Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Burial at Thebes (Seamus Heaney, Sophocles)

Heaney, Seamus - The Burial at Thebes

★★★★★☆☆

Title: The Burial At Thebes: Sophocles’ Antigone
Author: Seamus Heaney (adaptation)
Genre: Poetry / Play
First published: 2004
Edition: Paperback, published by Faber & Faber in 2005

It took me few pages before I got into this short story of verses, but when it ended I felt sad it had. This is a sad story of a new king who won’t allow an opposing warrior a proper burial. When Antigone, the warrior’s sister performs burial rites despite it being forbidden, she is sentenced to death.

I had not expected to like this as much as I did. My rating is hesitant as I am not sure how to rate such a short, but powerful work of tragedy. It was classical, but very readable. I have not read the original, so I cannot compare, but it makes me want to check it out, and when adaptations do that, it is a wonderful thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little book and I have rated it as such.  I am glad I finally picked it off my shelves to read.

Books · Currently Reading

‘Currently Reading’ Update #6

Well, I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, which I really enjoyed, but maybe did not love as much as I had hoped.

Kinsella, Sophie - Can You Keep A SecretNow my daughter is back at school after the summer holidays, I needed to return to the reads I still need to do for my Booktube-A-Thon Stretched challenge, the ‘outside read’ and the ‘read a book in a day’. The sun was out, so I picked up Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella, which I had chosen to read outside. I read a few pages and then realised the book is 372 pages and the weather forecast for the last week of August is ok for a few days, but not that great later on and on the nicest days I have errands to run, so the chances that I will manage to read all of that one outside is pretty slim. So I changed plans. I will keep The Lantern Fox by Garry Kilworth to read later in the week, on a rainy day, as a book to read in one day.

Heaney, Seamus - The Burial at ThebesI scoured my shelves this morning and picked out The Burial At Thebes by Seamus Heaney as my outside book. I got it for my Open University course a few years ago, but did not get a chance to read it yet. It is described as a ‘new verse translation of Sophocles’ great tragedy Antigone‘ and only 56 pages long. It was sunny just now, so I sat in the garden for a bit to start reading it. I read up to page 27 and I am surprised at how much I am enjoying it. I like the rhythms of the verses and it made me realise I do not read enough poetry or verse based writings. I stopped then, as I do not want to rush it. It deserves not be rushed!

I read the first 5 pages or so of Can You Keep A Secret?. It’s chick lit, pure and simple, and that’s fine. It’s a genre I do not read a lot of, but I have nothing against it. In fact, I can quite enjoy it every now and then! I am reading quite a few fantasy books over the next few months, so it’s kind of nice to get a different kind of reading done every now and then. It would have been a great book to read outside while lounging in the sun, but alas! I still want to read it this month though, as I said I would!

So, that’s what I am reading at the moment. What are you reading?

 

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)

Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke and Bone

★★★★★☆☆

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA / Fantasy
First published: 2011
Edition: Paperback, published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2012

I got this second hand last month after hearing lots of good things about it. When a gap came up in my self-imposed reading schedule, I fancied some fantasy of the YA variety. You know, something kind of lighter and not too epic. I love me some epic fantasy, but that was not what I wanted when I picked up this book.

For some reason, the writing bothered me for a couple chapters. I did not love the way the character of Karou was introduced, ie being followed around by a pouting beautiful young man. Maybe I am just jealous, ha!

However, I soon got into the story and found I quickly liked the chimaera that were her family. Karou herself is at times bit of an idiot, in my honest opinion. She is sort of this superhero and infuriating school girl at the same time and made me roll my eye a couple of times. Too much in this story emphasised aesthetic beauty. Karou is beautiful, Akiva is beautiful, Kaz is beautiful, everyone’s beautiful… I got a little fed up with that. The twist in the story about who she was, was pretty predictable, and at no point did the book really surprise me. I am not sure it was meant to…

Having said that, there are very original elements to this story and it was often well thought out and projected. I did not really feel the romance in this book enough, but on the other hand, some of the scenes at the end of the book gave me the feels, which is always good!

