A day late, but better late than never. I thought a little update on the summer reading list was due because one or two of them were incredible. One or two were not. I did end up deviating from the original list somewhat, but they are not forgotten! (Also, who knew certain books on the Kindle could be so expensive?!)
1.) All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
If you’ve read this, and love it, look away now. I didn’t get more than a few chapters in before I gave up out of sheer boredom. I can appreciate the style he’s going for, but honestly it takes more than a few pages to collate a chapter, and more action than ‘a plane flying overhead’ (again), to keep me interested. Whilst the usual phrase ‘less is more’ is apt for some books, I think in this case the saying can be reversed; MORE IS LESS, ANTHONY.
2.) War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
I was going to pretend that I had finished this piece of epic literature, but me and blogging have a bond, and it just wouldn’t be right to lie to her…
VERY political, fantastically written, meticulously planned out. A reader truly does feel themselves living in Napoleonic Russia. Parts of it do remind me of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – I’m thinking in particular of the complex social conventions that have to be honoured. As for how much I’ve actually read… *holds up thumb and forefinger, makes high-pitched sounds*
But I haven’t given up! I do need to read it in spurts, however, because there’s only so much processing my poor brain can do in one go, and I do like my brain. If you are looking for something to really get your teeth into, or a distraction from a break-up (any excuse), this is the one for you. If you don’t like the style of Austen or the Brontes, this may not be for you. Which is fine. The book understands *strokes it and makes shushing sounds*.
3.) The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
I read this in two days it was that good. Fans of Gone Girl will particularly enjoy this book. HOWEVER! Word of warning: do not watch the film first. Sadly like most Hollywood adaptations, it has been bent and twisted out of its fantastic original form and re-firgured for the American Hollywood audience. What do I mean by this? Well, I mean that the book is set in London and for good reason. The film is set in New York. The characters are supposed to be British, as Paula Hawkins is. The film characters are American, save one (Emily Blunt). The main character is supposed to be fat and an alcoholic. The film character is Emily Blunt.
Do you see my issues?
I riles me so much that they can’t just leave it as it is. Also, Paula Hawkins. Do you not care about your baby? Does it not make you angry what the production company has done to your piece of work? It would make me want to grab them by their stiff white collars and shake them like a polaroid picture until their mouths frothed. No, scratch that, it makes me want to grab HER and shake her like a polaroid picture. I just think, ‘do you really care so little?’ ‘Where are your balls??? Why didn’t you stay strong, put your foot down, and tell them this way or the high way!’ Other film companies would have bought the rights, AND done a better job of it.
But yes, go go all of you go. Go forth and read this, it is my virtual gift to you.
4.) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
An American classic. Set in the apocalyptic future where reading is a crime punishable by death, and firemen start fires instead of ending them. They burn books, then houses, then people. Fahrenheit 451 does have an artsy style to it, in that there is a lot of description. But it is necessary. I did skip some of it, and if we’re being honest with one another, more than once I had to Google what was occurring. But it is not a long book, and I can imagine what a brilliant opportunity it could present to film companies if they remade it. Think ‘Blade Runner’ but 2016. I would recommend that this be on all reading lists. Bradbury is clearly an observant and intelligent man, and the reasoning in some of his more extreme characters is not only perfectly logical, but carries suggestions of the authorial voice. You find yourself understanding exactly how books became to be obsolete, and its scarily more realistic than you would think. Written decades ago, it is frighteningly still applicable to today’s modern world. I found myself wondering it Bradbury carried any secret prophetic visions and just made some money off of it…
821 words later, and we are finished. Hurrah! I will continue on with the list and update you as to how far I’ve gotten in a few months time. If you have any reading suggestions, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear them.