Friday, 21 August 2015


Happy Friday!

It's time for another #fridayreads, and this week, I have little of interest.
Firstly, I'm still reading my buddy read book by Kafka, which I'm sort of enjoying but not really understanding..
Then I'm also reading The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, a story about a fifteen-year-old boy, who falls in love with a grown woman. I do like the novel, but I am waiting for some more progress in the story, or some development in the characters. I'm about half way through, and I'm pretty sure I will finish it over the weekend.

What are you currently reading?

Purchase books on Bookdepository via this link, and I'll receive a small commission. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review: Perfume

"...Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything."

Title: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Author: Patrick Süskind
Translator: John E. Woods 
Year: 1985

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille never was anyone’s favourite person. Growing up in an orphanage where he was always seen as the odd one out, he never really learned how to love and be loved. But Grenouille is gifted. He can identify every single odour, and he finds a perfumer so he can be his apprentice.

Now, the subtitle of the novel does not hide the fact that this is not a happy story. Grenouille becomes obsessed with distilling every single smell, and when he smells the scent of a beautiful virgin, he decides what the odour of his perfect perfume is going to be.

Confession time: I saw the movie well before I read the book. I saw it twice. Loved the weirdness of it. Unfortunately, it ruined the novel for me. First off, because I knew what was going to happen as the film is quite true to its source. Secondly, because it had left me with high expectations: to be weirded out, yet love it. And I was disappointed.

The story itself is sublime: so clever, so original, and so mesmerizing. But I didn’t enjoy the writing at all. I understand there have to be many descriptions in order to understand what Grenouille is feeling, and more importantly smelling, but to me, it was too much and it felt it slowed down the novel. Also, the novel focusses very little on the moral choices Grenouille has to make and doesn’t seem to judge this culprit. Now I sort of understand that, as it is written from his point of view, but it angered me to some extent. This was probably influenced by the film as well, because there we do get to see several points of view.

Now, I don’t want to spoil the novel but I do want to add that I didn’t like the ending. In its own way, the entire novel is at least slightly realistic, and I felt the ending lacked this.  

If I hadn’t seen the film, the reading experience of Perfume would have probably been a lot different. So if you’re still interested in reading it (and I must say, I would still be – the premise is beyond intriguing), please take my advice and don’t watch the film beforehand.

The main theme is love. Everything Grenouille does is instigated by his desire to be loved. Perhaps that is the creepiest part of the novel: sometimes we may feel for Grenouille, because, who doesn’t want to be loved?

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Review: Blue is the Warmest Color

"There is only love to save this world. Why would I be ashamed to love?"

Title: Blue is the Warmest Color
Author: Julie Maroh
Translator: Ivanka Hahnenberger
Year: 2010
Pages: 156
Purchase this graphic novel

In this graphic novel, we follow Clementine and her journey of growing up. It's a love story, but also a story about friendship and about finding yourself.

Boy, this was an emotional ride and I loved what it did with my emotions. Happy, sad, angry, annoyed, happy, sad, angry, sad, angry, sad. I really liked the art style as well, and I’m always hesitant of judging a writing style in a graphic novel, but in this one it really worked because the conversations felt very realistic and not at all forced.

But unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as other people did. For one, there was instalove. That’s a deal breaker for me because it just does not make sense. A crush at first sight, sure, but this level of obsession? No. I also wasn’t sure of what I thought of the main characters. I understand that they are confused and they feel like the odd ones out, but this theme seemed too repetitive. It’s like young adults in literature aren’t allowed to explore who they are slowly – they have to figure it out there and then, and easily come to terms with it.

Still, though, the over-all story did impress me. As I said, no feelings were spared and I thought was very well structured and beautifully drawn. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Review: The Dinner

"All these heads, I thought. All these heads into which everything disappears"

Title: Het Diner / The Dinner
Author: Herman Koch
Year: 2009

The setting is a family dinner. It’s tense, and we know that something is off. Gradually, we figure out what it is.

I don’t read much Dutch fiction. This mostly stems from my predilection for English literature, and as I was an English student until recently I honestly only really read books in English. I’m trying to switch things up a little, because I started to notice a decline in my ability to read and write in Dutch. The Dinner was my first serious attempt to restore this.

