May 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hello there, homo sapiens! I hope everyone’s safe and well.

I’m doing my May reading wrap-up today (how time flies!) and this might be my last blog post for the meantime. 

I managed to read nine books this month, two books short compared to April but I’m still glad with it because May has been a busy month at work.

5-Stars

therapeofnanking

4-Stars

3.5-Stars

How was your reading month? Any new favorites? Any books you want to recommend? Feel free to share!

Goodbye for now, homo sapiens, keep safe!

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norsemythologyNeil Gaiman is a great author. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of his other books and Norse Mythology is the latest addition. I didn’t read the synopsis before reading Norse Mythology because I know any Neil Gaiman read is a good read, if not great, because he is a master in storytelling.

Norse Mythology is a retelling of an ancient myth. It is a collection of stories of a dysfunctional family of powerful gods including Odin, Thor and Loki. The book begins with the introduction of Asgard and ends with the destruction of it. The different stories have  different characters but with either Odin, Thor or Loki in it. Some stories were short, some were long. Some of my favorites include A Mead of Poets, The Treasures of Gods, and Freya’s Unusual Wedding.

The characters were such a mood. Thor has such a passion for eating. But he was an idiot, too. In a charming way, I must say. 🙂 I liked how Freya is often fed up with Thor and Loki. Loki is my favorite character, what a savage. For most parts, he was the central character. It seems to me that Neil Gaiman loves Loki the most among these gods. Ha! Many of the characters were the same throughout the story but I loved what he did with Loki’s character and what it did to me as a reader who liked Loki a lot. Loki didn’t actually change much but my opinion of him has changed. I think the same thing happened for many of the readers — it has made the reader feel different. I’m sure many readers liked Loki so much in the beginning, it was really easy to like him. Then in the end, it was also very easy to hate him thus, he becomes the reader’s least favorite character. Well, it’s easy to think and write of a character change but I think, only a skilled writer can make you change your opinion without having to tell you to. And that is what Gaiman just did so well.

Norse Mythology is a quick, magical and  easy read. It is a well-written book and one you can easily enjoy. It is a good feeling to be immersed in the world of Asgard. 

Quotable Quotes:

“That was the thing about Loki. You resented him even when you were at your most grateful, and you were grateful to him even when you hated him the most.”

“Rebirth always follows death.”

“Each insult is woven with just enough truth to make it wound.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Quote of the Week

You can get away from envy by enjoying the pleasures that come your way, by doing the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself.

~Bertrand Russell

WWW Wednesday 26-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

thegardenofeveningmists

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Liked Better Than the Adaptation

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Liked Better Than the Adaptation

Personally, I always find the books far, far better than their movie or TV adaptations. There are only a very few adaptations that turned out better than the books, very few, like what I’ve included in last week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Today, let me share with you the top 5 books (among the very many!) that I find far better than their adaptations.

The only thing I liked in the movie was the boy who played as Hassan.

The movie did well but the book was just so cleverly-written!

The movie was okay but really, the book is far better!

I didn’t love the Twilight series that much but I think, it was still better reading than watching the films.

It’s always a delight reading Neil Gaiman’s books so there’s no way I’ll be convinced that the adaptation was better. 😉

Quote of the Week

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Laurell K. Hamilton

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II was written by Iris Chang. It was originally published in 1997, the same year of the 60th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre during the second Sino-Japanese war.

therapeofnanking

The Rape of Nanking tells of the episodes of the mass rape, massacre and other atrocities the Japanese soldiers committed against the people of Nanking during its conquest in December 1937 and lasted for six or so weeks. Nanking, then capital city of China, went through the one of the worst mass murder in modern history. 

The book is divided into three parts. The first part was the events that happened during the “rape” of Nanking. The second part tells of what the other countries thought of the these events. And third, the author’s own analysis of the events, the cause why these events happened and why these remained unnoticed and unrecognized even decades after the war.

Iris Chang’s writing style was very direct and this I think is one of the best things about this book along with the remarkable number of survivors who helped/contributed in its creation.

The Rape of Nanking was a successful book specially that it reached many people around the globe specially in the west where very little or nothing is known about the massacre. However, this success came with a cost. Chang received several death threats and harassment. Since the release of the book, she also suffered from depression and sleep deprivation. She carried the burden and felt responsible to tell the world the truth and the facts regarding the “rape” of Nanking. In the end, she killed herself and Nanking claimed another victim.

