I read a fair bit more in January than I had expected, what with interviews and being sick and having a ton of extra classes. I turned to books for comfort. 🙂 I read a decent mix of light hearted books and literary fiction.
These are the books I read:
1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt – This book for a disappointment because everyone built it up so much and I found it dull, pretentious and predictable, especially the second half. Interestingly, I found it improbable at the same time. How an author managed to be predictable and improbable at the same time is beyond me, but it happened. Anyway, here is the full review I wrote of it. I felt really blah that it was the first book I read in the year, by the way, because I thought it was a bad omen and showed the trend the rest of the year would take. I’m not often superstitious but apparently reading brings out this side of me.
2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris – This was a charming, pleasant little book and it was the perfect, quick read to cheer me up. I read it in a few hours. I heard there are sequels but I am not risking reading them because I know they won’t be as good. (Speaking of which, Ready Player One, which I worship, is getting a sequel and I am actually sick with fear.) I will read other books by Joanne Harris though, by and by. I reviewed Chocolat as well and you can find the review here.
3. On Beauty by Zadie Smith – I loved this book so much. I read most of it on the plane and I basically inhaled it. No jokes. I didn’t even clean my room after getting back to college (after a month and a half!) and I didn’t bother unpacking or anything. I just kept on reading until I finished the book.I ate while reading and I actually left a small food stain on one of the pages which left me miserable but not miserable enough to actually put the book down for long enough to finish eating, apparently. I was exhausted because I’d woken up at 5 am for my flight but I could not sleep until I was done. I loved the vivid characterisation, and I loved the plot. Everything, basically. Zadie Smith is a genius only! I have a new love for the whole genre/writing tool of hysterical realism now and I can’t wait to read more of it. Here’s the full review I wrote of it.
4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan – This is the book that won the Booker Prize this year, and I had wanted to read it for ages because I love historical fiction. This was a deeply disturbing work, owing to its subject-matter, the lives of Prisoners of War in Burma during the Second World War. The main character is deeply flawed and psychologically disturbed and it made for frightening reading. I read it for almost a week because i had to keep putting it down. I had nightmares after reading this book.I’m prone to very vivid nightmares as such, for which I am grateful because I feel like each one of them will give me material for books, but these were just too bleak. However, it’s a sensitive, honest and moving portrayal of the experience of being a POW and the lasting impact it has on one’s life. It’s a book worth reading for sure.I will post a more detailed review of it once I am able to articulate the depth of emotion I felt while reading this book.
5. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – This is a fantasy novel set in the 1800’s about two magicians who set out to revive magic in England. I love this book so much. It is easily on my list of rereadable all time favourites. It’s a gigantic book, coming in at a little over a 1000 pages and i flew through it in less than 3 days because it’s everything a delicious, meaty novel needs to be. It has adventure, intrigue, humour, romance, and it’s all woven together seamlessly. It had moments where I put the book down and gasped. The ending was perfect.and devastating. The book never seemed to drag on or get boring even though it’s so long. I adore it. It’s one of those books that made me glad for deciding to read fantasy novels again. There will be a full review up soon.
6. 10 Things I Love about You by Julia Quinn – This isn’t the type of book I read a LOT of, but I do occasionally enjoy picking up a fluffy romance novel and enjoying the warm fuzzies I get from it, especially when I’m feeling lonely or if I’ve fought with someone. I didn’t adore this book, and the writing was corny and childish in parts, but I really enjoyed reading it overall. I really loved the male protagonist, Sebastian because he’s a writer, so there was that. 😀 I don’t think I will review this one simply because there isn’t a lot to be said about it. It was sweet enough. I gave it three stars. 🙂 It was a good end to the month.
I haven’t decided which books to read it February. I haven’t even started any books yet this month because I haven’t been in the mood much. I am leaning towards The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. I’ll keep you folks updated. 😀 January was overall an amazing month, and not just for reading.
I got a job! Yessss! It’s in the field that I want, it’s in the city that I want, and I’m suddenly a lot less nervous to leave college and a lot more excited to start work. So things are pretty great right now. 😀
I thought a lot about whether to say this on my blog, but I figured people would wonder why my writing suddenly has a lot more “wonderful”s and whatnot in it and think I hit my head or something. (Because my three readers spend all of their spare time thinking about me, boviously.) God forbid that should happen!
I will stop being lazy about reviewing and keep up my promise. Really. Just you wait.