2017/08/18

2017/08/16

BOOK REVIEW:
THE SPORT OF KINGS BY C. E. MORGAN

Title: The Sport of Kings
Author: C. E. Morgan
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 545
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Set in Kentucky, this is a family saga about race, slavery, humanity, family legacy and about a group of characters brought together through horse racing.


Review:
This is a huge book to review, but I will attempt to keep it brief; most importantly, I really enjoyed this.

I think this is an epic book, both in scale and the topics it discusses. The writing is wonderful and descriptive, and the characters are fascinating, although often horrendous (so if you don't like books with characters you won't like and won't always understand, you might want to pass on this one). I really enjoyed going deep with the characters and where they come from, and seeing the family unfold was very interesting.

I really liked how horse racing binds most of this book together, even though I generally have very little interest in it, and I like that it's not too overwhelming. I loved reading about the times and the history of the place its set in, and the general theme of race, legacy and family. It will probably make you uncomfortable, but it makes you think.

I do think it's a little bit longer than necessary, and sometimes the writing should've been reigned in, but overall, I just really enjoyed sitting down and delving into this world. I don't think it's the new "great American novel", but it's a great book to read if you like slow novels with a bit of experimental writing at times.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/15

UNBOXING:
LITERARY EMPORIUM

I had a very exciting package arrive a few days ago and I wanted to show you what was inside!

So, I have been following an account on Instagram called @Litemporium and after having drooled over their literary pins for a long time, I decided to get some! The full name of the company is Literary Emporium and they make all types of lovely things for book lovers.

They have a collection called The Gothic Literature collection which is what caught my eye first, but then I perused the website and found some other pins, as well as a lovely set of bookmarks with first and last sentences from some wonderful classics.









If you're interested, you can find all the stuff on their website, and if you just want to keep up with what they're doing, you can find them on Instagram as mentioned, as well as Twitter.

The gothic pins are already in place on my leather jacket, and one of the bookmarks in my current read. Everything was also packaged really beautifully, so I'm very, very pleased!
SHARE:

2017/08/14

BOOK REVIEW:
GATHER THE DAUGHTERS BY JENNIE MELAMED

Title: Gather the Daughters
Author: Jennie Melamed
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 352
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Set on an island, a group of people live after the world has mostly ended, creating their own society, which works well until one of the young girls living there sees something she wasn't supposed to.


Review:
This book was fascinating in the way that watching a train crash is fascinating; it's horrifying, but you can't look away.

There's something about cults that just make you want to dig into a story, at least for me. I found the society of the island engrossing and slowly, in a rather sinister way, uncovering the darkness beneath what looks to be a bit odd, but is really all kinds of messed up. The author is really good at delving out information subtly so that at first you think: hmmm - and then you go: OH!

The book is told from the viewpoint of several girls, and I really enjoyed their journeys; seeing them start to question everything they've ever known. Seeing them come together and grow was amazing. I think the book discusses a lot of important issues about religion, truth, women and freedom (which is what dystopian fiction is supposed to do) and it raises a lot of interesting questions.

I will say I feel very ambiguous about the ending; I felt like it was a bit rushed and I can't quite make my mind up if I think it works or not. Overall though, this is a very exciting, disturbing and interesting book. For a debut, it's very, very good and I'm intrigued to see what the author writes next.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/12

BOOK REVIEW:
THE TIDAL ZONE BY SARAH MOSS

Title: The Tidal Zone
Author: Sarah Moss
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 331
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Told from the viewpoint of a father, this is the story of what happens to a family when the oldest daughter suddenly stops breathing for no reason and as they try to cope with the uncertainty of life.


Review:
After having heard countless good things about this book, I've finally read it, and what a wonderful experience it was!

The writing style of this is one of my favorite parts of the novel; it's beautiful, raw and emotive. It captures the characters and their inner lives amazingly well; you can feel the love, fear, anger and confusion. Not a lot happens plot wise in this book, and so it takes good writing to make the reader keep going, and this does it effortlessly. It captures the fragility of life and the sense of impending doom one feels when one is reminded of ones mortality scarily well.

I really enjoyed seeing this story from the viewpoint of a stay-at-home dad, and I just loved reading about the relationships inside the family. I also really like the atmosphere the author captures throughout the book, and it's overall quite an emotional experience.

I will say I felt it got slightly repetitive towards the middle end, but otherwise, this was excellent. Well worth the read for anyone who enjoys character-based novels and literary fiction.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/11

2017/08/09

BOOK REVIEW:
MADNESS BY ROALD DAHL

Title: Madness
Author: Roald Dahl
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 256
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is a short story collection all regarding the theme of madness.


Review:
This was a really good collection of stories.

