Friday, 1 May 2015

Books I Read in April

Divergent (Veronica Roth)
Insurgent (Veronica Roth)
Allegiant (Veronica Roth)
How to Build a Girl (Caitlin Moran)
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories (Marina Keegan)

My adventures with the Divergent series began with a cheap DVD. I have a habit of buying DVDs in the supermarket when I'm supposed to be food shopping... this was probably one of those.

The problem with book/movie combos is that I always feel the need to tick off the other half of the pair once I've got the first half. Read the book, watch the movie. Seen the film, read the book. For some reason this even applies if I didn't really think much of the book/film I saw first. However... pleasingly I did enjoy the DVD (and the soundtrack) and so when the second movie came out at the cinema and I spotted a box set of books in town I picked these up: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant. Young adult books are usually quite light reading, and so I sped through these three. Nice easy books that were obvious film fodder (even if I didn't already know the films existed).


I once read Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Womanon a plane back from the US -- a last minute airport purchase before a long flight -- I don't remember disliking it, nor to I remember thinking it marvellous. And so I set about to read How to Build a Girl on a train journey that started a weekend of travel -- a last minute bookshop-round-the-corner-from-rail-station purchase. Perhaps my tolerance for books has lowered, but I'm going to add this one to my tedious list. Maybe it's the everydayness of the setting (although I somewhat doubt this) but I couldn't find my way into this. If I hadn't read to the end it wouldn't be listed here, but I am starting to wonder why I've bother pursuing with some of my recent reads. There's nothing notably bad about this book at all, but I just didn't care.


As a pleasant contrast, my final book of the month was also a last minute buy before a flight to the UK from Germany. I'd browsed a bookshop earlier that day and come away empty handed, but when I spotted the same two books I'd shortlisted in the English language section of a second bookshop, I caved :)

The Opposite of Loneliness is a lovely little collection of short stories and essays. Perhaps Marina's writing would have gone unnoticed if she hadn't died so suddenly after graduation, and perhaps it would not have done. Either way, her writing is skilful and I very much enjoyed meandering through the range of pieces in this volume.

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