A gift for February 1st

It’s been a long time since I last reviewed a book. And, to be honest, I do not enjoy reviewing at all. After all, a review it’s only its writer’s personal view, distilled through their own experiences and taste. This is why we readers should not follow reviews blindly. We should rather learn to ‘feel’ if a certain book is what we want to read or not, if its writing and story appeals to us, if we find its content as well as its appearance of our taste.

So, this is rather a story, a personal story of someone who lived several lives through five books during January. My wish is that, in time, this will become a tradition and every new month will await you with my views about the books of the previous one. Now let’s follow Anin’s footsteps, the girl whose home is my library.

Anin-in-the-library

Anin in the library (Source: Cotewrites website)

Anin first visited the Witch of Portobello. She learned how a woman changed her own life and then changed the lives of those surrounding her. She loved how Paulo Coelho synthesized the story, how this woman was viewed through many and very different pairs of eyes. And when the truth was revieled to her, she realized that each individual’s truth is again something personal, something coloured by their own beliefs, something formed by the information that they have, or the lack of it. For all of these, and for the fact that Coehlo is a dear author, the first book of the year got a ’10’.

Content with this book, Anin jumped to the next one, a very darker one. That’s where she could observe the Keeper walking through the streets of Bedford, Maine. That’s where she could read the minds and follow the lives of Sarah Langan‘s characters. Some of them are doomed to die. Others will survive; but at which cost? Anin enjoyed the story, yet it was the first time that a translation annoyed her. It could be because I attended a translation seminar last October, or maybe just the fact that I am now more familiar with the English language. So, the translation is the one that got the ‘7’ rather than the original book itself.

A little suspicious with the translation, Anin moved cautiously to the next book. It was an English to Greek translation as well, but the book managed to capture her so much that she finished it within 24 hours. Which was this book? It was another dark one, exploring the troubles of someone’s mind and how they can affect not only this particular someone’s family, but also an entire town. Camille Preaker, the main character of the Sharp Objects, appears to be normal. Except that she is not. And Gillian Flynn, the writer, takes you to a wild ride in the Wind Gap to find out why and how it all begun. Any questions about this ’10’?

Staying in the same context, the troubles of the mind, Anin moved on to another story, that of a man in love. Of a man who suffered This Sweet Sickness. It is a book written many years before the previous one (in 1960) by Patricia Highsmith. It is a story about loves that are in vein and loves that destroy. It is about restless souls that never give up, even though deep inside they know they have already lost. Or maybe not? You can explore it yourselves in this dark story, which got a ‘9’.

Finally, Anin selected a book that is not dark; at least not in the sense of the previous ones. It has pain, but it also has hope. It has tears, but it also has smile. It tells of lost beloved ones, but also of others who persist. And finally, it is a hymn to the personal choices each of us faces in our lives. To stay or to leave? To fight or to flee? To be or not to be? Ok, this last one is to give a humorous touch, because Anin’s tears have still not dried for this story. Which is Gayle Forman‘s If I Stay and has earned itself a ’10’. And also my desire to watch the film adaptation.

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January 2016 Books! (Photo by Lady Nina)

I hope you liked this story and will stay tuned for the rest to come. You can find a summary of the books’ details and ratings here; it’s for the whole year. I wish you a great month ahead, and I am waiting for the books you love or dislike, as well as your suggestions for future ‘reviews-stories’. It’s your call now!

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