Thursday, March 31, 2011

Son of a Witch (Gregory Maguire)

This book, which normally reminds people of another, more vulgar expression, happens to be the sequel to the enthralling book "Wicked". But sadly, it fell short of all the high expectations I had for it.

To be brief (because there's not much I want to say about it), this book should only be read if you've read Wicked before and can still remember the plot. Otherwise, you'd be confused by all the references to Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West). There are also several characters which make no sense without the first book (which characterised most of the characters except perhaps two people).

Plot-wise, it didn't make that much sense to me. I suppose that since I read Wicked last year, I cannot really remember the intricacies of the plot. Which, for me, isn't very good, since sequels, should be able to stand alone (or give you an update, like Maximum Ride and Eragon).

There's nothing much more to say, so Cya~

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

True Colours (Kristin Hannah)

This is the third Kristin Hannah book that I'm reading in a row, and I really love them. This one is called True Colours, and it's another "big" story, in terms of time span, and I suppose themes, since it talks about love and redemption.

Again, I can't help but be in awe at how her books are so similar, but don't feel similar. It's the excellent characterisation, I think. There are characters which you may easily, instantly, sympathise with, and there are characters you may dislike at first and root for later. And there's always a character you're deeply suspicious of and well, you may or may not be right.

The ending, while happy, isn't tidy by any stretch, since one rather crucial issue remains unresolved. But I do have the feeling that if she were to continue writing til everything was settled, she'd have a book that's too long to read, and by then, there probably be more plot issue.

The only thing that I don't like about the three books so far is how the blurb doesn't seem to correspond with the story itself. I can only guess that they read the initial drafts, or didn't read it closely. But that is truly a minor issue, because the book speaks for itself.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Covers (Talking about Night Road by Kristin Hannah)

While I just discovered Kristin Hannah recently, I really love her books. Her writing is easy to understand, the book is emotionally engaging and it's not 'fluff'' (which refers to mindless books as opposed to chick lit). But, the book cover, I really couldn't stand. I almost didn't read the book because of the book cover, and that's the impact a good or bad book cover can have.

I wonder if you do the same, but sometimes, when I'm trying to decide if I should buy a certain book (that I've never heard of and not read before), the book cover is one of the things I (subconsciously) consider. I suppose it's because I've come to rely on the book cover as a way to tell me about the story. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words.

Anyway, the book cover for Night Road (well, my Aunty Florence's copy) looked like, to me, one of those romance novels. The ones with the predictable plot. And to me, it was completely opposite from the tone and message of the book. But I'm glad that I didn't let the book cover dictate if I should read the book. Now, I just wonder if this bias has led me to forgo many good books....

Going back to Night Road, it's a tale of growing up, and since everyone experiences growth in different ways (think of all the bildungsroman or "growing up" stories, like Huck Finn, Paddy Clarke, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc), this tale is also unique. It's uniqueness stems from its characters, which are crafted really marvelously. Sigh, this is one of the times where words really cannot express how I feel, well, not without giving away the plot.

I wonder if the last book is by Kristin Hannah as well. I hope so(:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Magic Hour (by Kristin Hannah)

Personally, I like the pretty pink cover
better, but that one can't seem to
load using the "url" method.
I went to pick up some books for Aunty Florence yesterday, so now I have 3 "new" books to read. Yay! The first book I read is called: Magic Hour, by Kristin Hannah. I've never heard of her before, but I really wonder why, because the book is really touching.

Magic hour is basically a simple love story. It starts with a disgraced child psychiatrist, who couldn't prevent her patient (mostly cause she didn't know) from killing members of her youth group. At the same time, a strange Girl is found in her hometown. The town Police Chief (who happens to be her older sister), calls her back to help. She gradually teaches the Girl (whom she calls Alice) to speak, and builds a bond with her.

My favourite parts of the book were when Alice spoke. It was eerie how accurately the author managed to capture the mind of an almost feral child (not that I would know if it were accurate). The simple language used is very touching, although at times, borders on the unbelievable when the sentence structures become too complex
for the character. But it's really hard to write like that, and I'm really impressed that she could.

