This month I also discovered the plethora of free kindle books that are available on Amazon, and ended up downloading over 300 of them. I've read a couple of them already, but I'll do a separate post on them after I've read a few more.
My Steve, by Terri Irwin.
This book was so emotional for me. I loved Steve Irwin as a kid, and I took it really hard when he died (granted, I was only 10). I've always loved animals, and I actually didn't mind going outside when I was younger, but Steve's passion for the outdoors wasn't even what I loved most about him. It was that he was just so genuine. He seemed like such a great, honest guy who cared more about others than himself - and that's exactly the story that Terri tells in this book. Steve really was a good person. He cried when animals (particularly 'crocs', as he liked to call them) were harmed, and he always did everything he possibly could, and then a little bit more, to help someone - human or animal - in need.
It was also interesting to learn about Terri, as I didn't know much about her before this book. Now that I've read it, I can see that they were truly great together. They were practically the same people. Terri cared about animals just as much as Steve - once again, particularly for crocs, their favourite animal. I can't imagine what it would have been like for her, losing her best friend, especially with two young kids. Anyway, I'm sure you all get the picture; I really did love Steve Irwin (I even have an old poster that's signed by him and Terri!), and this is a great - albeit, sad - book to read if you loved him too.
The Wind in The Willows, by Kenneth Grahame.
The character that really stood out to me in this book was the Mole. I instantly loved him, and how he was so amazed by every little thing. He quite reminded me of myself and my often child-like mentality - which is not to say I'm immature, but merely amazed by everything: snails on sidewalks, pretty coloured clouds, fireworks, etc. Despite its plot not being particularly gripping, although it did pick up more towards the end, I did this like book. It's simple and certainly unique, at least compared to the books that I've read.
However, the one thing I didn't like about this book was its ending. Toad was just horrible, and certainly didn't deserve all the luck and loyalty that was continuously given to him. I guess it just goes to show how far people (and animals) will go to help their friends, even when they are in the wrong.
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel:
As much as I liked this book, I wonder what it was about it that compelled over a million people to review or/and rate it on Goodreads. Most bestsellers have a few hundred thousand ratings at best, even if they've sold millions of copies, so clearly there's something about Life of Pi that really struck a cord with many people.
I must say that the premise of this book didn't particularly draw me in, more so its popularity, but it was nonetheless interesting. I know nothing about animals (well, the ones that were on the boat), religion, boats, or the ocean, so it was somewhat entertaining learning about those topics throughout this book. However, I am not sure what the significance of the third part of the book was. I would have preferred to hear about how he was fostered, and how he learnt to live with such horrible memories, rather than read an interview in which he told the same story twice, just with different characters - and ultimately wasn't believed anyway.
The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.
I knew nothing about this book (apart from its name) when I first picked it up, and yet it still surprised me. I liked it instantly. As much as I do like classics, it's nice to get back to newer books that are written in modern English, I find them so much easier to read and enjoy.
I was expecting this book to be a lighthearted story about an old man who just wanted a bit of adventure - which I guess it is, but I certainly wasn't expecting mentions of murder, war, theft and rape. I also felt that some of the 'flashback' chapters ran a little too long for me, and that they were quite irrelevant and unneeded, although they did help add anticipation for what was going to happen in the 'real time' chapters. All in all, I really did like this book. It only took me 3 days to read, which is quite impressive considering how long it is. Usually it takes me weeks, or even months, to finish longer books.
I get really excited when I think about all the books that await me in 2017 - especially after my last book haul. I really want to try and get through more of the Rory Gilmore Challenge next year, but I also want to read whatever interests me, not just the books that I feel like I have to read, simply because they're classics and/or on a reading challenge. I guess I just need to figure out a good balance between the two.
Until next time,