November Rewind

These are the books I read in November. They’re a bit different, and they were all interesting in their own ways, which is nice. I like that. One of them I guess I can strike from a bunch of lists, all the books you should read, or some nonsense. Yeah, anyway.

Hold me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
This book was amazing. It was hilarious. It is about Sam (Samhain Corvus LeCroix), who lives in Seattle, living a very uneventful, very uninteresting life. He is a college drop out who works at a fast food joint with his friends. He tries to go unnoticed, but then one day meets Douglas Montgomery, a necromancer, who recognizes necromancy in Sam. Sam’s powers are miniscule and strangely latent. He gets one choice, join with Douglas, or die. Sam is suddenly confronted with the secrets his mother has kept, and the acute danger of his friends being killed off. Meanwhile a young werewolf hybrid named Brid, has gotten Douglas’ attention and been confined to a cage in his basement. The book is funny, it’s interesting, it’s clever. Sam is smart, and clever and he is so likeable. Brid is cool badass, and a werewolf hybrid. The necromancy is really cool. It’s just amazing. And the title is AMAZING. I love puns. Lish McBride is a badassador. 

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
It is so amazing! It’s so beautiful, and the writing, and the things, and oh my God. And I’m gushing. Anyway, this is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and it is set a little while after the first book. Karou is in Morocco resurrecting Thiago’s soldiers. Akiva is spending his time trying to not kill as many chimeras he is ordered to. Zuzanna and Mik turn up in Morocco, all kinds of great things. The book is a bit darker than the first one, we get to see more of Madrigal’s life and how wonderful Thiago is. The book is more focused on delightful genocide and the horror of war and patricide, which is fun obviously. It’s just really beautiful. The plot is wonderful, the characters are great and the writing is amazing.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
It was so beautiful. It’s a book about a young German girl named Liesel Meminger who is a child during the Second World War. She goes to a small town outside Munich to get her away from most of the action. On her way there her brother dies of a cough. Death becomes fascinated by her and watches her during the funeral, when Liesel begins her career as a book thief. Liesel becomes very close with her foster parents, and her papa teaches her to read. The story is told by Death, and it was a fascinating way of writing a story, I really liked it. It’s a bit weird though, because obviously I’m from a country that was occupied by the Nazis during the war, and for a long time there was this resentment I think, but you move on. Still Nazis and Germans were responsible for people in my country dying, and I feel like I shouldn’t sympathize with them. But you get to read about just regular Germans, who weren’t Nazis, and you suddenly support them rather than the people bombing them, who are probably Americans or English, trying to end the war and stop the Nazis, and it just, it’s really weird to hate those planes. It’s just a bit odd. And it was beautifully written, and I liked the bold type every now and then with Death’s comments or translations. I cried so hard at the end. I hate Markus Zusak a little. I think he’s magic. It’s awesome.

The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco
I’m astounded at how much someone can hate an entire religion, based on I don’t know what. I realize that irrational hate doesn’t need reason, and I also realize that this novel was set in the late 19th century when the world was different, but the hate just seems so weird and horrible, and I just don’t get it. It is set in 19th century Europe and it centres around a man named Simone Simonini. He is a lawyer by education and forger by trade. He forges pretty much everything and he uses some of it as blackmail. He also travels around supporting the Italian army in the war. He also tries to get rid of the Jews. For reasons unknown he comes from a family that hates Jews and he writes inflammatory texts about how awful Jews are. He writes a piece about a Prague Cemetery and he uses other texts. He’s quite relentless and opportunistic and just kills off people he doesn’t like, or who could be problematic for him. It is never stated outright, but the text he writes seems to be the source for The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is what Hitler based a lot of his propaganda on, so that’s something. The book is told in a sort of diary form, by two people, who might be the same person, Simonini and an abbot. The two of them fill out the gaps in each other’s memories and sort of argue back and forth. There is also a narrator who is “looking over Simonini’s shoulder” and he puts the story together to something coherent. There is so much going on, and it’s so weird, and so much spewing of hate and bile against Jews, women and all people who aren’t intellectual men. It was really interesting though. Just seeing how weirdly prejudiced and how much people can hate someone for no reason is really interesting. And I really liked it.

1984 by George Orwell
I have pretty much lost all hope for the future. Just kidding, but it’s just so bleak and depressing, and at the end you think there might be some hope, but there isn’t, and you want to cry. 1984 is a book set in 1984, not surprisingly, at least the narrator thinks it’s 1984, but he can’t be completely sure. It was published in 1949 and is science fiction dystopia. It is set in Oceania, which is one of the three inter-continental super states that formed after a global war. It’s set in Airstrip One, which is London, and it centres around Winston Smith, the main protagonist. Society is split into three classes: the Inner Party (upper class), the Outer Party (The middle class), and the proles, from proletariat (working class). Big Brother rules everything, sees everything and hears everything, and anything you do that is out of line is reason to get you vaporized, or removed from all of history. Winston is an intellectual from the Outer Party. He hates Big Brother, and he hates the Party, but he is scared of rebelling too severely because he doesn’t want to be vaporized. He meets a young woman named Julia, and they start an affair. They both hate the Party and want to join a secret society called the Brotherhood, which is supposedly working against the party. It’s so gritty, and harsh, and so much pain and no hope and oh God. It’s really good, but just, God… Anyway, it’s inventive, and exciting, and Orwell was quite prescient, they have telescreens where you can see people and control them. He made his own “language” called Newspeak, in an attempt to cut down on words, it’s quite interesting. Yeah, thumbs up.