January Books: First 3 books of the year!

2019 has been off to a great start, only in January I started and finished three books!

Here is a small review of them:

 

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

After the Netflix movie was announced, I wanted to read it before watching it, so I downloaded it to my Kindle, and a week later I had finished reading it. I had been expecting a warm story, but I felt cold the whole time reading it. Set in the seaside English town of Hardborough, a widow named Florence decides to open a bookshop. But the town is not very keen on it and she constantly finds trouble because of it. When I said I felt cold, I mean this was not a heartwarming story, but actually heartbreaking and a bit frustrating.

The story was fine, even if it, spoiler alert, doesn’t really have the happy ending I was expecting, but the language used threw me off a little bit, it was harder to read than other books, with long, boring sentences. Perhaps the language itself reflected the feelings of the inhabitants of Hardborough.

My review: 3/5 stars ★ ★ ★☆☆

 

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

This was my first audiobook of the year! I started listening to audiobooks last year after I started driving to and from work, and it has been great.

The Hidden Life of Trees was eye opening, but it left me with bittersweet feelings. Peter Wohlleben is a forester and in his book he tries to explain the world of trees from their perspective, something completely new to me. We don’t usually think of trees the same way we think of animals or other humans, but Peter argues in his book that trees are capable of suffering, that they can communicate with other trees and they form communities. His account of this Hidden Life is beautiful and I enjoyed very much learning about them.

Continue reading my review here.

My review: 5/5 stars ★ ★ ★★ ★

 

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories by Penelope Lively

Without planning it, my third book of the year was written by another woman called Penelope.

I picked this book solely based on its beautiful cover at Books Inc. on California Street, here in San Francisco. I have never read many short stories, though I enjoy writing them, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Many of Lively’s stories were heartwarming, others made me laugh, some surprised me with their endings but something mostly all had in common was how relatable they were.  A lot of the stories are set in everyday England, over the past century, some of them travel back in time, but others take place in the present.

The stories kept me engaged and I couldn’t put the book down until I was finished with one, and sometimes wanted to start the next one right away.

Lively’s words flow with ease and her stories are very human, making it easy for me to enjoy them. I now want to find more of her books to read!

My review: 5/5 stars ★ ★ ★★ ★

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