Book Haul: September

September is sadly over, and it's been a good month. It was my birthday early in September, so the books I got were mostly gifts. And I got... a lot of books. My people know me well.

I got quite the amount of classics, and I got the most beautiful set of Jane Austen's novels from my grandfather, which is very exciting. I really want to read all of her novels, it's been ages since I read one.

I also got some poetry books, and some other classics. And one of my best friends got me "This Is Not A Book" because she thought it would be really hard for me to ruin a book... and she's not wrong. But I shall try!

Den Andre Historien (The Other Story) - Tatiana de Rosnay

Those spines though... damn.

I hope you've all had a great month!


Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Published: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 422
Rating: 4/5

Set in North Carthage, Missouri, Nick wakes up to find his wife, Amy, in the kitchen, making crepes for him. He's surprised; they've been going through a rough patch lately. But Amy wants to make up - it's their fifth wedding anniversary. She's even made the treasure hunt for him, which she's done every year since they wed.

But when Nick returns later that day, his beautiful wife is gone. And when lies and deceits rise to the surface, everyone looks to Nick, all thinking the same thing: it's always the husband.

First and foremost, this book was a really entertaining read. I haven't read a mystery or a thriller in a while, and this was exactly what I was in the mood for.

It's quite different from other thrillers, which I think is what makes it quite popular; you really don't know who the bad guy is. While I was reading the first half, I kept thinking: all right, someone is obviously lying, but who? I really enjoyed finding out how crazy some of the characters actually were, and the story surprised me in many ways.

I really enjoyed the character of Nick Dunne, as I thought he a fascinating character, especially in the beginning of the book; I like how he's so crippled by not being able to show emotion, and how this interacts with the story. I thought most of the characters were really well drawn, and I didn't feel like there were too many people in play.

The only thing I felt was that the ending was a little long, and that it was slightly disappointing. I've read some reviews where people have hated the ending, and I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it. It was satisfactory and different, and I can't quite put my finger on what it was that bothered me.

I think this would make an excellent read for anyone who liked thrillers and wants something a little crazy but very interesting. It really is quite mysterious. 

This book is available as an e-book, but also at The Book Depository*


Top 5: Books I Did Not Finish

Not finishing books... that's a hard one for me. Which is ridiculous, really. Why finish bad books? Life is too damn short.

There haven't been many books I haven't managed to force my way through, but I recently started a book I just could not finish, so I thought I would show you five books I have not managed to finish. Some I didn't like, some I was just not in the mood for, and so on...

A little disclaimer, just because I didn't enjoy them does not mean someone else won't. Which is the great thing about books, isn't it?
1. To Byer (A Case of Two Cities) by Qiu Xiaolong

I started it, and realized it was the fourth book in a series about the same detective. I think you could probably read it anyway, but I started it, realized I wasn't in the mood, and just never got back to it. I bet it's actually really good though.
2. Det Uimotståelige Blåbærbakeriet (The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe) by Mary Simses.

I bought this because I liked the cover and I had seen it in a lot of bookstores, and I was really disappointed. It was extremely predictable and such a cliché. I actually skimmed most of the ending, and it was exactly how I thought it would be. I just sat there thinking: I've read this story a thousand times.
3. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

I could not for the life of me get into this story. I can't remember what it was even about.
4. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

I was late on the bandwagon with this series, and when I was about 17, I borrowed all of these from one of my friends. I read them all right after each other, and I got to the point with the birth and the turning in this one, and then I just put it down and never picked it back up.
5. Smoke is Rising by Mahesh Rao

This is the book that inspired this post. I got this in London recently, read about halfway through, and I was just really bored. I don't think this is a bad story or book though, it just wasn't for me.
I still feel a little bad about not finishing some of these, but reading is supposed to fun! Sometimes it's just not worth it.




Book Review: The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Title: The War of the Worlds
Author: H. G. Wells
Published: 1898
Language: English
Pages: 189
Rating: 5/5

Set in the late 1800's in Woking, England, a cylinder falls to earth. Out of it crawls an alien creature: a Martian. The people, curious and thinking them probably peaceful, approach the creature with a white flag, only to be incinerated by violent flames. This marks the beginning of the Martians destruction of humanity.

I haven't read a lot of alien fiction, so this was something new for me, and I loved it. I thought the setting and the Martians and their killing machines were really cool. I like how it at times feels really helpless and how the invasion from Mars drives some people off the edge.