I think the theme of madness is a fascinating one, so it's no wonder I really liked a lot of the stories in here. It comes forth in all different forms; quiet, brutal, sudden, sneaky. The whole collection has an air of anticipation and mystery to it that is really quite good; it's very unsettling in certain parts, which makes it very exciting to keep turning the pages.

Not all the stories were equally intriguing, but overall this was entertaining, well written and very much worth the read.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
SHARE:

2017/08/08

2017/08/07

BOOK REVIEW:
THE DESCENT OF MAN BY GRAYSON PERRY

Title: The Descent of Man
Author: Grayson Perry
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 150
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
In this book, the author explores masculinity, how it operates and what kind of masculinity would really benefit men and a modern society.


Review:
This was a pretty good book, but a bit too basic for me.

I think the author has a good and fascinating voice, and it's pretty perfect for this job. The writing is funny, honest and intelligent. It's also easy to understand; it's not the kind of book that'll go straight over peoples head. It's down to earth, easy to connect with and short and concise.

Like I mentioned though, it felt a bit too rudimentary for me; I think this works best as an introduction to discussions around gender and masculinity. It's a great read if you're new to reading about feminism, and I think it would be especially great reading for men who are open to these kinds of ideas but new to them.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/05

BOOK REVIEW:
SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY BY KRISTEN GREEN

Title: Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle
Author: Kristen Green
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 336
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This book tells the story of the authors hometown and a small Virginia county that refused and fought against integration in their educational system, resulting in closing public schools all together, and about how that affected the people living there then and now.


Review:
This was quite an interesting story and one I was wholly unfamiliar with until I read this.

I really like reading about history and I find this particular part of American history to be fascinating. I think this book offers up a unique perspective into a place that held on to segregation for much longer than other places, and I think it's an interesting look into Southern culture. It was devestating to read about what happened to the African American population of this county, especially the long lasting repercussions of denying them an education.

I think, however, that the book would've been better if the author had pulled herself out of the story. I understand that this is where she comes from and that she wanted to take a look at the history of her hometown, but I think the story would have been stronger if it had focused more on the actual issues and on the people affected by it. It might just be a personal preference, to have historians and biographers not be so much in the story - but I have read books where having them in there has been done well, and this is not it. If she wanted to tell her own story, she should've written a memoir.

I also think the author goes to great lengths to assure the reader that she is not racist under any stretch of the imagination and I felt at a certain point it got to be too much - I ended up getting annoyed and thinking; this isn't about you. The repetition works against its purpose.

I think there's a story in here that is worth reading and learning about, but I wish all the pages had been spent telling that story, instead of the author waffling about her personal life. There's a limit to how much an author should put themselves in this sort of book and I think, sadly, it was crossed - and it ends up suffering for it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/04

2017/08/02

BOOK REVIEW:
MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY BY WINIFRED WATSON

Title: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Author: Winifred Watson
Published: 1938
Language: English
Pages: 234
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Miss Pettigrew, a governess approaching middle age, is sent to the wrong address by her employment agency and ends up having a remarkable and life-changing day.


Review:
This book was an absolute delight to read.

This was just such an enjoyable and heart-warming read. The characters are lovely, the plot is a whirlwind and it's the kind of book that just lifts your spirits. It's an easy, cosy and sweet little story. There are some outdated views expressed in this book that can't help but bother a modern reader, but the rest of the book was fantastic.

I also really liked the little illustrations scattered throughout the book. It adds another level to the book that is really lovely.

I think this is a book that needs to be taken for what it is; an amusing, a bit exciting and very British classic. It's not going to blow your mind wide open or necessarily teach you something new, but it will remind you how enjoyable reading can be. It's a perfect read for a calm Sunday where you don't want to think too much.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*, or directly from Persephone Books
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
SHARE:

2017/08/01

UPCOMING RELEASES:
AUGUST

We're moving into the last part of summer (yay!) and there are some great new books coming out this month.

Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang

1st

This is a short story collection centered on a community of immigrants in New York City in the 1990's. I really enjoy short stories, especially when they're interlinked, so I'm very much looking forward to this.

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

8th

This is a literary fiction novel looking at a family through generations in New Orleans, and it explores race issues in the South. I've seen some early reviews of this and it sounds amazing.

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

8th

Honestly, I just really like this cover which is the main reason I noticed it, but it's also the first book in a cozy mystery series, which I'm totally into.

What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

24th

This is another short story collection, but this one tips over to magical realism, which I love. I've heard the writing in this is a revelation, and how cool is this cover?

T Is For Tree by Greg Fowler

10th

This cover is beyond and inside is a story of a teenager whose a bit different from his peers, and because of it, he's locked away in his room by his grandmother. Sounds very intriguing, if you ask me!

What books are you guys looking forward to read this month?
SHARE:
© The Book Castle | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig