My Giveaway + Announcements

*My first foray into an Author Interview with Andrew Xia Fukuda is up! (Should I do more?)
*My first manga review for Natsume Yuujinchou V.1 - please let me know what you think

Monday, October 11, 2010

Readathon Wrapup

A couple days late, but I've been feeling worn out post-readathon. Is anyone else feeling the same thing?

Instead of doing the final meme, I'll just give brief impressions of the book I read.

1) La prochaine fois - Still don't like it after I've had some distance with that book, and I'm pretty sure Marc Levy is not the author for me. Actually he kind of reminds me of Nicholas Sparks in terms of the romance but with a dash of fantastical elements in it? Slow, meandering, and the chemistry lacklustre... Yeah, just didn't do it for me. Interestingly enough I was quite amused by the banter of Jonathan and Peter, the two main male characters, and I'm pretty sure they had a gazillion times more chemistry with each other than Jonathan ever had with Clara. It's like, with Clara Jonathan is all doom and gloom Tragic Hero, but with Peter he suddenly develops a sense of humour. It's quite disconcerting, actually.

2) Coeur de Jade - I think, my problem with this book was the fact that I walked in with expectations for a heroine's journey with tons of character development, and lots of fantasy elements in a historical backdrop, and instead it gave me a historical epic with a large multicast with minimal fantasy and lots of action and sword fights? Which is not to say that the latter wasn't good (the sword fights were most excellent), just that it wasn't at all what I expected. I still wish that they developed Jade Heart more, and had more explorations of the dynamic between her and the dragon, but I suppose I'll have to read the rest of the trilogy to find out more. At the end of the day, while I didn't enjoy this Chinese historical fantasy epic as much as I wanted to, I'm interested and invested enough to plan on reading the rest of the trilogy. The development of the settings was pretty solid, though I thought the author could have handled the transliteration stuff better (footnotes > glossary - it's the Truth), and if this book ever became available in English, I totally would recommend others to read it.

3) Perrault's fairy tales - Some fairy tales were more disturbing than I remembered them to be (Donkeyskin and Little Red Riding Hood, for example) but I really enjoyed Diamonds and Toads, and Blue Beard. Though, wtf at the translation of the Diamonds and Toads title, the original was "Les Fées", aka The fairies, and I was very confused when I read it and thought to myself that they sounded very familiar... Interestingly enough, most of the romances have the couple actually talking to each other before marrying, and it's an interesting clue-in on the emerging feminist thoughts in Perrault's time. Of course, there were still some stuff I thought could be construed as rather genderfail-y (me and Little Red Riding Hood, we must have Words) but still, very interesting.

4) La Treve - I totally wouldn't have thought of starting off this memoir if it wasn't for the non-fiction meme, so I owe RAT for this awesome read. Primo Levi has a lovely way with words. I only barely started reading this before the whole readathon thing was over, but I plan on finishing this off sometime in the near future.

Thoughts:

Damn, reading so much French was damn hard. I can't read as fast as I want to, and I'm always deciphering words before I see the story beneath it all, and it's very frustrating and there's always that temptation to take constant breaks because my level of focus I have to employ reading in French is sooooooo draining and there's this disconnect I have when I'm reading in French than I do when I read in English. Probably because I can't sink into the story when I'm busy puzzling out the meaning. Hopefully if I just read more I'll get to a point wherein I'll be able to sink into the story instead of always floundering over elusive words, but I confess, the moment the readathon was over, I dashed off to NetGalley and read like, 3 English novels (Butterfly Swords, A Long Walk To Water, Hunger) in a day. I just miss reading novels and not having to second guess my level of understanding. I kind of feel guilty about it though, and will push myself to read more in French.

You know, maybe when I'm back in Canada or something I'll try the marathon with English novels. I've always read really quickly in English, and I'm curious to see how much I can do in 24 hours.

1 comment:

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