This month has been an absolutely amazing month for reading. I really can’t get over it at all. I don’t think I’ve read this many books in a month since I was a little kid and some of these have been quite lengthy as well! I’m rather proud of me for reading 23 books; though I have no idea how i’ve been able to do it.
Right, let’s get started then …
The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien
This timeless classic introduces the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, to Gandalf the Wizard, Gollum and the thirteen Dwarves as he travels across Middle Earth, a reluctant hero, to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the cruel dragon Smaug whilst discovering the most powerful item in the world; the ring of power.
I wonder how many times I’m going to read this book this year? It is my favourite book after all and I do love throwing myself into this world as many times as possible. Of course I gave this glorious book five stars.
Boys, by Ella Hickson
This follows four flatmates and their life as they attempt to get over a loss and deal with young love and the pressures of things that come with it.
I reread this because i’m doing a monologue from it for an assessment and I wanted to get to know the characters again so that I could better understand it. A bit random in places but well written overall hence the four stars.
Beautiful Thing, by Jonathon Harvey
This play tells of the unlikely romance between Jamie and Ste in a comic portrait of adolescent self-discovery.
This is one of six plays that my assessment duologues could have come from so I decided to give it a read. It wasn’t my favourite that i’ve ever read but it was interesting, with the author leaving it up for the actors interpretation on certain relationships. And that is why I gave it three stars.
Eigengrau, by Dawn Pearson
At first glance this appears to be a romantic comedy about a feminist trying to discover if she can trust men. But as this play goes on it becomes clear that it is something much more.
Again I read this because it could have been the play that my assessment duologue came from. And this is a play that if it is ever on near you, you should go and see. It was mind-blowing, hence why I gave it five stars.
Citizenship, by Mark Ravenhill
This play is a bittersweet one act comedy about growing up following a boy’s frank and messy search to discover his sexual identity.
This was another play that my assessment duologue could have come from and this was slightly disappointing in places. It could have played off in a far better way because it was a bit random in places but I suppose everyone is when they are trying to understand what they are. And that’s why I gave this play two stars.
Protection, by Fin Kennedy
Social Workers have a lot of pressure placed on their shoulders, something that is shown rather well in this play.
Again I read this for my assessments and it could have been amazing expect for the fact that certain characters, the most interesting characters, were barely used and Kennedy didn’t share enough about their world outside of their jobs. And that is why I gave it three stars.
The Positive Hour, by April D’Angelis
Miranda is a social worker, who has no shortage of personal problems; her best friend is in the throne of a mid-life crisis. Her partner is a frustrated academic who, unknown to her, has been having an affair with one of her students. And now she is gaining a relationship with one of her clients, an unemployed single mother who takes up prostitution to survive.
Another play that my assessment duologue could have come from which was extremely interesting at times with its complex storyline but it once again feels as though it would have better to see it live rather than trying to understand it by reading it. Hence the three stars.
The Memory of Water, by Shelagh Stephenson
This play tells of three, newly bereaved, sisters who are attempting to arrange their mother’s funeral whilst fighting against themselves, the men in their lives and their mixed memories of their feminine working class mother.
This play, another my duologue could have been taken from, was absolutely heartbreaking at times. To understand what was going on, truly destroyed my soul at times and I wish I could see this live to get to understand it further. For this play I gave it four stars.
Oleanna, by David Mamet
A male college instructor and his female student sit down to discuss her grades but soon more comes forward in this dramatic reprise of the inquisition.
This was recommended to me by one of my lectures and it was extremely interesting but I can’t doubt that it’d be a lot better seeing live since the characters interact with each other. And that is why I gave it three stars.
A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
As Warden of the North, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must – and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon king has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities and he is ready to claim the Iron Throne.
I need to read these books. I read the first two and a bit books about three or four years ago and I loved them but I stopped reading them because I got impatient and I just wanted to watch the show – before that i’d been reading a book and then watching a season and it was taking too long – but now that there isn’t long left of the series I just want to see the differences in the books and the series. Is that bad? I loved this though and the amount of foreshadowing I’ve found now is amazing. Five stars.
Caraval, by Stephanie Garber
Scarlet had never left the tiny island where her and her beloved sister, Tella, lived thanks to their powerful and cruel father. But for years she has dreamed of attending Caraval – a faraway performance that happens once a year in which the audience participates. And then one year Scarlett receives her long dreamt invitation but this game is more dangerous than she first believed when her sister is kidnapped and her life put on the line. Now, Scarlett has no choice but to get involved before her sister disappears forever.
Everyone is in love with this book but I can’t really see it. It’s alright I suppose but the language is really childish and it became quite obvious what was going to happen in the end rather early on. It was alright but nothing special and I really don’t understand how a second book could come from it. And that’s why I gave it three stars.
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon
Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London and she’s only nineteen years old. Her job is to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds because Paige is a dream walker, a clairvoyant, and that means that she’s committing treason simply by breathing.
It’s raining when her life is changed; attacked, drugged and kidnapped before being taken to a hidden city; Oxford. This city hides a secret, a deadly race, and Paige is given a master. But she will not submit, she will attempt to regain her freedom.
This is a book that i’ve started a lot of times and i’ve never been able to get past the first thirty pages or so. But I gave it another go this time and made myself read it. It’s not brilliant, the writing is bit off in places but it could have been worse. And I did find myself being attached to the characters by the end. It wasn’t perfect but it was alright. Three stars.
