March 28, 2014

Four Mini Reviews

As you have probably noticed I have close to zero time lately. I still manage to read, but posting and sleeping are not so lucky :) So I've decided to do as everybody seem do in such case: write mini-reviews! They are small books anyway :)

Title: Harry Potter y el Prisionero de Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
First published: 1999
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★

Yes, this one was in Spanish! We read it together with Hillary from ahorseandacarrot and it was fun! Books in foreign languages are perfect for read-a-longs. Without being accountable I just kept putting it off to read something more relaxing, but with our read-a-long I swished through it in less than two months at a pace of one chapter in three days. Wonderful! I'm a bit afraid to tackle the fourth book yet though. It's bigger and more "adult" and the chapters are longer... Well, maybe in summer, when I have more time :) Also, I'll announce the second Language Freak Summer Challenge next month, so I hope it'll give me a push :)

Title: The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
Author: Neil Gaiman
First published: 1988
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★

It was the first comic book I've ever read! Can you believe it? After the disappointment of Gaiman's American Gods and because of my inner snobbishness (comic books? They are for children!) I wasn't expecting much of it, but guess what? It was amazing! Dark and creepy sometimes, but totally amazing! I loved the art and how the story is told in short snippets, and how the parts of the puzzle fit together as you read and you get to know more about the awesome, awesome, awesome Morpheus. I love Morpheus. That's all there is to know about my feelings towards Sandman :)

Title: Yvain, or The Knight With the Lion
Author: Chrétien de Troyes
First published: 1176
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Unlike Erec and Enide and Cligès, I didn't enjoy Yvain at all, and so I don't have much to say about it. The plot devices never looked so artificial in Chrétien's works as here (pour water on stone to summon a horrible knight? Really?) and the main character never was such an asshole. Yvain leaves the love of his life a couple of days after the marriage and promises to come in a year... and OF COURSE he just forgets about it at all and therefore has to go seek some adventures instead of asking for forgiveness... I will not even go into his treatment of the lion. The lion is the only decent character in the story, really.

Title: The Train (orig. Sputniki)
Author: Vera Panova
First published: 1946
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★★

My mom has recommended me this classical Russian war novel, and as usual, her recommendation was brilliant! This short book tells a story of a hospital train during the horrible years of WWII, from its first bombing until the last war spring. Very different people work on this train - doctors, nurses, war officers, engineers... Each one has his/her own story, his/her own dreams and fears, but they all must live together and work endless shifts to make the passage of the patients from the front to the hospitals more comfortable. There's everything in this book: tragedy, loss, love, friendship, true selflessness and cunning self-advancement... Because people are different, and war makes these differences even more obvious.


  1. I've been planning just the same--a post full of mini-reviews. I cannot seem to write posts lately...

    but I do remember Sandman being really good. I haven't read it for years but it is great stuff. Hey are you planning to do the language challenge again this summer? I was thinking I would try Niels Lyhne but Harry Potter might be more my actual speed.

  2. I have been putting off reading Sandman for a long time now, because I'm not really sure I'd like a comic book. But you've convinced me. If it was so amazing even though it was your first graphic novel, I'm sure I'll like it too. Harry Potter and the PoA is still my favourite of the series, so I totally get the 5-star rating. Wait, did you say, the second Language Freak Summer Challenge? Awesome. :)

  3. First comic? Great choice for your first! I should add some Sandman to my wish list.

  4. Hooray for the Language Freak summer challenge! I'm so glad you're doing it again--can't wait.

    And congrats on finishing another Harry Potter en Espanol!


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