Snakes and Ladders || 01/2022
Remember to stay up to date with the world, listen to those facing atrocities and help spread awareness/donate where you’re able to.
January flew by and I managed to read three of the books that were on my tbr for the month, which I created when I followed along with h.eather.e.lizabeth in playing their Snakes and Ladders TBR Game!
So, this month’s wrap up will be rather quick, but I’m overall happy with the books I finished and the ratings I gave them.
again a side note: in my post cover, I have used a picture of the beautiful board from William&Son.
Midnight’s Children; Salman Rushdie
prompt: genre – Literary Fiction
Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India’s independence, and found himself mysteriously “handcuffed to history” by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent—and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times. Through Saleem’s gifts—inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell—we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colourful background of the India of the 20th century.GOODREADS
I have chosen to let someone else blurb this book as I’m not smart or eloquent enough to summarise this over 600 page literary fiction novel!
This book is written in an autobiographical style, with Saleem telling the story to both the audience and his loyal Padma.
I listened to the audiobook – which was fantastically done by Homer Todiwala – on Darcy’s walks over the course of the whole of January. The writing is well done and the characters are the driving forces for me, as the fault lies heavily with me that I am unfamiliar with a lot of the history of India and Pakistan. Saleem is an unreliable narrator, but he has a charming quality despite being quite unlikable.
The magical realism elements were intricately woven into Saleem’s and India/Pakistan’s history. Despite not having much knowledge, I still found reading this book enjoyable. I do think I would have given this a higher rating if I were more informed.
I will say that the ending is quite abrupt.
Wolf Brother; Michelle Paver
prompt: other – Read it This Month or Unhaul
After a terrifying and powerful bear kills his father, Torak is tasked with embarking on a quest to stop this evil spirit from destroying the forest he and so many others calls home. An outcast from his Wolf Clan, Torak’s journey begins alone, but he is soon joined by a wolf cub who is essential in his success.
I read this in one day by listening to the audiobook that is voiced by Ian McKellen – I highly recommend!
The story is quite fast paced and the events are quite easily overcome. However, I did enjoy the characters we met, most notably Renn – we love girl archers in this household~ Torak’s development was done well, and his friendship with Wolf was so cute and was written in a genuine way.
I’m a little sad that I didn’t read this as a child because I would definitely have enjoyed it more and would have wanted to continue the series. At this point, I’m happy to leave Torak where he is.
Under the Whispering Door; T.J. Klune
prompt: other – 5⭐ Prediction
Wallace Price doesn’t have death on his agenda and it irks him to realise his life is over. At his funeral he discovers how disliked he was, and that life after death isn’t all that simple either. Mei, a reaper, takes him to the outskirts of a small village to Charon’s Crossing tea shop where Hugo is waiting for him. As a Ferryman, Hugo is tasked with the job of leading the dead through the door to the afterlife.
Wallace is obviously not pleased. His grumpy and obtuse nature is surreptitiously whittled away by the occupants and visitors to the teashop. He finds a sense of family life with Mei, Hugo, Nelson and Apollo the dog. While Wallace is discovering what it means and feels like to be a nice person, the Manager – a powerful being – wants to push forward Wallace’s passing as he’s becoming too distracting to his Ferryman.
I enjoyed this novel. The characters were fun and there was a lot of endearing and heartfelt connections between them. I saw reviews saying that the middle of the book is boring, but I felt that that it paced along nicely. Some of Wallace’s character development was rushed, but it was nice to see him turn into a better person. The conversations about grief and death were great and there was a comforting quality to them.
Hugo and Wallace were cute, but it definitely wasn’t developed. It seems that a lot of it happens off stage which means if you thought about it too much, their connection felt weak.
I will say that the ending was a bit of a letdown, especially when the book is centred on grief…
I’m still happy that I read this and I did so rather quickly due to Klune’s writing style. I’m looking forward to reading his other works.
How was your reading month? Did you find any new favourites?
Thanks for reading!
I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