I really liked the main character and his way of telling the story, but I can see how it may not be for everyone; it's quite philosophical and sometimes a bit slow, but I thought it suited the story well. The main character has a good grip on reality and his will to live is what drives him.

The only thing I thought was sad about this was that halfway through it, I realized I have seen a movie adaptation of this, and suddenly I remembered how it was going to end. I just sat there like: this feels very familiar... oh!

Either way, I thought this was an excellent read, and if you're into apocalyptic alien fiction, this will suit you fine, but I also think it would be a cool read for anyone, because it's not just about aliens, it's also very much about mankind and human nature.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*


Cross Off What You've Read: Killer Thrillers

Yet another one of NPR's lists, this time killer thrillers! I used to read a lot of crime fiction and thrillers, but not as often anymore, so I'm not expecting great things.
1. The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas
2. The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls - James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
7. The Shining - Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt tor Red October - Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
11. Dracula - Bram Stoker
12. The Stand - Stephen King
13. The Bone Collector - Jeffrey Deaver
14. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
15. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
16. A Time to Kill - John Grisham
17. The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton
18. Mystic River - Dennis Lehane
19. The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth
20. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
21. Eye of the Needle - Ken Follett
22. It - Stephen King
23. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
24. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson
25. Jaws - Peter Benchley
26. The Alienist - Caleb Carr
27. Red Dragon - Thomas Harris
28. Presumed Innocent - Scott Turow
29. The Maltese Falcon - Fashiell Hammett
30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson
31. No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
32. Gone Baby Gone - Dennis Lehane
33. Gorky Park - Martin Cruz Smith
34. Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
35. Subterranean - James Rollins
36. Clear and Present Danger - Tom Clancy
37. Salem's Lot - Stephen King
38. Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane
39. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John Le Carre
40. The Poet - Michael Connelly
41. The Boys from Brazil - Ira Levin
42. Cape Fear - John MacDonald
43. The Bride Collector - Ted Dekker
44. Pet Sematary - Stephen King
45. Dead Zone - Stephen King
46. The Manchurian Candidate - Richard Condon
47. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John Le Carre
48. The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
49. Tell No One - Harlan Coben
50. Consent to Kill - Vince Flynn
51. The 39 Steps - John Bunchan
52. Blowback - Brad Thor
53. The Children of Men - P. D. James
54. 61 Hours - Lee Child
55. Marathon Man - William Goldman
56. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
57. 206 Bones - Kathy Reichs
58. Psycho - Robert Block
59. The Killing Floor - Lee Child
60. Rules of Prey - John Sandford
61. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
62. In the Woods - Tana French
63. Shogun - James Clavell
64. The Relic - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
65. Intensity - Dean Koontz
66. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
67. Metzger's Dog - Thomas Perry
68. Timeline - Michael Crichton
69. Contact - Carl Sagan
70. What the Dead Know - Laura Lippman
71. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
72. The Cabinet of Curiosities - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
73. Charm School - Nelson DeMille
74. Feed - Mira Grant
75. Gone Tomorrow - Lee Child
76. Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
77. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
78. The First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders
79. Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
80. The Brotherhood of the Rose - David Morell
81. Primal Fear - William Diehl
82. The Templar Legacy (tie)
82. The Hard Way - Lee Child (tie)
84. The Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
85. Six Days o the Condor - James Grady
86. Fail-Safe - Eugene Burdic and Harvey Wheeler
87. Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith
88. The Eight - Katherine Neville
89. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
90. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming
91. Bangkok 8 - John Burdett
92. The Kill Artist - Daniel Silva
93. Hardball - Sara Paretsky
94. The Club Dumas - Arturo Perez-Reverte
95. The Deep Blue Good-by - John MacDonald
96. The Monkey's Raincoat (tie)
96. Berlin Game - Len Deighton (tie)
98. A Simple Plan - Scott Smith
99. Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith
100. Heartsick - Chelsea Cain

I've read 6 books! So much for "having read a lot of crime fiction". The best thing about these lists though is that you get all kinds of new idea for books to read.



Photography Books: Women by Annie Leibovitz

One of my favorite photography books, one I got as a gift from my mother. I think it's really interesting, and I love these kinds of works by Leibovitz. I'm not that into what she does now, as I find it over-produced, but this book is amazing.

I think this would be an amazing gift for any woman, as it is, in a way, a celebration and study of women. It's truly a beautiful body of work.

You can get this at The Book Depository, or in any bookstore with a good photography section.

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