2017 · April · read-a-thon · Wrap-Ups

Tome-Topple Wrap-Up

I didn’t actually finish any books for this. I didn’t even read that much so I’m not really sure why I’m doing this wrap-up, but hey, why not?

The main reason why I wanted to participate was that Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has been made into a TV show which is being released in late April, so I wanted to have read the book before I watch the show. I only got around 120 pages into this, and it’s over 600 pages long. I am liking what I have read so far, though, but I don’t think I will have finished it before the series starts.

My “slack book” was The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I call it that because it’s my current audiobook which I would have listened to regardless of the readathon, and it’s something that I just listen to whenever I’m doing something else, like going to class or whatever. I am around 10 and a half hours into this, and like it a lot!

I also got Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer in the mail a couple of days into the readathon, and I had to start reading it right away. I read maybe 70 pages of it before the readathon was over, and I love it so far <3.

This means that I read a total of around 190 pages and listened to maybe 9 hours worth of audiobook during these two weeks, which I still feel is pretty good.

2017 · April · Currently Reading

Currently Reading

It’s time for this month’s currently-reading post! I try to do these once a month to keep track a bit of what I’m reading at the moment. This time around, there are four books on this list, so here goes 🙂

  • American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

I started this for the Tome-Topple Readathon because the TV series starts in late April, but so far I’m not doing too well in the readathon aspect ^.^’ . I am liking the book so far though, but I’m not sure I would recommend starting here if you haven’t read any of Neil Gaiman’s books before because this is pretty bizarre in a sense. Try Stardust or Trigger Warning instead. Anyway, I’m hoping to at least have read a third of this before the TV series begins. Right now, I’ve read around 100 pages, and there are 635 in total in my edition if you exclude all the extra material in the end.

  • The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss

This is my current audiobook, and I have listened to around 7 hours of this so far, which is roughly half of part 1. I’m not sure how many pages that is in the actual book. I’m loving this so far, it’s definitely living up to The Name of the Wind.

  • Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

This is one of my most anticipated books of the year, so when it arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago I had to start reading it immediately, even though I started a couple of other books ^.^’ . I’m on page 65 right now and loving it!

  • London Fields, by Martin Amis

I’m reading this for class, and it’s supposed to be finished by next Tuesday, so I should probably be prioritising it, but honestly I can’t really force myself to continue reading it at the moment. I’m on page 44, but I have mostly skimmed through those so I can’t actually tell you if I like it that much or not. It might be more on the it’s-okay-but-I-don’t-love-it side, considering it’s a book that someone is telling me to read.

That’s everything for today! I’ve fallen back into the habit of reading several books at once ever since I started studying at uni, since I usually read one book for class and at least one for fun at the same time.

2016 · 2017 · April · Reviews

Book Review: “Dracula”, by Bram Stoker

Published in 2016 by Penguin | Originally published in 1897 | 3 stars

Summary:

I guess y’all know the plot of this already, but it’s about Jonathan Harker who goes to Transylvania to help Count Dracula buy a property in England. However, the count soon turns out to be a very sinister person.

Review:

To begin with: I did not actually finish this, though I did mark it as finished on Goodreads. However, I have read everything apart from the last maybe 70 pages, and I know exactly how it ends because I wrote an essay on it for class without actually having finished the book and thus had to look up a detailed summary of it. So I feel as if I can write a full review.

I can’t decide if I actually think that this is worth 3 stars. I like having read the “original” vampire story, and it was interesting to see how far some of the modern vampire books are from this in some places. And it surprised me that Dracula isn’t actually in this very much. He’s more of a background figure than I thought he would be. Also, when I actually picked it up I did find the story interesting.

However, it was so slow, and the plot feels unnecessarily drawn out. I would find myself wishing that they’d just get to the point. What also annoyed me was the view of women. Mina would frequently be left out of things on the sole basis that she happened to be a woman – because, according to Van Helsing and Dr Seward, she couldn’t handle the vampire-hunting business (also on the sole basis of her happening to be a woman). And at some point, Van Helsing says that she “has a man’s brain” (yes, he actually said that), meaning that she’s a “better” sort of woman than other, typically “weak” women. This annoys the crap out of me, and it makes the book feel incredibly dated. In that respect, it has not aged well.

The chapter division also seemed a bit weird to me. Sometimes, there would be a chapter division in the middle of someone’s diary entry. And it also made everything seem so intentional – in the beginning, there’s a note saying that the diary entries has been placed in a particular order, and the reason for that would become clear as you continue reading. The chapters sort of destroyed that. I don’t that think they should have been there at all. Of course, it would perhaps have made it more difficult to read (the droning slowness would have been even more distinct), but still.

So I dnf’ed this. I just didn’t like it enough to continue reading it. Which is sad, because I really wanted to like it.

2017 · April · Reviews

Book Review: “The Name of the Wind”, by Patrick Rothfuss

Published in 2008 by Gollancz | Audiobook published in 2008 (I think) by Orion, read by Rupert Degas | The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1 | Five Feathers

Summary:

I’m of the opinion that the less you know about this book going into it, the better. But it’s about a travelling trouper turned orphaned thief and beggar turned notorious wizard. This is his story.

Review:

I loved this book so much. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read this year so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it still holds that position by the end of the year. It might even have made it onto my list of favourite books ever. It’s that good.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what I liked about it, but the narrator had a lot to do with it. I think there are different people reading the American and British audiobooks, but this was the British one and it was so good. I’ve been listening to audiobooks for just over a year now and I think this is one of my favourites. It would almost be weird to read these books without listening to them on audiobook now, because the narrator has become such an integral part of it to me.

The characters had a lot to do with it as well. I ended up caring about what would happen to them, and it was sweet seeing how Bast actually cared about Kvothe, Nonetheless, neither of them is anyone I would like to end up in a fight with.

I’m writing this the same evening I finished it, and I haven’t fully collected my thoughts on it yet. I fully realise that I am adding to the hype right now, but let me say this: it had everything I could ever want from a high fantasy novel, and I would highly recommend it.