Reading Update – March 2020

And no book haul because I didn’t buy any books this month. I am pretty damn proud of that.

I thought that with this lock down I would have bought a few new books by now, and to be honest I have a few in my shopping basket/very high on my wish list, but so far I have managed to stop myself from actually buying them until I have read a few more of the books that I already own. And let me tell you, I am doing pretty well on that front as well.

Again, because of the lock down, I am reading a lot more since I also have a lot more time to read now, and I don’t have a lot else to do. I also just feel more motivated now to read and to work my way through the unread books shelves I have, mostly so I can then justify to buy new books 😉 but also because now is the perfect time. So without further ado, let’s see what I read this month.

Tomorrow – Damian Dibben

A winter’s night, Venice, 1815. A 217-year-old dog is searching for his lost master.
So begins Tomorrow, a story of love that spans the centuries. Tomorrow is a dog who must travel through the gilded courts of kings and the brutal battlefields of Europe in search of the man who granted him immortality.
Tomorrow befriends both animals and humans, falls in love and marvels at the human ability to make music while despairing at their capacity for war. But Tomorrow’s journey is also a race against time. Danger stalks his path, and in the shadows lurks an old enemy. Before his pursuer can reach him, he must find his master – or lose him forever.

I finished this book at the beginning of the month when I was on holiday, and honestly, I loved it. I mentioned in last month’s update that I managed to dive right back into the story after having temporarily abandoned it about a year ago, and since picking it back up I flew through the story. It is beautifully written, I loved the characters (especially the dog ones) and the journey through Europe. At one point it honestly almost made me cry, which doesn’t happen a lot for me in books. I did kind of figure out the twist near the end of the story, so I am quite proud of myself for that. I got on really well with the writing style, and I can definitely see myself reading more books by Damian Dibben in the future. I gave it 4 stars.

The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own. And soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

When I started reading this book right after finishing Tomorrow, the first thing I noticed was that I didn’t really get on with the writing style. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I just finished such a beautiful book, but something about The Invisible Library I didn’t love right from the start. However, as I continued reading, because I did want to see where the story would take me, I did really enjoy the world and the actual book itself. Some of the main characters weren’t my favourite and I feel like something in the writing style is a bit “fluffy” or cliche, but the overall story is very entertaining and pretty good, and I have to say I quite liked it in the end so I gave it 3 stars. I definitely want to read the next book soon.

Bitten – Kelley Armstrong

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf – and she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her – her temper, her violence – but requires it. Worst of all, Elena realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person. Overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, Elena leaves the Pack and moves to the city to try living as a human. When the Pack leader calls to ask for her help fighting a new uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

Let’s get the negative part out of the way. I did not like this as much as the Cainsville series. I had a pretty hard time getting into the story, and abandoned the book multiple times. Until this month I told myself that March would be the time for me to finish this book and decide if I wanted to read more of the series or not. And let me tell you, I have the next book lined up in my shopping basked to order as soon as I allow myself to buy new books. I ended up enjoying the story enough to want to know what happens next for the characters, and the story really started to grow on me. In fact, I read the last third of the book in one day, because by that time I was pretty much hooked and wanted to know how it ended. I still don’t think I will love this whole series as much as I loved the Cainsville one (also by Kelly Armstrong, by the way) but I do want to read at least a few more books to see if the series will grow on me even more. I gave it 3 stars.

Heart Of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

A novel of hallucinating violence and strangeness. Heart Of Darkness tells the story of the sailor Marlow and his entanglement in the horrors of colonialism in Africa. He travels up the Congo on a steamer in search of the great ivory trader, Kurtz, the ‘universal genius’ who rules his lands through terror, and has made himself into a god.

I have already mentioned this many times, but I have been wanting to read this book as soon as I found out that Apocalypse Now, a film that I have really enjoyed, is based on this. And when I found out that they did this book in my forever favourite Penguin English Library edition, I just had to pick it up. Going into it I already knew that I might not get on with the writing style, because it is written in the late 1800’s and for me that is always a little bit hit or miss, but of course I was willing to give it a shot. 2/3 of the way in I can say that the writing style is not for me. It is very much written as though the story is being told (which is exactly what is happening) and I just find that a bit all over the place. The story itself is also very different from what I expected and also pretty different from the film, but I don’t dislike it. In fact, I like it enough to power through and try to get to the end, because I am curious to see how this continues. I highly suspect the final verdict on Heart Of Darkness will be in next month’s reading update.

Almost 4 books in a month, I am proud of myself. And I managed to not buy any new books. April might be the month that I end up buying quite a few though, because I finished two first books in series, and I plan on probably reading a third this month. And then I obviously have to read the sequels as quickly as I can!

Thanks for stopping by ❤

-x