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Friday, 18 August 2017

What Have I Been Reading | 1

Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies, although I'll admit I have been really slow with it in the last few years. It can be really hard to set aside time for it each day, especially when you've got 101 other things on your mind, but I'm determined to atleast get through some of the unread books on my bookshelf. Here's some that I finished recently!


War and Peace
I love reading classics, and this was one that I had on my list for ages. I normally do read the book before I watch an adaptation, but the BBC War and Peace Series began before I read it (which was amazing encase you were wondering). This is one of the longest classics I've read, its around 1200 pages and the writing was quite small. It did take a bit of time to get into it and become familiar with all the characters (it was easier for me as I watched the BBC adaptation), but it is definitely worth it! It's one of those novels, like the Khalid Hosseini novels, that aren't history or current affairs books, yet you probably learn just as much about the history by following the characters around. I've definitely learnt a lot more about the Napoleonic Wars than I imagined.

Reviews I've read of War and Peace also suggest that it's not a novel, but more of a inner monologue, and I definitely agree in that it's quite philosophical. I also found myself thinking more about why people go to war, how one person's greed can shape so much and how the world would be if those people didn't take those steps.

I really loved the way the characters were portrayed, and getting to learn more about Russian aristocracy at the time. Andrei Bolkonsky was definitely one of my favourite characters as he had this drive to make the world a better place, and actually tried to do so (rather than Pierre who thinks he is, but actually isn't). The fact that he feels quite pained, even though he was born into such an influential position, is also interesting as he wasn't like the others who took their social standing for granted. Overall, I would definitely recommend it for a read if you enjoy classics, it's also one of those books that I feel like a lot of people do want to tick off and say they read it.


The Girl on The Train
This one had been sitting on my bookshelf for ages and there's probably thousands of reviews out there already seeing as it was so hyped up, but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. I was actually quite impressed with it as it is a real page turning thriller. I think the author got the balance just right as with every chapter you learn something new that ensures it's full of suspense, but not too much is given away so it's predictable.

It was quite an easy read as you would finish a chapter before you knew it, and the layout makes it really easy if you're a fast reader (like me). There isn't much for me to say without giving away the plot, but it was worth the hype. The movie on the other hand was such a let down, there was no suspense and the plot all but vanished. They seemed to throw a lot of unnecessary scenes into the mix, and it just let down the essence of the movie (in my opinion).


The Book Thief
I actually haven't read this recently, but I couldn't not mention it, as it was written by Markus Zusak who also wrote The Messenger. The Book Thief is one of my all time favourite books, I honestly recommend it to most people I speak to! It follows Liesel's adventures in Nazi Germany, again it's not a history book but you really learn so much about day to day life during that time. This book honestly has it all, the suspense, the humour, the heart wrenching scenes.

The most interesting part is that it is narrated from the perspective of death, almost like the grim reaper. It does sound a bit strange, but it's quite intriguing too because you sort of see that death isn't the bad guy. He doesn't cause the war to take place, but his job is to pick up the souls that have lost their lives due to it. Again, it does have a slight philosophical twist on it as you see people suffering but you also see them trying to make the most out of a bad situation, and carrying on. I also think this twist is important as there is still so much suffering in the world, and I guess it's our reminder not to close our eyes to it.


The Messenger
This has also just been sitting on my bookshelf, and I thought I might as well give it a go before I move on to another classic that'll take me ages, as it seemed like a relatively quick read. This one is narrated from a first person perspective, and honestly I found it so different to the Book Thief. It follows the adventures of Ed who has to complete tasks, as he is the messenger, and these often have moral dilemmas. I wouldn't say it's as suspenseful as say The Girl On The Train at first, but it still encourages you to read on to see what his next tasks will be. It is a good read, but I also think it's one that I'll easily forget when I move onto the next book. There's nothing that really stands out about it, like the Book Thief, but it's not a bad read. It's still well written and interesting, but I don't think the plot is one that draws you in initially, however after the half way mark I couldn't put it down as I wanted to see what his next message would involve. This is one which you have to slightly preserve with at first, but I would say it's still worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What have you read recently?


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80 comments:

  1. I did enjoy this post! I love to read as well, I am actually reading Girl on a Train at the moment and enjoying it so far. I loved The Book Thief and wow girl well done for reading War and Peace! I read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur last night, a short collection of poems. I literally finished it in less than forty minutes but I highly recommend. It was very empowering. Great post, I would love more like this. Have a great weekend.

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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    1. Thank you! That's nice to nice, it's quite a page turner. Thank you, it was one of those books where I just had to do it. I've heard so much about that book, so thank you for the recommendation, I'm definitely going to pick it up xx

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  2. I've read the girl on the train and the book thief and both of them are amazing books. I love the films too. I've never read war and peace though as I hate big books (IT was big enough for me)!

