February has been a bit of a mixed month; so I only have three books to tell you about this time. They are:
- Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
- The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
- Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
I have to admit, I have some quirky reading habits which have scuppered my progress this month: I can’t leave a book unfinished, even if I’m not interested, I can’t stop reading in the middle of a chapter (I thought this was a hard and fast rule for all bibliophiles out there, but apparently I’m mistaken) and I have to see through a series of books. At least I’m committed? Anyway, let’s crack on.
“When you live for many hundreds of years, you know that every opportunity will come again.”
I know, I’m late to the party. I wasn’t much of a reader when I was actually in the age group for young adult novels so I missed some classics. Though classic it may be, I was disappointed by Northern Lights.
I loved Lyra, she’s a wonderful and brave girl who’s feisty and smart. However, I’m biased against books with very long chapters where nothing happens. It was s l o w. The last 100 pages were really good, but I had to battle to get there; but thanks to my inability to stop reading a book mid-way through, I did so. Some of the characters were great, but I did struggle with his descriptions. I’m quite a visual person, but I couldn’t imagine some of the scenes he was describing. Iorek will always have a special place in my heart though, what a bear.
Ultimately, I probably would have preferred this 10 years ago before expectations rocketed. However, I persevered and I’m glad I did. 3 stars, pushing into 3.5 in the end.
“Just sort of relax your mind and say yes, it does hurt, I know. Don’t try and shut it out.”
Now, this really did take a lot of dedication to finish. Look, it was fine. It was slow, I missed Iorek and I felt like so much was going on that wasn’t explained. It felt messy and again like the first one it only got interesting towards the last 100 pages. Plus, Will just doesn’t thrill me.
I don’t have too much to say about this book. I wasn’t a fan. I was stuck on whether to even start the last one, but I have and I’m very glad I did. It’s already a whole lot better than both of the others, but I’ll let you know about that next month.
“Your key hobbies need to be long country walks (get some fresh air in your lungs!), masturbation and the revolution.”
This is my kind of book. It’s my kind of tone, my kind of issues and my kind of humour. I really enjoyed it, but I was sort of destined to. What I like about Caitlin Moran’s books is that even though they’re very much suited to me, she still challenges my opinions, and I actually disagree with her on quite a few things. But that’s one of the main reasons I keep reading.
I love her honesty and wit, especially on topics which people don’t address enough. I spent the whole time during her essay on wanting to ban homework screaming ‘PREACH’ in my head (it is beyond stupid and I plan to boycott it through my children, poor them).
My only criticism is a personal one which shouldn’t really affect anyone else’s experience of the book; I just dislike how much she talks about drinking and getting wasted. I don’t drink and I don’t like it when people glamourise it (intentionally or not). Like I said, that’s a very personal thing to me, but that said, it doesn’t really take anything away from the book itself.
Overall, what I expected. I would happily recommend.
Ps. Her interview with Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever pictured in my head.
I haven’t exactly varied my reading this month. I’ll get back to you on my final assessment of His Dark Materials next month when I complete The Amber Spyglass. I’ve got quite a line-up of to-read books on my shelf and I’m going to steer clear of any books series after I’ve finished this one. In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.