January 3, 2015

Catching Up On 2014 Reviews

Hi everybody and congratulations on the New Year! :) I hope your holiday season was as fun as mine and you had a good rest and quality family time!

Today I've come back from my trip to Sofia to see a very good friend and fellow fantasy geek. It was awesome! We cooked, made cocktails, discussed everything in the world and binge-watched the director's cut of LOTR. What can be better? :)

Yes, there's Balrog on the screen :)

Now I finally have some time to wrap up year 2014, and I'll start with mini-reviews of the rest of the books I managed to read in the end of the year. Then I'll probably try to catch up on over-500 posts in my RSS feed... Oh well, maybe not :)

Title: Amsterdam
Author: Ian McEwan
First published: 1998
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆

I started to read Amsterdam on my way to Amsterdam, but didn't finish it until a week after the trip. And it's OK, because it's not about the city at all :) I have always been curious about Ian McEwan, and I can say I've enjoyed his writing a lot. He is a great psychologist, and his descriptions of thoughts and feelings of the two main characters felt so real it was hard to believe it's only fiction. But as if to mock a reader who by this point already trusts McEwan as a great expert in human nature, there is such an unbelievable twist in the end of the novel that it left me embarrassed.  

In my book:
Great writing and character study.

Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
First published: 2010
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆

For the first 100-200 pages of this huge novel, which is part of even huger series, I had no idea what was happening and wanted to stop reading. I survived, though, and it appeared it was worth the time and struggle, as by the end of the book I was quite unable to put it down. The greatest thing about the book is the world-building. There's a totally different biology, physics and social structure, and it's all very fitting and works well together... but not before you really get into it. And this doesn't happen very soon. Strictly speaking, it wouldn't hurt if the book was shorter, but as I've said, in the end I came to appreciate it anyway :)

In my book:
Worth the time, but make sure you have a lot of it at hand before starting this mammoth :))

Title: High Fidelity
Author: Nick Hornby
First published: 1995
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆

The intro, where the main character recaps his past heartbreaks is awesome! I've even read it twice. Then, however, some music records nerdiness starts (as the narrator is a fan and owns a record shop), which I can't appreciate due to my utter lack of knowledge or interest on the subject. Overall, the writing is great, and at times the novel is very funny, but when you think of it, the main character is really very sad and unlikable, and the ending is kinda... meh.

In my book:
Fun and entertaining, but makes you think nevertheless. Just skip the music parts :)

Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
First published: 2009
Add it: Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I think I might have loved this book if I read it at the age of 12 or so (I loved children's detective novels!), but for a grown-up there's not enough of mystery or character depth or humor. It's a sweet little novel, and the main heroine is pretty bad-ass, but it's not very gripping overall.

In my book:
Pick up for a total brain relax or as a present to your kid.


  1. Happy New Year! I'm very undecided about whether I should read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie because I've heard it's quite a juvenile story, but the main character is unique and endearing.

  2. I've heard of Brandon Sanderson a lot but have never got around to reading any. I might try this, you make it sound really good. I find it interesting to read mini reviews on blogs, because as a rambler, I've come to realize how difficult it is to put everything about the book in a few sentences. Does save a lot of time, though. Happy New Year!

  3. Mhhhhh maybe I should continue with Sandrson too then, I'm about half way done. You've given me hope! :) I bought an Ian McEwan book this weekend - Atonement. I've only read The Cement Garden (hope I remember correctly) by him and that was way about 10 years ago. My experience with Flavia de Luce book was similar. I have the next two books in the series so I will be reading them but I adjusted my expectations a bit - they are just nice cozy reads but nothing mind blowing.

    Happy new year!


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