5 January 2015

Books of 2014: part 11, the finale!


So here we are, finally at my last instalment of my books of 2014!  I managed to read 53 books in total this year, which I am amazed by considering I only aimed to read 30, I honestly didn't think I had read so many, that's just over a book a week!  So here are my last 3 books of 2015.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

I picked up this classic in a charity shop a few months ago and really looked forward to reading it.  I loved this book in parts, especially in Amir's younger years, and I found it genuinely shocking at times.  However unfortunately in some areas I feel like it lacked pace and it felt dragged out at times.
***


Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? 

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out, it ticked all my boxes and we all know I love the 50's so the concept was great.  It was a really easy read and enjoyable but it felt a little over edited and a little too sugary sweet.  You got the feeling it was all leading to a happy ever after that seemed a bit unbelievable, so I am unsure how much I actually believe this as a memoir.  Still worth a fun quick read.
***


Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."

But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....

This book is really unique in that it is told entirely in photographs.  I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the story without the text but I was actually pretty straight forward.  It's not the most unique story ever told but the imagery is really beautiful and worth it alone.
****

So there you have it, goodbye 2014!  I will be doing a monthly round up instead of the current format so I hope you like it!   If you want to follow my reading journey this year make sure you follow me on Goodreads

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