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keepingupwiththepenguins

keepingupwiththepenguins

Joined June 2019

Book reviews for the would-be booklover | Blogging all things bookish at https://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com
review
keepingupwiththepenguins
The Scarlet Letter | Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Mehso-so

The themes of The Scarlet Letter are pretty timeless; it‘s not hard to see why it‘s been adapted a few million times. It‘s a good one to talk about at parties, but the way it‘s written isn‘t all that engaging (Hawthorne desperately needed an editor). I probably won‘t read it again, but you should give it a go if you‘re into an old-timey Gilmore Girls. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-scarlet-letter-nathaniel-hawthorne/

paulfrankspencer Old-timey Gilmore Girls. Ha! 9h
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Money | Martin Amis
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Mehso-so

Remember The Catcher In The Rye? Well, Money: A Suicide Note is basically the grown up‘s version. If you like your narrators drunk, rich, and horny, then this is the book for you! Amis reportedly based the book on his experiences as a scriptwriter on the film Saturn 3 (remember that classic?). If this is really what the script-writing life is like... Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/money-a-suicide-note-martin-amis/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Mehso-so

The Pilgrim's Progress reads like a part-poem, part-play, part-story. The narrator recounts a dream that he had in jail about a pilgrim – Christian – who abandons his wife and children to hike to Heaven. It's a bit of a slog for a contemporary reader, but also gives great insight into the origins of much of today's literature. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-pilgrims-progress-john-bunyan/ #ClassicBooks #Literature

Leftcoastzen Liked your review, I need to give it a go . 3d
keepingupwiththepenguins @Leftcoastzen Awesome - would love to hear what you think of it! ❤ 2d
20 likes2 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Crime and Punishment | Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
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Pickpick

Raskolnikov is a bundle of nerves and anxiety, which makes him – and I know I shouldn‘t say this, given that he is a literal axe murderer, but I don‘t care – totally relatable! Crime and Punishment follows his moral dilemmas leading up to a murder(s), and his complete psychological denouement afterwards. It‘s compelling stuff! Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/crime-and-punishment-fyodor-dostoyevsky/

batsy That's how I felt about Raskolnikov, too 😆 Such a brilliant book. 4d
keepingupwiththepenguins @batsy Hahahahaha very relieved to hear it's not just me! I was worried about myself for a minute! 😅😍 3d
26 likes2 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

Stevenson managed to cram a lot into these 66 pages, and literary types continue to analyse Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to death. If you assume you‘re familiar with the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and you don‘t need to read the original, you‘re really missing out. I‘ll definitely read it again, its allegory is evergreen. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/strange-case-dr-jekyll-mr-hyde-robert-louis-...

LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. There‘s so many fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! #LitsyWelcomeWagon
2d
keepingupwiththepenguins @CoffeeNBooks Thank you so much - it's wonderful to be here! 2d
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keepingupwiththepenguins @LitsyWelcomeWagon Thank you so much - very kind of you! 2d
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 2d
keepingupwiththepenguins @RaimeyGallant Thank you! Happy to be here! 19h
38 likes6 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
A Passage to India | E. M. Forster
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Mehso-so

Going in, I knew shamefully little about the British Raj, so A Passage To India required a bit of googling - I'd recommend brushing up before you give it a go! Ultimately, I wouldn't call it a fun read, it's hard work. But if you‘re interested in expanding your horizons and you want to start looking into post-colonial literature, this is a good place to start. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/a-passage-to-india-e-m-forster/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

This is a collection of twelve classic short stories, narrated by Dr Watson. He recounts the cases taken on by Sherlock Holmes. Despite being detective fiction, it‘s not all doom and gloom! Most of the cases are actually quite whimsical and fun. On the whole, this collection is much closer to Scooby Doo than it is to Criminal Minds. My full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-arthur-con...

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

You‘d be forgiven for picking The Happiest Refugee thinking you‘re going to get a light-hearted life story from one of Australia‘s most cheerful comedians. Indeed, there are plenty of chuckles to be had, but Anh Do‘s life hasn‘t all been smooth sailing. It‘s hardly a literary coup (he‘s a comedian, not a creative writing grad), but it‘s a cracking yarn nonetheless. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-happiest-refugee-anh-do/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Panpan

I know the fans out there will hate me for this, but I really wasn‘t drawn into this tragic teenage love story at all. The only parts that really drew me in were the ones about Hazel‘s mother. Her distress over her daughter's illness got me right in the feels! Maybe I‘m getting old…? Either way, this one wasn't for me. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-fault-in-our-stars-john-green/

OneCent76 I agree. When I read this a couple years ago it was just meh for me. I couldn't figure out what all the hype was about. 1w
keepingupwiththepenguins @OneCent76 So glad it's not just me!!! 😅 😅 😅 1w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure that I could possibly do Elena Ferrante‘s My Brilliant Friend justice. It is, frankly, one of the best books that I have ever read. It follows the lives of Elena Greco (the narrator) and Lila Cerullo, as they pull themselves up from a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. Beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein - #namethetranslator! Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/my-brilliant-friend-elena-ferrante/

Crazeedi The whole series is just excellent 1w
Leftcoastzen I need to get to book 3 1w
Tashreads I loved this series so much (actually still need to get to book 4, best do that pronto!) 1w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Panpan

Gulliver leaves his wife and kids at home to gallivant around the world, four times over, even though he constantly meets with disaster. He becomes a twisted misanthrope and lives out his days ankle-deep in horse manure. Sure, it‘s an ever-timely critique of corruption and religion and government… but I can‘t get past the wife-abandonment. My full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/gullivers-travels-jonathan-swift/

Taylor This book sucks to me. 2w
keepingupwiththepenguins @Taylor Yeah, I didn't love it either 😅 1w
22 likes2 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Mehso-so

This book covers two broad themes: the effects of war, and the nature of love. That's a lot to tackle, which is probably why Flanagan did the former so much better than the latter. I think he would have been better off just chopping off the entire first third off the book, like cutting off a gangrenous limb (as the characters had to). Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north-richard-fl...

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Mehso-so

Even though there is only one girl on the train, Hawkins flicks back and forth between the perspectives of three female characters. It was a nice change reading the stories of fictional women that were actually written by a woman. Don't get me wrong, this one is hardly at the forefront of feminist literature, but it was still a reasonable twisty thriller. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-girl-on-the-train-paula-hawkins/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

A Game of Thrones has a complex plot, but that‘s not uncommon for fantasy. But you‘d pretty much have to be dead not to have at least some idea of what this particular book is all about, given the popularity of the TV show. I liked picking up on some of the interesting details that I missed in the show, it was just enough to hold it all together for me. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/a-game-of-thrones-george-r-r-martin/

Lady_Tigana_20 Yes, the first season was fairly faithful to book. As series went along characters were eliminated or merged. Plot changes. I will say I really liked how they merged two characters to get tv version Jorah Mormont. 5d
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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Pickpick

It takes a rare talent to write about sex in a way that is enthralling and immersive, but never titillating. Three Women is not an erotic book. Taddeo spent years investigating the sexual lives of three women (Lina, Maggie, and Sloane), and the experiences that shaped them. This book is the meticulously detailed account of her heart-wrenching findings... Full review here: https://primer.com.au/three-women-reveal-their-sex-lives-book-review/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger
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Pickpick

Straight off the bat, I actually liked the narrator (Holden Caulfield). He‘s a bratty, rebellious teenager with a tendency towards profanity, tangential thinking, and wild exaggeration. Salinger‘s characterisation was superb; it sounded so much like the diary of a teenage boy, you‘d believe one had written it... Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye-j-d-salinger/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
The Age of Innocence | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

The most important thing to know when it comes to The Age Of Innocence is that you need to guard against being fooled by its subtlety. On its face, it‘s a slow-moving society story of upper-class New York City at the end of the 19th century, but its critique and commentary goes so much deeper than that! A good one for fans of Jane Austen's Emma. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-age-of-innocence-edith-wharton/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Mehso-so

Life After Life is murky. It‘s got plot-lines that aren‘t completely resolved, and kind of appear and disappear at Atkinson‘s will. The philosophical questions raised by Ursula‘s endless Sliding Doors moments aren‘t really answered. We don‘t even know why or how her life happens over and over again. I guess I‘d say it straddles historical and speculative fiction. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/life-after-life-kate-atkinson/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

I had such high expectations of The Bell Jar, after years of hearing how fantastic it was, and I was convinced there was no way it could possibly live up to the hype… but, of course, it did. The prose was so beautiful! I wanted to throw my gorgeous Faber edition across the room but I couldn‘t, because I was clutching it so hard. Trigger warnings abound, of course. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-bell-jar-sylvia-plath/

