“Cleanness” by Garth Greenwell

I’ve been waiting for this book to be out as soon as Garth Greenwell mentioned that he had it in the works, pre-ordered it as soon as it was available for pre-order, I’ve bought two copies of it, am also gonna buy a third. I am EXTREMELY biased. This is a Garth Greenwell stan account, as the kids say.

Continue reading

“Revenge” and “Hotel Iris” by Yoko Ogawa

I was running out of Scribd membership and I opened the app to see if I can find anything to read before I cancel it. Looked through my to-read on GR, thought “hey, how about this Daphne du Maurier lady, I’ve heard she wrote some good Gothic fiction. The novels I was interested in weren’t available, but I landed at Yoko Ogawa by clicking through a few “users that read this book also read”s.

A coincidence that provided wonderful results.

Continue reading

“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt: A Cold Take

The_Secret_History,_front_cover

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

Goodreads

Like, a frozen take by this point. This book was published literally 3 years before I was even born.

I found out about it because as most of us in their 20s I spent (and still spend) a lot of time on Tumblr since 2012, and as we all remember, “The Secret History” and “The Song of Achilles” were all the rage in (I wanna say) 2013.

Loved “The Song of Achilles”, like wow. Read in 2018, some time before this blog was conceived, and also I’m bad at writing about books I loved because all I can think of is “book good” on repeat. Books I hated though, now that’s a different story..

So.

I’ve been wondering whether to pick up this book for a while now. I see a lot of comparisons with “A Little Life” — a book which I own both on Kindle, and as a paperback that I’ve never opened, just hugged for a bit after receiving it, because you hug things that deeply scar your soul, right?  — which is why I think I did, in the end. After much hesitation following a bad experience with another Donna Tartt book (“The Goldfinch”), which I just found boring about 50 pages in.

Spoilers to follow, in case you’re concerned with those.

Continue reading

“Sadie” by Courtney Summers

34810320

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Goodreads

Beware! SPOILERS below. This is your only warning.

Continue reading

My Year in Books

I spent a few days trying to write an actual post about the best books I read in 2018 but they were just so many! Here’s the link to Goodreads’ thing instead 😀

Capture

I read 59 and a half* books in 2018, and out of them, I hated 5, and 5 others were Just Okay. That’s the best ratio I’ve had so far!

I hope 2019 is an even better year of books for all of us!


My rating system, explained:
1 star: awful
2 stars: ugh
3 stars: liked it but I’m not gonna yell at everyone to read it
4 stars: enjoyed it! If you like the genre, read it!
5 stars: SO AWESOME!!! PLEASE CHECK IT OUT

* 59 and a half = I read half of a book before 2019 started. It’s a long book that requires me to be in a certain head space in order to read. I’ll definitely make a post about it when I’m done because it’s very good!

“Кедер” от Йорданка Белева

38146521

“Рядко се раждат истории, които превръщат кръвта в криле. Разказите в сборника „Кедер“ на Йорданка Белева са такива. Те изтръгват човека от бездната на тъгата, пречистват мислите, лекуват раните. Думите на Йорданка Белева са светли и богати. Разказите ѝ превръщат скръбта в мъдрост, която измерва неизмеримото – стойността на човешкия живот, на дълбоката привързаност на кръвта, мислите, плътта, мечтите към някой близък човек, без когото животът е невъзможен. „Кедер“ е силна книга, която преобразява отчаянието в пътека към доброто.”

Здравка Евтимова

– Goodreads


След като споделих онлайн цитат от разказа със същото име като сборника, една приятелка ме попита от къде е. Казах й заглавието и се затрудних как да го опиша по-нататък от “сборник с разкази”. Накрая избрах “нещо като съвременни разкази на Йовков, но по-добри”. Може би не много уместно сравнение, все пак Белева не се занимава толкова с Българското Село, колкото българското село е просто заден фон от време на време на Живота. (Може би на момента ми прозвуча добре и заради ограничения ми опит с българската литература извън гимназията досега.)

“Добре, че живеем в ниското: само в ниското нещата се спускат наистина отгоре” от “Новогодишна програма”

“Кедер” означава “мъка” на турски и затова се разказва в тези разкази. Мъката на хора, изгубили (спорд мен) най-важните неща в живота – семейство и приятели. Въпреки че главният герой в книгата е меланхолията от начало до край, някак си не ме остави напълно обезнадеждена или отчаяна. Ей такива книги обичам най-много.

Ще изброя сигурно половината разкази, но най ми допаднаха”Семеен портрет на чернозема”, “Отключване на кръвта, 1953г.”, “Домашен ябълков оцет”, “Бартер”. “Градче по пътя на коприната”, “Коледен разказ за баба ми” и “Кедер”.

Със сигурност от най-добрите книги, които съм прочела през 2018-а.

Thoughts on “Twilight”, 10 Years Later

41865

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.

Goodreads


I first read it the Twilight series in 2008/2009, a few weeks before seeing the movie, and I had been thinking of re-reading it now with some fresh perspective for a few months and finally did. Boy, Do I Have Some Thoughts.

I fondly remember reading the books as, oh god, a 13-year-old. I enjoyed it for what it was back then. What girl doesn’t dream of a gorgeous intelligent person obsessed with them and only them, despite their flaws?

Online discourse poisoned it for me a few years later, but with the recent 2018 Twilight “renaissance” on Tumblr (and this video by Lindsay Ellis), I was curious how it holds up, and decided to re-read it.

Aaand… *drumroll*

It’s just a romance novel with its strengths and flaws. Both Bella and Edward are dramatic as hell, as expected from their age (yes, singular. Don’t tell me Edward acts his actual age. He’s very much 17 as well).

Also now that I know Meyer is mormon, I notice that in the book. Like, they kiss TWICE before Meeting The Parents. Carlisle is an Anglican preacher’s son. The Cullens keep a giant cross made in the 17th century in their house. Edward doesn’t believe in Evolution, he believes in Creation. Almost feels too on the nose.

Regardless of the Quality, I’m very mad at the treatment this book and its author got. As if romance in YA lit hadn’t existed until Twilight was published. As if it’d all been perfectly written until that point. Of course this book is flawed and not perfect. Is Bella and Edward’s romance problematic? Naturally. But they’re 17 years old. You point towards any relationship you had at that age that was perfectly wholesome with neither partner hurting the other in any way. Spoiler alert: teens do dumb shit and learn from it.

Of course, I realize the extra scrutuny was because Girls and Women liked it, we just can’t have nice things without a big heap of misogyny!

But if you go into this book without the agenda of finding Flawed Terrible Content™, you don’t find it. It’s just a normal book with sometimes-good sometimes-bad writing. I had fun with this re-read and I’m honestly glad I went for it.

P.S. Team Edward 2008 – ∞

Baby’s First Post

So, my friend M suggested I make a book blog, then my other friend Em (different people!) encouraged me, so here I am.

In case you’re the one person reading this who doesn’t know me, I wrote a few sentences in the About page above.

My first actual post might be my Extended Thoughts on Twilight, since that’s the book I read most recently. We’ll see. But I’ll most definitely make a post about My Best Books I Read In 2018.

Stay tuned!