New year, same problems. Summer is my time for all kinds of slumping. And let's not even start with how the World Cup has been destroying my life for this past month...
But I've read some books in May and June, and some really good ones among them. Here's what happened.
Hyperion, Dan Simmons - a gem of a book, new favourite. We read Hyperion with my favourite GoodReads group, Booktube Reading Buddies, and I think everyone liked it. This is a really well written science fiction book, one of those I would not hesitate to recommend to people who otherwise are not into the genre. It's not just a good science fiction book; it's an overall great book. 5/5
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Adichie is very popular right now and I can see why. I've taken quite an interest in African literature and wish to read more of it. Half of a Yellow Sun has captivating characters and it focuses on Biafran War. There were parts in book that felt a bit dry, but I am so ready for Americanah. 4/5
Cinder, Marissa Meyer - this wasn't a book for me. More thoughts can be found here. 2/5
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides - this was a buddy read as well, and a very good read. The story covers different continents and generations, and although I dislike the word "epic", Middlesex had a bit of epicness about it. Lots of layers, extraordinary writing. 5/5
Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch - I loved the first book in the series and this one, a little less. Which is a bit odd because most people love this one more than the first one. Maybe the novelty wore off. I liked the sea scene and the characters were alrigth (which was expected), but ... it just didn't leave me jaw dropped, and I didn't speed through it, like I expected to. 4/5
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami - it was the first Murakami's short story collection that I read, and I found it really difficult to get into. When a novel is written in the magical realism key, one has plenty of time to get familiar with all the weirdness going on, but in the form of short story, it was all just big blur. The writing is good and I did like some of the stories, but I would never recommend anyone to pick short stories as the first thing to read by Haruki Murakami. 3/5
number9dream, David Mitchell - I think now, after three books, it's safe to say David Mitchell is my favourite author. Mad skill, people, mad skill. This one is set mostly in Tokyo and in modern time. Mitchell writes my kind of endings. Also, in all his books there are little Easter Eggs that refer to his other works, and I LOVE this kind of stuff. 5/5
Horns, Joe Hill - This was a pleasant surprise. I didn't exactly intend to read Joe Hill but his books were on sale in e-store and so I got a few. Some great characters, easy prose (but not dumbed down), great creepy atmosphere. 4/5
have I mentioned how happy I am that you've read and liked Hyperion? Also, your praise constantly urges me to pick up some Mitchell. Maybe this summer :) I'm also in a slump, so hopefully it'll draw me out of itReplyDelete
Ah, fellow summer slumper. :) Hyperion went to my favourites shelf, I mean the book is awesome. Everyone loved it and went to order the sequel, which we are reading this month - did you read it? I'm curious to see what you think of Mitchell once you try, he is a divisive author. :)Delete
The World Cup has taken up a lot of my time too - it's perfect background noise when you're feeding or snuggling a baby.ReplyDelete
Have you read Purple Hibiscus? It's my favourite Adichie.
I haven't read Purple Hibiscus but if you say it's your favourite, I definitely intend to. :)Delete
There's World Cup fever at my house as well. :) I've only read Americanah, but I do want to read both Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.ReplyDelete
I hope you're enjoying the World Cup - it's fun but I am kind of happy it'll be over soon and we can all resume to normal life :)Delete
Glad to have read your review about Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami. It's been on my wishlist of books to read, but may pass on it now that I've read your review of it.ReplyDelete
Everyone's experience might be different of course but yes, this book was not as good Murakami book for me as some of his others.Delete
Oh so glad to see you liked Hyperion and Middlesex! Lovely writing for sure.ReplyDelete
Totally. I'm reading the sequel to Hyperion now, very enjoyable as well.Delete
World Cup: Destroying your life in a fun way or a bad way? :pReplyDelete
In a way that I very much enjoy it but the sleep schedule went completely out of the window, and there was no time for other things in life like READING :pDelete
Hyperion is definitely the bomb! I am also with you on not liking book two of the Gentleman Bastards series as much as the first. The second book was less cohesive - it felt like two separate books smooshed together. I also like the part with pirates the best. Obviously. Because pirates are great.ReplyDelete
I agree that second Gentlemen Bastards book felt less cohesive. And yes to pirates :)Delete
I'm looking forward to Middlesex - one of my TBR challenges :)ReplyDelete
Ah, the World Cup.... I want Argentina to win! What about you?
I checked out that side a few days ago - it's great! I was rooting for Germany, I just find Argentina a bit boring to watch. They don't really have other tactics than to get the ball to Messi and see from there, they lack a bit of creativity for my taste. The game was pretty equal though so it was interesting.Delete
Good luck with Middlesex - I really did like that one.
PS If you want to combine the World Cup and reading, look what I've just found! http://cedarstation.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/the-world-cup-of-literature/ReplyDelete
So yay Hyperion, I'm adding that to my TBR now. And I'm so excited that you liked Half of a Yellow Sun! I want to read ALL the Adichie, Americanah was just that good. Bummer about the Locke Lamora book (book 3 was a lot more political and was good, but probably my least fave of the three... so you might like it!), and man, Horns was really good. I was surprised by it too, but I think I really like Joe Hill.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you'll love Hyperion, Sarah. At least I very much hope so. I also want to read all the Adichie :)Delete
Nice round-up of books! I am really itching to try Adiche, but have so many other books on my TBR... I myself seem to be in a bit of a blogging slump, but definitely not a reading slump (perhaps the two are actually related since blogging very little frees up more time for reading?) I really need to do something more like this where I just share a few quick thoughts instead of always feeling I need to do full-length reviews -- I'll figure it out eventually! Always nice to see a post of yours in my reader though :)ReplyDelete
I am usually in a blogging slump as well, the reading "slump" was mainly caused by the World Cup. I gave up full-length reviews long ago, I just can't do it. Monthly round-up is the best way for me to go, plus a full-length review here and there if a book is especially talk-worthy.Delete