Month: September 2015

September Wrap Up

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Welcome everyone to my monthly wrap up! This September has gone by so quickly, I spent a lot of time studying and starting my fist year at university so I might not be able to read that much but I did read some amazing books this month!

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The first book of the month that I finished was The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It was a beautifully written book about a famous Greek hero Achilles and his loving companion whom he cares about very much, Patroclus.
If you are interested to know more about my thoughts on the book, check out my review about the book here.

4 stars

Next, I read a super huge book that I bought for an expensive price (but I don’t care as long as I get to read the book) and I’ve been eyeing this book for a very long time and I was so excited to finally have it, and the book is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This is a novel about a boy whose mother died in an explosion at a museum in New York and hid the famous painting The Goldfinch ever since. I loved this book so much, it’s so different from any other novels I’ve read, and although it’s quite lengthy I still had a wonderful time reading it.
Read my further thoughts on it on my review here.

4 stars

The third book I finished in September is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinder is the first book in a series that is about a retelling of the fairytale Cinderella. But the unique part about this particular book is how the main character, Cinder, is a cyborg and lives in a futuristic world and it’s so very interesting. This book wasn’t my favourite book of the month but it’s quite an enjoyable read.
A review for this book will be coming up soon on my blog.

3 stars

The fourth book I read is Cell by Stephen King. This novel is about a father, Clay, experiencing a global phenomenon that happens to everyone that was using a cellphone, turning them into crazy killing zombies. And the story follows Clay’s journey to survive and also find his son without knowing if he is still alive. For this book, I rated it 2.5 out of 5 stars, because it wasn’t brilliant or amazing, but it was thrilling and I love all the gore in it. I didn’t really like the overall plot and by the middle of the book I was dying for it to finish but then the ending was so abrupt that I was like “That’s it???” which shows that King is really an excellent writer. But I just didn’t like some aspects of the book, and the main character didn’t really appeal to me, although some of the minor characters were quite interesting. So overall, it was an okay read.
Check out my (short) review for this book on my Goodreads.

3 stars

So, as a wrap for September:

  • I read four books this month
  • With an average of 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Two of them are ebooks
  • One of them was a paperback I bought in American Book Store
  • One of them was a paperback I borrowed at the library
  • The best book I read this month was The Goldfinch
  • In total I read 2,034 pages with an average of 508.5 pages per book
  • I wrote two book reviews on my blog this month
  • And posted 7 posts in total this month

And that is all for my wrap up this month! What about you? How many books did you read in September and what did you think about them? What do you think about the books I read this month? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Updates: September

Wow can’t believe the last time I did a Sunday Updates was in August! Well, this month and particularly this week has been quite busy with schoolwork, but I did read a lot and post a lot of bookish things this week!

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For books, this week I finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer! It was part of the Bibliophile Bookclub on Tumblr and at first I wasn’t very excited to read it, but it was quite alright for me. The review for the book will be posted soon.

Other than that, I also started reading two books: Cell by Stephen King is my third Stephen King book and I borrowed it from my university library, which is really exciting and I’m just so happy to live near a library with a lot of books I can borrow from. This book is about an event where something happens to people who are using their cellphones and all of a sudden they kill each other and become an army of zombies. Sounds creepy and weird, but I’m almost finished with the novel and so far I haven’t had any nightmares.

The second book that I started reading this week is The Martian by Andy Weir. Yes, I have finally jumped into the bandwagon and started this super hyped book. I mean, the Goodreads average rating of this book is 4.3! That’s super high! But I don’t really have high expectations for the book, I’m mostly just looking forward to enjoying it and feeling what everyone else is feeling. Not to mention I need to get ready before watching the movie, which is coming out next week! I’ve only started the novel a day ago so I’m not too far in the story.

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For the blog, this week I published two posts! One post is about my thoughts on books that should not be made into movies. And the other is a review of a novel that I just read recently and I have mentioned often in this blog, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

And for movies, this week I only watched one movie, which was An Education. I watched it yesterday on Saturday because I was kind of feeling sick and I stayed at home to chill and relax and decided to watch that movie. It was good, very sweet and has a lovely setting and the actors were wonderful. I really liked it.

Well, that is all for this week’s Sunday Updates, see you next week for another update! Did you have fun this week? What books did you read or started? Thank you for reading, hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

Grief, Finches, and New York

As I mentioned in a post I made a while ago, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a book about grief. But it’s such a unique book that I just cannot compare it to anything and it’s really really hard for me to actually review this book.