Heideschrampf That last sentence is pure gold! I know exactly what you mean 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @Heideschrampf hahahaha glad it's not just me! 😁 😅 ❤ 3w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Brontë
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Pickpick

Jane Eyre is an amazing exposition of the patriarchal and class constraints experienced by one clever, funny woman over the course of a decade in the 19th century. This book is absolutely teeming with redeeming qualities, and I highly recommend it - especially if you're just starting to read the classics, it's the perfect one to get you going. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/jane-eyre-charlotte-bronte/

BooknerdsLife One of my favorite books!!! 💖 1w
keepingupwiththepenguins @BooknerdsLife Mine too!! 😍 😍 😍 1w
25 likes2 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Fangirl: A Novel | Rainbow Rowell
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Mehso-so

Even though the pieces didn‘t click together for me personally, the critical reception of Fangirl was positive, and Rowell was praised for her portrayal of fangirl-ing culture. Fangirl has clearly struck a chord for a lot of readers. I suspect it‘s great for people who really love young adult books and have already read (and enjoyed!) widely within that genre... #Fangirl Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/fangirl-rainbow-rowell/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
Moby-Dick | Herman Melville
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I really liked Melville‘s style of writing, but I quickly learned that you can‘t get too comfortable. He varied his style and form throughout, experimenting every which way you can imagine. Sexist narratives and tangential writing aside, I was very pleasantly surprised. I‘d expected Moby Dick to be heavy and impenetrable, but it‘s engaging and funny and brilliant. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/moby-dick-herman-melville/

Lady_Tigana_20 I read this years ago when I was into reading all the classics. I didn‘t care for the main storyline, but I was fascinated with the history of whaling chapters. I‘ve been told I‘m weird. 😂 5d
keepingupwiththepenguins @Lady_Tigana_20 No way, I thought the same! I dozed through all the action sequences, but found myself totally enthralled with some of his historical/philosophical/scientific musing passages. You're not alone! 4d
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Here's everything that I read and reviewed in June 2019. It's tough to pick a favourite - they're all so different! and took me to so many different places - but the one that made me smile the most was definitely The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. Full reviews for all of them are up on my blog archives if you want to take a look 🤓

Crazeedi Welcome to litsy!!🎉🎉🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️ 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @Crazeedi Thank you so much! 😍 🤓 3w
11 likes2 comments
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keepingupwiththepenguins
David Copperfield | Charles Dickens
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Pickpick

David Copperfield is a long book, don‘t get me wrong, but I devoured the thing like a drunk woman eating a kebab. Every word is purposeful, every character is a delectable caricature, every element of the story is consistent and compelling, and every emotion beautifully captured and rendered. It's Dickens' chuck-it-all-in style that makes this book so great. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/david-copperfield-charles-dickens/

violabrain This is one of my all-time favorite books! I‘ve read it more times than any other book. I was just thinking the other day that it‘s about time for a re-read… 3w
Taylor Yes. This is my fave Dickens book. 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @violabrain As good a time as any! Dickens is amazing, a master of the craft 😍 😍 3w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Ulysses | James Joyce
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I'm #currentlyreading this bad boy - it's the last book left on my bucket list off Books I Should've Read Already (And Must Read Before I Die). I'm about two thirds of the way through, and really slogging to get to the end... any tips for me? Can't wait to get to some more recent releases when I'm done, it's the only thing keeping me going!

ju.ca.no Ah Ulysses.... one day I will manage to read this one, I‘ve already given up twice🙈🙈 3w
paulfrankspencer Tips? You just have to keep reading. It doesn't change much at all. 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @ju.ca.no Hahahaha it's tough going! 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @paulfrankspencer HA! Just keep swimming, eh? Thank you 🙏 😁 3w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
In Cold Blood | Truman Capote
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Pickpick

In Cold Blood is really artfully done but it doesn‘t read like a non-fiction book: it reads as a novel. I don‘t think there can be any doubt that Capote was pretty liberal with the “truth“. I would wholeheartedly recommend In Cold Blood (as long as you‘re not a kill-joy that takes things too seriously and gets mad when Capote takes some liberties). Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/in-cold-blood-truman-capote/ #TrueCrime

Crazeedi It was his best 3w
15 likes1 comment