What I'm Reading... #2
It's almost been three months since I last did a What I'm Reading post so I thought I'd put together an updated one for you guys. I have six books here from different genres so hopefully there's something here for you. If there's anything you'd like me to review or if you'd like to talk about a specific book in more depth, please leave a comment below!
Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
I honestly don't know what to think about this book. I read this book in two days (bear in mind that I worked this summer so it wasn't two straight days of reading) so maybe that's an indication of what I thought about the book. BUT, I still can't really make up my mind as to whether I loved the book or not... One thing I know is that I've been telling all my friends to read it so I can talk about it. Essentially, it's about a perfect married couple and as the title suggests, delves into what goes on behind the closed doors of their home. The main girl, Grace, tells the story and the timeline alternates between the present and the past. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen and felt really drawn to the storyline - at times it really was terrifying and literally got my heart pounding. The only problem I had was that I thought the ending was a little rushed and unrealistic.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
This one I finished within a week on my iPad and if you grab a hard copy, you'll see it's a pretty long book. I loved this book so much that as soon as I finished it I watched the BBC mini series of it online. It follows the story of Sue who comes from a "family" (in quotation marks because they're not blood related but raised by Mrs Sucksby) of petty thieves in London. One day she gets a proposition from Gentleman (another thief) to work as a maid for Maud, a gentlewoman, so that Gentleman could easily seduce her and him and Sue could share Maud's inheritance. This book is full of twists and turns - I think of myself as someone who can anticipate twists but honestly, this book contained really unexpected ones right up until the end. I really don't want to give anything away by writing too much but trust me, you have to read this!
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Super disappointed with this one. Contrary to what most reviews say on Goodreads, I actually found it pretty difficult to read, mostly because of the huge list of characters and constant changes in place and time. Might be because I picked up this book when I couldn't really commit to it and came back to it sporadically but still, it wasn't as smooth-flowing as other books that I read and loved. The book is about a couple of main characters like Bennie and follows these characters into the past, present, and the future in different physical spaces. The different chapters are narrated by distinct characters and the parts I enjoyed the most were the intricate connections between chapters and characters.
I think it's worth mentioning that there's a chapter written solely as Powerpoint presentations mostly because of the hype that surrounds it. Of course this divides people into a love/hate group and I have to say I'm not a huge fan. I feel like Jennifer Egan tried to show off a little (sorry!) with this book and a chapter like this or even the one that is told in second person seemed unnecessary for this book.
Slade House by David Mitchell
I loved this book! I hadn't read anything by David Mitchell before but this book has got me wanting to read a lot more of his work. It's a short horror (?) book about the events that happen at Slade House every nine years. I found out that the setting of Slade House is the same world as in the Bone Clocks, another novel by David Mitchell. I kind of wish I'd read the Bone Clocks before reading this one but a lot of reviewers assured me that it didn't really matter which order you read these in. I won't say much more so you can enjoy the book yourself but just lastly, prepare to be scared! Maybe read it around Halloween time?
The Girls by Emma Cline
So one night, I happened to come across an article about Charles Manson and the next thing I know I was watching a whole documentary on it. The next day, I was on Waterstones, just browsing through their selection of books and came across this one which I had heard lots of people mention. I thought it was such a coincidence that the book was based on the Manson family and immediately bought it and started to read it. I actually watched an interview Emma Cline did and what she said about cults resonated with me - that people often focus on the charismatic leader of the group who is often a male and overlook the girls who formed a large part of it. I loved the fact that this story was told by a girl and also loved the fact that it was told by an outsider looking in so that I, as a reader, felt more in tune with the main character Evie.
Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
I finally had a chance to read this controversial book. Essentially, it's a book about Hitler waking up in modern times (more specifically 2011), and seeing everything that has changed. The people around him see him as an impersonator and he quickly becomes a Youtube and a TV sensation. I think it deals a lot with today's tendency to idolise celebrities and despite what some negative reviews say, I don't think the book trivialises the Holocaust or paints Hitler in a positive light. The satire in this book is brilliant - it made me really uncomfortable at times but also made me chuckle. But all in all, I think it's more accurate to say that by writing this satire, Timur Vermes does more to diminish than to trivialise Hitler.