I rate and review books. I love horror, fantasy, suspense and Japanese literature. I might ramble about book hauls as well.
I haven't been on this website in a long while, woa.
That being said, I want to try picking it up again as I do enjoy it. My shelves are not up to date anymore and I haven't written a review for all the books I've read since the last time I posted. But I figured I'll just write a review sort of thing for the last book I've read.
Which would be The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
I was very excited when I first heard about the book, since the story is set in Amsterdam during the Golden Age. I myself just moved from my hometown in the Netherlands to Amsterdam so I figured it would be fun to read. Which it was, since there were alot of places in the book I've actually been to and go to on a regular basis.
Anyhow, the 18 year old Nella Oortman moves from Assendelft to Amsterdam, to marry the rich Johannes Brandt and live with him. I've felt that the book starts up quite slow. It took me a long time to get through about the first quarter of the book. This because to me it felt like everyone was being secretive, Nella was trying to stuff out, but she was kept in the dark.
However when she found out the secret of Johannes the pace of the book quickened and it was very exciting. I was able to get really into it at this point and read it faster. The writing style is very pleasant and it reads pretty easy.
What I still don't fully understand is the role of the Miniaturist in the story. The Miniaturist mysteriously sends Nella dolls for the dollhouse Johannes gave her. Nella believes that the dolls and the Miniaturist somehow control their fate. She tries numerous times to confront the Miniaturist but to no avail.
It kind of bothered me that this part was never fully explained. The is no explanation of who The Miniaturist really is, why she did the things she did, or if the Miniaturist really had some kind of power to control fate. Re-reading the first chapter after I finished the book only raised more questions for me. However, I did liked how well-rounded it was.
Though I still gave the book 4 out of 4 stars. This because I enjoyed the suspense and the drama. However if you are hoping for magic and mystery in a historical setting you might come out a bit deceived. Since to me it didn't feel like it was all about The Miniaturist in the story, but more about the struggles and secrets of the Brandt family and Nella. The ordeal with the Miniaturist felt more like something on the side to me.
I've been on a holiday to London, and of course I had to buy some books. I visited Waterstones Piccadilly (which is huge!), Forbidden planet and the Harry Potter store.
I haven't been on this site in such a long time, which I am sorry for. I just got busy with school and at some point I forgot about this site, since I also keep track of my reading progress on Goodreads. Which I think is a bit more easy and faster to do as this website. But I enjoy the whole ''blog thing'' on this site so I thought I should return.
Recently I finished ''Burial Rites'' by Hannah Kent, and I thought I'd share my opinion about the book.
First of all, Burial Rites is quite a sad book. It's about Agnes Magnusdottir, a woman in Iceland who is accused of murder and therefore condemned to death.The story is fiction based on facts. There was a real Agnes Magnusdottir in Iceland charged with murder, who was also the last person in Iceland to be given the death sentence.
Agnes is sent to live with a family on a farm, to wait out her punishment there. The family, who is forced to take her in obviously resents her and tries to avoid her as much as possible since she is murderess after all. The only one who seems to be willing to talk to her at all is the priest, who is sent to help her ''see the ways of god''. Though the behaviour of the family towards Agnes gradually changes throughout the story. As they learn more about her and hear her story. They learn that Agnes has been a victim of the lies and stories of those around her. The family slowly becomes sort of attached to her, and let her work with them on the farm.
I absolutely loved this book. Even though the theme is quite sad and might seem like a heavy read, it actually wasn't too heavy and I was able to read through it quite quickly. Once you start reading you keep wanting to know more about Agnes and how she got into the situation she is in.The story itself is beautifully written, I specially loved the discription of Agnes's thoughts and her conversations with the priest, Toti.
What I also ''enjoyed'' was the similarities between Margaret and Agnes. They are both women on the brick of death. Throughout the book you can really notice how they are in a way drawn to each other.
The story gave me a curiousity about Agnes Magnusdottir and made me want to look up more about her after I finished the book. It is very sad that her death was not prevented, since she was obviously innocent. The story shows that there was so many evidence overlooked. It is quite clear that they just wanted an easy solution and thus pointed fingers at Agnes. Yet I guess it is a good thing that she was the last person to ever be condemned to death in Iceland. It shows that they did realise at some point that they were wrong. Even though it is sad that their mistake was at cost of her life. Which makes the story so sad.
I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars, I really enjoyed reading it. I felt fore all the characters who learnt the truth about Agnes, and of course Agnes herself. If you're up for a sad story based on facts, then you should definitely pick up this book. It is beautifully written and a great debut of the author.
Since I have christmas break from college right now, I decided to take a picture of all the stuff I've read in 2013.
So with very long overdue, I'd like to show you guys my bookhaul for November. Sorry for the dark picture, it has been raining non-stop here lately and the weather is just dark in general, so there is no point in waiting for light to come out.
Anyhow, I've bought:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
- Dracula's Guest
- The Exorsist by William Peter Blatty
- When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman (I don't know anything about this book, the title just seemed interesting to me)
- The X Files ''Opgang'' (this is a Dutch translation of an X Files book)
- Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Animal Farm by George Orwell.
You might have seen Dracula's Guest in my previous post, but I bought it in November so I thought it belonged in this haul. They were having a sale in English literature at my local bookstore so I decided to buy 2 George Orwell books and When God was a Rabbit. I'm also looking forward to reading Shades of Grey, the story seems really interesting!
So this is 1 book out of my November haul which I still need to post. I think I bought some pretty nice books this month.