Towards the end I did care what happened and will happen to Karou and Akiva, and the truth about what happened to Brimstone and the other chimaera and I definitely want to read the rest of the series. I just will not be running to the shop right now to get it.

In the end I got what I wanted out of this book. It was enjoyable and did not feel too overly descriptive. It was an easy read and I am sure I will re-read it in the future. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

5 out of 7 stars

Books · Currently Reading

‘Currently Reading’ Update #5

I finished The Forge of God by Greg Bear yesterday. It was an ok book with its ups and downs and I did not mind it, but I did not love it.

I have two books left for my Booktube-A-Thon Stretched challenge, but one is the outside book and the other the read-in-one-day book, so at the moment that is not really going to happen. Maybe next week when my daughter has gone back to school.

Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke and BoneSoooo….. I had time to pick a random book to read and I really fancied some readable fantasy, so I picked up Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I am about 70 pages in and I am really enjoying it. It took me a couple of chapters to get into Taylor’s writing, but I do not mind it now.  It’s amazing how easily I can put myself in the mind of  teenager, ha ha!

So far I am enjoying the story and I don’t expect it will take me too long to read the book. I should be done by the end of the weekend as we actually have a quiet weekend ahead (one hopes).

I hope the weather will pick up next week when my daughter goes back to school, so I can actually read the book that I am supposed to read outside… outside!

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Forge of God (Greg Bear)

Bear, Greg - The Forge of God

★★★☆☆☆☆

Title: The Forge of God
Author: Greg Bear
Genre: Science Fiction
First published: 1987
Edition: Legend Paperback, published by Arrow Books Limited in 1989

Now, I am not a big science fiction reader, but when I was tidying our bookshelves I found three books by Greg Bear, all belonging to my other half. I know he really likes them, so figured I would give one a try.

I probably should have picked Eon, but I went with this one. I really struggled with the first half. It felt really bitty and choppy. I just found it hard to get into. Combine that with a complete disinterest in aliens and spaceships and really, why did I ever start this book?

It feels quite dated, technology wise, but it was written in the 1980s, so I cannot really blame it for that. I mean, same goes for Back To The Future and I bloody love those movies! I just thought I would make that note. 🙂

About half way, stuff started happening that was a bit more interesting and I suddenly found myself actually wanting to know what would happen. That was a nice surprise! Low and behold, the feeling did not last and it started dragging again. At the end it picked up again as ends must and when I finally closed the book I was reasonably satisfied.

CONCLUSION:

This is a decent book in a genre that does not quite agree with me. The plot is interesting enough and there were a couple of characters in this book I did feel invested in, especially Arthur Golden and his family, but overall this book dragged on too much, especially in the first half.

3 out of 7 stars

Books · Tags

Tag Time – The Sick Book Tag

I saw this one and it looked like fun!

1. Diabetes – a book that really was too sweet.

I don’t tend to read very sweet books, so I am not sure. I read Twilight and the romance between Edward and Bella makes me cringe quite a bit. Does that count?

2. Chicken Pox – a book you have read once and will never read again. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Meh…

3. Influenza – a contagious book that spreads like a virus. 

The Harry Potter series certainly felt like it ripped through readers everywhere! I am yet to read the last book. Oooops!

4. The cycle – a book you re-read regularly. 

The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell – pure nostalgia!

5. Insomnia – a book that kept you up all night. 

Books used to do this a lot when I was in my teens. Now not so much –  I need my sleep! The last book I read compulsively was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

6. Amnesia – a book that is forgotten and failed to leave a powerful impression in your memory. 

Controversial, I know, but The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss just did not stick.

7. Asthma – a book that took your breath away.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. That book did something magical to me. I am planning to re-read soon, but that makes me nervous as well. After all, what if I don’t feel the same?

8. Malnutrition – a book that lacked food for thought. 

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan. Just like most chick lit, there was no real substance there.

9. Travel sickness – a book that took you on a journey. 

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan – mainly mentally – it’s 14 books, it’s exhausting! It certainly felt like a journey!

I tag everyone who feels like doing this fun tag!