So I kinda forgot to do a week 1 update for The Twelve Books of Christmas challenge, so I figured I’d better do one for week 2 and hopefully remember to do one for week 3 as well. You can check out all the books I plan on reading here.
I’m making pretty good progress so far. I started book number six for the challenge yesterday (Sunday), so I’m at the halfway point in reading for the official challenge. But I need to read eight more books to hit 100 books read for the year so I’m still a couple of books behind. I’ve enjoyed all of my books so far and considering how much more reading I have to do, I hope that trend continues. Here’s what I’ve read so far:
Author: Mitch Cullin
Release Date: June 4, 2015 (first published in 2005 as A Slight Trick of the Mind)
I enjoyed this a lot and I had it wrapped up in about a day. It was really enjoyable to see Sherlock Holmes in his twilight years. You can read my review of it here.
The Talented Mr Ripley
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Release Date: First published in 1955, my edition is from 1999.
This is my favourite read so far and it’s probably ruined psychological thrillers for me forever. I won’t lie: my favourite characters are usually those who are morally ambiguous, either good guys who do bad things, or bad guys who do bad things (and sometimes good things). I just find them so much more interesting and human than good guys who do good things. It’s for this reason I love this book because Tom Ripley is about as morally ambiguous as you can get – and the writing in this book is outstanding. You can read my thoughts on it here.
The Long Green Shore
Author: John Hepworth
Genre: Historical fiction
Release Date: 1995
This is a remarkable piece of Australian fiction about a group of Aussie soldiers under fire in New Guinea during WW2. It was all at once funny, heartbreaking, sobering and, since Hepworth was himself in New Guinea during the war, a fairly accurate depiction of what it must have been like. You can check it out on Goodreads here.
Author: Stefan Zweig (translated by Will Stone)
Release Date: First published in 1985, my edition is from 2015
The last book Zweig wrote before he and his wife committed suicide, this was much more than a biography of Michel de Montaigne, it’s also a look at the mind of Zweig himself. Montaigne poses questions that are just as relevant today as they were in both Zweig’s and Montaigne’s time, despite there being several centuries separating the three eras; questions that relate to the individual and how they are to be their true self when the society around them threatens to implode. You can check it out on Goodreads here.
Ways of Going Home
Author: Alejandro Zambra (translated by Megan McDowell)
Genre: Fiction (literary)
Release Date: First published in 2011, my edition is from 2014
This was an interesting read but it’s probably the one I’ve enjoyed the least so far; I did still enjoy it, so that’s saying something. I liked reading about life in Chile as a country that hasn’t appeared a lot in books I’ve read and one that I know very little about. I think I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others because of the characters, none of which I found at all likeable. Zambra’s writing is fantastic though and he knows how to write an engaging story, which I’m glad about as I have another of his books in my stack for this month. You can check it out on Goodreads here.