(A very late!) February Reading Wrap Up

I am Malala, Never Let Me Go, 1984, Brick Lane

READ:

Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
1984 by George Orwell
Martin Eden by Jack London
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

UNFINISHED:

Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies (don't think I will attempt to finish, was not a big fan of the style)
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro



REVIEWS


Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore
This has been a mammoth read that I started in January and I was reading the unabridged audiobook which is a full 25 hours long. I will go on to buy myself a copy of the physical book as I fully enjoyed this and it will be useful for referencing as well as trying to find the parts I enjoyed the most to re-read. (That's something of a problem with audiobooks) This book was a thorough 3000 year history of Jerusalem and as somebody who reads a lot about the city and the Middle East in general I must applaud this book for being one of the best accounts of the history of any city I have ever read. Thoroughly recommend even if you aren't a big fan of the history of the Middle East like myself.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali
I think this is a case where the story being told is a lot better/more important than how it's told. The storyline of this book was good, but at times I found it tiresome to pick up. I really appreciated the side story of the sister. I felt Nazneens affair was a little left field and didn't seem like the kind of thing she would do as such a retiring character. I enjoyed reading in English how Nazneen interprets the world around her in a foreign language. Does that make sense? The way the book is written in English but Nazneen does not speak English so every now and again you get reminders that her internal monologue is taking place entirely in a different language through the way she notes words that she understands. But what is strange about this and perhaps a little inconsistent is the way her sister seems to write her letters in a strange broken English. She is obviously writing them in her mother tongue so I feel it should be written in full English as she is articulating herself fully in her mother tongue just like Nazneen. Surely her letter would just have grammatical mistakes or spelling mistakes if she is uneducated, but I don't understand why she would be writing in broken English which suggests she speaks a fragmented version of her mother tongue, having no real first language? I was confused by this.

1984 by George Orwell
I was in Germany for the first time in January and really learnt about the GDR (German Democratic Republic) for the first time. I was so interested and it was around the time that buzzwords like fake news and post-truth and post-facts were being thrown around in the news left right and centre. Amazon was also reporting a record increase in sales of 1984 and all of that lead to me really to read wanting to read this. Sadly I wasn't too thrilled about this either. I love Keep the Aspidistra flying, and Animal Farm and as 1984 is perhaps Orwell's most famous book I really expected to enjoy it a lot more. It's very sad and uneasy - I know it's supposed to be, but overall I did not enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. I would have put a lot more love as a theme into this book.

Martin Eden by Jack London
I read this by recommendation from a friend and whizzed through it in two days from 31st Jan-1st Feb. Martin Eden's struggle with becoming a writer was really inspiring. I loved the romance between Martin and Ruth and wish they had ended up together instead of Eden having quite a miserable end.

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
I enjoyed this book. Malala is so inspiring. You can't poke holes in this book, I think all round on every level it is amazing and inspiring and perhaps may write a fuller review some other time.

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