Friday, 31 March 2017

My last 5 books: A mish-mash of languages and genres

1. Gods & Tulips, by Neil Gaiman. Similar to Free Speeches this is a compilation of speeches and essays by various writers in defence of comics. Same as with Free Speeches I mostly skimmed through it, found some good parts, smiled a bit, and continued skimming. I got this book as part of Gaiman's Humble Bundle. It was somewhat interesting, but I would probably have enjoyed it more if I had a larger interest in the world of comics and actually knew more of what they were talking about. So it's probably more my fault that the book's that I didn't like it more.

2. The Stand, by Stephen King. The last book in my King marathon! And I really liked it, although it felt too long at times, and the way it all ended felt a bit anti-climactic. I was very excited to read this after I read an interview where Corey Taylor said this was his favourite book ever. For me, I wouldn't call this a favourite but it's still really good. I liked most of the characters and for the ones I didn't like  I was still interested enough in them to want to know where their stories would lead them. I felt like King spent too much time on certain characters' back story (e.g. Trashcan Man) and not enough on others' (e.g. Randall Flagg). I'm not a scientist in any way, but I still got the gut feeling that some of the science in the book wouldn't really work. While I mostly enjoyed the book it's getting on a bit in years (and it's still supposed to take place in the future, which is now 27 years in the past, but it's the future from the book's time of writing), and I would actually love to see a remake of this book but in our close future. I would like to see how this post-apocalyptic world would work with the prospect of trying to get the Internet back online or cell phones, and maybe finding survivors even in other countries. I want to find out what happened in the rest of the world. Did the flu hit there too or was it isolated to the US? Did the rest of the world founder or just move on and forget about the States? Food for thought... But the main question on my mind after finishing this book is: What happened to Kojak?

3. Kuroshitsuji 1, by Yana Toboso. Black Butler in English. I have heard so much about this manga and several years back it was very popular. I haven't gotten around to reading it until now, and I was actually really surprised. I expected some fanciful slice-of-life manga from some rich boy's life. What I got was plots and demons. I expected silly and got exciting. And now I'm really looking forward to continuing this story.

4. The House of the Four Winds, by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory. First part in what looks to be a series, each book detailing the adventures of each of the twelve daughtes of Swansgaarde. This book is so up my alley it's not even funny (which is why I bought it to begin with); badass ladies in cross-dress, swashbuckling their way through pirates, all the while learning about seafaring and falling in love with the young and handsome crew member. Yes, please! What I liked even more about this book was that it wasn't the silly rose-coloured sort of girly love that's usually the case when romance finds its way into books. This was a mature kind of love. Something that evolved from simple companionship into friendship into something more. And also, it's not just pirates - it's also magic! Only thing I didn't like about this book was the dialogue - it felt a little stilted. The text was good. The dialogue not so much.

5. Barnbruden, by Anna Laestadius Larsson. When I was about 10 years old I had a pretty obsessive interest in the royal lineage of Sweden. I don't remember what got me into it. But my interest sort of lingers in the back of my head, and when I saw this book which details the courtly intrigues of the reign of Gustav III, I pretty much immediately decided to get it. That was sometime last year. I only got around to reading it now and I absolutely loved it. Partly fiction and partly reality, which made me really interested in reading the actual journal of Princess Hedvig Eleonora Charlotta, which of course is what this book bases it's reality upon. Every time a character was introduced in the book I did a run-through of everything I already knew about them inside my head, fitting what I knew into the story of the book. The author must've done the same, because everything actually fits. Thus far one of my absolute favourites of this year. Really excited to read the next two in the trilogy!

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