Thanks to the frenzy of the book fair, this month I’ve been productive in reading department. It wasn’t that I fell into a reading slump before, but I found it hard to find time and battle the exhaustion I felt to pick up a book and read. But this month, with new books staring at me, I just couldn’t resist. I added 2 books I read in April as I thought those were interesting as well, so here it goes.
J. K. Rowling — who uses the pseudonym Robert Galbraith — strikes back again with Cormoran Strike, the lonesome detective. Compared to the previous book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, this book presents a more gruesome case of murder. But I’m not quite sure how I liked this book. Rowling is as astute as ever, and her descriptive narration paints a clear picture of Strike and his London adventures, but I felt that after building the suspense for almost the entire book, the ending is rushed and quite unsatisfactory for me. Some explanations felt incomplete and I was left with questions. 4/5 stars.
After reading The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, I’ve grown much interest at WW II fiction. The Book Thief first caught my attention for its title, and the fact that it was highly praised only got me even more curious. It lives up to the expectation, maybe even exceeds it. Honestly, this is the most beautiful, heartbreaking, and riveting book I’ve ever read. Narrated by Death, the story follows Liesel Meminger, a foster girl with a profound love for words and stories (a girl after my own heart!) who lived in Nazi Germany era. Written with such eloquence, it delivers scenes in a seemingly effortless way, and yet those simple words successfully captivated me. It’s been a long time since I fell in love with a book, and The Book Thief reminds me again how it feels. 5/5 stars.
This book could potentially be a cheesy, dramatic kind of book, but I think what save it are the many mysteries that surround the characters. The interwoven lives of 3 women, each with its own complications, slowly reveal the secrets that have been buried for so long. I’m not one to be interested in stories about motherhood, but this book is written well, enough to keep me reading until the end. And surprisingly, I quite liked it. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s perfect for a light read after a long day at work. 3/5 stars.
I’d read Matt Dunn’s book before, The Ex-Girlfriend Handbook. It was good fun and I thought his other books would give me the entertainment and laugh I needed after a long day. But I have to say this book gives none of those. It’s boring, predictable, and forgettable. 1/5 star.
I have to say I’m such a sucker for heartbreaking stories and beautifully crafted sentences, and this book has those, making it the second book to make me cry this year, after The Book Thief. And it affected me in more ways than The Book Thief did, possibly because with The Book Thief I knew that WW II had ended, while the things in The Kite Runner are still happening. Before reading this book, I only saw the face of Afghanistan on the news, and couldn’t think of anything beyond wars, violence, and suffering. But this book gave me personal insights of lives there and the normalcy the Afghans used to have, which broke me even more. Coupled with an incredible story, it quickly became a front-runner in the list of my favorite timeless books. 5/5 stars.
This is the first of Sigurðardóttir’s book that I read, a crime/thriller story with 4 subplots that seemed unrelated at first. The brilliance of this book is the complex stories and how Thora, the main character, untangles the mysteries and connects the dots. Despite the slow pace (so slow that some parts felt tedious to read), the story is complicated with lots of details so I’d recommend reading this in a short span of time as not to forget the key details of the story. But overall I like this book and I’ll be looking for another book by Sigurðardóttir. 4/5 stars.