    Lauren x Huggled

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    1. Definitely agree with you there! Haha they can be overwhelming x

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  3. I used to love reading and do it all of the time, but I haven't picked a book up in so long! This post has definitely reminded me to start reading again! I really want to read The Girl on the Train xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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    1. I'm the same, sometimes I just forget or I always mean to get around to it, but I never do x

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  4. Honestly it makes me sad that I used to be such an avid reader but haven't really picked up a book and properly got invested in it since the last Harry Potter book came out, I think I just need to find another world to dive into and get lost in, you know? I've been going for too many non-fiction books!

    I'll have to check out The Book Thief because it sounds really interesting, and is it my imagination or did they make that into a movie as well?

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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    1. I was the same! I know what you mean, sometimes it feels like there hasn't been many new series that hold your attention. My Sister loves YA books though, and she's found a few that are similar to divergent etc. Yes, the movie is really good, it's very similar to the book xx

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  5. I definitely need to start reading more. I read a really good book last week and every book I try to read now I don't end up continuing because I want something that makes me want to turn the page like that book did. I really want to check out The Girl on the Train soon though.

    Lisa | Soho Stripes

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    1. I know that feeling! Some of these books were amazing, and so any books I read now will have a high bar to beat x

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  6. Great recommendations! I used to read so much but the last years I cannot find time. I used to work in a bookshop when I was studying and honestly, it was the best job for me, I loved it so much! x

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

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    1. That would have been my dream job when I was studying! I live in such a busy place though that finding vacancies was so hard x

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  7. I am more of a classic read lover and will only occasionally choose to read a newer publication. Congrats to you for reading War & Peace. I tried many a time and failed miserably...like you say, its takes so long to get into it. I was the same with David Copperfield haha! I might just watch the adaptation to see if that prompts me to reach for the book xxx
    UmmBabyBeauty

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    1. Classics just have that special something! I would definitely recommend watching the BBC adaptation first, it sort of breaks down the different parts and characters so it helped a lot when I started reading the book x

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  8. I read War and Peace years ago and really enjoyed it. Have you read Anna Karenina? The Girl on the Train was good but not my favorite. I'm currently reading London Belongs to Me by Jacqueline Middleton.

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    1. I've got it on my bookshelf, I'm thinking of breaking it up and reading some current fiction now, so it's not classic after classic haha :) Ooh I know who to go to for recommendations!

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  9. Great recommendations! I need to read more :)

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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  10. I've read such great reviews about The Girl On the Train, I'm so tempted to read it myself, I'm glad it holds up to the hype! I've never read a book as long as War & Peace before, but it seems interesting enough to enjoy and not pay mind to how far you have to go until you're finished, haha. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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    1. You definitely should! Haha a part of me was counting down the pages, only another 200 to go :)

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  11. Great recommendations! I really wanna read the girl on the train!

    Daniel x

    The Daniel Originals | Instagram: danielpoonvignez

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  12. The girl on the train IS ONE OF MY FAV NOVELS! It was so full OF Suspense. I loved it!
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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  13. I love the girl on the train one of my fave books. I want to read gone girl next but it was sold out last time I was at the book store lol :)

    Kayla
    Sheer Beauty Blog

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    1. I think I might had read gone girl, but I can't be sure x

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  14. I haven't read War of Peace but I have Anna Karenina on my bookshelf and I need to get to it already! I also loved the BBC series :)

    www.beautyfromkatie.blogspot.com

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    1. The BBC series was amazing! I've got Anna Karenina sitting on my shelf too :)

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  15. These books sounds amazing, I really need to get back into reading soon!

    xo Tina
    IG: @tinasweetheart
    www.tinasweetheart.com

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  16. I haven't read anything in a while! I have a few series that I need to end, but I haven't gotten the urge to read them lately. I think I started reading The Book Thief back in high school in an English class where we could check out the books from her classroom, but I ended transferring classes so I wasn't able to finish. I should probably pick it up again!

    Sam / My Beauty Cloud

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    1. You should! It's quite a quick read so it shouldn't take too long, and it's broken up well so you can always go back to it when you're not busy x

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  17. My dad had War & Peace! He loved classics, but now I don't know where that book is. I have a short attention span when it comes to reading: I start reading and I don't finish. There was one book I did finish last month though: The book of Hygge. It's about the hygge (sense of happiness and comfort) life that's ingrained in Denmark. I think the infographics and illustrations kept me intrigued and wanting to finish, lol

    Hannah
    Floraful

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    1. I saw that on instagram, I think I need to get it, it sounds interesting x

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  18. I read the girl on the train a while back and it was my favourite book in a long time! I can't bring myself to watch the film in case it disappoints me! Loved this post :) Ellie x

    www.whatellewore.com

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  19. I bought Girl On The Train for my other half a while ago and he hasn't read it yet! I might have to read it myself first instead ;) xo
    www.mamavoom.com

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    1. Haha you should, it's a great read x

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  20. I haven't read a book since forever! These days the only thing I read is blogs. :-(

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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    1. I agree with you, it can be so hard to fit it in!

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  21. The book thief is an amazing book, I remembered reading it and in a week it i was done with it. They also made a movie but the book is way better but still a great adaptation. As for Tolstoy well a great author as well. War and piece is a classic literature but definitely check out the BBC serie, its pretty well made.

