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February 15, 2015

Summer reading summary


A round-up of books I've read since I did my last book post, including the ones I read over my trip.

Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks. This is the first book of feminist theory/essays I've read. bell hooks' ideas are based on radical feminism, which I appreciate more than what is applauded as feminism in pop culture today. She also writes about how feminism intersects with things like race and class, which I think gets missed a lot in general discussion. It's a short and easy read, I recommend it to everyone who wants to read more about feminism. I'm not sure I agree with everything she says but it definitely got me thinking.

The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I'd read the first book (Finnikin of the Rock) a while back, and loaded the trilogy onto my Kindle for my trip. Melina Marchetta is an amazing writer, her books are always so engrossing and she usually has great plot twists. These made for good plane/airport reading, but I think I would've enjoyed them more a few years back when I was more into fantasy.

Sharp Objects and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I found Gone Girl a good read so I checked out Gillian Flynn's other two books. Sharp Objects was a bit more straightforward in plot but it's a good mystery anyway; Dark Places is more substantial but I couldn't get into the characters as much. Both worth reading if you liked Gone Girl!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I unexpectedly liked The Secret History, a lot, and The Goldfinch has the same sort of feel to it (although in a completely different setting, with different characters). It somehow manages to make a series of unlikely events involving antiques, fine art, teen delinquency in the suburbs of Las Vegas, drugs, and European criminal gangs, work together. It wasn't as tightly written as The Secret History, and I felt the plot and writing were a bit more rambling and pointless at times, but otherwise I enjoyed it.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. This is a cheat, it was a re-read, but the BBC series is coming out this week and I'm excited for it so I read it again in preparation.

Jamaica Inn and The Apple Tree and other stories by Daphne du Maurier. Rebecca is a really good book and her short story collection Don't Look Now was amazing so I've put basically everything du Maurier wrote onto my Kindle to get through bit by bit. Jamaica Inn is a good story, just a tad less exciting compared to Rebecca but still very atmospheric. It reminds me of Wuthering Heights in that it's set on the moors and there's a love interest of questionable character. The Apple Tree short story collection includes The Birds (which the film was based on). I think I might like her short stories more than her novels; they're so suspenseful and her plot twists/surprises work better in a shorter format, I feel. A lot of her shorts are a bit disturbing - not overtly, but still not the kind of thing to read to relax before bed.

Next up I think I'll try and finish The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, which I started but couldn't get into, or another of Daphne Du Maurier's novels. What are you reading right now?

35 comments:

  1. Agree about The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt's work is standout, but after being spoiled with such strong work in The Secret History, I feel like I was setting myself up for disappointment with expectations being so high.

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  2. I really need to read The Goldfinch as The secret history remains one of my favourite books ever. I hope that I won't be disappointed, I will try and keep my expectations low haha ! I did not know that the BBC was coming out with a new series inspired by JK's books !!!! This is very exciting !
    I'm a currently reading "Behind the scenes at the museum" by Kate Atkinson, and i'm really enjoying it so far !

    Charlie xx
    http://charlieleschroniques.blogspot.fr/

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    1. The Goldfinch is still very good, but maybe do keep your expectations lower as Jessica said up there!

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  3. haven't read anything from what you have listed, but definitely going to do so since I have this last week of winter holidays! :)

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  4. This is a great list!! I love Melina Marchetta's novels. Out of the Lumatere Series I've only read Finnikin of the Rock and i didn't enjoy it as much as some of her other books. The Goldfinch and The Secret History sound really interesting, i'll have to check them out :) I've just started reading The Book of Lies, so far i'm loving it :)

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    1. Hm Froi of the Exiles is a bit better than Finnikin so maybe give that one a go!

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  5. I've been wanting to read The Goldfinch for ages now, need to keep an eye out for it! <3

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *

    x

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  6. Replies
    1. Haha I spent a fair bit of time at airports this summer!

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  7. Oh I just bought the Goldfinch so am looking forward to reading it!

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  8. Awesome to see bell hooks on your list!

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    1. I'm currently only really in the mood for mindless fiction reading but I'll read a bit more of her work when I'm feeling more intellectual haha.

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  9. I am reading the "In Death" series by J.D Robb and I am hooked. Although maybe reading 9 in a row (there are 40 in total) may have been a bit too much.

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    1. I've never heard of this series but it sounds good, I'll look into it!

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  10. Oh cool! I'll put that book on Feminism on my to-read list. And I STILL haven't read Gone Girl... I really enjoyed the movie though.
    I'm currently working my way through Stephen Fry's autobiographies. I really like them, though there are a lot of British references I don't quite understand.

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  11. Thanks for the roundup! I keep forgetting about The Goldfinch. :)

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  12. I've taken a uni course on Feminism (and because Anthro in general examines social issues), and it really brought light to the way class and ethnicity intersects with feminism (as well as feminism not being a 'universal sisterhood' kinda thing, since it does not have the same definition for everyone)
    I finally picked up 'Rebecca' from a library a few weeks back, and I can't wait to read it! I've been wanting to for years, but I find classics generally a hit/miss. Didn't care much for Wuthering Heights tbh

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    1. Hm yeah I had to study Wuthering Heights, I guess the the gothic/romantic style is meant to be over the top with the passion and stuff but I didn't enjoy Heathcliffe's general assholery haha.

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  13. Ah, I should get around to reading the Casual Vacancy. I reread Harry Potter on my trip.

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  14. Thanks for this list! I haven't read any of these books...I definitely need to get started! :)

    http://ourruins.com

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  15. How had I not heard that The Casual Vacancy is being made into a BBC series?! This book is number four or five in my list of next books to read, but now I may have to bump it up and read it next. I also want to read a book by Gillian Flynn this year. Thanks for the recommendations!

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  16. You're so good with reading! I start several books and then don't manage to finish them... I really admire people who like read one book per week.

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  17. I find your books , I think are so interesting, thanks for sharing.
    kisses

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  18. goodness, I am so behind! I have so many I need to get through still. I still have The Goldfinch and The Casual Vacancy left. I hear mixed reviews on both so I'm eager to get through it to form an opinion. =)
    xo,
    nancy

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  19. i bought the casual vacancy ages ago but never got around to reading it, might have to do that once i finish reading the alexander mcqueen biography i'm working on :)

    xx danielle // shades of danielle // bloglovin

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  20. Oooh nice, I was wondering if the Goldfinch would be as nice as the secret history. You read so many books - I'm a bit jealous haha.

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  21. I've really wanted to read Gillian Flynn's other books but was afraid they may be a bit repetitive? Maybe Dark Places is worth a shot. How on earth do you get through these on top of being a medical genius?

    www.ohheyblog.com

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    1. The key thing here is that I'm very far from being a medical genius hahaha.

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    2. Oh and Gillian Flynn's books are a little bit thematically similar, Dark Places has very similar plot devices as Gone Girl!

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  22. I should put Gone Girl on my reading list I think ;o
    even thought I'm not a crime/detective reader.. but I
    think it's good to read-out-of-the-box :P
    Xx

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  23. What a good list! I must look into some of these titles. Thank you for blogging about them xx

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  24. I've been looking for some good reads lately, haha I'll try these books haha thanks!

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  25. i still haven't finished a casual vacancy! such a hard read for me for some reason!

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  26. I loved The Goldfinch too, totally one of a kind book!

    Sophia :) x

    Small and Happy lifestyle blog

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