Good Reads II

two

So, I somehow managed to read 4 books in 4 days. I am impressed with myself. This puts me in a good place for my ’25 books in a year’ challenge, so YAY!

Now on to the books:

Lorali by Laura Dockrill was a purchase I made last year because BooksAndQuills on YouTube talked about it as being one of her favourites. I tried reading it last year but I never got to a good place with it. It ended up being a book left on the shelf for a very long time, until last Wednesday. I finally decided to make it past the first chapter and see how far I could go with it. And I finished it, basically in one sitting. I really like this book. I raved about it a bit on Instagram, and actually bought it as a belated(?) birthday present for a good friend of mine. Lorali is about a mermaid who goes up to the ‘human world’ and the resultant chaos because her merparents wanted her back. I didn’t expect it to go the way it did and I was pleasantly surprised. If you know me, you know that I have a deep fear of the ocean, which is partly why I had a tiny issue with trying to read this book. But once that bubbling anxiety could be calmed, I got swept up in the story. It ends in a fitting way.. and that’s all I can say about it. I don’t want to ruin this book for anyone. It has the ocean, mermaids, pirates, and a story of young love. You should pick it up.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby was a book I picked up in Melbourne but I never finished. That was not because the book was boring but because I ended going out more and having more work to do towards the second and third rotation there. Funny Girl is about a wannabe comedienne from Blackpool who ends up working at the BBC. I have always enjoyed Nick Hornby’s writing- “A Long Way Down” is still one of my favourite books ever, as is the movie ‘An Education’ – and this was no exception. I think you would like it more if you have a taste for old comedies (this is set in the 60’s-70’s I think). It’s not only a story of a girl, though it starts out that way; it ends up being a tale of a few people, her colleagues at the BBC and I guess, it provides a more rounded perspective of what goes on in making a show, and in relationship dynamics.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith is a popular book among readers everywhere. Unfortunately, it didn’t capture me as much. It’s a fine story but I couldn’t quite fall in love with it, though everyone raves about it. It’s a story of two families in Wellington, both with fathers who work in a university. It’s a complex tale with a number of players, the wives becoming friends despite their husbands’ animosity, children somehow getting entangled with each other. Here are the parts I did enjoy- Zadie Smith has a wonderful way of describing things, it’s very enjoyable. She writes complex characters and you get where they’re coming from but you don’t necessarily agree with what they do. I like the friendship between the two wives the most in this book because they speak like women I know- the way it’s written, you know that the author is a woman herself. I don’t know how to phrase that properly. I don’t dislike the book, I don’t love it either. It’s one that I’m ‘okay’ with. I think I should pick up another Zadie Smith novel just to feel it out more, and then revisit this again.

And finally, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I have been reading this book for some time. I first cracked it open during one of my ‘solo lunches’ a month ago. I finished it on Saturday and it left me going ‘what?’. Because of the way it’s been hyped up so much due to the Hulu adaptation that’s coming up, I expected something more similar to The Hunger Games. This book is not that. It’s somber and … bleak. That’s the most appropriate adjective I can think of : bleak. It doesn’t end happy, it’s vague. And the whole book is miserable. I hope the adaptation doesn’t try to make it something it is not, because I think the bleakness of it helps. While a lot of people say that this book is ‘a future possibility’ because of the current political climate, I kinda-sorta disagree. The darkness of The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian world that I truly hope is far, far, far, far, FAR away from any near or far future. Yes, it is about the control of reproductive rights, but it is also a control of any rights at all. It’s a dictatorship and a mind-control state that I hope the people of this planet are enlightened about, so as to never choose it for ourselves. I don’t know, maybe that does not make much sense. I get why this book is a classic read. It’s not one you pick up to cheer you up, that’s for sure.

As always, I keep track of everything I read on GoodReads, and I would love to be your ‘friend’ on that site so I can get some recommendations of what to pick up next. I’m always happy to put a book down because that means I can buy a new one. I wish we had good libraries here in Malaysia. If anyone can tell me where I can find one, I’ll be happy to pay a visit.

I know I have a video to make for April and I hope to post it before the week is up. Can you believe we are a week away from May? It’s crazy how fast time flies.

Until next time- have a wonderful week ahead! x