Friday, October 9, 2015

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

I was a little hesitant going into this book. I knew almost nothing about it, except for the ending and the fact that a lot of people find it dense and unreadable. So imagine my surprise when I found it a surprisingly easy and compelling read.

Madame Bovary tells the story of farmgirl Emma, who marries provincial doctor, Charles Bovary, and almost immediately regrets it when she realises that it means she has to live in the provinces. She uses books as a means of escapism until her mother-in-law decides that all this fiction reading is making her hysterical, and orders Charles to cut off her access to books. So Emma turns to affairs instead.

I don't know if it was the translation I read or if I was just in the right headspace for this book, but I flew through it. The writing was beautiful, the story was pretty fast paced for a classic, and the characters felt surprisingly modern a lot of the time. Sure, Emma's occasional bouts of full blown hysteria weren't exactly modern, but it's a nineteenth century book. We can't expect everything.

While I was reading this, I was struck several times by similarities to Anna Karenina. Or at least the Anna-y parts of Anna Karenina. Unhappy marriage, one child, affairs, tragic ending. Except that I liked this approximately a thousand times more than Anna Karenina, with all its rambling side plots and segues about farming.

The ending was both more and less dramatic than I'd imagined, and while I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the "whip around all the main characters to find out their fates" chunk at the very end - because it seemed a little anticlimactic after the drama that preceded it - I still appreciate that it was included to demonstrate the impact that certain events had on those involved.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'd definitely recommend it.

Have you read it? What did you think??

K xx

Monday, October 5, 2015

September reading wrap up

Another month over, and we're definitely into the pointy end of the year now!

Books read: 34. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
New vs rereads: 22 vs 12. This month was...not good in terms of rereads. There were too many new books I wanted to read, dammit!
Most read genre: Contemporary. AGAIN. Although fantasy was only one book behind...

Favourite book: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Holy hell, it was amazing.
Least favourite book: I guess by default it goes to the book that I DNFed, The Fifth Season. But really, the problem with this wasn't the book so much as that it just wasn't the book for me.
Favourite cover: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. It's so preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty!

Diverse Books Project: This month was definitely an improvement on last month in terms of how much I enjoyed the books I read. But I did quit one, so...I guess it balances out.

Oh yeah. I also got a haircut.

In September, I ended up reading 3 graphic novels, 2 non-fiction books, and 29 novels. There are links to all my Goodreads reviews below!

5 stars
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

4.5 stars
Roller Girl
Roller Girl

4 stars
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)Tales of the Otherworld (Otherworld Stories, #II)Hawkeye, Vol. 4: Rio BravoThe Shepherd's CrownMy Brilliant Career / My Career Goes BungCinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Scarlett UndercoverTalk Under WaterEl DeafoWhat I Thought Was TrueThe Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)The Miraculous Fever-treeThe Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2)Madame BovaryThe Last Leaves Falling
Lair of Dreams | Tales of the Otherworld | Hawkeye Vol 4: Rio Bravo | The Shepherd's Crown | My Brilliant Career/My Career Goes Bung | Cinder | Scarlett Undercover | Talk Under Water | El Deafo | What I Thought Was True | The Last Camel Died At Noon | The Miraculous Fever Tree | The Light Fantastic | Madame Bovary | The Last Leaves Falling |

3.5 stars
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Becoming Kirrali LewisWay Down Dark  (The Australia Trilogy, #1)Guardian of the DeadEverything, EverythingSoon (Once, #5)Hello, Goodbye, And Everything In Between
Queen of Shadows | Becoming Kirrali Lewis | Way Down Dark | Guardian of the Dead | Everything Everything | Soon | Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between |

3 stars
The Islands at the End of the World (Islands at the End of the World, #1)The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next, #3)The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the BountyWorld After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8)
The Islands at the End of the World | The Well of Lost Plots | The Bounty | World After | The Iron King | From Dead to Worse |

2.5 stars
Tyrannosaur Canyon (Wyman Ford #1)Prey
Tyrannosaur Canyon | Prey |

2 stars
Thanksgiving |

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
The Fifth Season

What did you read in September?

K xx
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