So I expected a lot of this novel. Everybody loves it, not only the Dutch. Both for the plot – which is not something Dutch books are known for – and for the writing style.

The first half of the novel, I thoroughly enjoyed. It was mysterious, yet nothing much was going on.Dutch fiction, I may have to explain, is generally not plot-driven. Characters, themes, anything else but plot, drive the story. Here, plot was certainly the main focus. The characters were all quite fleshed out, but they didn’t necessarily stand out from each other: they were all kind of the same. Moreover, the writing style seemed to change at the half-point, as if the author didn’t care about his prose anymore and merely wanted to get his story out into the world.

The writing was interesting and refreshing. But suddenly everything changed. What I thought was a novel classified as literary fiction suddenly became a thriller, and an intense one at that. Everything exploded and out of nowhere there’s a whirlwind of events. Although extremely cleverly thought out and well-structured, I did not like this shift. I can’t fully explain why, but I think it was mainly because I was expecting an amazingly written work of Dutch fiction. Now,

It may be just because I wasn’t prepared, or in the mood for it. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the read. I finished it quickly, and I didn’t want to put the novel down. But I didn’t feel satisfied upon finishing it. I felt it lacked something, and I was disappointed at the change of genre and pace towards the middle.

Friday, 14 August 2015


It's time for another #FridayReads!

I'm not reading too many books at the same time now. I'm still reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which I am enjoying, but not loving immensely. It is a novel narrated by ninety-something old Jacob, who is remembering his days working at a circus.
This weekend I'm also going to start Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Kafka, which I'm going to be buddy-reading!

What are you reading?

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Review: Frankenstein

“It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishments of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet”

 Title: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
Author: Mary Shelley
Year: 1818
Pages: 240

Through the letters the seaman Robert Walton writes to his sister, we get to know the scientist Victor Frankenstein. In an attempt to create a perfect creature, he creates a killing monster. But as we also learn the point of view of that monster, we start to doubt Frankenstein’s motives and methods.

Frankenstein fits into two of the most important literary traditions of the beginning of the nineteenth century, as both Romantic and Gothic elements are at the base of this story. Firstly, the novel is very nature oriented, which is according to Romantic conventions. Scenery is described many times, but nature also influences the character’s moods – when a horrible winter has passed, for example, the monster feels happy when spring finally arrives. When Frankenstein chases the monster through the Arctic desert, this scenery symbolises his useless efforts. Gothic ties in with this in the sense that the locations are generally gloomy. Moreover, gothic literature focusses on the supernatural as well as the mysterious, and these aspects are certainly present in this novel.

Steven Lehman argues that “[in] Victor Frankenstein, Mary Shelley created a male character who yearned for the existential security of elemental procreative power in the same way that she herself did” (50). This reading would thus mean that Frankenstein is somehow a mirror of the author herself.
More likely to me, though, is that his desire to create life, and his failure at doing so, is in fact fed by Shelley’s feminist thoughts: men cannot procreate without the help of women. Frankenstein tries to, but fails. This way, even though there are few women of importance in the novel, this highlights their significance.
An important theme in this novel is the impact of science. By creating a character like Frankenstein’s monster, Shelley expresses concern towards the developments in this area, and in the end of the novel Robert Walton – who was the man whose letters we’re reading – is convinced that scientific ambitions should never be the main focus of one’s life. Rather, family, friendship and solidarity should always come first.

By most readers, the monster is seen as a helpless, misunderstood creature. He is ugly and hence people are appalled by him, even his own creator rejects him. While in exile, he tries to learn the ways of the world, teaching himself how to speak and read – so in terms of that he becomes equal or even superior, to the general human being – but still, people are scared of him, merely because of his appearance. This aggravates him and he turns violent. Consequently people become even more afraid of him. While I understand that the monster’s narrative grants us insight into his motives, I could not fully sympathise with him, and did not feel that being misunderstood justifies his actions. That does not mean I’m on Frankenstein’s side, because even though he did not deserve to be treated that horribly, I feel he could have been more active in protecting his family and helping his creation.
Now, don’t misunderstand my dislike towards the main characters as dislike for the book. If you’d happen to read more of my reviews, you’ll learn I quite often like unlikable characters in novels – mostly in classics. In Frankenstein, the characters were all interesting, and especially the monster and the professor did not lack depth. Though I have to admit towards the ending, they did start to bother me a little bit, but this also had to do with the slowness of the novel. Although for the first say 85 per cent of the novel this did truly not bother me at all, probably because I was warned beforehand not to expect an action packed horror story, towards the ending I was waiting for a conclusion, for the whining to be over. That is why I couldn’t rate the novel five stars, but it’s surely worth four stars. The story is original, interesting, layered, and the writing is beautiful, especially keeping in mind Shelley was only eighteen at the time of writing this!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Review: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Warning: this review contains spoilers. 

