July 22, 2015
After bingeing on several YA series over April and May, I decided I should try to get back to a more intellectual line of reading. Hence the title.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. A re-read, I talked about here last year. I'd been wishing that I could un-read it so I could read it for the first time again, but a second read after a few months is just as good. You kind of know how the story's going to tie up its threads, so you pay more attention to the finer details of the plot and the clues earlier on. Definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind a long slog through a fat book.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I can't really give away the main spoiler/twist for the book, but it's about a girl who'd spent her childhood as part of a psychological experiment and the long-term effect that's had on herself and her family. I just couldn't get behind the main character - she was a first-person narrator, but she didn't seem to have a personality at all and the other characters seemed one-dimensional too. Very lukewarm about this book.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set during WW2 and following the story of a girl, who's blind and relocates from Paris to Saint-Malo with her father because of the war, and a German orphan who finds his way out of the orphanage by joining Hitler Youth. I'm not usually one for stories set during the modern wars, but this one's beautiful and a heart breaker. I've seen it compared to The Book Thief due to the context and the magical feeling to the story, but the main difference is that I hated The Book Thief (the most ridiculous metaphors I've ever read in any book). But yes, this one I enjoyed, despite the frustrating almost-but-not-completely happy ending.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Ah. So many Murakami fans out there, so many times I've said I'd read something by him! I picked this one because it's the highest rated of his works on Goodreads, and my friend had bought a copy and I was reminded of it. It's pretty much about a man and the weird stuff that begins happening to him - it weaves in and out of reality and dreams and is generally surreal. I was quite enjoying this at about halfway, even though I didn't understand what was going on. My interest was sustained for another quarter of the book, which is when I usually expect the tying up of loose threads to start to happen and which was apparently not going to happen. I don't mind some unexplained, fantastical plot points (like in The Luminaries), but I didn't get the closure I wanted. I guess I just have certain expectations of what I'm getting when I read a story.
Labels: books & tv/film