penguin little black classics 01 – 03

I opted to just review three Penguin Little Black Classics books in one post, as my reviews for this series is usually short. So here is my review for Books No. 1 to No. 3.

PENGUIN LITTLE BLACK CLASSICS NO. 1

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
“You’re not doing anything to me,” said the Priest, “but you don’t let me do what I’d like to you, which is love my neighbour as god commanded.”

Title: Mrs. Rosie and the Priest

Author: Giovanni Boccaccio

Summary: Bawdy tales of pimps, cuckolds, lovers and clever women from the fourteenth-century Florentine masterpiece The Decameron.

My Thoughts: Who knew 14th century literature could be so lewd! These short stories came from the Florentine book The Decameron. Humor as one of the main points decided that I should get the complete work. It is lighthearted and good for the weary heart.

Rating: 4/5 stars

PENGUIN LITTLE BLACK CLASSICS NO. 2

Title: As kingfishers catch fire

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
“As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s”

 

Author: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Summary: Considered unpublishable in his lifetime, the Victorian priest’s groundbreaking, experimental verse on nature’s glory and despair.

My Thoughts: This one is just bad haiku. You tend to set a mind frame when you read something like ‘consered unpublishable in his lifetime” but I’m sorry Gerard but I think your poems are far too religious for my taste. Included in this little book are diary entries that still didn’t catch my eyes. These poems are difficult to understand and I did not enjoy them to be honest.

Rating: 2/5 stars

PENGUIN LITTLE BLACK CLASSICS NO. 3

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
“This is the saga of Hrafn and of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue, as told by the priest Ari Thorgilsson the Learned, who was the most knowledgeable of stories of the settlement and other ancient lore of anyone who has lived in Iceland.”

Title: The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue

Author: Anon

Summary: Ranging across Scandinavia, England and Ireland, a Viking-age epic of two poets in doomed pursuit of Helga the Fair.

My Thoughts: Who doesn’t like tales of princesses and warriors? This a story of Gunnlaug, a viking poet-warrior and Hrafn. He meets the most beautiful woman, Helga the Fair and asks for her hand in marriage. But of course, Helga’s father disagreed and tells Gunnlaug to come back when he’s mature. Hrafn finds out about this arrangement and steals Helga. The plot thickens at this point and ends in a fatal disaster. This is my first time reading about Scandinavian literature. I found it hard to get around too because of the torrent of names being thrown at you. It’s a good read if you’re a fan of adventures.

Rating: 2/5 stars

book review: possession / a.s. byatt

 

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
“The book was thick and covered with dust. It’s boards were bowed and creaking; it had been maltreated in its own time.”

Book Title: Possession

Author: A. S. Byatt

Theme: Romance

How It All Goes Down:  The story opens up in London Library in the autumn of 1986. Sitting in the library is a postgraduate in literature, Roland Michell, poring over a dusty old book previously owned by a celebrated-poet (fictional) in the 19th century. He then finds two drafts of letter addressed to some woman. Shocked and thrilled by this discovery, he slips the drafts of letter into his own book and leaves the library and decides to seek the mystery woman.

My thoughts:

The first part 300 pages of the book was dragging that I thought of not finishing it but eventually came to enjoy reading and loving it. The writing is eloquent and the plot is masterfully written. Being a romantic, I daresay this is one of the most remarkable book I’ve read in awhile.

“Never have I felt such a concentration of my whole being – on one object, in one place, at one time – a blessed eternity of momentariness that went on forever – it seemed.”

“I have dreamed nightly of your face and walked the streets of my daily life with the rhythms of your writing singing in my silent brain. I have called you my Muse, and so you are, or might be, a messenger from some urgent place of the spirit where essentially poetry sings and sings. I could call you with my greater truth – my Love – there, it is said – for I most certainly love you and in all ways possible to man and most fiercely. It is a love for which there is no place in this world – a love my diminished reason tells me can and will do neither of us, a love I tried to hied cunningly from, to protect you from, with all the ingenuity at my command.” 

“No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.”

To understand this more clearly, there are two timelines in this story, that of the nineteenth-century poets and the 20th century literary scholars, that is essentially interweaves with each other. The story between the Victorian poets fills my heart with so much passion and I too, was possessed, wanting to know more of what happened to them. As Roland and Maud, discovers the truth behind the poets, you will be slowly immersed into British, European and Scandinavian literature and storytelling.

This book is a reminder of how good it is to fall in love with books and the joy of reading. I definitely recommend this to fans of romance and the Victorian era.

