I managed to read 4 out of the 5 books I set for myself in TBR Takedown – a feat I’ll pat myself on the back for because I have never managed to stick to a TBR so closely before. Here are some of my thoughts on the books I read, and I will be doing more full-length reviews for them later on!
I also have a poll at the end of this post, please help me fill it out, it will literally take you 2 seconds and will let you pick what I’ll be reading next month!
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: 5 Stars I absolutely loved this, and all I can wonder is how on earth did it take me so long to read this book? I forgot how beautiful Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is. It’s descriptive, vivid, and she has such a masterful command on human emotions and characterisation. Ronan just jumped up to being one of my faves, his development was phenomenal in this book. Also, all the ships! I absolutely can’t wait to get started on Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
Gossip From The Forest by Sara Maitland: 3 Stars I wanted to love this one so much, but it turned out to be an average read. As mentioned in the previous post, this is a non-fiction linking forests to the magic of fairy tales and how our environment transform our imagination. While I liked Sara Maitland’s writing style and the way retold several fairy tales in this book – I found that the book as a whole lacked research.
The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor: 4 Stars This was another winner for me, such a unique science fiction with great, diverse characters. It’s action-packed and intriguing, centred on the escape of a genetically engineered woman from Tower 7. It mixes African lores with hard science fiction – but more than that, it’s a commentary on colonisation and cultures reclaiming their identity and stories. I definitely need to check out the rest of this series.
My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki: 4 Stars While I did not love this as much as A Tale For The Time Being (a tough call, in any case, as Time Being is my favourite book of this year), I still found this very interesting and well-written. It features a biracial documentarian and her expose on the US meat industry. Along with unravelling from ugly truths about the cattle industry, it also makes a comment on cultural identity and traditional gender roles. If you’re after a thought provoking read, I would recommend it – be warned that it does get quite violent and gory in parts, though.
Lastly, I was meant to read Pinball by Haruki Murakami, which did not happen because I got side-tracked and read Smoke by Dan Vyleta (2.5 Stars) instead (somewhat of a mistake, as Smoke was quite disappointing). However, I did somewhat redeem myself by also reading The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (3.5 Stars), which was a short, breezy read – filled with weird and wonderful plot as expected from Murakami. The hard copy edition is also gorgeously printed with several art plates within, highly recommended!
I think it worked out well for me, so I will be doing more of these readathons in the future. I am tackling the Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon next. You can check it out here if you’re interested. Could you please help me by voting for what I should read below? I have included a lot of popular YA titles I’ve yet to read/need reread before I continue on with the rest of the series. I will choose the top 3 options!