Read & Seen #5 May 2015

Another month passed and it’s June already. Wow, just another six weeks and then I’ll be done for this year at university. I’ll have to work hard these coming weeks, but I think that the thought of summer and vacation will be a great help. I’m looking forward to reading a lot this summer, but before I can compile my TBR for July and August, I’ll show you what I’ve read and seen last May!

I started working at Amerongen Castle (as an intern) at the beginning of May, so I had less time to read. All in all, I’ve still read four novels and one non-fiction book.

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Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy, To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (click on the titles to go to the BookDepository website).

May started with a classic, my first non-Austen novel in my English Library Challenge. I’ve read more classics like Jane Eyre, but I decided to re-read those before I cross them off the list. I actually wanted to start with Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, but the novel wasn’t in stock at my local bookshop, so I opted for Under The Greenwood Tree instead. I liked the story (gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads), but had some trouble liking one of the main characters, Miss Fancy Day (read my blog post here).

To Rise Again At A Decent Hour was the second book I picked up last month and I did not like it as much as I had hoped. The idea was good and could have been very interesting, but it started rather slow and the writing was inconsistent. I still gave it three stars at Goodreads because I did enjoy the book at a few points. (Read my blog post here.)

The third novel I read was a children’s classic. It was The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. I don’t know about you, but I practically grew up with the Chronicles of Narnia (and the Harry Potter series), so I imagine the joy I felt when my friend gave me a beautiful facsimile edition for my birthday. Still, I was a bit hesitant reading it, because I was afraid the story might have lost its charm now that I’m much older. But I still loved it! It reminded me once more that Lewis is probably one of the best writers from the 20th century. To be able to write a good story for children is one thing, but to write a children’s story that is enjoyed by both children and adults is in my opinion a real gift. Or in the words of the great man himself: ‘A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’ Amen to that!

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Vrouw des Huizes by Els Kloek and When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman.

Next I read a work of non-fiction, Vrouw Des Huizes (A Cultural History Of The Dutch Houswife) by Els Kloek. Sounds strange, but it was interesting and I had to read it for my internship.

When God Was A Rabbit was the last novel I read in May and I finished it just in time (on the 31st). I had some trouble with this one, just like with Ferris’. I liked the first part of the book, but then I got lost. I didn’t know where the story was heading and I found the ‘secret’ that the main characters kept wasn’t explored enough. I let it rest for a while before I picked it up on the last day of May when I decided to get it over with. The last sixty or seventy pages however, were really good. So I am at a bit of a loss about this one, but a proper review is on its way!

Goodreads Reading Challenge
I’m still really glad I’ve set myself a challenge this year. The Goodreads Reading Challenge is coming along just fine!

Vastleggen in volledig scherm 1-6-2015 162346.bmpTen books ahead of schedule!. If I continue to read about 4-5 books a month, I might complete the challenge in just two more. Yeah!

Penguin English Library Challenge
You might have read that I’ve set myself another challenge: the Penguin English Library Challenge, inspired by beholdthestars. So far, I’ve read 5 novels (of 105 listed), so it’ll take me some time to finish it, but that doesn’t matter.

Last April I watched a lot of movies, but they weren’t very good ones. This month I watched a lot less and qualitative better movies.

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Australia (2008), Far From The Madding Crowd (2015) and Magic Mike (2012).

I’d seen Australia before, but my boyfriend never had, so we watched it together. It’s pretty awesome, but a bit to long to my taste and the ending is somewhat improbable, but that I’ll happily forgive the makers.

I wrote a review about the second film I saw, an adaptation of Hardy’s classic romance. It. Was. Amazing. The decor, the costumes, the actors. Everything.

Considering the reviews of Magic Mike, I could have known that the movie wasn’t great, but I wanted to see for myself. I think the idea behind the movie was okay: a life story like Tatum’s is worth telling. Regrettably it was all the dancing that was actually the main part of the movie and the ‘real stuff’, the problems and hardship that would’ve made the movie worthwhile played a minor role.

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Prince Caspian (2008), The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (2010) and La Tête En Friche (2010).

I saw a Dutch romantic comedy this month as well, but it wasn’t a great movie, so I’ll skip that one. Inspired by the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia (or the fifth, depending on what reading order you prefer) I watched two of the films: Prince Caspian and The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. Oh, childhood memories!

The last movie I saw was a French one starring Gerard Depardieu (isn’t he in EVERY French movie?). It was sweet, hopeful and charming. Not the best French film I’ve seen, but certainly worthwhile.

That’s it for this month guys – I hope you enjoyed it.

What’s your number 1 book or movie that you’ve read or seen last month?


5 thoughts on “Read & Seen #5 May 2015

  1. My may-favourite was Murakami’s “Kafka on the shore”. No films here, I prefer reading instead of watching. You’ve read some really nice books in may, I’m a big fan of ‘When God was a rabbit”, probably most because of this wonderful title, but I did enjoy the book as well. Looking forward to june 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, still have to read my first Murakami … I don’t know which of his books to pick up first. Any suggestions? I myself was not a huge fan of ‘When God Was A Rabbit’, but I didn’t think it bad either. I’ll keep you updated on the review ;-)!


  2. Aah Far From The Madding Crowd! Die wil ik eigenlijk ook nog lezen voordat ik de film zie. Ik lees momenteel The Woman In White van Wilkie Collins (ik probeer nu altijd in ieder geval één klassieker te lezen en dan daarnaast een “normaal” boek) en daarna wil ik ofwel Tess of D’Ubervilles of Far From The Madding Crowd oppakken. En wauw jij loopt echt goed op je challenge! Ik heb momenteel 25 boeken gelezen wat precies “on track” is (mijn challenge is 60 boeken). X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goed idee om het zo te doen! Ik wil graag eerst Far From the Madding Crowd lezen omdat dat een van de weinige ‘happy ending’ romans is van Hardy (samen met Under the Greenwood Tree die ik pas las) en omdat ik toch een béétje tegen Tess zit aan te hikken. Da’s toch een drama :-)! Film is trouwens prachtig, zéér de moeite waard om die op het grote scherm te zien!


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