So, I think it’s time for another update on my 40 book reading goal for this year. I just finished my eleventh book, which means I’m 27.5% done with my list! (I realize that doing that calculation makes me kind of lame, but I don’t care.) Here’s my overview of the newest books I’ve added to my list.
7. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
Because of a Hemingway & Faulkner literature class I took last semester, I’m kind of a giant Hemingway fangirl. That being said, I think it’s safe to say that I LOVED this book. Hemingway is obviously a great writer, but reading his writing about writing is even more interesting. He tells great stories about living in Paris in the 1920s with Hadley and their son, and gives great views into his writing process. Warning: don’t read this until you’ve read a handful of other Hemingway works and know a lot about him as a person. He gives no background to the stories he tells, but if you know them already, you feel like you’re in on the secret.
8. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Okay, I don’t think there’s really that much that needs to be said about this book except this: read it. This was my second time reading it, and I found it just as compelling. Hazel and Augustus are some of the best characters in recent young adult fiction, and I advise people of all ages to read their beautiful, tragic story.
9. How Harry Cast His Spell, John Granger
Another addition to my Thesis research. If you’re a serious Potter fan, I’d definitely advise a reading of this book. Granger has a great voice in his academic writing, so it actually reads more like a memoir or column. He makes great insights into the Christian undertones and symbols in the Potter books, and writes in a fun and entertaining way.
10. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling
I was very hesitant to start this because I had such high hopes that had unfortunately been altered by the comments I’d read and heard from friends and literary critics. However, as a loyal Rowling fan, I knew it was time, and I’m glad I read it. This book in no way measures up to the Potter series, but it proves that Rowling is still a great writer and storyteller. My advice: start reading it when you have the time to devote to it. I started over spring break, and that was very helpful as you have to keep track of something like 30 characters at a time. The story is very character-driven up until about the last 30-40 pages, when the plot takes a very unexpected and tragic turn. If nothing else, I’m very curious what Rowling’s next work will look like.
11. The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket
I’m starting my journey through A Series of Unfortunate Events as a 21-year-old because as a child, I stopped reading these books somewhere in the middle of the series. This book is a very quick read, but I was happy to relive it and enjoy the clever humor of Lemony Snicket in telling this dark story. I’m sure the other 12 books in this series will keep me occupied for a while…