The title (ok, this is really digressing), doesn't seem to make much sense at first, til you read til the last page, where she calls the time where she feels at home "magic hour" (for the first time in the book). It kinda reminds me about Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, where you only realise where the title derives from when you read the last page of the book.

This is such a good book, and I'm glad that Aunty Florence decided to buy/loan it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wishing for Tomorrow: A sequal to A Little Princess

I love the book A Little Princess, and was always sad that there's no sequel. But, as for any other good book/movie/manga/anime, there's bound to be fanfiction. Take a look at all the Pride and Prejudice ones, for example (since they seem to have the most published fanfictions). While I haven't been to for some time, my impression is there's not many A Little Princess fanfiction. But now, I found Hilary McKay's fanfiction/sequel: Wishing for Tomorrow, which chronicles what happens at the Academy after Sara leaves.

While most sequels inspire debates, this book is no exception (were you expecting me to say otherwise?). At first, the characters didn't seem to be like how I remembered, but partly because I love Hilary McKay (who gave me and my friends Saffy's Angel as a Sec 1 Literature book), and partly because the story is engrossing, I continued reading. By the end of the book, I can happily say that this is a plausible continuation of the Little Princess.

While the characters may seem OOC (Out Of Character) at times, after consideration, they do seem to fit in. Time has passed, and we are seeing this book from Ermengarde's eyes, rather than Sara's. So it does seem fitting that the characters have grown and changed in character. The motives are really plausible (except maybe the one about Miss Amelia and the Vicar, but it's ok because that doesn't take up much of the plot).

After reading this, I can positively say: This is one happy fangirl(:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Sign (Raymond Khoury)

Some books were meant to be made into movies, like Paddy Clarke (sorry, English HL influence), where you can visualise how every scene is supposed to be. Of course, this also means that if the director changes the film, there will be a lot of disappointed people.

Other books, like The Sign by Raymond Khoury, I can't really visualise as a movie. This is mostly because of the messy beginning, which takes time to figure out. And in a cinema, you need the viewers to understand almost immediately, because if not, they may lose the plot. And you end up with a lot of disappointed (and maybe angry) people.

The Sign is a thought-provoking book, which (once again), raises questions on the issue of knowledge (ToK student, ok Attempting to be a ToK student talking). The Sign is basically about how all religions are equal (religious pluralism) and how Christianity is ruining America.

As engaging as the plot is, the book was ruined towards the end for me, when the political and religious views were revealed. Looking at America from afar, where evolution is taught in schools as a fact and some students aren't allowed to pray, I highly doubt the claims about how Christianity in America is faring is true.

Another issue was how global warming was taken for fact. While one of the protagonists (there are a few), was initially a skeptic (i.e. before the book began), she was a whole-hearted believer by the beginning of the book. While I do think global warming is real, I'm not too happy about how that leads to evolution being taken as fact (and there's even a line that talks about the common sense of the scientist's who support evolution. I'm no science student, but it seems implausibleimpossible to me that new genetic information can enter an organism, since macro-evolution requires an increase in DNA).

Finally, the issue of religious pluralism. Religious pluralism basically says that all religions are equally true and valid, which is kinda contradictory. Can Father Jerome (a character in the novel) honestly say that everyone prays to the same God knowing that some religious have only one God (the Abrahamic religions) while others are pantheistic? Since Jesus has said that he is the only way to salvation, how is it that other religions also provide salvation? Not being an expert on other religions, I really can't comment on whether they believe there is only one way, or many ways.

The Sign, in conclusion, is a fairly good book in terms of plot. The characterisations, I think, is ok. But the view-points are very pointed, which may mar the enjoyment of the book for many people.

Friday, March 25, 2011

MORT (Be afraid, be very afraid)

I managed to finish reading another Terry Pratchet book, this one called Mort. The blurb for his books are really very good, so I'm going to copy the sentence here "Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job." I just love this sentence. It has really good word-plays and does a decent job of telling you what the book is about without revealing a spoiler.

Anyways, from the sentence alone, Mort is Death's new apprentice. It's rather hilarious, since he is a very clumsy guy (his parents tried to get rid of him by apprenticing him off). There are many funny moments in this book, such as treating Death as an "ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION" (his words, not mine). But yet, the book raises some really interesting questions such as:

What is death? Or rather, what is the difference between death and dying.

