50 Book Challenge: February and March update (8/50) and reviews

These past two months have been super slow on my goal progress. Why? God damn Murakami and his 900+ page novel. I’ll just get right to the reviews.

6. In the Cities of Coin and Spice (The Orphan’s Tales #2) by Catherynne M. Valente: Part two of this series was just as beautiful as part one. I definitely recommend reading them immediately back-to-back, for the stories are all interconnected and impressively weaved together. If I had taken too much of a break in between these two, I feel I could have easily forgotten many important details from the first. As it stands, I think these deserve a re-read since they are so complex. I closed this book so very satisfied with the conclusion. Valente really knows how to craft a powerful story, but more importantly, she knows how to end that story. I rated both of these books 5 stars on Goodreads without hesitation.

7. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: What an undertaking this novel was. It took me 6 weeks and really pushed me back on my progress towards my goal. (Goodreads says I am now 4 books behind! Dammit!) Whatever, it was really good. Typical weird Murakami, strange fantasy intertwined with the real world. It kind of dragged, with lots of details and waiting and thinking, “Seriously we are still sitting in this apartment doing nothing?” When things happened, though, they happened, and it was engrossing overall. The only thing that bothered me, besides the pace, was that it seemed like he was kind of patting his own back at times. The novel involves a fantasy story written by a young girl,  not very well written so it has to be rewritten by an editor. The kicker is that her story actually happened, her characters and settings actually exist in a world within the novel. When he describes her story, he pretty much says, “If this was fiction, it would be one of the best and most imaginative things ever written,” but the fact remains that he fucking wrote it.  I mean, he is a genius and his little display of ego there won’t stop me from reading everything he’s written. 3.5/5.

8. The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This book has crazy mixed reviews, and I really should not read any more of them before providing my own. My initial reaction was simply this: enjoyment. I liked immersing myself in the belief that perhaps all these amazing fantasy worlds I’ve loved for years could be real. Perhaps that is childlike but that also seems to be the intention of Grossman. Did he present that idea with a pretentious, annoying, cocky, morose, egotistical protagonist? Sure. There were a lot of inherent issues with the novel but hey, I am reading the second one and liking it, too. So many times with reading I will gloss over things that bother me to get to the meat of the parts that I like, because I try to give things the benefit of the doubt. Either way, I had major feelings with a certain death at the end. 3.5?/5

**

April preview:

9. The Magician King by Lev Grossman
10. Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg

I have a long list of to-reads on my Goodreads account, so my next few books will be from that list. Surprises! They’re great!

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