During the last two weeks I have been spending my time taking driving lessons, working at the regional newspaper and reading. I have been able to finish quite some books: a necessary after a crammed semester that left little room for any non-academic reads. Here’s a list of what I’ve been reading and how I felt about it:
1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguiro. I picked up this book very cheaply at a one pound shop, when I was in Oxford. I was already a fan of Ishiguiro’s work and this novel didn’t prove to be less. The writing style in the book is the same familiar one as in his other novels, though the topic and theme are slightly different. Remains of the Day and A Pale View of Hills seemed the most concerned with history and tradition, while Never Let You Go is more futuristic. A little different, but just as enjoyable as his other work!
2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I actually expected more of this book when I picked it up to read it. I just do not understand why so many people love this book. In my opinion the novel is quite simplistic and straightforward. I did not feel that the lessons it tries to bring across in a parable like way were very new. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the life lessons that this book tries to teach, it just wasn’t that groundbreaking to me.
3. Travels through the Scriptorium by Paul Auster. When I finished reading this book, the end was quite stuck in my mind. It really got me thrown for a while. Throughout the novel, we follow Mr. Blank, who stays in one room the entire time (we don’t know if he is actually imprisoned or not). Throughout the story we learn a little about Mr. Blank through visits of different people, but clear answers are not given at all. I was waiting to figure out the answers on the questions of where Mr. Blank is and what’s going on, but this did not happen. Instead some kind of spooky, mysterious atmosphere is created, which I at first did not really know what to do with. Thinking it over, I think that Auster created a very interesting image into the mind of an author, dealing with questions of power and more.
Auster definitely got my attention with his writing style and I am planning to read more of his works. As I also found in other reviews, this novel is more interesting for Auster fans because it apparently contains a lot of references to characters of his previous works. I can imagine that the story itself becomes a lot more interesting with moments of recognition.
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (part I). One of my friends was reading this book a few weeks ago, which reminded me that I should really read it too. When I shortly after found the total collection of five books with a large discount, I couldn’t resist buying it. And I am so glad I did. This book is simply hilarious. I love the humor in this book and I love how actually the human race is sort of mocked throughout.
5. The Hobbit by Tolkien. Some of my friends have been wanting me to start reading Tolkien for a while already and so I can finally make them happy by saying I read the Hobbit. And I was not disappointed. I think it is amazing he created this entire world. Next to that, the book also brought about different emotions at different parts of the book. It is a very well-rounded work and I just love Bilbo. Can’t wait to start reading the Lord of the Rings.
6. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (part II). Before continuing my Tolkien journey, I really wanted to read another book in this series. Again, I had some very good laughs while reading. I cracked up reading about a cow in a restaurant that was produced with the want to be eaten by others and actually offered himself to the customers, with of course greatly astonished the two ‘earthlings’ present.
Currently reading: The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien. Yes, as I said I couldn’t wait to start the series, and so I did. Enjoying the start of a new journey!
So what are you reading lately? Any tips on what to read next?