Reading Update

Throughout February we have both started reading again. I give Mervyn Peake credit for this, as it is Titus Groan the first book of ‘The Gormenghast Trilogy’ that I’m currently reading and adoring.

(S)

Thus far in February I have read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov which you can find my opinion of here, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding  and Deathnote by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba.  I recently featured Deathnote in my Top5Wednesdays post. I hope to do a review or perhaps a Movie Adaptation review of The Lord of The Flies soon. I am currently reading Titus Groan as previously mentioned, I have 100 pages left so hope to finish this within the next 24 hours.

This month I would also like to finish reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, a contemporary dystopia that I’m enjoying so far. As previously mentioned in my February TBR post, I would like to get around to reading my first novel by Daphne Du Maurier and my second Steinbeck novel. Other than this fairly optimistic goal I would like to read Greenmantle by John Buchan on recommendation from an Instagram friend. I read the previous novel The 39 Steps last year and am looking forward to the next instalment. I would also like to read a short story from the collection Legoland by Gerard Woodward.

If, on the rare chance I get through these novels, I have some other books high up on my TBR list- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Dead Poets Society: A Novel by N.H Kleinbaum and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.

(D)

I have most recently finished Tokyo Ghoul 2 by Sui Ishida, I am looking to complete On the Road by Jack Kerouac in the next couple of days and then I will move onto the 5 books I have previously mentioned that I have been challenged to read as well as continuing with the Tokyo Ghoul series.

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Mini Review: Lolita

This is a very short and disheartened review of my latest read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. My favourite thing about my experience reading Nabokov’s Lolita was the smell of the book which although brutal, and a little unsettling given how disgusting the plot is, holds true. It will probably come as no surprise to you that the main character and narrator of this novel is an asshole. The narrator is constantly referring to psychologists and what they will make of his account of his pedophilia , therefore demonstrating his knowledge of right and wrong.

 

I was expecting to pick up a very complex novel with a multitude of layers and meaning and I found myself only taken by one or two sentences per page. It was unfortunately a little boring and I was forever reluctant to pick it back up. I was lead to believe that it would be as funny as it was unnerving and this was a huge part of its appeal however I was again disappointed. I was so thoroughly disappointed with the novel I failed to laugh or see  its humour. In fact I found it embarrassingly cringeworthy on several occasions such as these

“At this point I have a curious confession to make.You will laugh” (194)

and after reciting his own poem: “By psychoanalysing this poem, I notice it is really a maniac’s masterpiece” (293)

 

Although I admit that after that quotation on page 293 I actually felt a little sick at how much I found myself hating Nabokov’s narrator. Nevertheless this was one of the few times I found myself having any opinion in Lolita‘s characters. In my opinion the plot was interesting and the book was not. I feel like I would have benefitted more from reading Lolita‘s wikipedia entry rather than the novel itself. Perhaps Nabokov’s simplistic writing style is simply not to my taste but did the novel really have to be that lengthy and repetitive? Overall I found this novel at times intelligent but always boring.

 

Sophie

The DNF Year

As an experiment I have decided that 2017 is the first year of my life in which I will allow myself to DNF books and as an extension STILL mark these as read on my Goodreads account. I will mark them as read simply because I do not want to look at them on my ‘currently reading’ shelf when I can’t even bare to read them. I have decided to undergo this experiment as the result of some severely disappointing reads. Controversial as it may be to our world of bibliophiles I have decided that it is acceptable to lay one book aside and begin another with no intention of finishing the first. As this goes against my personal experience with reading to date, if I have a problem with it then I can return to these books in a different year of my life.

Nevertheless, for fun and perhaps even discussion, here are the first two DNF books of the year which were so thoroughly disappointing (personally) that they made me change my whole philosophy on reading:

Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart and Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea

Both of these books have their own fanbase, as does absolutely everything I can think of proving that this alone ultimately does not prove their worth. Regardless my account of the quality of these novels is definitely an unpopular opinion. The truth is I have stopped caring about unpopular opinions, I do not care that some of my closest friends despise my favourite novel of all time and of course some of my other favourites. If you cannot accept that I personally truly hated these novels, including their characters and writing style and you cannot turn your disbelief into intelligent discussion then you’re probably an asshole.

What sparked this post was the fact that I lost followers on my Instagram account yesterday due to my opinion on the classic novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov which may very well be the next victim of my DNF year. It’s not that I care about my instagram following, as my sporadic posts and presence on the app prove, it’s more that I found it interesting that people could distance themselves from other people based on what they  think of certain novels deemed as Classic literature. Regardless of which Classic novel you read, you can at the very least gain good discussion from it. The belief that no two people can read the same book should fuel us. Perhaps I will write a review of Lolita and perhaps not.

Sophie