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

goodbye tsugumi / banana yoshimoto – a visual

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

“…those scenes on the beach had an aura of sadness about them that struck chords somewhere deep within me, filling my chest with pain.”

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

“It’s a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit together looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you’ve never bothered by the noise the water makes or by the commotion of the surface–it never seem too loud, or too wild.”

“And it seemed to me that even if you weren’t actively letting your emotions ride its surface, the ocean will tell you on giving you something, teaching you some sort of lesson.”

18987368_1527385360645989_1209210901_o

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

“I guess when you’re out of the ocean and you see the piers way off in the distance, shrouded in mist, you understand this very clearly: No matter where you are, you’re always a bit on your own, always an outsider.”

“I get the feeling that in towns near the sea the rain falls in a more hushed, lonely way than in other places. Perhaps the ocean absorbs the sound?”

18986608_1527397583978100_469193949_o

all quotes from the Goodbye Tsugumi / Banana Yoshimoto.

 

reading one penguin at a time

18947065_1525947957456396_268852346_o

hello! wow, look at that! it’s been so long since my last blog post.
anyway, i got the penguin little black classics as a congratulatory when i got my first job in canada.

join me on this journey as i read and discover this wonderful series by penguin.

most anticipated read 2016

 

book mails are the best!

18986278_1525958767455315_758956768_o i got this book this afternoon and i couldn’t be happier. i have been a fan of osamu dazai since i have seen the anime aoi bungaku. i didn’t want to finish it as i’ve decided to get the books.

i was in the japanese bookstagram community for the past few weeks and i absolutely fell in love with the japanese covers of books – their minimalistic approach to it.

this book is one of my most anticipated reads this 2016. i’ve read no longer human, his controversial work but i’ve read in a few articles that the setting sun is the highlight of his writing career. i am one for doom and gloom books and osamu dazai is just the  man.

osamu dazai committed suicide after “no longer human” was published. that book was believed to be his autobiography. speculations arise when some of the aspects in the books actually reflected his life. although, we may not know that.

his books are depressing. i felt my mood gradually dampen as i was reading that book and i wanted to see if this one lived up to the masterpiece that everyone is talking about.

i like to read challenging books, books that will derange my thoughts.

i’ll try to keep sane. 😀

xoxo cherie

book review: the wise man’s fear by patrick rothfuss

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

 

Alas. I have managed to finish this book.

Some parts were excruciatingly monotonous, arcs that I felt very tedious and add little to the main plot, but it did little to drench my fiery love for this red-haired unassuming innkeeper.

My review is pretty much the same as book one except for the harsh points I have mentioned above.

In book two, we have more adventures, heart breaking scenes and gut-wrenching actions. We also uncover parts of the Four Corners of Civilization, Vintas and Ademre, which I think had the best and worst moments. This is most important when you read this series. It is not your usual story plot of introduction-climax-resolution, you will be disappointed. The main plot is overshadowed with so many subplots you’d think the main plot is the subplot. The book was somewhat anticlimactic for me as Kvothe is telling the story himself, so when he’s in a life threatening condition you just know he’ll live.

This book is not about a hero bred to defeat armies or dragons. It’s the story of Kvothe. It’s his story, his defeats and his victories.

Book two pretty much built an enthusiasm so great I can even compare it to the Promise of Spring.

I recently came to know that this was already commissioned for a movie, a TV series and a video game. I think that is enough for you to pick this book and read it.

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

the name of the wind / patrick rothfuss

IMG_2271

Rating: 5/5 stars

“Before it was just a story, but now I can believe it. This is a face of a man who has killed an angel.”

This book is a m a z i n g. Despite the sheer volume (which is probably why readers shy away from this), the flow and the pacing of the story is effortless. You just get sucked right into the book. Usually it takes me a few days to get the feel of the “world”. But this was instantaneous. It felt like I’ve read this book a long time ago. And I was just revisiting it. •

The groundwork of the setting is stretched throughout the book. You get to know the “world” through the eyes of the main protagonist, not only that, you get to know the basics together. It’s one of the reasons why it was easy to read, you’re not bombarded with so many things all at once that usually comes with “fantasy/high fantasy books”.

And, I only get to love one character. He is Kvothe, you may have heard of him.

Picture the main protagonist as someone you truly care about. The emotional connection was immediate. You get to feel all sorts of emotions for him, happiness and sadness, anger and devastation. And so so many things.

But there are no perfect books, this is a long narrative. Sometimes it strays away, it lets your mind wander. But forgiveable because that’s just the way it goes.

It’s awfully darn entertaining and well done. The Name of the Wind has an intriguing story arc, a compelling protagonist, a well-crafted set-up, this book has everything!