OK so! here's a review of the most important books I've read in 2015! I've also read some other collections of short stories, but these are the ones that stood out the most (Not many, as you can tell! But this was a v busy and draining year, and i barely had any energy or time left to read DX)
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
This is a Pulitzer-prize winning series of sort stories, mostly focusing on Indian and Indian-American protagonists and wow I have to admit that that writing is very, very good! So reading sort stories is a lot easier for me, because they're like, mini-novels, but those were done so good I often wished they were longer! Now, the thing is, most of the stories are kinda depressing and sad, so it's not exactly what you read to feel better about yourself, but rather to enjoy the writing and read something different (well based on what I usually read). But it's a Pulitzer winner so WHAT DID YOU EXPECT
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
That is DEFINITELY an adult book, and definitely not exactly an /easy read/. It's hard to get into, and by that i don't just mean the begging, I mean that I constantly had to /fight/ to keep reading, because it has a lot of dark and mature themes, and the general atmosphere and mood is kinda depressing, as well. Another Pulitzer winner *shrugs*
HOWEVER! That being said, I loved it! The writing quality is very good, and it's a very large book, not as much in a matter of pages, as in a matter of the story it tells: it goes through 3 generations of a family, and it's truly an epic. Also it was super great to find a Greek American author Although tbh, even though most of the dialogue was very well-written and fluid, the dialogues that were supposed to be in Greek kinda seemed... staged to me. Probably because i was super conscious of it, maybe?
Achille's Fiancee - Alki Zei
OK I think this is my favorite of the list so pls at least read this review:
I'd say this is a YA book at least, but I still definitely recommend it to anyone of age (that would be... 13/14+)
This book was written in Greek by a Greek author (one of my favorites, too!) BUT there is an English translation and they say it's very well done, too! I can't speak myself, but I highly recommend it nonetheless so if you're hesitant to read a translated book, I've heard very good things about the translator so:
Now into the cool stuff: this book starts off during the Civil War in Greece (post-WW2) and follows the odyssey of a young newlywed woman all throughout Europe, as she is separated from her husband, who has taken refuge in the USSR, and she's trying to get to him. Listen here, this book features communism on the background constantly at all times always. Yes I'm v aware of what a controversial issue that is (though that never bothered me personally), HOWEVER, it's not as much about discussing political ideologies as much as it's about defying them, instead treating relationships and bonds and sense of identity and self as more important. IMO it has a LOT of super great and important themes and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. And thoughts. So if you ever feel like reading a super great historical fiction, and can get your hands on a copy, please give it a try, Zei is very insightful to her characters without forcing anything, she's not as much focused on getting out a particular style, her writing just flows and follows a story, she has a very natural and personal voice, imo.
What I really liked about the book (and Zei's writing in general) is that she's not really focusing on getting emotions out of the reader as about telling the story, and the emotions occur, you know? It's what it is. Also it's pretty autobiographical, because Zei herself lived through those times, and I think that's one of the reasons that makes it truly stand out in comparsion to other historical fiction I've read: it's not a new author doing years of research to write about a time period that never immediatelly affected them; and I'm not making comparsions, it's not like the one is better and the other is worse, but Achille's Fiancee just works on it's own, it's unapologetic and provides great food for thought, all througout an extraodinary character journey.
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Hm, I have a lot of thoughts on this book, but before i proceed let's clarify that it's for adults (ok, maybe elder teens too, like a 15+ at least; I don't want to risk giving it a lower rating)
Here's another historical fiction (are you noticing a pattern here?)! Set in 20th and 21st century Afghanistan, it's two main protagonists are two Afghan women, whose lives become interwined and a strong bond forms between them as they go through war and the violent transitions of their country. It has a LOT of mature/dark stuff, mainly because of its setting, and truly it was painful to read all the terrible things that happen to its protagonists and their families. But nonetheless this book is certainly a deeply moving read, and it really draws you in and makes you emphasize to the protagonists. I'd say that the writing, though definitely decent, doesn't live up to the quality of the other books I've read, so it was a bit of a quality transition. It was good enough, regardless, though
Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee
Ooooh I'm going to talk about this on the "books you read for school" thread, because there's already a bit of a discussion going on there on that one
@cycolevampire7: that's the "sequel" to To Kill A Mockingbird you mentioned! TKAM is one of my favorite books, too! And long story short, it's not a sequel, it's just a rough draft, so if you really love Mockingbird, it still makes an interesting read/comparsion, but because of the publishing controversies, you might prefer lending the book from someone else or the library instead of buying a new copy? Regardless of the criticisms, it's hard to form an opinion on your own without reading it
Also, @Katie; Oooooooh the Rowling series are good? is it a mystery? Do you rec? Because i read The Casual Vacancy, but i've been hesitant to read the pseudonymum series becasue........ they're a series! That's like, more than one book! Too much! Haha but if it's good i should give it a try...... about time I get back into reading *sobs*