How much truth is contained in the line "There is no good or evil. There is just you" (When speaking of Death's job"

What is reality? When Mort starts to pass through walls (and when Death does that all the time), it's not because they aren't real (on the contrary, as one character puts it, you can't be more real than Death), but because they are too real.

Can reality be changed?

Questions, questions (and I'd love to hear what you think). Isn't it the great thing about Terry Pratchet? His books are so funny yet so deep.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

This was one of the books that was mentioned in the post "Disturbing things I read", and after thinking about it, I got my mom to buy it.

This book is definitely an interesting read.... and I found out, that it's satire, and many parts are exaggerated (thank goodness). This book is another one of the books that everyone has an opinion on, and quite a lot of people think that they're mom's are worse (we'll... we are Singaporean).

I really think the title of the book is a misnomer. The mom isn't so much Chinese (because, as she admits it, anyone of any nationality can be a 'Chinese Mom'), but more of 'Kiasu'. But I supposed that calling the book "The Battle Hymn of the Kiasu Mom" doesn't have the same ring. On a side note, the title reminds me of the Hymn "Battle Hymn of the Republic", although their contents are far from similar. And to digress even further, I found out, reading the book, that her husband is the author of "An Interpretation of Murder". My reaction was O.O, because that book is seriously good.

I brought the book to school to read, and my EE supervisor saw it, she actually asked me "So is your mom a tiger mom? Because you're quite high achieving". I had to reveal to her that I'm actually an appeal case, so I'm not high achieving at all. But that set me thinking, is my mom a tiger mom?

I'm going to have to say no. Although my mom and Mrs Chua does have some similarities, for instance, when I was two, my mom locked me out of the house in winter (we were in England at that time). I was actually wearing less than what Lulu was wearing... But, even my mom thinks that what Amy Chua does (such as tearing up the cards her kids made for her - I hope that it's one of the exaggerations), is way too extreme. Plus, my mom doesn't force us to study that hard (well, she did for my sister and I, but not my third sister, although she's stricter with my brother). Ok, maybe she does, but she doesn't really use emotional blackmail.

So, what's the best way to raise a child? The Biblical way of course! I'm just going to quote two verses, which I think sums up the best way to raise a child (speaking as a child now, I should know):

Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 2-3 says "Honour your father and Mother - Which is the first commandment with a promise. So that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth" (NIV Translation). This is actually one of the few, if not the only verses that I know in Chinese (which I think sounds more poetical), which, unfortunately due to my really poor abilities to write Chinese (and I have no idea how to turn this to Chinese....), I can't write.

Ephesians Chapter 6 Verse 4 says "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord". (NIV Translation)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Book that backfired

I got 2 more books recently, one of them a complete surprise, since I didn't expect my Dad to buy it for me. It's a book that he (jokingly) said that would be hard to find in Singapore, since it criticises MM Lee. The title? Confucius Confounded: The Analects of Lee Kuan Yew by Francis T Seow.

The book is written from a Singaporean in 'self-imposed exile'. That already says that "I'm not brave enough to stay in Singapore in case something bad (like a lawsuit) happens)". To me, that already implies that the content won't be objective, but will most likely attack on personal grounds (or in any case, enough for a libel suit).

Even before reading the actual text, just reading the preface and the foreword was enough to make me want to throw the book. And it's not because of what Dr Mahathir Mohamad says, because it was quite interesting. Rather, it was what the longer foreword and preface that made me angry because of:

a. The tone. I really think that a political book should at least attempt to have a semblance of objectivity in it's tone (and you can tell here how angry I am). The use of sarcasm like "What's this? A book damning Lee Kuan Yew out of his own mouth?" and "The First Deputy Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, with bated breath and whispering humbleness.....". While I am all in favour of using adjectives to make a book more interesting, the use of sarcasm, to me, makes any political opinion less worthy of acceptance.

b. The inbuilt bias. While every author is going to have an inbuilt bias (which itself is necessary to filter out the irrelevant information), associating phrases with Hitler is obviously trying to (not-so) subtly influence someone's stand. While I'm not a PAP member/supporter, I do resent having people trying to unconsciously mould my opinion. Maybe my first sentence was already wrong, I suppose that I meant that I do not like the attempt at manipulating my thoughts.

