“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Progress report: 18/52.
This update contains some of my best reads so far! The categories are starting to thin out and it is getting harder to find books to fit in, when I’m not reading I’m researching for my next category!
I tried to sneak in as much reading as possible in my uni holidays as now that the semester has started again reading novels is replaced by textbooks and lecture notes… Still if I want to actually complete this challenge I need to just keep on reading! So here we go, here is what I have been reading:
A book set in a different country: One Morning Like A Bird by Andrew Miller
This book again found me through my notorious bargain bin diving – and great value for my $5. Set in Japan in the 40s the story unfolds around the changing environment through the development of the war between Japan and China leading into the beginning of World War Two. It examines the conflict between the East and the West and the challenges faced by the Japanese youth. With the threat of conscription looming, Yuji faces a choice between love of family and love of country. I am glad I read this book as its themes are those that are enduring and I found myself consumed.
A memoir: Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found by Cheryl Strayed
What a journey this book takes you on. A very honest account of the struggles Cheryl Strayed faced in her life that lead her, completely inexperienced to hike across America. This book shows you that there are times in which challenges shape you into the person that you truly are. I read a lot of negative reviews about this book, about how she was stupid for thinking she could set out unprepared to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. This is possibly true, however what I took from this book is not from her decision to hike the trail but rather from how she handled every set back and every challenge and how she was able to utilise it as a treatment to free herself from a life she didn’t love. A very powerful and inspirational tale and I look forward to watching the movie as I don’t feel ready to move on just yet from this story.
A book that was originally written in a different language: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Originally written in French and published in 1943 this novella has been translated into over 250 languages! I chose to read this book for two reasons. The first being it was short and would help me quickly cross off a category, and the second was its social impact and the influence it had worldwide. This is just a beautiful book that creates a sense of adventure and explores humanity through the eyes of child. The book can be viewed on many levels however at its core it examines the meaning of life. I think the author was correct is his description of the book saying it was a ‘children’s book written for adults’.
A book published this year: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
The book everyone was talking about! I had heard many different accounts of this novel and a few comparisons to Gone Girl, which I totally get if by comparing it you are talking about messed up endings! Interesting premise and I like that the story is told from different perspectives. The struggles Rachel faces are very well explored and I liked following her journey. This book does go in the category of unlikable characters along with Gone Girl and The Slap, however I felt so involved in the story that I was compelled to read on and discover what really happened! Not my favourite book but definitely worth the read.
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: Emma by Jane Austen
I found this a challenging category as I actually enjoy reading hence I am pretty sure I did read every prescribed text at school. I was also under the impression that I had read Emma, but I was wrong! I placed this book in this category as while I was never required to read it, it was talked about a lot at school and then during my undergrad I studied Victorian Literature and it was talked about even more, the expectation being that everyone had read it at school…well I finally got there! Such a timeless story of love and the stubbornness of women, particularly when it comes to men! This is a plotline that will never age and I recommend if you have not read it, to pick it up next time you are in need of a romantic comedy.
A book set in high school: Looking For Alaska by John Green
I am now officially aboard the John Green bandwagon! I started reading this book for the category of an author under 30 as he would have been when this was originally published in 2005. It also could have gone under a book that made me cry. I settled it here as I wasn’t sure how many other books on my must read list would fall into the high school category. Oh, and I read it in a day; yes it was that good I literally could not put it down until I had finished. What more is there to say really except that John Green is amazing! The way he can shape a story, intertwining the smallest details that you almost forgot about, but become symbols important to the development of the characters. It is a story of friendship and lessons learnt in life as Green is not afraid to explore the unknown and doesn’t shy away from raw emotions. I give it all the stars there are to give and feel like I need to read Paper Towns immediately if it is even half as good!
Also don’t forget to hit me with your suggestions to add to my future reading list and let me know your thoughts on any of the above books in the comments or on social media! Happy reading!