As I stated in my January Wrap Up – February TBR post, I would like to read a ‘book’ a day this month (though if I manage to pick up 20 things I will be happy). These include all kinds of things: novellas, short stories, audio dramas, etc. As long as Goodreads counts it as a book, I count it for my ‘Readathon’.
Seeing as wrapping up 28 things in one monthly wrap up might be a bit much, I will be posting weekly wrap ups. Here is week one (obviously) and it was quite a succes.
The first book I picked up was The Revenant Express by George Mann, one of my most anticipated reads ever… You can imagine how happy I was when I received this via Netgalley. Although it was a great read, it wasn’t perfect and not what I had hoped for after a 5 year wait. A full review of this will come soon. For now, a 4* read.
Then I listened to A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch, book 6.5 in the Peter Grant series. This is an audio exclusive I picked up for free, and is only half an hour long. The narrator was great, the story was fine but you can’t really do much in only half an hour and the whole thing was just okay for me. You are not missing out on anything if you skip this. A 3* read.
Next up, one of the audible originals I pick up every month but never listen to: Strong Ending: From Combat to Comedy by Mary-Louise Parker. This is not so much a book, but more of a documentary. I thought it was very well put together and a very strong work. It managed to make me feel sad and then laugh out loud within seconds. The people in this have gone through some heavy shit, and the way they can talk and joke about it is truly admirable and inspirational. A great listen. 4.5*
The Hope of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is a short story that is set during the events of Elantris. It has been a while since I read that book, and don’t remember too much from it (apart from that I loved it). Sadly that meant that I didn’t quite understand what happened in this short story, even though it was entertaining (I mean, it is Sanderson). This really cannot be read on its own, and I don’t think it adds much to the original story. The reason why it was written was great though, and you should definitely not skip the postscript. Only a 3* for me, but it did make me want to reread Elantris.
Moving on from all the shorts is Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada. I want to start of by saying I love the cover. The book itself though I don’t really know what to think of. It is nothing like what I usually read, and I certainly enjoyed parts of it. It is beautifully written yet reads very easy. I very much enjoyed the part following Knut, probably because I am somewhat familiar with his story. The middle part, about Tosca, focuses more on the trainer Barbara than on the bear itself and I didn’t really care for it. And the first part was pretty weird, making the bear very human. I did enjoy it though. All these three parts were very different from each other and I felt I missed a connection. I also feel there is probably a lot of commentary in this book, but it failed to make its point clear to the reader. Overall, an interesting read with some great writing, but I feel I wasn’t able to fully grasp the point of it. A 3.5* read.
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown was not As good as the first book in this duology, but still it was a wonderful read. It was a pleasure to follow Roz again, a truly one of a kind robot. We see her working on a farm, escaping through the country side and finding her way through the big city. The artwork was adorable again, the writing magical. The wild island and its creatures just spoke more to my imagination than the city did. A great read, 4.5*.
I listened to Circe by Madeline Miller on audio, and although I often struggle keeping my attention to a book when it has a female narrator (I don’t know why, it’s weird), I thought that Perdita Weeks did an excellent job voicing this book. I had Greek in high school and so am familiar with many of the myths that make up this novel. Yet Miller has done a wonderful job in creating a new and great myth following the life of Circe. There were some things that annoyed me, sure, but Miller cannot be blamed for that. Odysseus was already an asshole in Homer’s story. I am very happy I picked this one up, and I can definitely see why it is such a beloved book. A book that definitely deserves the hype. 4*.
And that was my first week of reading. I am very happy with the amount of stories I managed to explore and have a good feeling for continuing this in the coming 3 weeks. Have you read any of these?
Hoping you are having a lovely day,