk down memory lane. I was lucky enough to visit the exhibition late last year at The British Library and loved going back over it in the form of a book! This was the children’s version, but I REALLY needed a light read over the weekend! 😛 I got fixated on libraries, obviously because my next read was The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells. It was a really interesting read, but I didn’t find the tone particularly intriguing. I’m not sure how these tales managed to bore me, but I did fall asleep a few times…. OOPS! Still worth a read even if just to list the libraries you need to visit in your lifetime!
I thought I should continue with the School for Ever Good and Evil series, given that I have not yet finished a single series this year. (OOPS, #resolutionfail!) And so, I jumped into A World Without Princes. I REEAAAALLLLYYY thought that this one was going somewhere cool – there were so many hints towards a reveal I was super keen to uncover. And then, at the end, it fell flat. Also, the author still made connections between pretty and skinny which is a big bother.
Tanaya has been bugging me to finish Eliza and her Monsters for ages. (Not least because I borrowed her copy!) And it is WONDERFUL! I had one pretty major issue which popped up right at the end of the book (about a boy being a total wanker which felt completely out of character and was just WRONG) which dropped my rating. But overall, I really enjoyed it! 🙂
I finished off the week with The Lady and the Unicorn. I started it AAAGGGGEEESSS ago, but only just got around to picking it back up again! I liked it a lot, though it was rather more pornographic than I expected it to be! It’s a fictionalisation of the creation of the amazing Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, currently on show at the Art Gallery of NSW – well worth a visit; they are incredible!
I’m now slumping a tiny bit and have relied on audiobooks to keep up my reading tally! I just finished Life on Air by David Attenborough. I LOVED IT! I’m not sure how much information I actually took in, but letting his voice wash over me was amazing. Also, everybody needs to do themselves a favour and Google David Attenborough saying the word ‘sloth’. You won’t regret it. Do it. And now I’m continuing with Hunting Prince Dracula. I am enjoying it, but not as much as the first book. 🙂
This week, I am just hoping to de-slump so I will read anything I fancy when I fancy it, though I would really like to jump into some books for Sydney Writer’s Festival! Maybe More Than This by Patrick Ness or Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.
My reading this last week has been pretty good. I had to read quite a few books for work, and have gotten through all but one of those.
First up I finished the remaining 30 pages of my reread of Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier. I enjoyed this just as much the second time around and immediately picked up the sequel Dream On. I had not yet continued in this series, and I was a little disappointed with the sequel. Whilst I still loved the characters and Gier’s writing, I just felt that the plot was a little slower in this one and not much actually happened until the last third of the book.
I then jumped across into my reads for work. First up was Munmun by Jesse Andrews. The only book I had previously read from this author is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which I definitely had very mixed feelings about and therefore had me a little apprehensive about this new book. Munmun also sounded weird, set in a world where the wealth of a person is tied to their physical size – meaning if you’re poor you’re the size of a rat in comparison to the super rich who are as tall as skyscrapers. Whilst I enjoyed elements of Munmun, I must say that overall my thoughts were that this was a very weird book.
My next read was Clean by Juno Dawson. This follows Lexi, a seventeen-year-old rich girl with a heroin addiction who is entered into rehab by her concerned brother. I liked the writing, but felt that the characters were all a little awful and ridiculous. I also really disliked Lexi’s actions after she gets out of rehab, and overall this is a book I will probably never think twice about again.
My next read for work was Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi, the newly released fourth book in the Shatter Me series. I was quite nervous going into this because it has been years since I have read the original trilogy. Part of me was scared that Restore Me would ruin those books for me, or that I would ruin Restore Me by not having the time to reread the original trilogy again, but none of this was the case at all. I devoured this book, and found myself easily enchanted by the lovely writing I’ve come to know and love from Mafi. I do think that at times some of the scenes dragged a little bit, and that the dramatic scenes were very dramatic at times, but it was still a solid four star read for me that left me shook with its ending.
Currently I am reading Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, and this should be the final book I have to read for work for a little while. This is the first in a new YA fantasy trilogy following Theodosia/Theo/Thora (the girl is called a lot of names… Theodosia especially makes me sing Hamilton songs every time I read the name in the pages) who is a princess of an invaded land, kept captive by the invaders for years and forced to give up everything of her culture – her name, her language, her customs. Scared and tortured into staying obedient to her captors, and forced to kill one of the remaining guardians of her lands, she decides its time to finally fight back and attempt to reclaim the kingdom that is rightfully hers. I’m about 120 pages into this, and whilst I am enjoying it, I do feel like Theo is not the greatest main character. I feel as the author has tried to make Theo this badass, manipulative, strong character – the current trend in YA fantasy protagonists – when none of her actions actually back her talk up. I also feel as if this could stray dangerously close to the plethora of other YA fantasy books that feature a princess fighting for her kingdom, but I could also be pleasantly surprised.
I am wanting to read quite a lot in April, and am hoping that I can read a lot in the next week. Today at work I got an advanced copy of one of my most anticipated upcoming releases, All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor, and I definitely think I will probably end up reading this after I get through Ash Princess. I would also love to finally finish Great Expectations, and then also get through Just Dreaming by Kerstin Gier, Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, and Circe by Madeline Miller. Fingers crossed I can do it!