Reading abstract: Jan/Feb 2015

Whoa, this is late. How can it already be May? I thought I would like to try and write about all the books I read this year as an extension of my 25 Book Challenge. But then life happened. And work. More work than life actually… So I put off writing the wrap-up of the first two reading months. Until suddenly it was May. But better late than never! These were the first books I read this year:

 

Foxglove Summer
by Ben Aaronovitch

4cat

I don’t really know why I love the Peter Grant books so much, but I do. Perhaps because they are (usually) set in London, the most wonderful city there is. And because Peter is such a nerdy and witty and likeable main character. Also, they combine police procedural with magic! Bold combination, but it certainly works.

Foxglove Summer is the fifth book in the series and has quite a different feel to it than its predecessors. The story is more or less complete; it has little to do with the overall story arc that was built up in the first books. Peter, city person through and through, is sent to the English countryside to assist in a missing children case. So London is missing this time, as is Nightingale and the Faceless Man, but Peter still manages to be… Peter. I really enjoined the read, but again – as in the previous books – the ending leaves more open questions than it answers. Next book, please! I’m waiting!

 

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

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After a car accident, Mia is in a coma. Being able to see her surroundings from outside her body, she ponders over her life, her family and friends and tries to decide whether she should stay or go. I became aware of this book through all the media attention it got. But I’m afraid that I find this book to be a little overrated. I liked it; it had a good flow, it was touching at times, it made me think about death and get sad and stuff – but books about death usually do that to me. I just think that the way some parts of the story were depicted was not very realistic and the characters were rather one-dimensional. It was a nice story, but not much more than that.

 

A Street Cat Named Bob
by James Bowen

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This is a book about a cat that in some way or another saves its human’s life. So I’m practically bound to like it, ha. James Bowen is a penniless busker who is earning his bread and butter on the streets of London. One day, a badly injured cat turns up on his doorstep. He cares for it, names it Bob and, when it doesn’t want to leave anymore, takes it busking with him. Through Bob, James learns how to take responsibility for both Bob’s life and his own.

The story is told in the way and the words of James himself, so of course it is not the most well written novel the world has ever seen. But I think the simplicity in wording and structure makes it all the more credible. And it is a very interesting perspective that James provides, talking about drug abuse, life on the streets and how the Big Issue works. These are points that I reckon more people should be made aware of.

 

I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith

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This book is so great that it has its own blog entry already. Click here!

 

Daytripper
by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

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Ever since I discovered the graphic novel genius that is Bryan Lee O’Malley I decided to delve into this quite unfamiliar genre and Daytripper is supposed to be a good starting point. Well, to be honest, it was not really my cup of tea. (SPOILER!) The main character, an aspiring writer, just dies… A lot. There isn’t even a real storyline. Maybe I just didn’t get it, but the whole concept of the story seemed a bit dubious to me. The message that the book is sending might be a good one: treasure life’s special moments and enjoy your life while it lasts. But the execution was mediocre. The only thing about this book that I really found stunning was the background and scenery. Character design, however… meh. What’s up with all those miniature heads?

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