Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 | Book Challenge No.9

I don't know if I've enjoyed a selection of five books from this challenge more; two from childhood and one from teenagehood, with the other two being exciting character studies. With winter holiday in full flux, I've been reading virtually nonstop.

further reading: intro / part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5 / part 6 / part 7 / part 8

41. A book based on a true story - The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Loosely inspired by the life of Lili Elbe, The Danish Girl is a highly fictionalised account of Elbe's life as the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery. The novel walks the reader through the first moment Elbe discovered her need for transformation until nearly the end of her life, with moments largely imagined and not pulled from real life experiences. Because the book is so fictionalised, I found it odd that the book spent so much time focusing on Greta, Elbe's wife's viewpoint, rather than that of Elbe herself. Otherwise, The Danish Girl is an interesting, informative read.

42. A classic romance - Emma by Jane Austen
Jane Austen's beloved 4th novel recently passed its 200th anniversary, which merited a re-read. Emma is the comedic story of a twenty-one year old, wealthy, spoiled, meddlesome, but altruistic woman named Emma Woodhouse, who, after successfully matching her governess Miss Taylor with a Mr. Weston, decides to try out her matchmaking talents on a new friend, Harriet Smith. With the arrival of new characters comes new romantic complications; Emma has little talent for true love matching, and is often blind to the thoughts and feelings of others. Though not my personal favourite Austen novel, I still highly recommend it to fans of classics and/or romantic comedies.

43. A book with magic - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter was obviously the first book I thought of when I heard "magic," and which better one to choose than where it all began? The Sorcerer's Stone spends much of its length describing the wonder and magic of Hogwarts and the strange, delightful wizarding world. Every time I read it I wish I that world were real, and this time was no exception.

44. A book from childhood - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Though Hogwarts always has a way of tugging my emotions, Narnia was the first fantasy series I ever read, and as I grew up in a Christian home, was a large part of my upbringing. C.S. Lewis' exciting (and surprisingly short) classic is just as fun and exciting as it was when I first read it, and I doubt I will ever truly grow out of loving the land through the wardrobe.

45. A book with bad reviews - Primates of New York: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin
Instead of finding a book with consistent bad reviews, I picked one based on its readability that managed to get low rankings. I personally found Martin's book entertaining, if mildly whimsical and relatively unimportant in content. Martin uses her real-life experiences in her move from West Village to the Upper East Side to study the social hierarchy of women in the Upper East Side and interpret the social interactions between the sexes. It's more of a fluff piece than anything else, but a fun one.

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