Tuesday, 21 April 2015

End of March Review

(I am so incredibly late in posting this. Please ignore the fact that it's nearly the end of April and just pretend I posted this on schedule okay thank youuuuuu)

Hellooooo there my little blogalog, it's been a while! I would like to have decent excuses to explain why I haven't updated in ages but, honestly, I don't really have any. March has flown by and I have no idea where it has gone! Things I have done this month include: spending two weeks covering work while my boss was out of the country, tentatively dipping my toe into the waters of youtube (a proper post shall follow soon), a couple of awesome day trips, and generally attempting to adult slightly. I have also read some books! Surprise surprise!

So in order to catch up a bit I thought I would do a compilation post compiling of mini-reviews of the books I've read recently!

Viriconium - M. John Harrison

Recently, my dad has been lending me a lot of seminal sci-fi and fantasy books and I have really been enjoying reading them! This is actually a collection of any of Harrison's works that are based in the city of Viriconium. It's got ten different stories in it, which vary from novel length to short stories. The highlight of the collection is definitely Pastel City. There were so many interesting ideas and imagery within that story; it really captured my imagination and made me excited for the rest of the collection. Unfortunately, the rest of the collection doesn't quite live up to this first story. It is in no way a bad collection, just something about both the content and style of the other tales just isn't as good in my opinion. I have temporarily paused reading this in the hopes that returning to it at a slightly later date will make me more enthusiastic about it.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler

One of my exciting adventures this month was meeting a friend in Birmingham which was super awesome! It was a fantastic day but, as is so often the case whenever I attempt to travel anywhere, I had a lot of public transport kerfuffle. Essentially, my coach turned up and announced that, although it was going to be going to Birmingham, no one who had bought tickets to there could get on. Nearly two hours later the replacement coach turns up, except the driver was unaware that he was supposed to be replacing anything and wasn't best pleased about us all piling on his coach. But I did eventually make it to Birmingham! I also managed to finish the book I had packed for the journey before I had even arrived, so my friend lent me this for my return journey! And it was perfectly enjoyable! I probably won't end up recommending it to any of my friends, but it was a good read and had a twist that I absolutely did not predict.

The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

This was a weird book. I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it! I've been meaning to read this for ages and so I finally decided to get around to it and it has really stuck with me. At first, I was slightly bemused when reading this. Guy wakes up and discovers he is a giant vermin (commonly translated as a bug, but I read a bunch of reviews that debate the correct translation) and obviously everyone is pretty freaked out by this, and then he just sort of continues to live in the lounge of his house whilst his family try to adapt to this new turn of events. I'll be honest, I didn't really like his family. There were a lot of things that they did that really bugged me (haha 'bugged'. Cos, y'know, he's turned into a giant beetle...I'll see myself out...), especially his father. I took to GoodReads after I finished because I felt like I was missing something in my reading. I read a really interesting review which mentioned how it could be interpreted that rather than actually being transformed, Gregor only thinks he has been transformed but is actually still human. There were also a bunch of other interpretations which I won't reiterate (they are but a google search away) but generally they've made me ponder this book a lot more. I'm still not sure what I think about it but I enjoyed it!

Men At Arms - Terry Pratchett

As you probably know, Terry Pratchett passed away recently. His books have been so influential on me and my family and he just generally seemed like a pretty great person to be honest, so I thought I'd read another of his books just because really. I've been working my way through the Discworld's in the order that they were published and I've been really enjoying them! The Tiffany Aching series is and always shall be my favourite, but this was perfectly enjoyable! I don't have enough thoughts for a proper review but I like the Nights Watch and Carrot. I always enjoy Discworld books so I liked this, but it's not one of my favourites of the series.

Far From You - Tess Sharpe

Well this book was just fantastic! I've got a list of recommendations that I've been working my way through and this was on it, so I thought I'd give it a go and oh my god it was amazing. I got incredibly immersed in it and pretty much raced my through it because I absolutely needed to know what happened. Sometimes I get a little too into murder mysteries and end up creeping myself out quite a bit and that happened with this book. I become slightly convinced that the only thing stopping me from being killed by the fictional murderer was finishing the book and finding out who they are. Illogical but sadly true. That being said, I did kind of guess correctly. Not entirely, but just enough that I feel vaguely proud of myself. 

I could probably have dedicated a whole post to this but at the same time I'm not sure if I have the words (again. I'm a hopeless blogger.) A major aspect that I loved was actual bisexual protagonist who has a personality that does beyond her sexuality but is also not actually shamed for said sexuality and has it presented as a real and genuine thing. Can you hear me cheering from the rooftops? Here is a little snippet to tempt you into reading it: "but my heart isn't simple or straightforward. It's a complicated mess of wants and needs, boys and girls: rough, soft, and everything in between, an ever shifting precipice from which to fall". Essentially, I cannot recommend this book enough. It was so well written and engaging and just generally brilliant!

March has been super busy and I don't know where the time has gone but I will do my very best to get back to blogging again in April. That being said, I have been doing other exciting things, so will update again on all of that soon!

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