A bit (one month) late, sorry. But my best month this year yet! Which I owe to treesofreverie's read-a-thon (and the multiple hours spend on trains and the plane). So, yep:
Longbourn, Jo Baker (2013) REVIEW: ★★★★
Overall beautiful: the story itself, and the idea of it. That it tries to tell the story of those whose story nobody cares about. And to show that you don’t need to be a gentleman’s daughter to find love (obviously, duh). You don’t necessarily need to be a fan of P&P to enjoy it, but maybe a historical novel fan yes?
Mike and Psmith, P.G. ★★★½
Look, you can pick up any Wodehouse book and I’m sure you’ll laugh. He’s smart and irreverent in a way nobody else is (at least not to that level). I love picking up his books knowing I’ll have a laugh. That said, I did not laugh with this one as much as with the last Psmith instalment (Leave it to Psmith). This one’s the first one of the Psmith series, and I had great great great fun (five-stars fun) with the beginning. The way Psmith and Mike (but mostly Psmith) enter into scene, become friends, and take control of the school, is the best ever. Then it drags a little bit on the things I find less funny, instead of the ones I laugh the most, and has a bit too much cricket for my taste (and the prologue already warned me!). Still, great great fun.
All the Birds, Singing, Evie Wyld (2014) Unfinished
I’m not counting it as read on GR, but I’m putting it here mostly for the aesthetic effect (the photoset looked ugly with only 8 covers).
I started reading it and apart from a bit confusing (which I don’t mind, the trick is to keep reading), I found it a bit too crude for my taste. The main character, the situations, the secondary characters—It was a mixture of all that that made me stop: I didn’t know what was happening, and (more importantly) I didn’t care at all, and (even more importantly) animals kept dying. Too many for my taste (1 is too many). So I may pick it up again on the future, but on the near future I won’t. Nope, sorry. If anybody’s read it and liked it, I’d be happy to hear them out!
That said, I’m sure it’s a brilliant novel brilliantly written. Not saying otherwise.
American Gods, Neil Gaiman (2001) REVIEW: ★★★★★ (TR) Recommended!
I’ve finally written a sort of review about this, so now I can post this post! Yes! I’m only gonna say this here: see the five stars? See the “recommended” with an exclamation point? Right.
Ajax Penumbra 1969, Robin Sloan (2014) ★★★★★ (P14)
It gets five stars because I love the world Sloan has built, cause I love books (and books about books), and because I like how generally beautiful the book is. However, Ajax Penumbra 1969 needs the prequel to be loved. If you haven’t read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore you can still understand and enjoy this one, but you won’t jump and laugh and get excited like I did.
I do hope he’s writing more things in this universe…
I Am Livia, Phyllis T. Smith (2014) REVIEW: ★★★½ (P14)
Read the review for my reeeeal opinion. Here I’ll just say that it’s a quick fun read, which I recommend to anybody looking to know more about Ancient Rome—But NOT to somebody who already knows a lot about Ancient Rome. If you know what I mean. Also, there’s swoonworthy romance, just saying.
Thérèse Raquin, Émile Zola (1867) ★★★
Well, I didn’t like that book, but after writing my review on Goodreads (which you can find here, and basically says this book’s ridiculous and why I think it is) my sister told me that the point of the book was to put two people in an extreme situation and study how they behave and respond to it. I still think that the book is kind of silly, and that the cause/effect doesn’t work at all, but I can appreciate it more if I think Zola wrote it as a kind of experiment, I guess…
It still gets 3 stars because as a horror story is pretty great, and the dark & suffocating atmosphere is brilliantly transmitted to the page. Looking forward to watching the film…
Fables: Volume 1, Bill Willingham (2003) (ed. 2009) ★★★★
Got this really pretty deluxe first volume for my birthday from my brother (whose birthday is TODAY!! Like Harry Potter). Although I am still not used to reading comics (specially ongoing series in which stories are solved in 5 o so issues, cause I read a lot of manga when I was a teen, and I read many webcomics now) and sometimes I get confused, I loved Fables and I’m definitely gonna keep reading the series.
Characters from our favourite fairy tales are forced to leave their lands due to an evil invasion, and move to present day New York. Loved the main characters (Bigby and Snow White) and the fact that it mixes fairy-tale with everyday-life issues. It’s quite sobering to see the Beauty and the Beast having conjugal problems, but also really fun.
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Laurence Sterne (1768) ★★★★
A really really fun (and unfinished) book. It’s the first think I read by Sterne (though I’ve had Tristam Shandy to my to-read list for ages) and at first I was confused cause it was so funny while remaining so seemingly serious. Although just maybe because it’s unfinished, the book is quite a light read. Pokes fun to tourists (imagine if Sterne saw the state of things today: Barcelona during the summer, ha-ha) and says things like that, while being a book about travelling, and to Sentimental novels, while being one itself. I so wish he had finished it! Although it gives for some amazing controversy (read the last paragraph of the Plot summary).