I’ve read quite a few books this past month: nine to be precise! Three of them were volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia, so that probably explains the high number of books. Today I’m going to show you what other books I read and what I thought of them.
The first three books were diverse, to say the least. The first one was the very sweet but also sad All The Bright Places. I thought it was a well written novel that dealt with mental illness in a very good way.
The second book was Het Diner by Herman Koch, a Dutch novel that has been translated as The Dinner. It is Koch’s most famous novel, but it wasn’t really my kind of book. The characters were shallow and not really well-worked out, there was little character development as well and I think I just don’t like his style of writing; I also disliked his latest book Geachte Heer M (literally Dear Mr. M.). It’s a pity because he’s seen as one of the best authors the Netherlands have to offer, but other people might still enjoy his writing.
The third book was the classic Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I had never read this book before, but I had seen the BBC adaptation and loved the story already – I enjoyed reading it maybe even more than I liked watching the TV film. I think this is by far Austen’s funniest and wittiest novel!
The fourth book I finished was a Dutch non-fictional book called Rampjaar 1672 which means Disaster Year 1672 and is about the disastrous events of 1672-1673 when the Republic of the Seven Provinces was attacked by the joined forces of England (at sea), France and the bishops of Münster and Cologne. The author, Luc Panhuysen, had based his book on the letters of Margaretha Turnor, baroness Van Reede and chatelaine of Castle Amerongen. I did my internship there so I had to read this one for my research, but it was an easy read. However, I think Panhuysen couldn’t choose between a literary and a strict scientific approach and that made it an ‘in-between’ kind of book while it could have been so much more.
The fifth and sixth books were volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia. I had previously read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Prince Caspian and the next in line (chronologically that is) is The Silver Chair. I do not have the facsimile edition of that one, but I did have the Dutch hardback edition, so I read that one. I loved it, just like The Last Battle. I had but one remark: I thought that Lewis was a bit harsh on the character of Susan, but I’ll write more on this subject in a proper review.
The last three books of this month were two Penguin English Classics (woohoo! I love those!) and one last Narnia volume. I know, childhood memories were abundant in July … I thoroughly enjoyed The Horse and His Boy – more than I thought I would. When I read it for the first time, many years ago, I didn’t really enjoy it very much because it was the only volume in the Narnia Chronicles that wasn’t about one of the children from England that went to Narnia by magic. But I think I didn’t give at a good chance because it’s just such a lovely tale and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
I picked up Silas Marner by George Eliot because I knew that The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry was based on this one and I liked the general idea. I thought it was enjoyable, but the story developed very slowly. Too slowly for my taste. It was still good and I liked it (Eppie and Silas are so lovable), but I didn’t exactly love it.
Last but not least: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. I had never read anything by Wells before but I had heard some good things about him. Moreover, the fact that this was considered one of the first science fiction novels fascinated me. I thought it was a very good short story, I loved every bit of it and would highly recommend it. Review on its way! (Fingers crossed I’ll be able to keep up with the reviews this time …)
That’s it for this month! Do tell me what you read this month and if you would recommend any of your books.
EDIT: I managed to squeeze in one last book this month: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell. It is a really quick but lovely read and I enjoyed it very much. Would recommend it to any booklover!
What was your top read this month?