Month: August 2015

August Wrap Up

wrapup2

Hi everyone, how has your month been? August for me has been quite productive! I spent the first half of the month at home and doing pretty much nothing and so I read quite a lot of books. And the second half of the month I spent moving to another country and settling in but I also had time to read a lot while I was traveling and all.

cover9The first book I read was Mata Yang Enak Dipandang by Ahmad Tohari. This is a collection of short stories written by a very famous author in Indonesia. His stories mostly involve topics about the economy and social status of lower level citizens in Indonesia at that time. It’s beautiful and I absolutely love the cover of the book.

3 stars

The second book I read was The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling. Now this was a reread because the last time I read this book was when I first bought it, which was around 6 years ago, and I didn’t like it but it was probably because I was 11 years old then. But now that I reread it I realized how great the stories were. I loved the short comments by Dumbledore and how some of the short stories remind me of our Muggle tales but with more magic.

4 stars

cover10Next I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which is my second book I read by him, the first one being Coraline. It’s a fantasy slash young adult book about a middle aged man coming back to his childhood home and remembering a very memorable event in his childhood.
This was quite different from Coraline but it was still as captivating and wonderful. Not to mention writing style was wonderful. Story-wise, I was a little weirded out at first with the whole fantasy different world thing but the scenes were exciting and the dialogues were great. Even so, I didn’t really feel like it was an amazing book and it didn’t really touch me anywhere, it didn’t make me feel mindblown or anything like that

4 stars

The fourth book I read in August was The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. This is probably Michael Crichton’s most famous book after Jurassic Park and it’s about a bacteria or a pathogen coming from outer space that invades the earth and a group of scientists try to solve the mystery of the strain and find a cure.
This book was amazing, and it’s right up my alley. I love these kind of books and I have always loved Crichton (I’ve read around four of his books and I loved most of them very deeply). I love the sci-fi-ness of the whole story, and the amount of biology in it makes my heart swell with happiness because I am such a biology freak. Other than that, the characters weren’t very memorable for me but the plot and the idea itself was glorious.

4 stars

cover1After that I read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I know this is quite a very famous book and almost everybody knows it but I have never read it before and so I finally decided to. I won’t write down much about it here because I have made a review about the book before and you can read my full thoughts on the book there.

4 stars

Next is my sixth and seventh book of the month, which was The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. It’s the first two books from the trilogy called Chaos Walking. Now this is my first book I read from him and I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and his novels but I really didn’t know what to expect from this book/series. And I must say I didn’t expect much but man do I really love the first book. The idea itself was marvellous and it was quite different from any other dystopian novels.
I must say, this book and series lived up to its potential and I love its characters and its plot so much. It was a page-turner, it was fast-paced, it was filled with a lot of action and it has enough mystery to keep us glue to the pages and I love it. I also like Todd and how his character has developed a lot throughout the two first books. And even though the second book wasn’t as amazing and mind-blowing as the first one, I will definitely start the third book soon. Look out for a post of more of my thoughts on this book and the whole trilogy soon.

5 stars & 3 stars

Alright, now moving on to the books I plan to read in September:

I bought two books this month, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which I have started reading, and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami which will become the first book by Murakami I’ve read (once I actually read it).

Alongside those two books, I also plan on reading Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness which is the third and final book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy, and I’m also thinking of reading either The Martian by Andy Weir or The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller this month. Hope I can read all these books and more!

So, as a wrap:

  • I read seven books this month
  • With an average of 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Three of them are ebooks
  • One of them was a hardback and the rest are paperbacks
  • The best book I read this month was The Knife of Never Letting Go
  • In total I read 2,076 pages with an average of 296.5 pages per book

What about you? How many books did you read this month and which one is your favourite? Have you read any of the books I will read next month? If so, maybe share what you think about it on the comments below.

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Sunday Updates: August

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Welcome to Sunday Updates, where I tell you about the highlights of everything I read, saw and ate this week. So the highlights of this week are:

I have started reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I bought last week, and the paperback really is big and quite intimidating. But so far I really love the story, and reading it with a warm glass of tea is just perfect.

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Museums! Inspired by the painting of The Goldfinch from the book I’m currently reading, I decided to see the painting in person myself, and so I went to the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, which was beautiful and I was so lucky to come in there for free since I’m still considered a child.

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The Goldfinch (Het puttertje), 1654, Carel Fabritius

I also saw the Girl With the Pearl Earrings, one of the most famous paintings by Vermeer. And it was a very lovely day, it wasn’t raining and the sky was beautiful so overall it was a wonderful day.

Food! I didn’t eat much outside this week but I did go outside a few days ago and tried some Turkish food, which was awesome.

Well that was all the Sunday Updates this week, what about you? Where did you go this week, what kinds of food did you try and which museum is your favourite? Tell me down below 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Have YET to Finish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This is my first ever Top Ten Tuesday Post and I’m super excited! And now, the ten series that I haven’t finished yet are divided into two categories: series I intend to finish and series I do not intend to finish.