The book itself is a collection of what MM Lee has said over the years, and makes for a really interesting read. While the author attempts to show that by changing his position on certain issues over the years, he has 'damned himself', I think that it's only natural to change your opinion after time, especially if you've gone through different experiences. If you don't change your mind in the face of new evidence, it's even more dangerous.

One small quibble I have with the book is that several quotes are repeated, which is rather annoying. Another thing would be how the headings are obviously written to influence you, which I really really can't stand. Other than that, the lack of context (while some context is given, some of the facts have opinions in them, which diminishes my perception of their reliability), makes me wonder if what is said truly is what is meant, but I know that to include all his speeches and interviews from beginning to end would take too long and would make the book several volumes.

While I do not agree with everything (actually, quite a lot) of what MM Lee said, I do respect him for having the courage to say them. Ironically, this book actually increased the respect I have for him, which means the book backfired in it's purpose. I suppose that since I wasn't affected (or rather, affected in the opposite way) of the author's intention, what he wanted me to see was different from what I saw. Which leads to the oh so, ToK question: Which viewpoint is the truth?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sharing a book(:

These few days, I've had an Interact Activity called Happy Day, where we organised a day for underpriviledge kids to come to our school and be entertained by us. This idea was the brainchild of (who else but) Happy. So the name fits(:

During the rehersals and on the day itself, I was attempting (with some success) to share the book "The New Birth Order Book". In case you've forgotten, the book is about how your birth-order affects your personality and what you can do about it. I find it really interesting and scarily accurate at times.

So, during these few days, I brought the book to school, and during spare moments, went around asking people their birth order and making them read the relevant passage about their characteristics to see if it was accurate (you can see what my ever-patient and long-suffering friends put up with). For some, it was accurate, and for others, not so much (resulting in our President being teased about being a 'social lion'). The book even sparked a discussion with my friend, on why her sister is the way she is (actually, it progressed to our siblings), and what our family and environment may have to do with it.

And that's the great thing about books. Sometimes, certain passages (you don't even need the whole book) can elict laughter or discussions, and the book doesn't even have to be a comedy. And that's why I really love sharing books (which you can tell from this blog, and most notably from the post about Orthodoxy).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

When I went into Malaysia on Wednesday, it was primarily to get my teeth check (and I had one cavity.... ouch!). But straight after that, we went to a movie (not a good idea, since you can't really enjoy the popcorn without feeling guilty) and best of all, to Harris after that, where everyone (except Euphe) bought a book.

Harris, which is a subsidiary/related to Popular bookstores, does stock more Chinese than English book, but since I'm a member, it's really cheap to get the most popular books there (pardon the pun). I was actually really happy, and a little shocked that Euphe couldn't decide what book she wanted; it's great that since she finished her O's, she's been reading a lot more. I was also undecided as to what to get, but in the end, I bought Room by Emma Donoghue, a Man-Booker Prize Finalist. It was actually an impulse buy, since I wasn't really sure if I'd like it (I was actually also considering Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, to see if her book really was better than the horrible article).

The book is definitely a good buy, as the story is really well-written and can create empathy in the reader. For some reason, the narrative reminded me of stream-of-consciousness, although it's a far cry from that. It actually even reminded me of Paddy Clarke, which shows how much I've been studying the book. Both protagonists in both books are precocious children, although they naturally differ due to their different environments.

Jack (the protagonist), grew up in a 11x11 room, where his mom was held captive. In this case, the premise mimics the other horrific cases recently, where it has emerged that several girls were held captive for many long years. However, the book puts a new spin on the premise, since it's from the view-point of a child born and raised in Room, and it represents all the security in his life (initially, he didn't even believe that the outside world existed).

Jack is likable and his use of language is captivating. The book, to me, was very well depicted, especially in the latter half of the novel, where they have to deal with life outside Room. His confusion due to how he feels and how his mom feels having to leave Room is very natural and completely believable. And I found how people interpreted him (as various symbols, as a lit student is wont to do), very amusing, and a timely reminder of how literature students tend to over-interpret things.

