Sunday, 31 May 2015

200! And May Wrap-Up and June TBR

This is officially the 200th post on this blog! I just wanted to take this moment to say a big thank you to everyone who reads and shares these posts. I really do this just for fun and it means so much to me to see my very modest view count notch up with each month. As this started off as a book blog, it's only fitting that the 200th post is a reading wrap up and to be read list!

I actually only read three out of the six books I thought I was going to read this month, but because I was abroad for a week I read a whole load more on my Kindle! I obtained all the Kindle book covers from their Goodreads page.

The first book I finished was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. I'd been reading this on and off since February so it was great to finally finish it! I really enjoyed this book and can 't wait to read more of Adiche's work!

I then picked up The Hour Glass Factory by Lucy Ribchester. This book looked so much fun, but sadly it was a bit of a disappointment for me. I couldn't tell where this book sat in terms of genre - either YA or contemporary - and because of that the book had a very confused tone. I think this was partly because it was set in the 1900s so was trying to use language suitable to the time - this sounded a bit cliched and clunky compared to the beautiful simplicity of Adiche's writing. I really enjoyed the injection of history into this book, I just think some of the events were a tad too far fetched for my liking.

I finished this book the night before I left for Lyon! I knew I had lots of time waiting around in airports and on trains, so, rather than carrying around a load of clunky books, I picked up a few on my Kindle!


The first of these was Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I loved the film from this book, so I was hoping for lots of good things. Whilst the book is very good - I'd really recommend it for 9-12 year olds - I actually preferred the film! Some of my favourite moments from the film weren't in the book, and it lacked some of the wit that the film had. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading it.


I then started on The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman. This book was really short and I sped through it. It was lots of fun to read, although in places I felt like I was missing the moral message of the book. 


As my plane landed I made a start on The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. I adored this book, and you can find my review here. It's definitely my favourite book of the year so far!


On the flight back home I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz on recommendation from a friend. In comparison to E. Lockhart's writing, Diaz is very slow paced and methodical which meant it was difficult for me to become absorbed by it. The more grizzly aspects of the plot where a little off putting for me too, although I loved the cultural references, even if I didn't understand them - they really gave the novel life. This book reminded me a lot of The Autograph Man  by Zadie Smith, which was my least favourite of her novels. All this being said, once I was settled into the voice of the narrator I actually became quite absorbed by the novel.


The last book I read was Black Box by Jennifer Egan. My housemate loves this book and I can see why - it's very mysterious and quite dark. For me it felt a little forced, however, and had I not know it was meant to be composed in tweets I wouldn't have got that from the writing.

I've also made a start on The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. However, after reading most of those books in such quick succession my mind was a little drained! I'm currently half way through.

So, in total, I read seven books and started on an eighth, which I'm very happy with. I'm also clawing my way back onto target for my 50 books this year, and am currently six books behind schedule.

For next month I'm going to roll over my the remaining books I didn't get around to:

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
S by J.J Abrams and Doug Dorst
The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

Once I've finished those I'm going to have a browse of my local bookshops and libraries and pick up some treats! I really want to read How To Be Both by Ali Smith, so hopefully I can find that, and also The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan. I'm going to Amsterdam for a week this month too, so I might re-read a couple of books on my Kindle - since reading Frankie Landau-Banks I've been dying to re-read We Were Liars. I also want to re-read The Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson.

Have you read any of these books? Tweet me your thoughts @VickiMaitland or tag me in an Instagram @vickimaitland. Leave a comment below and let me know what you're planning on reading this month!

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