Bout of Books 18 wrap-up

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As this is the first read-a-thon of the year, my first challenge was to manage to squeeze time for it, because I have to adjust the new read-a-thons schedules to my regular ones. As this month I am home from Uni, I am enjoying the people around me and reading during late evenings when everyone else is pretty much out for the day.

That being said, for this first read-a-thon I managed to read three books. For starters, I reread Quidditch through the ages by Kennelworthy Whisp (in reality J.K. Rowling). While I did read this book when it first came out, considering this year I’ve picked up Quidditch at Uni, I thought it’d be a nice Remembrall [sic]. It was a good idea, as I completely forgot about the tactic called a Transylvanian Tackle. No better time to learn about homeland tactics than at home, right? I feel like reading this book should be considered a fresher’s tradition amongst Quidditch clubs.

The second book I went through was a feel-good one. I’ve previously read books from this collection so I was familiar with the writing style. The Little Shop of HappyEver-After by Jenny Colgan does what it says on the tin: it’s about a shop that brings the protagonist her ‘happy-ever-after.’ While the premise was dull and the characters even more so, the idea of a woman deciding to skip the chaos of urban Birmingham for a not-so-quiet-yet-charming life in the picturesque villages of Scotland by working as a traveling bookshop (within the van she purchased) seemed crazy enough to maintain my attention throughout the story. The cliches are all over the place and the turnabouts are popping up exactly on schedule, so you won’t be surprised by reading this book as it follows the classic type of romantic adventures, wrongly targeted towards a ‘female readership.’ It reinforces a ton of stereotypes and treats its characters as tools for squeezing an inch of feeling from its readers. While you are happy for the characters that manage to end up together (like any sensible human being would be), the book turns out to be a disappointing result of something that could have been much more.

The third book I managed to read this read-a-thon is a Romanian one, Supuse sau rebele. Două versiuni ale feminității by Aurora Liiceanu. It translates to Submissives or Rebels, two versions of feminity.  Discussing the opposite lives of Hadley Hemingway and Zelda Fitzgerald, a book that would have had the potential of becoming a thorough analysis of the female spectrum in the world of arts (from muse to writer) just reinforced traditional view of the female while casually throwing a bones to feminists here and there but staying clear of the subject in fear (?) of poking and irritating the old mores monster. It is a clear and succinct summary of the lives of said ladies with little input from the author. I bought this book with high hopes and all it did was open up my taste for the French 20’s a little more.

As you can probably gather from this post, my readings tend to have a feminist undertone. However, when reading I try to diverse my attention to a number of factors such as the linguistics, history and cultural backgrounds of the book. Next up is the Biannual Bibliothon. I am looking forward to reading at least four books for this one.

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