Sirius

READ THE WORLD – Germany: Sirius by Jonathan Crown

In Berlin, he was named Levi – a good Jewish name for a good Jewish dog. When he fled with his owners to America he became Hercules, Hollywood’s famous acting dog. Then he caught the eye of Hitler he was renamed Hansi. But to the Resistance he was known as Sirius, the dog on the inside who could bring peace to a world at war. No matter the name, he’s a little dog who almost changed history.

Sirius is a historical novel that’s mostly told from the point of view of the titular dog. He is the focal point of much of the action, it’s through his eyes the reader see’s major events like Kristallnacht, so there’s often this distance between the action and what it really means as while Sirius is smart, he’s still just a dog who doesn’t understand what’s happening. The story also follows Sirius’s human family, the Liliencron’s, so the more emotive stuff comes from them as they flee Germany and make new lives from themselves amongst famous face of Hollywood’s golden age.

Sirius is written in a simple language style and is a very quick and easy book to read that’s got some humour in it. Having a dog being the main character makes this book have an unusual take on historical events. It’s one of those stories where you wonder where the fiction ends and the fact begins due to Sirius meeting so many real people from Hollywood executive Jack L. Warner to Adolf Hitler. There’s some things I know cannot be true and Sirius and his human family have been dropped into a real moment in time, where there’s other parts that seem almost plausible.

The main problem I had with Sirius is that I didn’t really connect with characters. Maybe it was because of the writing style but there was this distance between the characters and myself as the reader. I was interested in Sirius’s adventures to an extent but it wasn’t really a book I felt compelled to keep reading.

If you’re a dog lover (I am and that’s the main reason I picked up this book in the first place) and someone interested in a different kind of story set during World War Two then give Sirius a go.

My BookTubeAThon TBR

The BookTubeAThon starts next week! The BookTubeAThon is a readathon that was the brainchild of Ariel Bissett over on YouTube. While it’s a readathon that focusses on the BookTube community and there’s many video-related challenges, you can take part whether you make booktube videos or not. There’s even Instagram challenges during the readathon if bookstagram is more your thing. You can learn more about the BookTubeAThon here.

BookTubeAThon is from midnight wherever in the world you are on Monday 24th July till 11:59pm on Sunday 30th July. This actually works out quite well for me as I am at my dad’s in Spain from the 27th July, and at my dad’s I always get a lot of reading done. Also, you can read anything during the BookTubeAThon – novels, audiobooks, comics, graphic novels, non-fiction, poetry, short stories – ANYTHING!

During the BookTubeAThon there are seven reading challenges you can attempt to complete (you can use a book for more than one challenge and the challenges are in no way compulsory) and here they are:

1. Read a book with a person on the cover.
2. Read a hyped book.
3. Finish a book in one day.
4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7. Read seven books.

Here’s my TBR and theoretically I’ll be able to complete all these challenges with it:

For both the “Read a book with a person on the cover” and the “finish a book in one day” challenge I have multiple comics/graphic novels. The ones I’ve chosen are Saga Volume Six and Seven by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Kaptara Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod and Filmish by Edward Ross. For the “Hyped Book” challenge, I have The Unexpected Everything by Morgan, which coincidentally also works for the “Person on the cover” challenge.

For the “book you bought because of the cover” challenge I have Sirius by Jonathan Crown and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer. Gurkha: Better to Die than Live a Coward by Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu fits the “read about a character that’s very different to you”. This is a non-fiction book but it’s the story of a solider of the Brigade of Gurkhas and I have never been in the army and I don’t really know anything about Gurkhas.

While I’m not sure which book(s) I’ll read outside, I know I will read outside while at my dad’s as I have a spot by the pool in the shade that I always read in. Also, I have eight books on my TBR so theoretically I should be able to read seven of them books during the readathon.

Is anyone else taking part in the BookTubeAThon? Whether you take part or not, I highly recommend checking out the readathon’s discount page here – you can get 10% off all the books listed there with the code “BTAT2017”. I’ve already taken advantage of it – I’ve decided from August I’m going on a book buying ban for at least two months so I’m making the most of it right now!