One of my resolutions this year is to finish all the books I’ve already bought before buying new ones. I might allow myself to borrow a book from the library if I really can’t help it, but I’ll try my best to get through the ones I own and haven’t read yet.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
I am becoming a pretty solid fan of Frances Hardinge. The very first book I read from her, Fly By Night, failed to make a strong impression, but the next book I read, The Lost Conspiracy moved me to tears. I had a rocky start with A Face like Glass, but by the end, I know that I would read almost every single book Hardinge writes thereafter. When I picked up The Lie Tree, I was wondering if it would be hard to get into it like A Face like Glass, but not at all! From the beginning, we are given a premise so compelling for the main character that I was motivated to keep turning the page. This is one of those books I read well into the night because I couldn’t put it down. Good thing I was on vacation at the time!
What I love about Hardinge’s books is that they tackle really complicated subjects without being verbose about it. She also writes loneliness and ostracization really well. Sometimes when a protagonist is dealing with all kinds of crap, which they do very often, it can come off as a “woe is me” kind of situation. With Hardinge’s books, I’ve never felt that.
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Peter Wimsey mysteries is one of those highly-recommended books over at Sounis, so I bought the entire collection as a bundle. The first book is Whose Body? I have to say, I’m not jumping up and down about it. I thought the mystery was well constructed, but it was difficult to get into Sayers’ writing. Most of the plot was advanced through dialogue. Everyone was just talking all the time in big chunky paragraphs. I’m not saying it’s terrible — just that I’m not used to it. There also wasn’t much characterization until near the end when we witness Peter’s trauma from the war. I’ll still read the other books in the series, simply because I already have them at hand.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
This is one of those books I’ve owned for a long time and have not yet read. I bought it in Dec 2013, so I’ve had this book for 4 years now. I tried to read it twice before but have never gone very far. I really admire a lot of Sanderson’s works, but for some reason, it was difficult for me to get into this one. I think there was just so many characters, so many different things happening in such wide far-flung locations, that it was difficult for me to care about any of them. So I’m slowly making my way through the book again and hopefully this time I’ll be able to finish it. To balance it (because it’s a huge book), I’m reading some other smaller books along with it. In January, I read this alongside Whose Body?
Now that I’m on my third re-read, I find that I’m much more invested in the characters than the first two times I started it. I think that’s a good sign. I’m currently around 25% through the book.