my way too ambitious TBR
I had already seen this kind of challenge on Instagram, but never actually taken part in any of them. I just wondered if I would be able to read 5 books in 7 days but didn’t have the time at that point. But August means holidays and time, and even if the wifi is scarce, that meant I would actually have more time for reading. So when another bookstagrammer proposed a #5books7days challenge for this week (10-16 August) I was in the moment I saw it.
Day 1: I need to finish that book today.
I decided to start slowly, and chose The Hunger Games, which I wanted to re-read. That was the perfect timing. I picked it up in the morning, of course, and everything started to come back to my mind. I think I first read it about two years ago, a bit more. So that was enough time for me to re-read it with somewhat of a new angle, and it was amazing. I honestly think I enjoyed it better than the first time. I actually noticed when I re-read the Harry Potter series earlier this year that I can enjoy books better when I read them for the second or the first time. I’m not sure why, maybe this way I can enjoy the writing better, and concentrate on something else than the omg-what’s-gonna-happen-next feeling I usually have when I read a book. Anyway. It sure involved a lot of crying, I can’t deny that. And probably more than the first time I read it. I don’t know, somehow I got to realise better the misery of District 12. I have changed too, so maybe that helped me see better through the book, realise how cruel it was. And that was a good thing. So yeah, all those feeling in one single day. I proudly closed it in the evening, knowing very well what would happen next (but I can’t help wanting to re-read Catching Fire RIGHT NOW but I’m going to wait a little bit).
Right, that was a lot of talk. Basically, my point is first, I love this book, and second, re-read the books you love because you may end up liking them even more!
My rating: 5 stars forever.
Day 2: I’m not going to bed before finishing this.
Another day, another book. I had bought Wonder only a few days ago, and it wasn’t even in my original August TBR (which I am unexpectedly respecting this month, well so far I only had the books I had brought with me on holidays so that helps). But I included it nevertheless since I was curious about that book. I had read a lot of positive opinions about it through the Bookstagram community (actually I don’t think I have seen any negative opinion, and that is well deserved) but I hadn’t figured out what it was about until I purchased it, and the summary made me even more curious about it. After a few pages, I knew I would love it. It is both sad and beautiful at the beginning, and then it becomes even better. It is touching and moving, it is a book you want to cherish. I personally just wanted to hug August throughout the whole book, though I know I would have had the same reaction as everyone in the book if I had seen him for real. It was so relatable. I have been through middle school (it’s long behind me now… okay maybe not that long) and I know what it’s like to not be a popular kid. But what hurts more is that I know what it’s like to exclude a kid based on his looks or anything of the sort. Even if it was not to August’s extent, we all have that kid in the class no one would talk to. Deep inside, maybe I felt bad ignoring and avoiding that kid, but talking to him was worse. And now I feel bad about it. So yeah, that was a good lesson.
What you need to know about that book: it’s witty and amazing, anyone can read it, and if you haven’t yet, you’re missing something!
My rating: 5 stars.
Day 3: Can someone remind me why I started this challenge?
Time for classics. I had been wanting to read The Great Gatsby for quite some time, and I bought a second-hand copy a few months ago, so it was finally time I read it. But it was not that much of an easy read, and I only managed to read about 40 pages.
Day 4: Let’s move on to something else.
After struggling a little more with The Great Gatsby, I decided to start something else and finish it later. And so, I started Us by David Nicholls. This huge 400-pages book, yes. One Day is a great favourite of mine, so when I had found this gorgeous second hand edition of Us at my local bookstore, I couldn’t resist. I read about 100 pages, and I loved it already.
Day 5: Time to do some catching up.
I was clearly far behing according to the list I had planned to read during this week, and had still 300 pages ahead of me before the end of Us. But I read and read and read. It’s exactly the kind of book I find hard to put down. David Nicholls is such an amazing author, really. The story is that of a middle-aged couple, who have been married for 20 years. He is a scientist, she is an artist. They have a 17 year old son, and suddenly, Connie (the wife as you probably guessed) tells her husband she thinks it’s time they part ways. Right before the ‘Grand Tour’ across Europe they had planned for the holidays. Douglas, who had already planned to die by her side at an old age, certainly hadn’t seen that coming, and is devastated. Still, they decide to go on the Grand Tour, and as we could have expected, it doesn’t quite go as planned.
The story is told through the eyes of Douglas, and goes back and forth between his first meetings with Connie, and the present day of their relationship apparently drawing to an end. And yet he can’t do anything about it, and also has to face the relationship with his son, Albie, who his as artsy as his mother and wants to be a photographer, while Douglas had already planned for him a perfectly fine and respectable life. Why can’t he be a scientist like his father? As you probably guessed, the relationship is not easy, and this is another important and beautiful issues of the book.
My opinion : This book is perfect. It couldn’t be improved in any way. David Nicholls’s writing is witty and moving. It’s touching in every way, it’s truly beautiful, and I found it so damn relatable. It was really more than I expected, and I’m so glad I read it. As I virtually travelled to Europe, I shared Douglas’s worries (and I have to admit I already went to several places they visited, so that was really nice). As I said, I couldn’t put it down, and indeed, I managed to finish it in the evening. Highly recommended!
My rating: 5 stars.
Day 6: Let’s not waste time (Ooops, too late)
The problem is, this cozy holidays week was spent in Spain, and was rather occupied, so I didn’t have that much time to read. On Saturday, we had to travel back to France and visit my cousins. I got carsick and only managed to read 40 pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, along with a few pages of The Great Gatsby, but I found it hard to get into the story.
Day 7: How am I gonna manage to read all this?
One more day in the car (we still had to go from the south of France back to Paris) but this time I managed to read a lot. I got totally hooked by To Kill a Mockingbird and found it terribly amazing. I even managed to finish it before falling asleep (which wasn’t for granted).
Thr story is more than well-known so I guess you won’t need a summary. As a European resident I’m not very familiar with all the background. We studied it in history class, of course, but not that much (we have too much too do with the Revolution and Napoleon and all the kings and war and Republics and stuff like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love history. But that’s not the point here). So, as I said, I wish I knew more about the 1930s US because it’s fascinating.
I really liked this book, an other one that is hard to put down. It really deserves all the praise. I don’t really know how to put words on my thoughts (to quote Augustus Waters, my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations, I am a huge fan of this quote, but once again, this is not the point of this article). It’s brilliant and fascinating. History lets us expect the ending, but that doesn’t remove the suspense. And more importantly, I want more. (Now I have to get my hands on Go set a watchman !!)
Rating: 5 stars (yes that’s a lot of 5 stars but I don’t see why I wouldn’t give a good rating if I liked the book!)
I swear I tried to finish The Great Gatsby, but it was already past midnight anyway so I gave up. I have now finished it and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The story is extremely well-written, I won’t denied this. I really loved the writing, and the narrator. As soon as the book started, I immediately knew I would love Nick Carraway’s character. That’s what saved the book. I liked Gatsby and Jordan as well, but the characters were like paper characters, if I may (or am I too influenced by Margo Roth Spiegelman?) and I felt like they were distant. The story was happening but everything wasn’t clear. I would have loved to know and understand the characters better. Still, I’m glad I read it since it’s a great classic. But I was waiting for more.
My rating: 3 stars.
So in the end, I had a lot of fun reading this week, and finally managed to get back on track for my yearly Goodreads challenge! Next time I do a #5books7days I will just try to be a bit less ambitious for my TBR, and maybe this time I will manage!