Friday, 9 December 2016

November 2016 - Reading Wrap-Up

November was a bittersweet month for me as I had a brilliant reading streak going and then... I got ill for the first time in eight years. I had forgotten how awful it was to be ill for a week and I still haven't got my full reading mojo back which, as every book lover knows, is highly annoying. Nevertheless I am beyond please with my reads this month, especially the three 5 star ratings.

On to the books:

This collection of retold fairy-tales was just not for me. Fairy-tales such as Snow White, Hansel and Gretel etc. were completely changed beyond all recognition. All of the men were evil and the heroines often fell in love with the women in the stories. It was just bizarre. I can't say I would recommend it. I couldn't see what purpose it served by raising women by tearing men down. It was like trying to extinguish fire by adding more fire. Bleh. IMO skippable.

★ - The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The Wonder is about an English nurse who is hired to watch a child in Ireland as it is claimed she has not been eating for months and is living off manna from heaven. Lots of delicious historical details of the time period which I just love. In fact I adored the first two thirds of this book but the ending just ruined it for me. I mean it was an OK ending but it was not to my personal taste.

★★★ - Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Wow, this book. You just have to read it to fully appreciate the 'what the heck' moment at the end. Those who have read this, will know what I mean. The story follows Peggy as she is essentially kidnapped by her survivalist enthusiast father, and taken to live in a tiny wooden hut in a German forest. Its a quiet, dark and haunting story. I would highly recommend, I thought it was brilliant.

★ - The Fairy Tales by Jan PieĊ„kowski

There isn't too much to say about this book. This picture of the cover certainly does not do this beautiful book justice. There are four classic fairy-tales in here, each faithfully translated from the original and the illustrations are just stunning. A quick read, perfect for every lover of fairy-tales.

 - Blankets by Craig Thompson

This is Craig Thompson's memoir of his Christian upbringing in rural Wisconsin. Surprisingly intimate and heartwarming, I really enjoyed the gorgeous black and white art style. It was especially interesting to me as it was an inside look into a traditional Christian upbringing in a part of the world where I have never been. Although quite dark in places, I think everyone can relate to the adorable first romance in this book. Highly recommend.
A re-read for me, I highly enjoyed revisiting Bardugo's Ravka. What can I say? I absolutely love everything about this book. For those who do not know, the story follows Alina as she discovers that she connected to the Grisha, people with special abilities led by the mysterious and sexy Darkling... shenanigans ensue. A highly entertaining and magical fantasy inspired by Russian architecture, language and culture. A must read for fantasy lovers.

The sequel to the above, as can be seen by the rating I liked this book but it lacked that special something. A sufferer of the dreaded second book syndrome, the plot moved glacially at times, the teenage angst was increased by the power of a hundred and I really, really wanted to love it. The ending made it worth it though, so still a worthwhile sequel to Shadow and Bone. Overall, the series is still really good at this point so I am hoping for a fabulous conclusion in Ruin and Rising. 

I had been eagerly anticipating this second instalment of The Illuminae Files for what felt like ages. It did not disappoint. This time around the second book is centred around two different characters aboard the jump station, Heimdall. The story goes on from there and I can't go into details as I do not want to spoil the series but I will say it is extremely twisty and messes with your mind. Enough said. It was fabulous, the book is gorgeous - my full gushing review is linked above.

 - Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

A random pick up for me this month as I rarely (if ever) read poetry, much less a whole book full of poetry. Goodness, I am glad I read this. It was just phenomenal and it actually moved me to tears a couple of times. It's very simple, very raw - its perfect for people who are new to poetry or haven't read any since school. This collection is about many topics such as femininity, love, abuse, loss, the list goes on. There is something in here that will resonate with everybody. Most of the poems are illustrated which added a lot of visual impact, it was such a quick read - I think I read it in under an hour. Highly recommend. 

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