November Reading Wrap Up

I miss writing book reviews. I loved them so much but the problem was a) they took forever to write and b) nobody ever read them. It just got easier to stop. Of course, I include the books I've read in my 101 in 1001 reviews each month but I feel like I want to start talking more about them, rather than just "here's a photo of some books". Because of this, I've decided to create monthly reading wrap up posts where I can share what I thought about each book without going into a full, in-depth individual review.

Forensics Hitman Anders
This month, I've read a little more than the previous two but it's remarkable how studying is taking up my time. When I was doing my undergraduate, I had so much time on my hands that I can't quite believe it. Once, I was so bored that I went into my housemate's room and lay on her bed eating tuna out of a can... just for something to do. Turns out master's study isn't like that! The other problem I've had this month is getting my Ortho-k contact lenses fitted. I'm writing a full post on this shortly but basically I have to wear them at night and they are really, really annoying. Like, can't-open-my-eyes annoying. Of course I do most of my reading in bed before I go to sleep so that's shut down now. Anyway, between all the frantic note-taking and blurry-eyed squinting, I've managed to squeeze in three books.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS

I bought this book for somebody else, hence the reason there's no photo, but it was such a little book that I couldn't resist reading it first. Bite me. We Should All Be Feminists is an essay adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted talk, discussing her experience as a woman in Nigeria and how this has implications for everybody. While reading, I found it captivating and very well argued. She's frank with her discussion and is unapologetic in sharing her opinions, giving the book an empowering feel. She raises points that I'd never considered and made me question my own experience. The only problem I found- and this is probably my fault- is that when I sat down to write this, I couldn't remember much of the book and had to look up extracts to jog my memory. Bear in mind, I read the whole book in under 45 minutes (I told you it was little!) so probably would have had a better recollection if I'd taken my time.

 Buy We Should All Be Feminists here

FORENSICS

I really wanted to visit the Forensics exhibition in London last year but never quite got round to it, so Rich bought me the accompanying book by Val McDermid instead. It was absolutely fascinating! Since McDermid is a crime writer rather than a crime professional, she acknowledges her lack of expertise and speaks to a huge range of specialists to provide a fairly thorough discussion on a huge range of forensic issues, from body decay and fingerprints to fire analysis and offender profiling. Despite the quite heavy subject matter, the book perfectly walks the line of being light-hearted without disrespect or flippancy. It's filled with fascinating anecdotes (I think Rich got a bit annoyed with me constantly going "Oh my God listen to this...") and I learned a lot from it.

Buy Forensics here

HITMAN ANDERS AND THE MEANING OF IT ALL

I've read both of Jonas Jonasson's previous novels (I actually reviewed them too! Here and here), and enjoyed both, so when I saw his new release in Waterstones, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Since the story is set in Stockholm, I took it with me to Stockholm because I find something satisfying in that (I also took Amsterdam-set The Miniaturist to Amsterdam but didn't get a chance to read it). Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All follows much the same formula as the previous two- a fast-paced, slightly surreal journey with a huge number of coincidences, extraordinary events and unusual characters along the way. I love Jonasson's writing style and wry sense of humour, but I definitely wasn't as invested in this story as I was the first two. With the exception of Hitman Anders himself, none of the characters were very likeable so I didn't really care what happened to them, and I found the plot itself a bit weak, although the premise was an interesting one. I enjoyed reading the book since it was engaging and fast-paced, but I just didn't find myself as caught up in it as I would have liked.

Buy Hitman Anders and the Meaning Of It All here

Three books! I'm falling way behind on my yearly target of 60 books and unless I can squeeze 13 books into December, I'm not going to make it. Why am I always so overly ambitious with my reading goals?

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2 comments:

  1. Ooh, I have Forensics sitting on my to-read bookshelf. From your review, it sounds really good. I did worry it might be a little heavy, because of the subject matter. But sounds like that is not the case. I shall have to dig my copy out soon and give it a read! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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  2. I went to the Forensics exhibition and it was fascinating. I was drawn there by the fact they had one of Frances Lee Glessner model crime scenes, which I'd looked at during my fine art degree (my work was making miniature crime scenes, it was pretty cool) so it was great to see it in person.

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