Month in Books: May 2017

I hope you’ve all had lovely Mays! Here’s a little book summary of how mine went:

The Arrival – Shaun Tan – 5 stars If you saw last month’s wrap-up, you’ll know that I only recently discovered Shaun Tan’s work, and that I am completely in love with it.

The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood – 3 stars I was actually really disappointed about this. 3 stars is by no means a bad rating, but I usually really love Atwood’s books! This is a Dystopian, but I felt like it didn’t ring true. Of course The Handmaid’s Tale must be horrifically difficult to try and match, but I did think this one fell a little flat.

The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Just out of curiosity! I found this a lot more readable (in terms of accessibility, this isn’t a comment on the politics!) than I thought it would be.

Citizen of the Galaxy – Robert A. Heinlein – 4 stars I heard that this was a childhood scifi classic, so I decided to give it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I don’t really have a scifi-reading background, but although it was very ‘genre-d’, I found it accessible, and still very human. I was actually really surprised to find that it had been written in the 50’s; it still stands as futuristic – and just really cool – today.

The Abolition of Work – Bob Black – 2 stars A little essay pertaining to the idea that all work is slavery and therefore no one should do it. Very readable and mildly humorous, but also a little too silly to really take seriously. I found the perspective interesting though!

Vicious – V.E. Schwab – 4 stars A Young Adult novel that takes the superhero trope and refreshes it. This was a re-read for me, and you can see my latest review for it here!

By Searching – Isobel Kuhn – 5 stars This is an autobiography of Isobel Kuhn, who was a Canadian missionary in China during the 1920’s. She writes fluently and I love her tone! She’s such a cool woman, and I just loved hearing her story from such a personal level; she’s very open and vulnerable. This is the first of what I believe to be three books detailing her life story – I’m really looking forward to getting to the other two!

The Glories of God’s Love – Milton Vincent – 3 stars A little Christian book to remind people of what the gospel message means day to day. Although I love the concept, I have to admit to getting a little bored with the writing style – maybe that’s me being a terrible person? Either way, its very short and very accessible. Three stars!

And that’s all for May! Recognise any of the titles, or have any recommendations for me to tackle in June? I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading this month!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

Dani

Month in Books: April 2017

Here’s a little round-up of what I read in April! As always, I’ll link you up with the Goodreads page for each book.

Job – Joseph Roth – 4 stars  This is about a twentieth century Russian family of Jews, and their struggles and eventual emigration to the USA. There’s a lot of really interesting interplay with the Biblical book of Job, and overall I really enjoyed this!

The Red Tree – Shaun Tan – 5 stars Shaun Tan is an Australian artist who I think is quite big right now! This was my first introduction to his work, and it blew my mind. This was easily one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen.

The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy – 4 stars This is a collection of poems by our Poet Laureate here in the UK. Each poem is from the perspective of a woman from a famous story whose voice we don’t usually get to hear. Some are funny, some sexy, some sad, but they’re all incisively clever, and force the reader to re-think some of the stories we’re all familiar with.

Intentional – Paul Williams – 4 stars This is a tiny little Christian book that encourages people to be brave enough to talk about faith. It’s not a guilt trip, but a call to authenticity.

A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett – 4 stars I’ve never really been a Pratchett fan, but when my friend told me this was her all time favourite book, I decided I should give it a try. And I loved it. This is almost on the same level as Howl’s Moving Castle ( but not quite). I loved that the humorous surrealism didn’t come at the expense of warmth and character depth.

Black Coffee – Charles Osborne – 3 stars If you were to look at the cover of this book, you’d think it was by Agatha Christie – and it does pretend to be. It’s actually a novelisation of one of Christie’s plays, and although it took me a few pages to realise that, it kind of lacks the nuance that the other mystery novels in the series have. The structure and dialogue are hers, and the rendering of Hercule Poirot as a pompous and frustrating caricature is Osborne’s. Mixed feelings about this!

Medieval Ghost Stories: An Anthology of Miracles, Marvels and Prodigies – Andrew Joynes – 3 stars This does what it says on the tin: it’s a collection of Medieval ghost stories. It was really interesting to see the kind of stories people were telling before Gothic influence, but part of me wished the book was a little shorter. There are a lot of stories here, and not all of them are that interesting.

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – 5 stars And finally, I re-read The Wrath and the Dawn. I thought it might be one of those times where it’s better in your memory, but this book is still pretty good! Here’s the review I wrote for it the first time I read it.

That’s all I got through in April – how many of these have you read? What was your favourite read of April?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

Dani

The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Disney Seven Deadly Sins

I got tagged for this by the lovely Emmie from Another Night of Reading – her blog is definitely worth checking out! Here’s my take on the Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag.

Greed: What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book?

I really try not to pay the full price for books – my reading habits just aren’t financially sustainable! If you look on the Kindle Store, classics are free, and I’ve downloaded the complete works of Shakespeare for just 68p. That’s pretty good! Otherwise, I like to shop in charity shops and markets. One of my best market buys was ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ by Oscar Wilde for just 20p.

As for most expensive…I don’t know! Like I say, I try not to spend too much money. I did buy The Piano Guys sheet music book for a little over £15, if that counts?

Wrath: Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Keira Cass. I’ve read the first two books in the ‘Selection’ series, and wasn’t too impressed with the characters or the writing. That said…I still need to know what happens!

The Selection Series

Gluttony: What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

The Chronicles of Narnia! C S Lewis is just a star. I love the stories – they’re timeless. I can’t even count how many times I’ve re-read this series!

Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

There are – embarrassingly – so many. The one that comes to mind is Wool by Hugh Howey. I’m about half way through…and I have been for over a year. It’s not that it’s bad – I was actually quite enjoying it – it’s just so long. I have so many things to read and no time for those extra 300 pages!

Wool

Pride: What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

I really like being able to jump into a bookish conversation with ‘I’ve read that!’, so I’m not sure there’s really one answer for me. I have, however, been very vocal about that fact that in reading Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes, I was effectively reading Roman poetry.

Lust: What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

Hmm…Well, I really like people who can look on the bright side of life. I think it’s really important to make an effort to be nice and make everyone’s day a little sunnier. So yeah, that’s my answer. I like people who actually smile once in a while!

Envy: What book would you most like to recieve as a gift?

I’ve been eyeing up a graphic novel called The Arrival, by Shaun Tan. It’s about emmigration, and I’ve heard some great things about it! The other one I’m raring to get my hands on is Grace Helbig’s (YouTuber) book – Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be A Grown-Up.

The ArrivalGrace's Guide

Thanks again for tagging me, Emmie – this was fun!

I tag By Hook Or By Book and anyone who fancies taking up the tag. Feel free to link me up to your post, I’d love to peruse! Do you concur with any of my answers, or would you have chosen anything different?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani