Monday, 29 July 2013

July Wrap-Up and August TBR

Hey guys, sorry about the brief unintentional hiatus, but I've been picking up shifts at work, trying to sort my house stuff and taking every opportunity to sit outside in the glorious sunshine we're having in little old Blighty! I've really missed blogging and I've sat down so many times about to start, but then tumblr happens and it all sorta goes out the window. So, to ease myself back into things, even though its not quite the end of the month yet, here's my July Wrap-up and August TBR!

July Reading Wrap-up

The first book I picked up in July was NW by Zadie Smith. As I said in my previous TBR post I hadn't really enjoyed the first Zadie Smith I'd read, but oh my goodness I ADORED this book. NW is the voice of London, it captures it's spirit and its soul. Free indirect discourse that imitates stream of consciousness, poem, graphology, this book is a writers book. I really must write a full review of it, but in the mean time I cannot more highly recommend it. 5/5.

Then I started reading The Red House by Mark Haddon. Now,  in direct contrast to Smith, I had loved my first exposure to Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime). I enjoyed Red House, but after reading NW it felt like it was trying to do what Smith had done, only more clumsily. It was a good story with some nice plot twists and a decent capturing of an awkward family holiday, but it wasn't anything special per say. 3/5.

I then read three books from the same series on the trot - these were Douglas Adam's The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, The Universe and Everything. I really enjoyed all of these, even if there were moments in each book where I felt a bit bored with the plot, the good moments more than made up for these. Adam's is such a delicately witty writer - aside from the typical slapstick. I gave them 4/5, 3/5 and 3/5 respectively.

As it was such baking weather, I decided it was perfect to read the end of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I'd seen the Disney adaptation with the fella a few days before picking it up again, and I'm sad to say it may have hindered my enjoyment of the book slightly (Treasure Planet is one of my favourite Disney films). This being said, I was gripped during the last part of the book (where it most drastically differs from Treasure Planet) and really enjoyed my reading experience. I gave it 3/5. I also would really recommend watching the two-part Sky adaptation staring Eddie Izzard as Long John and Elijah Wood as Ben Gum, as well as Rupert Penry-Jones, Daniel Mays, Phillip Glenister and Donald Sutherland. It's pretty faithful to the book from what I can remember (although I watched it a while ago).

Luckily for me, the heat wave in Britain still hadn't abated, so I could lay outside and read Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamed. I was slightly apprehensive as I began reading this as I had adored The Reluctant Fundamentalist so much, but Moth Smoke did not disappoint. There were a few dodgy patches in the second person address that weren't present in The Relucantant Fundamentalist,  but I guess that is to be expected as Hamed hones his skills. The story was fast paced and claustrophobic, just perfect, and I gave it 5/5.

I'm really pleased with the amount I read this month (1738 pages!) - I think I've probably got the gorgeous weather to thank - and I'm going to try to keep it up next month. I've got loads of books out of the library, so I really need to start getting through them. With no further ado, here's my

August TBR

I have literally piled all my books up in size order (ie, how tall the book is rather than how long it is), so I'm just going to go through them one at a time.

Divergent by Veronica Roth - I've heard loads of good things about this book, and I know there's a film coming out, so I really want to read it.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - I really wanted to read Eleanor and Park by the same author, but the library didn't have it, so I've picked this one up instead. I think its a pretty light, romantic read, so it might be a nice breather from some of the heavier things I've picked up.

The Autograph Man  by Zadie Smith - What can I say, I've got the Zadie Smith bug! Again, this wasn't the book I really wanted (I wanted On Beauty or White Teeth) but beggars can't be choosers, so I'll see how this one goes.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn - I first heard about this book when we studied OULIPO in CWS and the concept of it intrigued me: a world in which the letters of the alphabet were slowly disappearing until only l, m, n, o and p were left. I'm really looking forward to this.

Vagina, a new biography by Naomi Woolf - I've been getting more and more interested into the concept of female sexuality and how its treated in relation to male sexuality etc recently, so when I saw this sitting on the library shelf I had to pick it up (much to the embarrassment of my sister). Again, I'm really intrigued about this and cannot wait to read it.

I think that's all for this month. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to get through, I should be picking up the keys to my house on Thursday (provided the insurance goes through ok - I perhaps shouldn't have left it so last minute) so I might be a bit busy moving in etc to do read through all this stuff. Fingers crossed though!

Best Wishes,


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