But this book. It's worth the money.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Unquiet Mind (by Kay Redfield Jamison)

I found this book in the Church library, I guess having my classroom in the same room as where the library was (they shifted it to a booth in the social hall), can be a little distracting(:

But this book, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness was definitely not what I expected to read. Although this is mostly cause it's a book borrowed from the Church library and yet has nothing to do with Christianity. But also because this book is a memoir of Bi-Polar Disorder, from the perspective of a doctor who has it.

I have read of Bi-polar, referred to as Manic-Depressive (but I'll just say Bi-polar because it's shorter and I'm a lazy person), and I remember reading it in a fiction book. But reading someone's experience it is totally different. While it's actually very hard to identify with her life (which is more or less the opposite of mine), she does a good job of painting a picture of how she tried to cope with her illness and its consequences. One thing I remember being touched by was how her big brother takes care of her; but I do wish that she talked more about her relationship with her sister.

The book isn't filled with medical jargon (which is a plus), and I think that being a doctor, she also has an 'insider' perspective on how Bi-Polar is dealt with. Her struggles are convincingly real, and I came away with a greater understanding of what it means to be Bi-Polar.

There are actually very few criticisms with the book, except that perhaps it was a little repetitive for me, although I understand that it's what happened to her. I have seen some criticism on, calling her spoilt, but I didn't feel that tone, but rather, I quite admire her for learning to live with (and even gain a tenure) her Bi-Polar Disorder.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bushido (by Inazo O. Nitobe)

As you probably know, I'm doing an English EE, half of it on Japan (technically a Japanese book, but why quibble of semantics?) So, part of the books I borrow at the library are about Japan/Japanese culture/Japanese Literature.

So far, I've read The Golden Country, which is like a prequel (in the form of a play) to the book I'm doing. It provides really interesting context, but I don't think it's going to be of much use.

Similarly, Bushido explains the context a lot, but I'm not too sure whether it's applicable for my EE. It's a really fascinating read though.

According to the book I have, Bushido was published in 1900, and surprisingly, is written in English. It's said to be so popular that an American president (Nixon I think), bought multiple copies to give to his friends. I have to add though, that one of the criticisms about it is that it supposedly 'Christianises' Bushido (which, of course, is the direct opposite of the premise of Silence). That's probably because Nitobe-san, who wrote the book, was a devout Quaker, which to me, is really cool.

The book itself is quite short, but broken up into engaging chapters. Not being a scholar of Japanese studies (not even a pseudo-scholar I'm afraid), I really can't comment on the accuracy of the book. But what I can say, is that it lucidly explains Bushido to a laymen like me. And since it's written in English, you don't need to keep worrying about translation problems.

Definitely worth reading, after all, old is gold.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Christmas Letters

I managed to finish another book, so I figured I'll just quickly post. It's called Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber, who is a really good writer. I enjoy her books so much because unlike most of the "chic-lit" around today, her's don't have any content that need to be censored.

Anyway, Christmas Letters is a Christmas romance story set on Blossom Street. However, it introduces a new character called Katherine O'Conner, also called K.O. Her sister recently read a parenting book about how you should let children do as they wish, and she feels that her nieces are turning into 'monsters'. By chance, she realises that the author Wynn, stays in the same building as her.

After her 'psychic' neighbour read the kitty litter, and two raisins in a cereal bowl, she sets her up for a dinner date with Wynn. To their surprise, they both realise that when they're not talking about child-rearing methods, they get along very well. So well, in fact, that they start dating.

The ending is, of course happy, although there are some loose ends. But I think that because her books are very easy and quick to read, she chooses to focus on the main plot instead of developing subplots as well, since it would take longer. And as she is using a first-person narrator, it'd make sense that the subplot goes unexplained, since it's not possible for Katherine to know what happened.

Just a quick note: the reason why the big, fat books like War and Peace, and others are so thick and long is because they have omniscient third person narrators. This basically means that since the narrator is expected to know everything (omniscient), everything must be told. This would make the story (to be accurate, many stories and subplots) very long. And, it also means that you can't have a mystery story with a narrator like that.