Series I Intend To Finish

cover2Millenium series by Stieg Larsson. I borrowed my mom’s books because I was very intrigued by the story of the series. So far I have only read the first two books out of the three. (although after further research I found out that there are four books now? I don’t know?) The first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, for me was remarkable. I loved it, I love the whole mystery/crime/thriller genre and the whole tone of the book. The second book for me wasn’t that good and it crushed the fire within me that wanted to complete the series.
But yes, I do plan on finishing the series sooner or later.

cover3Divergent series by Veronica Roth. This is the same case as the Millenium series for me: I quite liked the first book, but the second book was not that good that I didn’t feel compelled to read the third one. Which was a shame because I really am quite interested to see what happens next. I liked the whole idea and the series itself, and a lot of people have recommended the series to me for years, not to mention the hype it has in its genre.
So for this I really do want to finish the series soon.

cover4The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. Again, this is a series that I stopped reading after the second book. I really enjoyed the first book – not as much as I enjoyed Divergent or The Knife of Never Letting Go, but quite enough to continue to the second book, although I waited for quite a while to actually read the second one. And I was frankly very disappointed with The Scorch Trials. It was filled with action, it was fast paced, and made me glued to the pages, but the plot didn’t give any affect to the whole series, the characters felt very bland to me, and the whole story turned to a path that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I also didn’t really like the writing style. I thought the hype surrounding this book was a little too much.

And so I was reluctant to read the third book. But I will finish it because again, so many people recommend it to me and I still have some hope for the whole series.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. This is a series a good friend of mine recommended highly to me and so I really gave it a try. The first time I read the books was around 4 years ago and I did like it, but I only reached the second book and didn’t continue. This year I tried reading it again from the beginning, and I found out that I really do like the first two books. It was very interesting for me, and the characters really gripped me.
And I’m super excited to continue the series, I just don’t have the time yet.

cover5Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. I read A Great and Terrible Beauty, the firs book, when I was 12 and I rated it two stars because I didn’t like it. The only reason why I picked it up in the first place was because I was super attracted to its title and cover (I mean, how beautiful does the title sound??). I don’t really remember much about the book but I think what I dislike about the book was the plot.
And lately I’ve heard from many people that a lot of Libba Bray books are great, and I’ve started rethinking about my decision not to give this series another chance. I might want to continue the series or at least reread the first book to see how I like it.

Next, moving on to the Series I Don’t Intend to Finish. Now this might be quite harsh but there are those series that when looking back right now, I have lost interest entirely or thought that it’s not worth the time, money or effort to continue.

Series I Don’t Intend to Finish

Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan. I read this a long, long time ago, when I was in the mood for some zombie apocalypse book. And I really do like the whole idea of the series, I love zombies and I quite liked the first book. I also read the second book but it was a huge blur for me – maybe because I read it such a long time ago or because it just didn’t leave a very strong impression on me.
And so I abandoned the series and even if I do want to continue it, I’d have to reread the first two books to refresh my memory and I have not intention to do that. Sorry Carrie Ryan, I will not be finishing this series.

cover6Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. This was another book I tried because of the hype surrounding it and at that time it was huge and I was obsessed with it. Well, not anymore. I actually read it twice, the first time was when I was around 11 and at that time, I loved every single book I read. The second time, two years later, I reread it because I wanted to continue the series and read the second book. This was when I realized what a huge flop this book is. I did read the second one though, and I guess I don’t remember much about the second one which means that it wasn’t that memorable.
So I never even thought of continuing the series since then.

Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau. I’ve only read the first two books of the series, and I actually really liked the first one. It was original, very interesting, and one of the first dystopian books I read. The second one was okay, and maybe if I give it a try I would’ve liked it and might continue the series.
But I don’t really know why, I kind of lost interest on the series as time goes by. Maybe because the series was meant for a younger audience and I sort of grew out of it, or just because I wasn’t interested in the genre anymore.

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry. I’ve only read the first book of this series, and it actually happened by random. I borrowed the book from my school library when I was around 15 and I didn’t expect much from it. I was really impressed and the book really did give a strong impression to me. But it didn’t make me want to read the next series and after watching the not-very-good movie adaptation, I kind of lost interest.

cover7Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins. For this series I’ve only read the first book, and I read it five years ago so I wasn’t very critical when reading it. I don’t really remember much about the series, other than the fact that thinking back about it right now, it wasn’t a very original or sophisticated series. Everything was uninteresting for me looking at it today, I just didn’t understand why my 12 year old self would like it.
But the main thing is that I don’t think this will become a good series and I don’t plan on reading the rest of the books in the series ever.

cover8Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I don’t understand why but I think when I was 12 I tried exploring different series and abandoning them after the first book. This was yet another example of that. The genre itself is right around my alley, I love paranormal YA books.
But it was a little too romance-y for me and even from the start I didn’t really enjoy the book, so this will become another one of the series I have abandoned after only the first book. Sorry!

Well, what do you guys think? What are your top ten series you haven’t finished yet? Are any of those series you never intend to finish? Did you agree with my list? Are there series you liked that you think I should give a try again? Let me know down below on the comments, don’t be shy.