On the Bookshelf | 2016 Reading Challenge Part II

19 July 2016

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week! Before we jump into what I've been reading lately, a quick service announcement. I've added ratings to my book reviews! I personally have always found book reviews with blogger's ratings more helpful for choosing the next book I want to read. As my book reviews come in sets of ten, my hope is that these ratings will help you easily chose what book to pick up next! All my ratings are the same ratings I provided these books on Goodreads, so if you aren't following me there make sure to add me and say hello! Okay, shall we dive in?

THE SILVER WITCH | Paula Brackston 
Adult fantasy is a hard art to master. I rarely pick up books like this solely for that reason. Having said that, I found The Silver Witch to be an exceptional fantasy novel geared towards an older crowd. The Silver Witch follows a newly widowed woman, Tilda Fordwells, into Wales where she discovers her mystical ancestry. There is mystery, suspense, action, and even a little romance. I personally love books that reference ancient magic and found this book very entertaining!

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM | Giovanna Fletcher
Recently I've been traveling for work, and I usually prefer a good audiobook to the radio. I chose this book for a little lighthearted fun. Unfortunately, I found myself depressed and slightly bored. Sarah, a woman who can remember every detail of almost every dream, finds the world she created in her sleep to be more exciting than reality. When the two words crash, it becomes a comically sad mess.

As the Wars of the Roses are becoming a highly sought after topic, the amount of historical works have increase drastically over the last 20 years. Weir's work, published in 1995, is one of the best comprehensive works out there for this particular time period.

My friend and I challenged ourselves to begin reading more banned books by American authors. The Color Purple is arguably one of the most well known book that had been banned at some point in time. Walker's novel is immediately heart wrenching, and within pages I was crying. Celie, although uneducated and unappreciated, understands how to survive. As time goes on, she gains courage and strength to create a world of her own.

Where do I even begin with this book? A group of classic students at a small elite college become obsessed with the circumstances surrounding an accidental death. A well written physiological thriller that I would recommend to anyone willing to take on the daunting task of reading such a long book.

THE SCARLET LETTER | Nathaniel Hawthorne
Everyone knows the general theme of The Scarlet Letter. However, as I read this book (in one night I might add) the image in my head was completely broken down. The idea of adultery was of course the same, but there were many other themes I found to be even more interesting. Self vs public image, the ideas of childhood, living outside of society's rules. I throughly enjoyed this book, however, it is not something I will pick up again any time soon.

Fitzgerald has clever way of creating characters that I absolutely despise, yet feel invested in. The book follows the spoiled Anthony and Gloria in 1920s New York. The two characters are toxic for each other. Their love slowly leads to each of their downfalls. An entertaining and somewhat biographical read, The Beautiful and Damned has to be one of my favorite Fitzgerald reads.

THE BURIED GIANT | Kazuo Ishiguro
Hmmm, okay. So I really wanted to like this book. An elderly couple sets out to find their son, only they can't really remember him, let alone anything from their distant past. My biggest problem was the writing style. I LOVED it, but it had been a while since I had read something Tolkien-esk. The amount of detail that went into each conversation was borderline excessive which made it extremely hard to get through.

AFTER YOU | Jojo Moyes
Lousia Clark is a character I just don't understand. After reading Me Before You and balling my eyes out, I was interested to see how Louisa's life carried on without Will. (Spoiler alert: it isn't that grand). Would I recommend this to anyone who has read Me Before You? Probably not.

I'm surprised it has taken me this long to finally read The Causal Vacancy. A spot for a Parish Councilor becomes unexpectedly vacant leaving the tiny town of Pagford in total chaos. Rowling creates a town of betrayal and secrecy, one that can be compared to almost any small town across the world. The overall theme of this book was fantastic, however the sheer amount of characters I was forced to keep up with was daunting and at times slightly confusing. 

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