Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I almost read this book during the challenge because I have heard it referenced so often but I was reluctant to read an irksome tale about a middle-aged man who falls for a child. I am happy to say that while there were definitely cringe-worthy parts, I was less appalled than I expected. Also, the fact that it is not a true story helps.
Opinion: I was less repulsed as I anticipated but that is not to say that i did not spend a good portion reading this book with a scolding look on my face. The book was also much better written than I had foreseen. A plus would be if you understand French pretty fluently because there are a lot of French phrases that completely went over my head. The antagonist is a scholar and since the book is written from his point of view, the vocabulary is extensive. While I obviously dislike the idea of an older man taking advantage of a child, I am glad I read the book since it is considered such a cult classic. I can't say I loved it or even enjoyed it but the fact that this is not strictly a true story and the tone is not violent made it so I could see past the creepy and appreciate how well-written the novel is.
Recommend? I'm not really sure. The book is very well-written but it is also pretty disturbing. I suppose to be well-rounded, this book would help.
I reluctantly give this book 3.5 out of 5 starts because it is extremely well-written fiction. I would have given it a higher mark if the subject matter wasn't so disturbing.
I found this at the thrift store I go to regularly a while ago but I wanted to read Lolita first, for obvious reasons.
Opinion: This book was extremely profound and astonishing because it gives a first-person account of a revolution that complete changed the lives of women in Iran. It was interesting to hear how Nafisi coped and how she eventually came to her decision to leave Iran. Having been fortunate enough to be born in a Western society and having enjoyed somewhat equality with men, it seems impossible to me how any women can stand being as oppressed as the women in Iran were following the revolution. It is heartbreaking to me but I feel it is important to read books like this to understand what it was and is like for women in Iran when religious extremism takes over and forces people to surrender their rights as human beings.
4.75 hearts out of 5
Sidenote: I read my sister's book with this below cover and the cover is deceptive to the story. It is more dark than the cover alludes to.
Opinion: This book was very strange to me. It gets a lot darker and more depressing than I had anticipated. It is pretty intense despite the lighthearted-ness the title suggests. While I appreciate the fashion aspect of the novel, I found the different components of the novel to be disconnected. The story is still interesting, making it a quick read and while I was entertained, I was also left feeling a little confused and unsatisfied.
2.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This is one of those books that changes your life by presenting a perspective and/or issue that alters the way you look at the world. My sister and I went to Puerto Rico earlier this year and while the symbol for the El Yunque Rain Forrest was a tree frog, we were disappointed not to come across a single one. This book explains why. It is clear that Homo Sapiens have the upper hand over any creature on Earth and we have altered natural habitats for our own convenience. This had inevitably led to the extinction of many species. While there are natural cycles of extinction, we risk making it worse by our interference in nature. I feel that this is a book every person on Earth should read. This should be one of those classics that you read in high school and that is alluded to in many classes of your subsequent matriculation.
Recommend? Absolutely. The world would be a better place if everyone read this book.
5 out of 5 hearts
Just a little disclaimer here. I am from the Netherlands and the book takes place in Amsterdam so I was already conditioned to like it. That being said, I did try to be as objective as possible below.
Opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The reality of Petronalla's situation and the secrets of the house slowly unfold and make this book a page-turner. While there are some less-than-ideal harsh realities we no longer have to suffer in he Western world in the twenty-first century, I enjoyed the unique premise of the book and the mysterious air throughout. It was a great read. I think this would make a great movie. Just saying.
4.25 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: I was afraid this would be too creepy for me but was not so much creepy as intriguing and mysterious. The concept of the book is very creative and offbeat. I enjoyed that many elements were unexpected and that the story staying interesting to the end. This is the first book in a trilogy so there is the option of continuing the story if you'd like. However, the book ends at a point where you do not feel obliged to, which I like.
3.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: While a little slow to start, this was a great superb exploration of Jewish and Arabic mythology. I appreciated how eventually every plot line comes together and the magical air infused into the novel's nineteenth century New York City setting. The many layers of the story keep the reader enthralled by what will happen next. I enjoyed reading the journey the Golem and the Jinni take in order to find their place as outsiders in the world.
4 out of 5 hearts