Anyhow this book is a collection of Victiorian vampire stories, Including Dracula's Guest by Bram Stroker! I love horror stories and vampires so this book is perfect for me! And isn't the cover pretty? I really love it.
A short while ago I finished this book. It's called ''Still life with Crows'' by Preston&Child. The version of which you see the picture of right now is the Dutch one. It was the version I bought at the thriftstore. I like the cover of the Dutch version so I wanted to add that one. The title in Dutch is ''kraaienvoer''
Anyhow, where do I start? I thought this book was really awesome. It takes place in a small town in Kansas. Brutal murders are taking place and special agent Pendergast is investigating the case.
I loved how the book slowly built up the tension. It started with the creepy murders and victims being hunted by the murderer, and it ended rather bloody and nerve-wrecking.
What I also enjoyed very much was that the killer turned out to be non-human (kind of?) Which added even more creepyness to the story.
This might be a bit of a short ''review'', but I absolutely loved the book, I enjoyed Pendergasts character and the scary moments. This book was a perfect October read, it sometimes gave me quite some creeps while I was reading in bed at night.
So if you want a scary Thriller to read for Halloween I would certainly suggest this book! It is definitely not your average crime thriller.
Sadly, most of the money I have spent last month went to books for college, and the college tuition. So I'm the typical broke student now I guess. But luckily my favourite thift store is only 10 minutes away from my house, so I decided to buy some cheap second hand books.
I bought ''American Psycho'' by Bret Easton Ellis. I saw the movie a couple of years ago and I didn't like it that much. But I heard the book was pretty good so I thought I'd give it a try when I saw it at the thrift store. It is said that the violence and sex written in the book are quite graphic so I hope I will be able to deal with that. I love the cover of this book though.
Next, I bought ''Birdman'' (Vogelman in Dutch) by Mo Hayder. I wanted to try one of her books for a while now. And this hardcover version was only 1,50!
I also bought ''Idoru'' by William Gibson. I thought the story involving a Japanese idol was cool. And I've been curious for this writer because I want to read Mona Lisa Overdrive sometime.
Then I bought ''Chocolat'' by Joanne Harris. I liked the movie, so that's simply why I bought the book. The cover kind of creeps me out because it looks like a tacky romance novel in my opinion. >D
And last but not least: I bought a Japanese version of Hannibal by Thomas Harris. I can't read Japanese so don't ask me what I'm supposed to do with it. But I like Japan and Hannibal so there you go.
I just finished Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and I wanted to write down my thoughts about it.
First of all, I can understand why this book is a modern classic. Nabokov's writing is fluent and poetic, which is very impressive since English is not his first language. I was pretty amazed by his writing style. The subject of the book is quite risky, because it could all turn into some raunchy mess. Which luckily did not happen. I did felt slightly uncomfortable when Humbert molested Lolita.
But unfortunately I have to say that this book was not for me. I didn't like the main character, Humbert Humbert at all. I couldn't sympathise with him or relate to him because he is a pedophile and very selfish. At moments I got so annoyed with his dramatic character. This all made it very difficult for me to read the book. I even got tempted to put it away but on the other hand I did wanted to finish it.
What also bothered me that it was very one sided. Everything seemed to be in Humbert's favour until the very end. Which seemed rather unlikely to me.
So all in all, I was impressed by the writing style but there was just no way for me to really get into the story basically because of the main character.
I might read the book again to give it a second chance but not for now. I really wanted to like it more.
I do think that parents could learn from this book. They should be careful who they let around their child. Even if it is someone who seems like he has the best intentions.
I thought I was done with buying reading material for now, but I went into town with a friend a couple of days ago and I found this manga. Monster by Naoki Urasawa. I watched the anime a couple of years ago but I never managed buying all the manga. I only have one: volume 15, which is kind of random. :'D
So I hope the shop where I bought this one at will be carrying them for a while so that I can buy them all eventually. That is kind of the issue with buying manga in town. The shops always carry random volumes and when those are sold out they rarely get new ones. This shop has all the volumes and is not extremely overpriced for once.
Sooo I've been buying some books again.
Two (the ones on the left and right ) are from the thrift store. I always love going there because you never know what you are going to find. The books are super cheap,they have a huge variety and it's only 10 minutes away from my house. I love browsing at that place.
The left one is ''Autopsy'' by Howard Olsen. I looked the book up on goodreads when I got home, and the reviews weren't that positive..But the book is a ''medical thriller'' which seemed interesting to me so we'll see what I think about it. And I think the cover is kind of cool with the syringe. Which is also on the spine of the book.
The one on the right is ''Still Life with Crows'' by Preston&Child. I was actually very happy to find this one because I've already been planning on reading a book of the Pendergast series. So it really felt like a lucky find and I'm looking forward to reading it.
The one in the middle is a new book which I've bought at my local bookstore. It is Alice in Wonderland in a pretty penguin classic edition. I've read Alice in Wonderland before when I was in high school. But I thought it would be nice to re-read it and to own the book. Since I borrowed it from a friend back when I read it for the first time.
I bought new pencils a short while ago, so I thought I'd try them out. I didn't really knew what to draw so I drew some books.
Not my best drawing but oh well.
So I got some new books!
I already own Dracula but in Dutch. I really wanted to read the English version as well, and this penguin version is very pretty so I had to take it with me.
Lolita is just a book I've been wanting to read since forever. I'm really looking forward to reading it and I'm very curious. I think I will read this next.