The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor: Part One, by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
The Governor isn’t even trying to hide his madness anymore and it erupts completely as characters from comic books – including Rick, Michonne and Glenn, finally make their entrance into this nightmarish stage.
Considering the writing style of this series is quite poor, I soared through this book. It wasn’t fun but I found myself engulfing the words. The characters weren’t realistic and it was too graphic in places when it didn’t need to be but I suppose it is beginning to expand the world a bit more. For this book I gave three stars.
You, by Caroline Kepnes
Joe meets Beck one day, completely by coincidence, and from then he knows that he loves her completely. And so he does the only thing he could think of, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure that Beck finds herself in his waiting arms.
I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this book over the years but I never expected to love it as much as I did. It was chilling and graphic and really shows how people cannot realise that they are controlling people or being controlled themselves until it is too late. More people need to read this breathtaking book that I gave five stars.
All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways to kill himself. but each time something stops him. Violet Market lives for the future, counting down the days until graduation when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, it’s unclear who saves whom but the something clicks between the two of them; especially when they pair up on a project to discover the wonders in their state. Violet learns to live again, to accept her life after her sister’s death, from Finch who wants nothing more than to end his.
I’d tried to read this a few years ago but I was in a reading slump and I couldn’t get through the first few pages. But I tried again and I became addicted; even if it isn’t the sort of book that I should be reading at this time in my life. It wasn’t perfect but it was heartbreaking; four stars.
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Victor Frankenstein is a committed science student who is obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter. So Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but, upon brining it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator; Frankenstein.
I usually love this book but for some reason on this read I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. Maybe i’m just thinking back to when I had to analyse it for school and the hours we had to spend doing because people didn’t get it. That probably explains a lot; sadly. And that’s why, on this reading, I gave it three stars.
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl …
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series that I’ve read in the past few years and I really wanted to reread the series for a while so when I came across audiobook I was like, why not! I can do work whilst reading; perfect! I didn’t love it any less than I did last time and it’s made me want to finish the series again already. Hence the five stars.
Scarlett, by Marissa Meyer (audiobooks)
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl ….
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. A second class citizen with a mysterious past which is slowly beginning to unravel before her. With the introduction of Scarlet – a French farmer -, Wolf – a street fighter who used to be a part of a strange gang – and Thorne – a convict and “captain” of a stolen American spaceship – Cinder’s tale begins to unravel. And slowly she begins to understand what was going to happen.
I forgot how cheesy Wolf and Scarlett’s relationship was. Honestly they might be my least favourite characters in the series but Thorne was introduced and I do love him. Here’s one thing though, I completely forgot that Thorne was only 20. I thought he was at least 30. That’s the one thing I will say about this series, none of the characters actually feel like their age. Like Cinder, she’s sixteen but she feels a lot older. Something that Meyer jokes about in the books when Cinder and Thorne are first introduced. But this book introduces some of the major plot points and continues on with some thoughts that were introduced in ‘Cinder’. This, again, deserves five stars.
The Little Prince, by Antonie de Saint-Exupery (audiobook)
This timeless tale tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters.
I remember reading this when I was a child but, honestly, I couldn’t remember a lot about it. It truly is a beautiful tale that does teach children and adults about the world and how to be as humans. Hence the five stars.
Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne (audiobook)
Winnie-the-Pooh is a bear of very little brain who bumbles through adventures as he battles a nest of vicious bees over a trove of honey, becomes stuck in the entrance to Rabbit’s burrow and endures a terribly windy day.
Who doesn’t love a good story about our favourite bear of very little brain. It really did keep me in high spirits as I tried to make my way through my endless piles of work. He’s so innocent and I can’t wait to reread more about him in the future. Five stars.
Animal Farm, by George Orwell (audiobook)
One night on an English Farm, Old Major the Boar hosts a meeting to all the animals on the farm about his dream. A dream that one day all animals will no longer live under the tyranny of humanity. That one day all animals will be free. This dream occurs far sooner than any of the animals on Manor Farm first believed and swiftly all animals are equal. But some of the clever pigs begin to educate themselves and learn how to best extend their, inevitably at the expense of the rest of the community.
This is not the first nor the last time I will have read this book. I adore it so much and with each read I begin to understand the world that is being portrayed even further; even after studying it I’m noticing new things. Could this be given anything less than five stars.
The House at Pooh Corner, by A.A. Milne (audiobook)
In this sequel our Bear of very little brain builds a house of Eeyore, invents the game ‘Poohsticks’ and meets Tigger.
I’ve clearly just been feeling nostalgic this month and to reread this book just tugged at my heartstrings. But I also noticed new aspects to the story that I didn’t know before. The reason for saying goodbye and Eeyore as a character has really become quite clear now that i’m so much older. Also how kind hearted – though a little selfish – Pooh can be. This really is an excellent book for both the young and the old and I can’t give it anything other than five stars.
Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren (audiobook)
Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbour, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse who lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead from one adventure to another.
I grew up watching a tv show adaptation of Pippi Longstocking and I loved but I didn’t ever read the book. This was my first time reading it – well listening to it – and I really did love it. It was hilarious and everything that a kids book should be. Hence the four stars.
And there we have it, I really can’t believe how many books I’ve been able to read this month! How did your reading month go? Let me know if you’ve read anything I’ve read this month nd tell me what you think!
Book Total of 2017 – 41