Friday, 25 November 2016

Read In November

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this (ironically), but I have a very bad memory. Horribly bad. Have-to-think-for-a-while-to-recall-what-I had-for-dinner-last-night bad. This tweet is a good example of it, actually.

Anyway, due to my horrible memory, I forget what happens in most books I read - which I guess isn't that strange when you read as many books as I do (55 this year!), but it still makes me sad when I look at my Goodreads and see that I've rated a book 4 or 5 stars, and can't remember what I loved about it. 

That's where these posts come in. I've decided to start writing about the books I read, and talk about why I did or didn't like them, so I can always come back to these posts and be reminded of why I felt a certain way about a book.

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville:

It wasn't until I was halfway through this book that I realised I was reading a heavily revised edition. The book I own is a mere 169 pages compared to the usual 600+ this book is supposed to have. I couldn't even find the edition I have amongst the 1963 editions listed on Goodreads, which really makes you wonder how many editions there are altogether. The one I have isn't even that old, I'm pretty sure it was printed in 2007, so I'm not sure why I couldn't find it. I have a feeling it may be one used to teach younger students, as the writing was very big and there were a lot of pictures.

Even though I don't know what I missed reading such a short version, I still enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if I would have liked it if I had to read over 600 pages of it, but if I ever find a longer edition at an op shop I'll be sure to pick it up and give it a try. This book really makes you think about greed, obsession and revenge; how you can become so engulfed in something that it takes over your life, no matter the consequences. For Ahab, those consequences were fatal, which he either refused to admit, or he was just so blinded by his hatred that he didn't think about what could happen. This book definitely reminded me to not hold onto grudges, and that hate is an emotion that my body and mind do not need.

A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby:

I own three books by Nick Hornby, I've read two of them so far, and I've been disappointed both times. I just do not see all the hype about him at all. The first one I read was High Fidelity, and I expected a lot more from that, especially considering it's on the Rory Gilmore Challenge, but I was greatly let down. I had lower expectations for A Long Way Down, and I was still let down - or, more accurately, I was unmoved. This book didn't make me hate it or love it.

I assume this book had a deeper meaning to it, to make you think about life and what it means to be alive etc, but the characters just didn't do it for me. They were either rude or boring, and the drug habit of one of them was just not believable. The fact that she could so many drugs, and then stop doing them, and be completely fine - no hangovers, no withdrawals, nothing - just wasn't feasible. I didn't mind Maureen though. In fact, wanting to know how her life turned out was what made me finish this book.

Girl Online: On Tour, by Zoe Sugg:
I'm weary about reviewing this book as I know I am not the intended audience for it. If I were a pre-teen/in my early teens, I would have loved this book - but, that being said, I actually didn't mind it. I read the first Girl Online in one day (they're very easy reads), and nothing about it really stood out to me, but I felt that On Tour had a stronger story with more unexpected turns. I also felt that, especially towards the end, Penny really grew up as she had to deal with some serious things happening in her life, and realised that her life was not going to be a fairytale.

I also do quite like Penny's character, as she loves photography and blogging, just like me, and she struggles with anxiety, just like me. There's something nice about reading about a character that you can relate to (you know, except for the fact that she's 16 and has a 'rock star' boyfriend). If you're going to read any of the Girl Online books, you just have to accept them for what they are: fluffy, young adult books with a protagonist who thinks and acts like a 16 year old girl, because that's what she is.

Marley & Me, by John Grogan:
My gosh, this dog sounds like a handful! This was mostly a nice and heartwarming story, although there were some parts, especially in the beginning, where I felt they were a little too violent and cruel to Marley. This book is a good read if you love animals, and/or have had a particularly misbehaving pet before - but beware, if you don't currently have a pet, you will be desperate for one by the end of this book. I'm very lucky to live with my boyfriend, who is also my best friend, but as he works a lot of nights I do get lonely, and during those times I really wish I had a furry companion to keep me company and demand attention.

Whilst none of these books ended up blowing me away, I was still able to take things from all of them, and appreciate them for what they were. Being able to cross Moby Dick off my to-read list also feels pretty good - although I will keep my eye out for a non-revised edition - and I've owned Marley & Me for so long I was beginning to think I'd never read it, so I'm quite happy now that I have.

I am trying to read as many books as I can before the year is over, but as December is set to be quite a busy month for me with work, seeing family, and getting ready for Christmas, I'm not sure how many books I'll be able to tackle, but I'll try my best!

Until next time,
Indya xx


PS. After writing this post and taking all the necessary photos, I realised that I also read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this month! I'm only just beginning the Harry Potter series - after owning all the books twice over, and for quite a long time - and I am actually really enjoying them. However, I am not looking forward to reading the ridiculously long ones, so don't expect to hear my thoughts on the entire series anytime soon.