Posted in Autumn, Book review, Books, Reading Challenge

Books I’ve read recently

This autumn has been an unusually warm one in Finland. When the weather has been good, it has been really nice to spend time outside and just enjoy the full blast of autumn colors for as long as it lasts. And of course there has been time for enjoying the coziness of autumn indoors with books, tea and candles so here are a couple of books I’ve read recently:

These were three very different books and they will help me fill some of the remaining reading challenge prompts. 🙂

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
In my younger years, I used to be a huge fan of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books, which became better known as the True Blood series when HBO made them into a tv series (which I did not particularly like). But the books drew me in and I couldn’t put them down! So when I noticed Charlaine Harris’s new supernatural book series, I naturally hoped for that same feeling of being sucked in to the story, characters and a changed world. The setting for An Easy Death seemed promising: a young gunslinger woman on a mission, wizards, mystery and an alternate history. Sadly I was disappointed. While the new country of Texoma and wizards of the Russian empire and tsar were quite interestingly imagined, unfortunately the main characters were quite bland and as a result the main plot was also somewhat slow and boring. The book was only about 300 pages, and I felt it could have been much shorter. All the scenes of washing, eating, sleeping (and repeat) could’ve easily shortened this book and still it would have needed some of that Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood magic. So I’m not really sure if I should give the next book of this series a chance or not.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
This was a beautiful book written in verse. It’s about a Vietnamese girl who witnesses the sad effects of the Vietnam war and later the challenges of immigrant life. Inside Out & Back Again touched me very deeply because my mom was a kid during the war in Vietnam and I’m sure she would recognize many moments from this book. The short poems tell the everyday situations through a child’s eye who has seen too much change in her life. I’m so happy that I happened to find this book. Without the reading challenge I never would have thought of reading a novel written in verse!

One Day by David Nicholls
Where to begin. This book apparently has been very popular over the years and has even been made in to a movie. I really struggled reading One Day, unfortunately. The two main characters, Emma and Dexter, are followed over the course of a couple of decades and we see how they live their lives and how their friendship evolves over the years. My main issue was that both of the characters were very unlikable and annoying. And there really wasn’t a good reason for them to be friends (or more than that), as the relationship seemed very dysfunctional at times. The only thing keeping them friends seemed to be a vague sexual chemistry but that became a somewhat overused theme over the course of this book. At times I really wondered why am I using my time to read a sad story of two very annoying characters. By the end of the book, I wasn’t convinced that my time was well spent but then again the reading challenges do encourage us to read outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes it’s very rewarding, but this time it was a disappointment.

The books filled these prompts from the two reading challenges I’m trying to finish this year:

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
– An alternative history (Helmet Reading Challenge)
– A Western (Popsugar Reading Challenge)

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

– A story written in verse, narrative poetry or a verse novel (Helmet Reading Challenge)
– A book with a pink cover (Popsugar Reading Challenge) (And yes it’s not all pink but close enough!)

One Day by David Nicholls
– Two books with very similar titles, book 1/2 (Helmet Reading Challenge) (The other one will be One Day In December)
– A bildungsroman

Author:

I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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