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I’ve seen very varied thoughts on this book, and I feel weird reading thoughts of people who really really loved the book or really really hated the book. For me, this book was a mix of both – I both loved and hated it. But I can absolutely say that my experience of reading this story is so different than any other and it will always stick to me.

The Goldfinch is a novel that tells the life of Theodore Decker, a boy who lost his mother in a bomb that happened in an art museum in New York. Theo was there and he survived, and in shock he left the building bringing a valuable painting, The Goldfinch. Beware of spoilers for this review!

Title: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Publisher: Abacus
Date Published: June 5th 2014
Num of pages: 864
Date read: September 15th 2015
Goodreads link

Firstly I would start off with the main character, Theo. In the first part of the book, I was kind of indifferent about him. He was a great narrator, but I didn’t really like his personality. I guess he began to grew on me as he deals with his grief and sadness and mostly during his life in Vegas. That was when I sort of really liked him as a character. I also like how he deals on the things that he went through, and his trail of thoughts along the way. It’s really interesting for me to read about how is grief was not written in the way of “oh I’m so sad i can’t live anymore” but more like him feeling numb and expecting her on the corner of the house, or him seeing her on his dreams. Although sometimes Theo might seem like an asshole, I never really grew sick of reading to his thoughts.
On the other characters, I really really liked Boris. He’s really something, I like how he talk and acts and I looooove his relationship with Theo, and how Theo is just basically infatuated with him. For the others, not many really stuck to me, strangely. But I do like all the characters through Theo’s eyes, because I like how he describes the people he meets. I love how Tartt introduces a character very vividly, from their clothes to how they stand up and their body language. It’s one of my favourite things about the book, Tartt’s writing.

Speaking of writing… Although I really like her descriptions of characters, I do agree with a lot of other people that this book was unnecessarily too long and too winding. Tartt put in way too many things and moments that weren’t important into the book, and it kind of bummed me out. It’s weird how she’d spend chapters and chapters on a section of his life, say, his moment in Vegas but then skip for 7 or something years after that and didn’t include any details of his life in New York afterwards. I felt like if this book had been cut down to, say, 500 pages it’ll be more compact and the readers would be able to grasp the story better.
Nonetheless, I just couldn’t help being captivated by every scene she writes, even though in the end when I look back, that scene didn’t really do anything that affects the storyline that much.

Moving on to the storyline, this book wasn’t like any other stories I’ve read (like I’ve said before). I kind of liked it, in the sense that it’s waaaay different from the usual books that I read (i.e., YA novels) that are fast paced and has this whole straight conflict and resolution arc. In here it feels more like a memoir of Theo, his life from the great big incident until he grew up. Which was great but I just expected more of a climax at the end that was exciting and mind-blowing, and there wasn’t any of that in this book. Yet I really do like the way things happened, how everything that Theo went through really shaped him.

Basically, this book tells about Theo’s life, and in the end it circles back to the beginning which is his mother’s death. The essence of the book for me was him dealing with that, through the painting, but also how he grew as a person from that experience. The painting, his love life, his career, it was all affected by that tremendous moment involving his mother and to read his thoughts at the end of the book about life and that particular part of him dreaming about meeting his mother, it was really deep and interesting to read. Not to mention the revelation that all along it was Theo who was writing the story to us.

In addition to the story and the characters, I love the writing and description of the book. Although, I must admit, this isn’t a perfect book, it really is something different, something unlike any kind of book I’ve read before and I’m very satisfied with it. Not to mention it left a deep impression to me. As I’ve mentioned in a post from some time ago, I was probably only a third of the book when I visited the Mauritshuis Museum to actually see the Goldfinch painting in real life! And I wouldn’t spend so much time and effort to do that if I didn’t like the book. This book also made me want to visit New York, and even want to get high, just to experience what Theo was experiencing.
Every setting of place and every moment in parts of the book was narrated so wonderfully that you can feel the atmosphere of the location as if you were actually there. I could totally understand why this book received so many acclaims and awards.

The Goldfinch left me with so many feels and a deep impression, and even though it was way too long and though some of the characters weren’t that memorable to me, I really really enjoyed this book despite its weaknesses.

4.5 stars

 

 

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