Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Goodreads Reading Challenge

At the start of the year I set myself a challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I initially thought this would be easy, however – as the year has progressed and things have built-up, I’ve realised what a ridiculous idea this was!

However, I have absolutely eaten up some amazing books this year – my original plan of posting once a week, summarising the week and the book I was reading only lasted a couple of months, and thanks to my own personal difficulties – the tone and nature of my posts changed as well.

I would jump on this opportunity and do a quick review of some of the books I have read from February – April this year :).

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn (2006).

I picked up this book during a particularly troubling couple of weeks, both mentally and emotionally. I had bene going through turmoil within my own family and my Mother and I were off-side from one another. Sometimes you just fall into a funk, with those you love the most – that’s where I was at. We had had a disagreement about my need to speak about, and share everything, not with her, but with others. My Mother thinks I am too trusting and that I share too much with too many people. I can’t say I disagree with her, really.

I am a sharer, I share all of my thoughts, my feelings – I pour it all out at a rapid rate – I will share anything and everything, because I honestly feel that sharing helps us to relate to one another. We share the lot and then work together to fix what is hurting. Sometimes I forget that other people are not in it for the right reasons. Others nod and smile and pretend to be empathetic, but really they are saving it up. Waiting for their moment to throw it back in your face, or use it as a point of comparison.

In what is turning out to be a typical parallelism for each week and book – I had some pretty powerful take-away messages from this book and from this book.

  • Blood is thicker than water, one is more likely to drown you quicker as well.
  • Family does not always have their best interests in their hearts for you.
  • Sometimes you need a break from your inner circle in order to protect yourself, your relationship and your sanity.
  • We are all doing the very best that we can at any one time.
  • Be forgiving. To yourself, to others, to the world, to past you, to future you.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel (2006)

Oh my goodness, what a book! The Life of Pi is absolutely enrapturing – this book at my heart and soul and all of my free time for the week which I was reading it. It is 460 pages, but this is 460 pages of truly beautiful writing. This book had be questioning my faith, my beliefs, my loyalties, it challenged me. In the most beautiful way that a fictitious story should (even though for a good portion of the book I was convinced it was a true story, due to the quality of the writing).

After I read the book, my Husband and I watched the movie, which he had already seen and it is interesting as we had a different conclusion to one another. I believed it ended one way, he believed it ended another way. The book, in my opinion, sets you up to believe one version of events, whereas the movie I feel makes you consider the alternate version to be the more likely outcome of the two.

What I learnt from Life of Pi:

  • Sometimes there can genuinely be two versions of a story, with neither being more ‘true’ than the other;
  • Perception is everything, it is easy for lines/wires to be crossed as we are not able to truly view something from another’s perception;
  • Our primary need for survival can sometimes alter our course in life;
  • Some people are the zebra’s and some people are the tiger’s and that’s ok.

Ruby – Cynthia Bond (2014)

Oh Ruby, this book absolutely broke my heart and muddled my mind, thoughts and emotions for week. This book is taxing, it is dark, it is too dark for me. That’s really saying something. I love crime and horror, but child abuse is just too raw for me. I feel that this book really should have come with a trigger warning, the content of this book is depraved beyond a level of belief, what is tragic is I believe the woman who wrote the book, Cynthia Bond, was a victim of assault and abuse and you can tell in the way in which this book is written. Unless you are looking for a book to be 100% sexual and physical abuse towards children and a woman as she grows older, then I would avoid it all costs. I wish someone had of warned me. I didn’t have any take-away lessons from the book other than sadness and disgust and a deeply felt trauma.

Not for one minute am I blind to the horrors and actualities of the way of the world, of the unjust and cruel treatment of children and woman (and every other race/gender/location of human), but this book should have had a warning on the front of it. This book was graphic, torturous, and soul-destroying and not a single page allowed the reader time to come up for air. I question how such a graphically violent book against children could be published. If a male had of written this book I firmly believe he would have been questioned by authorities, if someone wrote the content of this book in a ‘fantasy’ chatroom online on the dark web, it would be the darkest, dustiest corners of the internet.

Stay tuned for my Autumn Book list!



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