Quotable Quotes:

“Looking back upon millennia of history, it appears clear that no race or culture has monopoly on wartime cruelty. The veneer of civilization seems to be exceedingly thin – one that can be easily stripped away, especially by the stresses of war.”

“As the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel warned years ago, to forget a holocaust is to kill twice.”

“Almost all people have this potential for evil, which would be unleashed only under certain dangerous social circumstances.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 19-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

palestine

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Adaptations I Liked Better Than the Book

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Adaptations I Liked Better Than the Books

Now this isn’t an easy topic today… hmmm… adaptations are mostly a no-no for me but let’s try it, shall we?

Well… Fight Club. Because of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Haha! And it was more dramatic.

lotrtrilogybookcover

lotrtrilogymovieposter

Now don’t get me wrong here… I loved the books so much, I really do. But the movies justified the books farther than I expected to be quite honest, with all the special effects, soundtracks, cast and all. I enjoyed and loved the movies a lot. So the books will remain to be my favorites and the movie adaptations, too, but a little bit more!

I loved the book but I love Jack Nicholson more! And the movie is really good!

Well, what can I say? Brad Pitt just made Tristan hotter than I could imagine!

I loved the lead characters more in the movie than in the book. And it is always a delight to watch Saoirse Ronan.

How about you? What adaptations do you like better than the books?

Quote of the Week

No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.

~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Maus II by Art Spiegelman

maus2Maus II continues the holocaust survival story of Art Spiegelman’s father, Vladek. In this second book, we learn of Vladek and his wife Anja’s struggles in order to survive in the two deadliest concentration camps ran by the Nazis and their lives after. It also shows the impact of these terrible experiences to Vladek, who now is an old man and how this affected Art’s life negatively at the same time. However, this also gave Art a purpose, to write a book about his father’s distressing and heartbreaking story.

I must say that Maus I was a rough read already but Maus II is rougher. Brutal. Heart-wrenching. Vladek related the stories inside the camps, death and torture and how tough and disheartening it makes someone to be there. It’s fascinating to read how Vladek tried his best to survive and help others while inside the camps, at the same time making sure that Anja is keeping well. One of the things that really hit me hard here was when Vladek and Anja learned of each other still alive. They got separated in the camps but knowing, just knowing, that the other is alive brought to me too much emotions. It was kinda difficult getting rid of the heaviness I felt then. It’s just too hard to imagine how difficult it was then for the victims of the holocaust and the war as a whole.

As is with Maus I, the illustrations in Maus II were equally extraordinary, terrifying, very personal and essential. The characters were again portrayed as animals. Very powerful. The storytelling style was as beautiful as the first volume.

It’s hard to put into words how I loved both books so much so I urge you to read it, only then will you understand.

Quotable Quotes:

“No matter what I accomplish, it doesn’t seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz.”

” I feel so inadequate trying to reconstruct a reality that was worse than my darkest dreams.”

“People haven’t changed … Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 12-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

thethursdaymurderclub

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Wish Had TV Adaptations

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Wish Had TV Adaptations

Hmmm… well, yeah, I guess there are some books which I think can be very good TV adaptations. It can give more details compared to movies so I think I’d prefer it more. Let’s get started, shall we?

pachinko

I’ve read Pachinko in 2019 and it easily became one of my favorites that year. When I finished reading the book, I really wished someone will adapt it into a TV series. And just a few days ago, I found out that there is indeed an upcoming TV series for it starring Lee Min-Ho!

themountainssing

The Mountains Sing is a bittersweet family saga of the Tran family in North Vietnam. This book is filled  with heartbreak and tragedy. But it is also full of hope and love. I think this story will truly capture hearts even as a TV adaptation.

alittlelife

A Little Life is one of the longest novels I’ve read. I loved it and I really think it could be a great TV series.

The-Seven-Husbands-of-Evelyn-Hugo

I think The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is currently in the early stages of its TV adaptation so I’m really looking forward to it!

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswives

If I can remember correctly, I think Netflix signed a deal with an African producer for the TV adaptation of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. I’m truly excited for this one so I hope it comes out soon.

What books do you wish had TV adaptations? I would love to know! 🙂

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

thesundownmotelCarly Kirk’s aunt Vivian Delaney accepted a job as night clerk in The Sun Down Motel thirty-five years ago in the small, mysterious town of Fell, NY and then she disappeared. At present, Carly is now the same age as her aunt Viv when she disappeared. When her mom died, she left college and went to Fell in search for answers for the disappearance of her aunt. She ended up taking the same job as night clerk in Sun Down, stayed in the same apartment where Viv used to live and soon started experiencing the very same troubles.

