Weekly Preview 22/11/20

Hello everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week. I’ve absolutely been loving having an e-reader, which I got for my birthday on Monday. My school has also requested that all of year 13 stay home due to COVID cases being found in the school. This is great for my personal learning, because I haven’t been in school since March, and I now get my lessons online.

On the other hand, it does mean that my upcoming mocks in January might be my actual grades if the government cancels exams again, so I need to ace them. This means more revision and less time for reading. I’m going to try to still review 2-3 books a week, but you’ll know why if I don’t achieve that.

The past week has been another good one in terms of reviews. I posted articles on We, Sapiens and Synthetic Selection, as well as the next week of my review of The Color Purple.

At the moment I’m in the middle of both The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig. Longtime followers will know how much I love Wendig’s stuff, and once again he hasn’t disappointed. I’m also loving Priory because one of my absolute favourite genres in court intrigue.

I still want to read Pompeii, but I’ve been distracted by other books so far. I’m not sure I’ll get to it this week either, but I’m going to try.

Stay safe and keep reading!

Book Review: We

We is a classic, essentially being the founding father of dystopia and directly inspiring some of the most famous books of the genre. Yevgeny Zamyatin’s masterpiece is definitely thought-provoking, and I can clearly see why it has wide appeal. However, I found the book hard to read, in the same way that I found 1984 hard to read. I just wasn’t a fan of the way it was written I think.

The novel is set in ‘OneState’, many years in the future. OneState controls every aspect of its citizens, or Number’s, lives. Everything is meticulously times, creativity is stifled and science reigns supreme. Yet beneath this perfect exterior, discontent has begun to foment.

The best part of the book is definitely the themes within it. It explores love, logic, beauty, creativity, the nature of the human soul and mind, the meaning of life and more. This exploration is one of the fullest I’ve experienced in a long time, and left me feeling like I have only scratched the surface of what’s on offer.

The imagery was also excellent. Its vividity made conjuring mental images easy, and the nature of some of the figurative language fit perfectly into the world that had been created. These descriptions helped to make the book more interesting, although they also made the flow worse. The descriptions also helped me to identify with the main character, D-503, since they were told from his perspective as the novel is in first person.

However, I didn’t like D-503 very much. It was clear that he was a character in turmoil, but I found him to be quite whiny. Yet it seemed clear to me that he had a distinct personality, and was well written. The same cannot be said for the rest of the characters. Most felt more like placeholders to embody certain themes than autonomous agents. I found it hard to connect with them, as we often knew very little about there motivations or feelings.

Some classics I’ve read in the past are still very readable despite their age. I did not find We fell into this category. I didn’t find that the plot or the language gripped me, and kept me hooked, but I can’t say why. Overall, the book felt like it should be really good, but it just didn’t do it for me. Therefore, I’ll give it 5 out of 7, although I wouldn’t personally recommend the book to someone looking to get into dystopia.

Weekly Preview 15/11/20

Hey everybody. Hope you’ve had a good past week; mine’s been pretty standard. Although my school did get their first confirmed case of coronavirus. Last week I reviewed Jonah and The Silent Bluebird, both of which were provided to me by Rosie. Speaking of which, I’ve joined her review team! I’m really excited about this opportunity, and I’ve got a free copy of Synthetic Selection, which I’m hoping to read and review this week.

I also finally finished We, and it was a real slog. It wasn’t bad overall, but definitely not the easiest read. I’ll have a review coming on Tuesday.

I’m also in the middle of Sapiens which has been really good so far. I thought it was about time to read some more non-fiction, and it has been really informative and easy to digest so far.

What have you been reading? What are you most excited to read next?

Weekly Preview 8/11/20

Hi everyone. Hopefully you’ve had a good week. I haven’t got through as much reading as I would have liked this week, as I’ve been distracted by the US election. However, I did review Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Wasteland last week.

I only got partway through We this week, and I’m hoping to finish it in the next few days. I also read Jonah as a second book for the #RRABC, and should have a review written for Tuesday.

I’m also taking a deep dive into the first part of The Color Purple on Friday as part of my new weekly post Slow Reads. Use the link if you’re interested to learn more about it.

Looking to what else I might read this week, I’m thinking of starting Pompeii by Robert Harris since I liked Imperium so much. Hopefully I’ll get the time.

Let me know your plans for the week.


Weekly Preview 1/11/20

I have some exciting news this week – I’m taking part in Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge. It’s kind of exhilarating because I got a free copy of Wasteland by Terry Tyler, and now I feel like a real reviewer! The book has been good so far and you’ll get to see the review soon. Also, I’ve been really impressed with how helpful and quick to respond Rosie has been. There is still time to participate in this challenge (I think), and this could be a great way to get into reviewing if anyone is interested.

Beyond that, last week I reviewed Life of Pi and One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, both of which were decent books. I also participated in my first ever book tag.

There’s a review of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children coming on Tuesday as per usual. It had some pretty creepy pictures in it, which was a really unique part of the book.

I’m hoping to keep up the sci-fi slant to the blog by reading We next week (as well as finishing Wasteland). I’m pretty excited about this one since it is supposed to have inspired Orwell’s 1984, which will definitely be interesting to see.

Finally, I’ve got some more ideas for the blog coming down the pipeline. I want to try and find more recurring content, so that I can start to post every day. At the moment, I would need to write 5 book reviews in a week to accomplish this, which just isn’t going to happen. Therefore, I’ve had an idea for something I’m currently calling ‘slow reads’, with more information to follow on Friday. Also, I want to take some Saturday’s (normally my day off) to post more political content (the original concept for the blog). You might recall me saying I was going to read The Communist Manifesto, which I did last week, so look for something about it on Saturday. Although I might end up talking about the American election or other pressing news if I feel it is more relevant.

That’s all for the preview. What are you most interested to read? Is there anything else you want to see on the blog? What did you most enjoy reading in October?