Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach. Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing, and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby---young, handsome, and fabulously rich---always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.*
I was in the mood to read one of my favorite books of all time, especially because it's been years since I read it last. Even though I started it last month, casually reading a couple of chapters, I wasn't very far into it the weekend I got my wisdom teeth out, when I picked it up and flew trough it. That isn't surprising, since it's such a short book of course. This was the perfect comfort read and as usual I had a lot of fun with it. I won't get into the cliche of explaining how you notice new things in a book with every reread, but it's great sometimes to read a story that you know so well and can focus on details rather than the plot. My copy of this book is falling apart, which says a lot about how much I love it. 5 stars weren't enough, but what can you do if that is the maximum.
Agnes Grey is the touching story of a young girl who decides to enter the world as a governess, but whose bright illusions of acceptance, freedom and friendship are gradually destroyed.*
Anne Bronte is the only Brontë sister that I hadn't visited before reading this. I finished all of Charlotte's books, so now I finally moved on to this forgotten sister. I picked up her first book this month because the second one is supposed to be better so I didn't want to ruin this one by reading the better one first. Anyway, I really liked Agnes Grey. The writing is great, like with all the Brontë sisters, so I really enjoyed reading this, even though it was a really slow read for me. My edition of this book is only 168 pages long and it took me over 4 days to read. That explains my really slow start for the month. I gave Agnes Grey 3.5 stars. The only thing that made me really mad while reading this was how submissive Agnes was while everyone around her kept pushing her around. She never said anything and never complained, which is so not my way of handling things. I really hope that the main character in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is not like that. Really excited to read that one in the next months.
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?*
A big favorite of mine, I first read this book back in 2014. Meanwhile the sequel has come out and I decided to reread this one before starting the sequel. As much as I love this book and as much as I enjoyed myself while reading it, I really took my time with it. It took me over a week to finish, which contributed to my low page count this month. But I am really glad I reread it because this is such a phenomenal book. It's brilliant historical fiction mixed with literary fiction and a touch of fantasy. That is right up my alley! I can't wait to read the sequel and hope it won't disappoint me. I gave this one 5 stars, of course.
I finally got my hands on the fourth book in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, which just came out. As usual with series, I won't talk about the plot of the book. This is probably the first book in another trilogy that is set in the United States, so this book was just the start of a new plot, which means it was definitely slower than the previous ones. It was still really fun and a quick read, which is what I enjoy with this series. I gave this one 4 stars and will continue the series when the next books come out.
Also read but not pictured:
Thad Beaumont would like to say he is innocent. He'd like to say he has nothing to do with the series of monstrous murders that keep coming closer to his home. But how can Thad disown the ultimate embodiment of evil that goes by the name he gave it-and signs its crimes with Thad's bloody fingerprints?*
This book had such an interesting premise, but the delivery wasn't the best, unfortunately. I am a huge fan of Stephen King and I usually don't understand people when they say that his books are too long, but with this one I agree. It could have been such a great book if it had been half the size. I listened to this as an audiobook and I probably would have put it down if it had been a physical book. I also found myself not wanting to listen to it and just listen to music instead, which rarely happens. Anyway, I gave this 3 stars because of the good idea and writing but I probably won't reread this ever again.
An unforgettable and sweeping family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be lifechanging." The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge-for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome? Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.*
The second audiobook I finished this month was another brand new release. This book was highly anticipated and it ended up being a disappointment for many people. Not for me though. The story is beautiful and the writing is even more so. I think the biggest mistake they make with Zusak's books is marketing them as YA. I remember that when I read The Book Thief I didn't have any idea that it was YA and was surprised it was considered as such. Same with this one. Though the subject might be YA, the writing is very literary fiction. The only issue I had with this book was that I often got confused by the time jumps. This would probably be solved by reading it as a physical book instead of listening to it. The audiobook narrated by the author was really great though. I loved the accent and felt it gave a lot of authenticity to the story. I gave this one 4 stars.
The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. *
Finally, my only ebook of the month. Another 2018 release, one I really wanted to love and vote in the Goodreads awards, but didn't really enjoy. It's probably my fault, because I know I don't like contemporary as a genre, but I got fooled by the science fiction tag of this book. I will say that there is as little sci-fi as possible in this book. It's a contemporary about social media and other things I don't care about. So I got really bored, even though this is a quick read. I love John Green's writing and his books are contemporary too, but they have something extra that makes me love them. His brother's writing is good too, but not my cup of tea. I initially gave this 3 stars, but reconsidered and lowered it to 2. Also this is a series and I will not be continuing it because I really don't care what happens next.
So that's it for November. Not such a great reading month. Hopefully December will be better!