Ok, that's really enough for today. (:

The Hunger Ganes

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I was hospitalised for 4 days and I really couldn't read at all. Or move. Or walk. Or eat. You get the picture. Well, now, I can do some light work, but I still spend most of my time at home sleeping. In fact, I'm so tired that right after I finish this, I'm going to sleep.

So, during my stay in the hospital my awesome bestie Rachel brought me "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins to read. I read it as soon as I got out of the hospital, and it was so good.

The premise is simple. Well, in literary terms, because to me, its very straightforward in terms of plot, although others might disagree. Basically, in a dystopic society (no mention of how or when, although it's likely to be in future North America), there's an annual event called the Hunger Games where twenty four children from 12 districts will be "sacrificed" in a brutal fight to the death. Katniss, from District 12, volunteers for the games after her little sister's name was chosen. She and the other boy, Peeta, pretend to be in love (marketing ploy), and go on to fight the games.

Well, since Katniss is the protagonist, she obviously doesn't die. And towards the end, you can see that there will be a sequel (in fact, this is the Hunger Games Trilogy), since her romantic feelings towards Peeta are left unresolved.

This book is actually pretty famous, but I've never read it before. Probably because I thought it'll be like Battle Royale (which Geri banned me from reading). Battle Royale is also a killing book, but this time, it's written by a Japanese, and basically one class of children (literally a class), are forced to kill each other. I heard that there is a Battle Royale manga where all the (gruesome, violent) deaths are depicted panel by panel. -shudder-

It also reminded me of Lord of the Flies by William Golding, another famous book I've never read. It's again a "killing story", although it also classifies as literature. I am doubtful whether I can actually bring myself to study the book. But, it was mentioned in English/Literature class, and my teacher told us that the most violent guys turned out to be choir members so BEWARE THE CHOIR.

But this book was less gruesome than expected. So if you want to read any of the two books mentioned above (if you do, you are brave), you should read the Hunger Games as well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Darkness Rising in ... Wonderland?

Ok, my post is not as exciting as what the blog title says but.... well, I was going to just write the titles, when this occured. I suppose this is what happens when you're an untalented, fustrated writer. Anyway, from what I just wrote, you can probably guess that I'm reviewing two books today, one is obviously Alice in Wonderland and the other is Darkness Rising by Frank Tallis.

Alice in Wonderland (by Lewis Carol), is a book I should've read a long time ago, but didn't. I finally picked up the book after I read Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy (I know I'm going backwards, but it feels so Wonderland). Anyway, I thought I read Alice in secondary school, but reading it, the book seems different, I have a feeling I read Through the Looking Glass instead. But anyway, it's a good thing that this book was pre-loaded on kobo, so I could read the book at once.

The book itself is actually quite engaging, and it's episodic in nature, so I could read it in short chapters at a time. It's actually more thought-provoking that I thought it would be, and I did wonder more than once why I have never analysed this book as part of literature. But at the same time, the book is entertaining (I'm sorry to Twain-lovers, but I really think Huck Finn is boring), and I enjoyed reading it. For those who have been avoiding classics because they think they are 'boring', just read Alice in Wonderland, you'll definitely enjoy this book.

The other book is Darkness Rising (by Frank Tallis) and it's set in 1903 Vienna. Although we think that 1903 is (literally) history, I really enjoy the books that remind us that for those living in those times, then was exciting and full of changing ways of thinking/morals/literature. Anyway, this book is about the psychiatrist Max Liebermann, who helps solve murders. The murders were interesting, but what interests me more was the well depicted (to me anyway), 'struggle' between Jews and Christians.

Liebermann is a Jew, albeit a non-practicing one, which makes it easy for the author to showcase religious tensions. One sub-plot involves Liebermann being accused of religious intolerance (or something along the lines) for block a priest from giving a patient last rites because he felt that to do so would cause too much stress to the patient. This subplot, combined with the murders, worked well together to showcase the anti-semitism present in Vienna then.

Veering away from the two book reviews, I feel like I haven't been posting "good" posts recently. I know I've been reviewing, but I feel like I should be doing more, such as researching more about the books that I read, to have a more complete view of the book. For example, I found out that The Book of Lost Things is actually the author's first foray into fantasy.... But with IB, it feels like a pipe dream.