24 January 2014

A Year of Books | Weekly Recap






A lot of you really enjoyed my blog post about my reading goals for the year, so I thought I would take the time to update you all on my progress in my Friday posts. So far, I've read three books in my attempt to read 14 books this year. I have a feeling I may read far more than this if I keep going at this rate, but I've been known to get a bit ahead of myself with things like this, so no promises yet. :)

Below you'll find three little reviews for the books I've crossed off my 14-in-2014 book list. 

STARDUST by NEIL GAIMAN



FIRST IMPRESSION

This book had so much potential for awesome, and it kind of was if you're into using your imagination to give detail to every non-chalant mention of something quite fantastic.

Neil Gaiman's style is reminiscent of those old tales that you hear as a child in which things are rarely described in detail because it's the what and how that's the point, not the why.

Stardust is a fairytale. Nothing more, nothing less which is fine if this were something told word of mouth. As a novel, it was really lacking in interest for me.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The synopsis is enchanting: a young man vows to travel into a magical land and bring back a fallen star for the woman he loves. Enter pirates who sail ships in the clouds, a witch hell bent on restoring her power and beauty, and a few power-hungry brothers competing for their father's land and you have the inkling that this will be one epic novel.

But it's not. In fact, by the end, it's so anti-climatic, you find yourself wondering...well, what was the point in writing this in the first place? There are interesting themes of compassion and heartache, and grace, but they're just sort of flopped on the table as if to say, "I could have put more effort into this, but I'm not going to waste my time."

FINAL THOUGHTS
I may have missed the point completely with this book, because don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable to read. There are tons of places in the book where you find yourself saying, "Oh my gosh, what's going to happen here? Are they going to find out that one important detail before it's too late? Will they survive? Will they get captured? How will they know what to do?" And then that hanging-on-the-edge-of-your-seat moment that comes because you, the reader, have backstory and important information the protagonists don't, becomes really insignificant and turns out to not matter at all.







IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? by MINDY KALING

FIRST IMPRESSION

I've always been interested in Mindy Kaling and so I picked up this book mainly because 
1. I adore her and 
2. it had a floral print cover and 
3. I wanted to read something light and funny.

I didn't read any reviews or really even the synopsis on Amazon. I just bought the kindle version and dove right in. 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
What I found in Kaling's book were really little essays rather than chapters that create one chronological story. Some "chapters" are little anecdotes about her personal views, some provide insight into how she got on The Office, and some are just silly little lists about being a best friend, or a collection of phone selfies that she finds embarrassing yet felt the need to share. This could also be evidence for the chapter in which she talks about hho

FINAL THOUGHTS
It was fun and cute and great for those in-between moments of busy. You can read one chapter and put the book down to go do something else. There were moments in this book where I greatly identified with some of her insecurities and fears. I'm glad there was some seriousness in there. This is a fun little book to go back to and pick out excerpts to read to friends for a good laugh and to delight in just how FUN Mindy is, but that's it really. 




MASIE DOBBS by JACQUELINE WINSPEAR



FIRST IMPRESSION
Now that Downton Abbey is back, I need something to fuel the wait between episodes. This book takes place during that intriguing Interwar period where the characters are rebuilding their lives after WWI and have yet to suspect another world war is just around the corner. 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT
The book opens with Maisie Dobbs setting up shop in her new office as a private investigator. It's implied that this is her first time working on her own as she was accustomed to being the protégé of another. Through working out her first case, the book travels to times before the war and during the war, unearthing Maisie's life as a maid, her time as a nurse in the war, and the people that have supported her throughout it all. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
I LOVED THIS BOOK. It's so much more than a mystery novel. It really gives you a ton of backstory into how Maisie is so good at solving cases, how her mind works, and why. I really enjoyed the upstairs/downstairs flashbacks, the signs of change in the English class system, and the conflict in emotions between characters. There's danger, love, intrigue, and it's all done with taste. I was even more pleased to find out that there's (gasp!) 11 books to this series. I can't even handle it. I may not even get to the rest of my books on the list if the rest of the Maisie Dobbs books are as fun as this one.

*My apologies if this post made no sense. I've come down with ANOTHER cold and feel slightly out of it due to all the cold medicine and overall wooziness that comes with the sneezing, coughing, and aching of being sick.


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the Kaling reveiw! I think I'll read it based on this, now that I've been prepared. I think a lot of people were expecting something much different when it first came out and she got a lot of flack for it

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    1. Agreed! Also, it appears That part of my review on her book didn't get published.the last sentence was cut off in the middle! I will definitely fix that to day. :)

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  2. I started reading Mindy's book but never got a chance to finish it because I got if from the library, and alas, had to return it. It's on my to-buy list, though! I've come to admire and love her so much recently (especially after I've read more about her and now watch her show--do you?). :)

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    1. Silence is required in our house when The Mindy Project is on. :) I'm borderline obsessed with her, but tried to stay objective in case she ever found this review. I don't want her thinking that I want to track her down and spend the rest of my life convincing her why we should be besties, haha. :)

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    2. Haha, I love that! I was a little unsure about her show before I started it, but I love it and think she's way better on this show than she was on The Office (will that offend you?). :) Anyway, I'm kind of the same way with her and Jennifer Lawrence, too! I think it would definitely be a compliment!

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