It’s been a while since I did a Mini-Reviews post! I don’t review every book I read; usually because I don’t feel like I have a whole post worth of stuff to say about a certain book, or because other books just take priority. But sometimes I take a look at my Goodreads “Read”-shelf and I think “it’s a pity I didn’t say anything about that one on the blog”. Those books are perfect for this type of post! At first I thought I could call this one “the 4-stars edition”, but then NW came and ruined things. Oh, well. Let’s go!
Nutshell is the first McEwan I’ve ever read, and I really liked it! I read it for a job (I had to write a reading guide on it for book clubs) and it was a great book to dive into for that type of thing. The story is a Hamlet retelling and it’s told through the eyes of an unborn baby, so that’s two kinds of cool. The unborn baby thing means all we’re getting as a reader is what the baby hears from the womb, which means we only get his mother’s conversations with other people. He does imagine what’s happening outside of that, but he (and we) can never know for sure. It’s a really short novel, but I felt like it was the exact right length. The writing is beautiful, although somewhat pretentious – but to me, that fitted perfectly with the strangely intellectual character of the baby.
This is an enormous book and it took me over three months to finish it. I loved it, though. I’m a big fan of Arthurian legends and I studied them in university, so I love reading different versions of the story. Mists is particularly up my alley, since it’s the story of King Arthur told through the eyes of the women: Queen Guinevere, Viviane (the Lady of the Lake) and Morgaine. They’re all amazing characters, and I loved that none of them were truly likeable. They all had their own reasons for why they did the things they did, some more legit than others, but all of them were understandable to some degree. These characters were just so well-written! And then there’s the magic, and the familiar story of King Arthur… I loved it! My only point of critique is that it’s kind of long-winded at times, but perhaps that comes with the genre
I don’t read many thrillers like this, but at the time I read this I was still working at the bookshop in town, and Karin Slaughter was coming by for a signing. I figured that was the perfect moment to read one of her books, most of which my parents own (and love). This is the first book in the Grant County series, and I loved it! I hadn’t necessarily expected that, so it was a nice surprise. This book is truly, deeply dark, which is why I didn’t allow myself to read it after dark (not even kidding – I get nightmares). It’s very gruesome, but so well-written and well-structured, and the suspense. I continually found myself on the edge of my seat. I definitely want to keep on reading this series, but I’ll be honest and say I probably won’t get around to it any time soon. I still have about a gazillion Elizabeth George novels to read first as well. But it’s nice to have plans!
This one had been on my TBR for ages. I bought a copy of it in a second-hand bookshop in London a few years ago, planning to ‘definitely read it soon’ (we’ve heard that one before), but I only got around to it in September when I took it with me on holiday to Dublin. It’s my first ever Zadie Smith, and I had pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to that. I liked Smith’s writing style and her way of creating a certain atmosphere and painting certain pictures. Yet I didn’t really feel invested in the characters or their stories, so that made it tough to get through the book at times. I just didn’t truly feel that urge to keep on reading for any other reason than just to finish the book. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it, though, and I definitely want to try some more of Smith’s work, because I do think her writing style is amazing.
Have you read any of these novels? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!