American Gods

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Authors You Want to Read More From

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about those authors we’ve only read one or two books from and really should/want to read more by them.

Mal Peet
The only book by Mal Peet I’ve read is The Murdstone Trilogy which I read last year and I absolutely adored it! It’s funny and clever and great if you like fantasy books. Apparently that’s his only book aimed for adults but he has more YA books so I’m interested in checking them out to see if they’ve got a similar sense of humour.

Neil Gaiman
I read American Gods last year and while I liked the concept, not a lot happened and I found it a bit dull so I definitely want to read more Gaiman stuff. He’s that sort of author that everyone loves and I felt kind of bad for not loving American Gods like I “should have”. The only other book I’ve read by Gaiman is Good Omens which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett and I did like that one.

Toni Morrison
I read Song of Solomon as a part of the African American Literature course I took at university and I don’t remember much about it to be honest. I know we were also supposed to read Beloved while at uni (think that was for my Women’s Writing module) but I really couldn’t get into it and I think me and a friend just watched the film in the end. Toni Morrison is so loved and critically acclaimed that I do want to give her books another go but I am a bit daunted by them.

Patrick Ness
The only Patrick Ness book I’ve read is A Monster Calls which I loved way more than I ever thought I would. I see his books pretty much anytime I go into a bookstore and they’re always recommended on the interwebs but I’ve just yet to pick any of them up.

A.S. King
Way back in 2014 I read Ask the Passengers and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King and enjoyed them both. I really like her writing style and her characters and both books were pretty different to each other. She’s got at least five other books out and I’ve been meaning to give more of her stuff a go for literally years now.

If you’ve read any books by any of the authors I’ve mentioned then please do send any recommendations my way. Are there any authors you want to read more from?

REVIEW: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

FullSizeRender (5)Days before his release from prison, Shadow learns his wife Laura has died in mysterious circumstances. As he makes his way back home, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a God who is getting ready for a war. Soon Shadow finds himself in the service of Mr Wednesday as they go on a strange journey across America whilst all around them a storm of epic and supernatural proportions threatens to break.

American Gods is a much-loved, epic book full of Gods, mysterious and lies. I can see why so many people love it but for me it was a bit of a slog to get through. American Gods is a very descriptive story full of characters who each have their own story which may or may not be true. There’s long passages that are dedicated to a myth or legend or some story or character that you’re not sure will ever reappear again or have any effect on the main plot. Also Shadow has these vivid dreams that often make little sense to you or him, at least they don’t till near the very end of the novel.

Shadow is quite a passive main character. He accepts everything that’s going on around him, he takes each encounter with a God or myth or legend in his stride and when weird things happen he just shrugs it off. I found him too easy-going and accepting of the situations he found himself in. You’d expect a character in that situation to have more questions or at least have a little freak out every now and then but Shadow didn’t so it was hard to connect with him.

American Gods is a long book and I never really felt pulled into the story or that I just had to read on until the last 200 pages. I don’t know if it was because there was so much to set up or so many characters and events that didn’t seem that important or interesting but I just felt like I was reading American Gods for the sake of it. As I said, the last 200 pages is when I really got interested in what was going to happen to Shadow (though I never particularly liked him a lot) and the other characters I’d come across.

American Gods is structurally a good book, it’s got twists and turns, death and mystery, suspense and a lot of weirdness, but I never really felt fully-invested in the characters or the story. If anything I now feel glad that I can say I’ve read American Gods when t’s mentioned as an example of a work of great fiction. 3/5.

The Tome Topple Readathon

This readathon is hosted by ThoughtsonTomes from June 5th to June 19th and the aim of it is to read those huge intimidating books that are over 500 pages long that have been sitting on your shelves for ages.

There’s a few challenges you can try and complete which are below but really the main thing is to read some long books.

The challenges:
1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)
2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Read over 500 pages in one week
5. Read an adult novel

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I have four 500+ pages long books that I’m considering to read for this readathon. There’s no way I could or will read all four of them but I like to have some options when it comes to readathons. The four books are The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which is 531 pages, American Gods by Neil Gaiman which has 635 pages, Last Man Standing by David Baldacci which is 548 pages long and The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell which is a beautiful hardback book and has 595 pages.

Theoretically I’ll be able to complete all the challenges. All four books on my TBR are adult books, If I managed to complete a book a week then I’ll have read over 500 pages each week of the readathon, it turns out that The Angel’s Game is the second book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series which I didn’t realise when I picked it up from a charity shop, and I can definitely take a couple of graphic novel breaks as I have a few unread trade paper backs I’d liked to read including, All New Hawkeye, Black Widow Vol. 3, The Punisher Vol. 3 and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier.

I really don’t know how this readathon will go. Hopefully it’ll go well but I am in a bit of a reading slump at the moment so who knows. To be honest, as long as I read one of these books I’ll be very happy.

I’ll probably be tweeting about my progress @ElenaM52 and you can find out more about the readathon and all the co-hosts here. Good luck to all those who are taking part!

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You’re Intimidated By

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about books I’m intimidated by, so without further ado here they are.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This book intimidates me because of its size – it’s a seriously fat book – and because it’s loved so much and I’m worried I won’t like it as much as I’m supposed to. The only Neil Gaiman-ish book I’ve read was Good Omens and I do want to try more Gaiman but there’s just so much hype around American Gods!

Bleak House by Charles Dickens
This book intimidates me not only because it’s a classic but because it is flipping huge! I honestly think it’s the biggest book on my shelf and I have no idea how or when I’ll read it.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
So this book intimidates me for a different reason. I absolutely love the Bourne films and I have always been interested in the books but I’m worried I won’t like the book as much as the film or I will just see the film-stuff in my head when I’m reading the book.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
I’ve got this series in a big, hardback bind up collection which looks beautiful but also intimidates me a lot. It’s been on my shelves for years because I just don’t really know how to read it.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A lot of my friends love this book so know there’s all this pressure for me to love it as well. It’s a graphic novel so theoretically it wouldn’t be as hard to read but I’m still intimidated by the love it gets.

Those are five books that intimidate me, what books intimidate you?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Unread Books that have been on my Shelves the Longest

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. This week’s topic is actually called FREEBIE – so you can either pick a previous topic you missed out on or choose a new one. So this week I’ve decided to go through my shelves to find out which books have been sitting there the longest and I haven’t picked them up yet. I’ve worked this out by looking at the publication date (with the hardback books this worked especially well) and if I can remember if I was in school/college/university when buying the book.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan CooperFullSizeRender (55)
Publication date: 2007 Been on my shelves for over seven years
I bought this (or more precisely I think I got my mum to buy it for me) when I heard that a film of the same name was being released. I always liked reading the book before seeing the film and when I realised the film was based on one book in the series I got the complete collection. I have yet to watch the film or read the book.

Life and Laughing by Michael McIntyre
Publication date: 2010 Been on my shelves for four years
I went through a stage of buying and reading a lot of autobiographies but then I just stopped so I’ve got a few on my shelve that I haven’t actually read. Michael McIntyre is a British comedian and it’s thanks to him I now have a word for that drawer you have in your house that is full of random stuff – it’s called the Man Drawer. This was definitely a Christmas present from my mum but it as a kind of joint-present since she’s read half of it (but not finished it) and I’ve never started it.
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