The Sun Down Motel is my first book from Simone St. James and I liked her gripping writing style. She did a good job with the dual narrative. It makes you curious and interested to read on the similarities between the two timelines, though there were times it got a bit confusing which timeline I was in. Viv and Carly’s characters were also well-developed. I also liked the way the author managed to create an eerie atmosphere, it wasn’t very scary but it gave the right level of spookiness that’ll give you the creeps.

I enjoyed this supernatural thriller as a whole and I think my only complaint was how quick the ending was. It was all crammed in so few pages and it felt rushed. Other than that, I enjoyed the read.

Quotable Quotes:

“The person who could be truly alone, in the company of no one but oneself and one’s own thoughts—that person was stronger than anyone else. More ready. More prepared.”

“Spend my nights at the Sun Down? I was the kind of girl who would spend the night in a supposedly haunted house, just to see what would happen. That sounded like my ideal vacation.”

“This place is dark. Some of us like the dark. It’s what we know.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement – no matter how temporary.

~Craig Thompson

WWW Wednesday 05-May-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

img_1384-0

As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Feel free to share! 

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Wish Had Movie Adaptations

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to this month’s first Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books I Wish Had Movie Adaptations

My friends and those who have been following my blog for some time now are well aware that I love reading and that I’m not a big fan of watching flicks and how I almost always deride movie adaptations. However, there are a few good books I somehow wish had movie adaptations. (Or maybe they do have but I just didn’t know?) Anyway, here they are…

kafkaontheshore

The plot of Kafka on the Shore is weird and well, it gets even weirder. I don’t think there’s any point making a movie out of it but I’m curious how anyone would do it.

theextraordinarylifeofsamhell

I’ve read somewhere that an Australian film producer will make a movie adaptation of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. I loved this book so I hope they can turn it into a great movie.

theshadowofthewind

I don’t think there would be any movie adaptations for The Shadow of the Wind and all of Zafon’s books as he already refused all proposals. I’m still somehow curious how they’d create the magic Zafon’s books give us and The Shadow of the Wind would prove to be a challenging one.

thenightcircus

I’m not very sure but I think I’ve read somewhere that the adaptation for The Night Circus is still at the early stages and is making slow progress but I am looking forward to the movie.

thestoryteller

Jodi Picoult have several adaptations on her sleeves already though I haven’t watched any… yet… but I’m sure interested to watch The Storyteller if they’d turn it into a movie.

There goes my list! How about you? What books do you wish had movie adaptations? Feel free to share!

April 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hello there, Homo sapiens! And just like that, April’s over! Hello, May! So today, I’m sharing with you the books I’ve read during the month of April.

I was finally able to read my first ever graphic novel in April and three others. Maus I by Art Spiegelman is my first experience of a graphic novel and I loved it a lot! I also read Maus II and I think I loved it even more than the first one. I’ve rated both 5-stars. Also, I was able to read A Contract with God by Will Eisner and Blankets by Craig Thompson which were also very good reads, I rated them 4-stars each.

caste

My only other 5-star read for April apart from Maus I & II  is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. A very interesting read!

I have five 4-star reads which were equally interesting reads in their own ways.

less

And lastly, I have Less for 3-stars.

Quote of the Week

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

~Isaac Asimov

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History

maus1As a child, I remember reading my older brother’s collection of comics like X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman and Superman. But I have never ventured on graphic novels before and Maus I is my very first.

Maus I follows Vladek Spiegelman’s life before and during World War II. It is a one-of-a-kind memoir of a man’s suffering and several escape from death. He is deeply scarred as a result of these experiences but nevertheless boldly strong.

One of the things that caught my interest are the characters. Each race is a different kind of animal. The Jews were depicted as mice and Germans as cats. And then there were the “mice” pretending to be pigs (Poles). They put on masks to hide themselves to survive. I really think this was a brilliant idea by the author, Art Spiegelman.

The final chapter was The Mouse Trap where metaphorically, it referred to the deception of Vladek and his wife Anja which lead to their capture and imprisonment in Auschwitz.

This is a powerful and incredible graphic novel, a classic piece of writing and illustrations and I really liked the way of storytelling, it was so natural. Highly recommended!

Quotable Quotes:

“Maybe your father needed to show that he was always right – that he could always survive – because he felt guilty about surviving.”

“Disaster is my muse.”

“To die, it’s easy. But you have to struggle for life.”

Rating: 5/5 stars