    Nathalie
    www.nathalie-alexandra.blogspot.com

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    1. It really is one of those amazing books that you just have to read! I did watch it, I loved it! :) xx

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  22. Awesome post, it was an interesting read! I’ve seen a few people on Goodreads reading War and Peace, it seems quite an intimidating book as it has so many pages, but maybe I’ll read it sometime. I like that you are into classics, I have started reading Pride and Prejudice and although I haven’t picked it up recently, I have been enjoying it so far. I seem to have a few books on the go at the moment, I’m currently focusing on The Invitation by Lucy Foley and its superb so far, a great one to read over summer. I completed The Girl on The Train earlier in the year, I don’t read many thrillers but it was pretty good actually. Hope you are having a nice weekend so far! :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thank you! It is overwhelming at first, but completely worth it :) I loved Pride and Prejudice too, infact a lot more than I thought I would. Thank you, hope you did too x

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  23. I was hoping you'd reveal a little about The Girl on the Train. I remember seeing the trailer! It's the one with Emily Blunt right? I shall go dig out the plot haha :D

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    1. Haha yes it is! Sorry, I didn't want to give too much away or make it into a really long post!

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  24. The Girl on the Train was an amazing read but the movie just wasn't as good. I found myself skipping through it to be honest. The Book Thief is one I read a while ago and I've completely forgotten about it but I'm definitely going to give it a re-read xx Nikita

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

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    1. I found the same with the movie as well x

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  25. I love reading classics as well ! The book thief sounds so good !
    https://afrenchgirlsthoughts.blogspot.fr

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  26. I read the Girl on the Train because I saw the trailer and got curious. I never watch movies but I wanted to know what happened!

    Morgan | Hyacinth Girl

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  27. The Book Thief was one of my favourite childhood books. I really need to read Girl on a train.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  28. Great books here! I do remember watching The Book Thief and it was such a touching movie. Anything WW2 is a very sensitive topic. As for the War And Peace, as a native Russian speaker I must say we have a privilege to read Tolstoy's books just the way he wrote them (which is still quite a classic version of a modern day language). In Russian, War And Peace is divided into 4 books and we had to read them as part of our mid-school program. I feel like going back and reading them again, because I am sure now that I am older I will have a different view of the book.

    Naya // www.partyparrotblog.com

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    1. I agree, it is very sensitive, and that's why I think the book got it right by focusing on the main character and allowing us to work around that. I didn't realise you were Russian! Wow it must be amazing to read them like they were written, I've heard the translations are never exact x

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  29. I'm about 60% way through my challenge of 50 books in a year and always in need of more so I love book posts! Loved Girl on the Train and I'm gutted I watched The Book Thief before reading it as I've been told just how good a book it is since!

    Musings & More

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    1. Wow you're doing so well! I need to do something like that challenge x

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  30. I really want to read the Book Thief!!!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

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  31. We have exactly the same reading taste! Ha! I'm just starting War and Peace at the moment - it's one of those books I feel like I should read, but I'm looking forward to it!

    Beekeyper - Latest: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Nude Palette

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    1. That's cool, I know who to go to for recommendations!

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  32. I have read The Book Thief and did like it a lot, but haven't read much in the last weeks. Middlesex was my last book and I finished it end of July. Not did start anything new yet, but I have a few I am bringing on holiday with me.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  33. I need to check your picks!

    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris

    https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

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  34. I love seeing these type of posts. I don't often read, though when i find a book I love, i'll drop everything until it's finished. I'll definitely need to check out the Girl on the Train x

    Sam Hodgett || Beauty, Food & Lifestyle

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    1. I love it when you can just drop everything and read a lot in one go too x

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  35. Reading is one of my favourite hobbies but I struggle to find time for it these days as well. Like you say, there is always something else going on or something that needs to be done. I like chic lit books and the one I am reading at the moment called My Sweet Revenge has had me hooked though and I have been picking it up almost every day :) x

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    1. Same here! I think I might have heard that one or read the synopsis maybe,it sounds familiar x

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  36. I'm embarrassed to say that I rarely read now, and I can't remember the last book I actually finished (probably one of the Harry Potter books thb). The Book Thief sounds really interesting and I like the unique perspective! Thanks for sharing!

    Jenny | Geeky Posh

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    1. That's a nice, quick read! So if you wanted to get back into it, it's worth giving it a try x

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  37. I loved The Girl on the Train! Haven't seen the movie tho. Still have to read The Book Thief. Sounds really interesting.

    http://ohmymascara.blogspot.com/

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  38. Great choices.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zn7IqrAY1I44bRuN6dH-Q?view_as=subscriber

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  39. Lovely collection. War and Love seems a great book to read. Would find it.

    amakamedia.com

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  40. The Book Thief is amazing. It`s one of my favourite books and I`m a big fan of the movie as well.

    Georgiana / Beauty Nerd

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    1. Same here, the movie is very true to the book x

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