21. The Martian, by Andy Weir
Readathon Category: A place you always wanted to go
(planet Mars in this case, not that I am a big fan of space travel, but it felt like a “dream that will never come true” category and if I want to go to a place on Earth, I can just get on a plane and go)
I’m pretty sure everyone has heard about this book by now. It was turned into a major movie (which I still haven’t watched, shame on me). Very detailed description on how to survive if you are left alone on Mars (IF a bunch of circumstances are exactly the same as the book).
I gave it 3 stars, because it was too technical for me in the beginning. I am not a big fan of chemistry and engineering (although I have studied and work in a pretty technologically applied field :P), so it was not that interesting for me (my boyfriend really liked it though!). But of course it is a very interesting book, with a lot of suspense, written with humor. The main character, who is narrating most of the book is a cool funny guy and that makes the book very pleasant.
22. Narkopolis, by Jeet Thayil
Readathon Category: A book written by of for someone that identifies as LGTBQ
I used that book also for the summerreadathon and I already wrote my opinion there.
I did not like the writing style at all, too lyrical and abstract for my taste. In the end, I just started turning pages fast almost without reading them. It was the first time I did this in my life.
But so that you don’t think I cheated (using the same book in two readathons AND not reading it properly!), I also read Katerina’s book by Auguste Corteau, which can fit in this category. And it was very good!
23. The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith
Readathon Category:A book by a favorite author that you haven’t read yet
The favorite author here being J.K. Rowling of course. Although I really enjoy her detective stories that she writes as Galbraith, I wouldn’t put Galbraith in my favorite authors yet!
The book is very good, as was The Cuckoo’s Calling. I think I like them for two reasons:
- For the areas they focus on: The Cuckoo’s Calling focus on the world of fashion and The Silkworm on the world of writing and publishing
- Probably because of reason 1., both books feel more “female” to me than detective stories usually feel. Cormoran Strike (the detective) is also a damaged person as most detectives are, but for some reason these books feel more relatable to me than other detective stories I have read (which I like btw)
24.King Solomon’s Mines, by H. Rider Haggard
Readathon Category: A book published before 1900
A little bit of cheating again, because I had read this book many times as a kid. But I really wanted to read it again, plus I suspected that the version I had read was shortened. Turns out it wasn’t…
Anyway, very nice book, I really love this adventure, the desert, the lost African tribe, everything! Of course since it is written so long ago it is kind of sexist and the main characters are British colonists in Africa who kill elephants for sport and use the natives very naturally as servants… Now that I am older I can see a million wrong things in this book, but that is the way the world was back then.
(P.S. Zizi was not there, so she is participating in the photo through an old photo. Photoception!)
25. Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins
Readathon Category: A book that has been in your shelf for a long time
I calculate that I have it for about 7 years. A friend suggested that I should start Tom Robbins with this book, but I never did. After reading it, I think I should have started with another one. I recognize many elements in his writing that I will enjoy probably a lot. There are chances he will become one of my favorite authors. But this book for some reason didn’t excite me.
I wonder which one I should try next…
26. The Pleasures of the Damned, by Charles Bukowski
Readathon Category: A poetry book
How much did I fear this category!
Last time I read poetry I was in school and it was mandatory!
I was thinking about this category since the beginning of the readathon. I don’t think there is a point in reading translated poetry, so it would have to be either a greek or an english poetry book.
I knew that I like Bukowski’s style, so I checked his poetry book. First, I see that it is more than 500 pages. I get scared. But poems take up a lot of space for few words. I read some of them, I found them interesting and I bought it.
I read a few poems every day (almost) and I finished it in a couple of months.
His poems are amazing, realistic, they focus on his lifestyle (sex, drinking, gambling, poverty, Los Angeles).
Please check here four great animations of his poems.
27. 11/22/63, by Stephen King
Readathon Category:A novel with at least 600 pages
Stephen King is always a good choice for a category that requires many pages, since all his books are huge page-turners.
Guy goes through time-traveling hole to stop the Kennedy assassination. The time-traveling hole leads to a specific day, so he has to wait some years until it is the 22nd of November 1963.
One of the more human/social books of Stephen King. It is not a thriller. I really liked it, let’s face it, the guy knows how to keep his readers stuck in the book even if there are no scary clowns!
28. The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding, by Agatha Christie
Readathon Category: A book that takes place on Christmas
Uff wrong choice! First of all, only the first (and best) story takes place on Christmas. I didn’t like the rest of the stories that much, although I like Agatha Christie. Maybe it was the fact that it was the first time I read one of her books in english or the fact that I did it while traveling…
(Nice photo of Zizi though with the christmas decoration 🙂 )
29. Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Readathon Category: A book by an African author
AMAZING! I really liked this book. First time I read about Nigeria, it was very interesting to learn about how life is there. I also liked the author’s views on racism in USA. I think this should be taught in classes about racism in USA (they have classes like that right?).
One thing missing from this book is the solution. She writes a lot about what not to say and do if you don’t want to be considered racist. But what should you do? Many of her suggestions were in the style of “Don’t say we are equal, because we are not”. Ok, then what should the white people in USA that acknowledge there is racism say and do? Of course the suggestion is that the whole society has to change views, but what should an individual reader of the book do to make it better?
Anyway, I already ordered all of her other books!
30. Shibumi, by Trevanian
Readathon Category: A book that your best friend loves
My best friend that doesn’t read many books 🙂 She read it when she was young and loved it. I really really liked the description of Nikolai Hel’s (main character) life. A very interesting person, with cool hobbies (speaking the many languages he knows, caving, killing people with everyday objects). Also he lived a part of his life in WWII Japan (I find Japan always interesting). I think the author should have just made a book about his life.
What I didn’t like was the outdated CIA stuff. Describing search methods that seem ridiculous nowadays and political conflicts from the 80s (although it is about Israel and Palestine, which is always current).
I would suggest to make it 200 pages shorted and keep it focused on Nikolai Hel. I would also suggest making it into a movie, why didn’t that happen?
So this was the end of the Readathon 2015.
In about a month we will learn what the categories of 2016 are.