9 September 2014

Books of 2014: Part 6


Another delve into my shelves as I talk about what I have read so far this year, with books 26-30.  My Goodreads reading goal for this year was 30 books so I'm really happy I've passed this fairly easily (as I write this I have actually read 37!)

Equal Rights by Terry Pratchett

"They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there's no such thing as a female wizard. But now it's gone and happened, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin..


This was my third delve into the Discworld series, and the first without the familiar characters of Rincewind.  Pratchett is once more completely on point with his characters, I don't know many other authors who can create such unique characters and make them so likeable within so many short pages, and this is why this story is so strong for me.  It approaches modern issues such as sexism in a different and funny way, without being in anyway offensive.  Also I find this setting much more understandable, in some fantasy I can get lost, (my first ever post was about just this) but with this I didn't struggle.  I don't know if this is because it suits me better or because his writing had improved as the series went on.  Either way, this is one of my favourites so far and I am very much looking forward to the next in the series, however none of them has completely blown me a way just yet.
***


Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an onimous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet's circle is not what it seems.


I don't own a copy of this because a girl from work was nice enough to lend it me.  This was really nice as I knew nothing about this book before I started it and it was quite refreshing.  The book itself is a fascinating thriller, I guessed some of the things that were going to happen but this didn't spoil it for me at all.  It was really interesting seeing the safety of a home in the delight of having a new born child turn so chillingly.  A real domestic thriller.
***



Kidnapped by a handsome man with rabbit ears, Alice Liddell finds herself abandoned in an odd place called Wonderland and thrust into a "game," the rules of which she has yet to learn. Alice, ever the plucky tomboy, sets off to explore and get the lay of this strange land, intent on finding her rude kidnapper and giving him a piece of her mind (and her fist). But little does she know that she's wandered right into the middle of a dangerous power struggle involving just about all of Wonderland's attractive, weapon-happy denizens. And the only way for Alice to return home is to get acquainted with the lot of them?! How in the world will she manage that and still manage to stay alive?!

This was the first book I read as part of the 2014 Booktubeathon, it was a good choice because it was a fast read and really enjoyable.  I hadn't read any manga in years so I was a little warey but I absolutly loved this.  I thought it was going to be a re telling of the traditional Alice in Wonderland story however it isn't.  It's much darker and creepyer, and the story is really fasinating, an edge of our seat ride.  I'm looking to picking up the rest in the series.
****


Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

Another booktubeathon read,  and Rainbow Rowell has done it again.  This is probably one of my favourite reads so far this year, I related to the main character quite a lot.  I too have been that obsessive fan girl with embarrassing geeky hobbies, and I am a bit of an introvert.  It's YA so it's a light easy read but still interesting and fun!
****



In this, his most famous story, Franz Kafka explores the notions of alienation and human loneliness through extraordinary narrative technique and depth of imagination. Gregor Samsa awakens one morning to find himself transformed into a repulsive bug. Trapped inside this hideous form, his mind remains unchanged—until he sees the shocked reaction of those around him. He begins to question the basis of human love and, indeed, the entire purpose of his existence. But this, it seems, is only the beginning of his ordeal. Franz Kafka is one of the most prominent figures of 20th-century literature; his work, much of which was published posthumously, includes The Trial and The Castle.

I studied the theatrical version of this and university so I expected to like this more then I actually did.  The story itself still had the same essence but it just didn't have the same effect on me.  I did feel really sorry for the main character however.  The main story is super short but the extra stories along side it really dragged it down.  It worked out as an average read and I think I would have disliked it more if it had been a longer story.
***

What have you been reading lately? 

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