Tome Topple Read-a-Thon: Half Point Update

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Ok, so the halfway point was yesterday, and I’m late, but I’ve been ill most of this week and really dropping the ball with basically everything, including blogging :/ Oops.

The Journey So Far:

I started with The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. This book has been on my shelf for well over a decade, and I’ve tried to read it at least half a dozen times. I never made it beyond about page 5. This time, I tried the audiobook and alternated between reading and listening. I made it about 100 pages in and decided I hate the book and will never finish it. It’s now permanently shelved “DNF” and I’m unhauling it whenever I can make it to a used bookshop.

Then I moved on to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This one has been on my TBR for, well, basically forever, but I’ve only owned three copies. Yeah, only three copies. One was a Kindle freebie, though. Anyway, I’ve tried to read this more times than I can count and never made it more than about 10 pages in. I finally picked up the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, which I really enjoy, but I’ve still only made it to page 43. Ouch. I think I’m just not in the right mood, so I’m just going to try to get through it by the end of this year.

Finally, I picked up East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I’ve only read The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl, but I like Steinbeck’s style. I didn’t realize until recently that apparently liking his writing is an unpopular opinion. I was always under the impression that his writing was generally liked/loved. I’ve had the most success with this one, flying through a whopping 138 pages in the first 24 hours of reading it. I think I’ll actually finish this one by the end of the read-a-thon.

I might not finish multiple tomes this round, or even make it through a significant chunk of more than one, but I’m ok with that. My goal was to just get through as much of at least one book as possible, and I think I’ll succeed at that.


If you’re participating, how’s Tome Topple going for you?

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: First Impressions

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I took this in front of a window with melting ice and ended up loving the weirdness. It’s like a filter without going through the trouble of actually using a photo editor.

The Miniaturist is the debut novel from Jessie Burton. It was published in 2014, received a lot of hype online, and has been sitting on my TBR ever since. I think I even purchased the book that year, but never got around to reading it. Now, here I am, 2.5 years later and completely ignorant about it. I don’t know how I managed it, but I’ve forgotten everything I learned about it from people online and reading the synopsis. Now I am stubbornly refusing to read anything about it because I like going into books a little unaware of what to expect.

But that’s not the point of this. I wanted to do a quick post and talk about my first impressions, now that I’m finally reading this book.

The Cover:

I think we can probably mostly agree that it has a striking, memorable cover. I personally love it, and I think the cover was what caught my attention originally. (I actually wanted the other cover more, which is the UK edition I think, but I decided not to go through the hassle of ordering it.)

The Story:

I’m 10% (40 pages) into this book and I honestly keep whispering “What the hell am I reading?” It isn’t bad, and I think I like the writing, but it’s definitely not what I was expecting. What was I expecting? I have no clue, but it isn’t this. It’s strange and a little mysterious, and more than once it has made me a little uncomfortable with the phrasing of things. For example, this (out of context and partial) quote: “…the wet clam dribble…” I had to re-read the paragraph that line is taken from several times because I thought I was misreading some of it.

So far, this book seems like it will be memorable. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, though…Well, I have no idea yet. I feel like this will be a book I’ll either really enjoy/love, or one I will vehemently hate.

 

If you’ve read The Miniaturist, what did you think? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it live up to the hype for you?

 

What’s on the menu this week

MRMFirst, I’m starting up “Must Read Mondays” here on this blog later today.

I’ve done it a few times on my tumblr, but now I want to start posting regularly. Each Monday I will feature one of my favorite books. Usually, they won’t be new releases (at least a few months old, usually years), but some might come up if they totally blow me away. I’m still working on what exactly I want to include in these, so there will probably be some changes to what I talk about for a few weeks. If there’s something I don’t include that you think I should, feel free to comment about it! I love getting suggestions, so don’t be scared.

I have a few other ideas for weekly, or otherwise regular, features. I’m actually looking for some feedback on these ideas, so if you think it’s good or bad, let me know! Some that I’m considering are:

  • Five Faves Friday — Kind of like Top 5 Wednesday, I think? I don’t know much about it, so I’m guessing it’s similar. Basically, I’ll make a list of topics, genres, etc. (e.g.: “graphic novels,” “strong female characters,” “set in the future”) and pick one each week. Then, I’ll list my favorite 5 books that fit into the topic for the week.
  • Waiting on…Wednesday — This one was created by Breaking the Spine, I think. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that, please. I think I might do this once a month or so. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a way to share upcoming releases you’re excited about.
  • Sultry Sundays — I read a lot of steamy romance and erotica, so I was thinking of maybe talking about favorites of mine. These would definitely be for readers aged 18+ because of content.

Last, I’m working on catching up on ARCs and other books I’ve received through Net Galley. I’m very behind, but hoping to get through them soon. Right now I’m reading Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (click the cover for the goodreads link), under the lightsso I’m hoping to have a review for that up by mid-week, possibly even later today.