Monday, 1 August 2016

Reading Wrap Up | July 2016

I'm rather impressed with the amount of books that I've read this month. I've been on full holiday mode, hence the lack of updates, without even leaving my house, and I think that me getting to read 14 books in that time is rather impressive really. 

Some of the books this month we first time reads, some rereads. I loved some; I hated others. But I'm going to explore that in more detail .... now. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by C.S. Lewis. 
I haven't picked this book up since I was about five years old but it was so wonderful to read it again. I felt like a little girl again, immersing myself in a world that I couldn't really remember. To follow Alice once more as she travelled down the rabbit hole to Wonderland was just brilliant. And I doubt I need to explain why I gave this *****

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, by C.S. Lewis. 
To be honest, I couldn't exactly remember what happened in this book. I know I read it when I was a little girl but the events didn't stick out in my mind. It actually felt like I was reading it for the first time; allowing me to view a story that I didn't know and it truly was beautiful. C.S. Lewis does have the whimsical writing style that is addictive no matter the reader's age. Hence why this also deserved *****

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Frank Baum
I didn't read this book as a child. Sure I knew the story, like everyone else in the world. But this was a first time read which I'm rather ashamed about. But I did adore this. I all but absorbed the tale of Dorothy and her adventures in Oz in a matter of hours. Also something that I really enjoyed reading aloud, it just has that effortless tone to it that has to be read to a group. For me, I read it to my dog and he seemed to enjoy it just as much as me. Another book that undoubtably needs *****

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
These are stories that I will come back to again and again and again but never have I listened to them in audiobook form. There were a few little pronunciations that annoyed me somewhat - although it was titled under the Philosopher's Stone, it actually was the Sorcerer's Stone (American Edition) so some words had been changed to suit a different audience as well as the narrator not knowing how to say some words. But I can get over that because of how wonderful the story is and the narrator's acting was just ... perfect. How could I give this anything less than *****

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
To have this on in the background whilst I was busy ironing and doing other tasks like this just made everything better. Some of the same grievances apply to this as with the previous book. But I can get over that because ... well because it's Harry Potter so it's going to get *****

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
As things begin to get darker, I can really appreciate hearing this out loud as it lets me see deeper into the world that our Queen created. I literally lay on my bed listening to this for hours on end; feeling the suspense and emotions of all the different characters, especially Sirius Black. The delivery alone deserved *****

Inferno, by Dan Brown 
The first of the ten books that I want to read this summer. This book is set in the heart of Italy and follows the story of Harvard Professor Robert Langdon as he is drawn into an ever-growing mystery surrounding on of history's most famous masterpieces .... Dante's Inferno. 
Once again, Dan Brown has received his writing peak, something that was slightly lacking in The Lost Symbol and I found myself guessing through every little twist and turn; wondering what was happening as the book progressed. Truly, I didn't understand it until that final twist and I'm still dumbstruck by it all. 
This has been the most realistic of all of Brown's works, something that could scarily happen at some point in the future. It was brilliant, but there were a few plot holes and it took a long time to get into, hence why I have given it ****

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
The second book to be read out of the ten reads for the summer. This follows the tale of people gifted with unlikely abilities known as Graces, inclu
ding one girl called Katsa. She can kill a man with her bare hands and has been used as the King's thug for a long time. But then something changes and Katsa decides that she must make her own choices; discovering the truth about her grace along the way. 
This wasn't my cup of tea. It was completely unique and I can understand why so many people adore it. But it just wasn't for me. I can appreciate the writing style and how much detail she placed in the world building. But I just couldn't love it. It's strange really. But I can see why people would like it as much as they do so I've given it ****, even though I couldn't grip it I can still see the amazing talent that it took to write it. 

Wandering Star, by Teri Sue Wood
This graphic novel was set in outer space and I thought I would fly through it. It sounded interesting what with the intergalactic war and the various alien races that were visible. But I DNFed it after about 50 pages. It was so dull and the graphics weren't even that great. Hence why I gave it *

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
Set in a world that has a near impenetrable darkness plagued with monsters that feast on man flesh that only one person can destroy; and she doesn't even know it yet. 

It took me a few tries to read this, I adored the 'before' chapter that was written in third person but I couldn't get into Alina's thoughts. I just didn't enjoy her as a character. There was no doubt that this book has a good plot line and I did sort of see it coming. Considering that this book was spoiled for me when I first read about it. The relationships seemed forced at times but some of the descriptions were quite amazing really; the different gifts that were created and the monsters I can appreciate them. But overall, I just really didn't love this book. Hence why I gave it ***

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
This has been my favourite book in the series for as long as I can remember and I was super excited to listen to someone performing it. They did not disappoint and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat and in tears for several parts. You know which ones I mean. This really does deserve all *****

Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers
Everyone knows the story of Mary Poppins right? It's a classic. A classic that I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't read before. I flew through this book and it truly opened my eyes to Mary Poppins in a way that I hadn't considered before. She wasn't the sugary sweet character that is depicted by Disney and I'm actually glad that I hadn't read it until now because I think it would have hurt my childhood slightly. A perfect book that's brilliant for everyone, young and old. Definitely a ***** read. 

Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie 
What's more perfect that the boy who can never grow up. Another classic that I haven't read for the longest of time. Who doesn't love Peter Pan and the unforgettable narration of J.M. Barrie. Can't really say more about it other than it deserved *****

So that's my reading month. How many books did you read this month? Meet any new favourites? Feel free to let me know in the comments. 

Book Total of 2016 - 62