“With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.”

Title: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Year: 1886
Pages: 144

I had heard of the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I was convinced I knew the entire plot as I had seen part of the BCC mini-series Jekyll. I knew thus, that Dr Jekyll suffered from some sort of dissociative identity disorder. What I was expecting was a ground-breaking psychological novel.

Clearly, one should not base their knowledge of literature on adaptations, especially not on only partly watched ones. Here is the real story of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Through the eyes and ears of Dr Jekyll’s lawyer Mr Utterson, we learn about Mr Hyde, a man who abuses a young girl and pays off the girl’s parents. It is quickly found out that there is a link between Jekyll and Hyde, as the former has written a will which would leave all his possessions to the latter. Years pass and nothing happens, until Hyde strikes again and kills a man. Slowly but surely similarities between Hyde and Jekyll are uncovered, and eventually we learn that Jekyll had developed a potion to which he became addicted, which transformed him in character and physique, into Mr Hyde.

The novella fits very well into its time and plays with the tradition of this Victorian era. In the late 1800s, one “sought to fix and pin down events” (Middleton x), while this story challenges everything that is thought to be fact. Moreover, it is a prime example of Gothic fiction, which was the popular genre in this time. Gothic literature “throws into question the idea of a fixed, stable individual identity”(Middleton xii), of which Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is of course the epitome.

This idea of double identity really only surfaces at the end of the novel, after confessional letters explain everything. This is also the case with the theme of addiction, as well as with some motifs such as the contrast between Dr Jekyll’s house and his laboratory. Only when we know how the story is set up, we understand these layers. Therefore, to me the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of those which really only becomes interesting after having studied it for a while.

In his review of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Emmet Early shows that Jekyll is described positively, but is granted much less description than Hyde, whose evil character is highlighted over and over again (32). He writes “Hyde is obviously a constellation of a variety of vices, the most prominent of which is violent anger”. While little can be argued against this, I do feel that this completely disregards the fact that Jekyll is the true instigator, as it is his addiction which allows Hyde to even exist. Somehow it feels as though Stevenson disregarded the protagonist’s misdoings and only criticises the consequences of addiction rather than the addict himself.

I am quite sure my apathy towards this novella is fed by my confusion regarding the plot. I was constantly annoyed by the fact that Hyde looked so much different from Jekyll, although I thought they were supposed to be the same in appearance. Moreover, I felt it took the characters too long to figure out what was really going on. Perhaps I should give the novel a reread, now with the correct expectations, and perhaps I will be able to appreciate it better, and give it a fairer judgement. 

Works Cited
Early, Emmet. “The Strange Case of Ego and Shadowman: A Review of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.” The San Fransisco Jung Institute Liberal Journal 4.3 (1983): 28-36. PDF.
Middleton, Tim. Introduction. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with The Merry Men & Other Stories. By R.L. Stevenson. Ware: Wordsworth Editions, 1999. vii-xvii. Print.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Tag Tuesday: Unpopular Opinions Tag

This tag was originally created by TheBookArcher

1.       A popular book or series that you didn’t like
I was awfully disappointed by If I Stay by Gayle Forman. When I heard a film was going to be made, and Chloe Moretz was to play the lead, I decided I wanted to read it. I’d heard so many positive thoughts I was convinced I’d love it. I didn’t at all. I didn’t like the writing style everybody was raving about, and the characters annoyed me. I did rate it two stars, just because the premise intrigued me.

2.       A popular book or series that everybody seems to hate but you love.
I couldn’t think of one at first, but scrolling through my goodreads, I found Seeing by José Saramago. This is the sequel to Blindness, which I haven’t read. Seeing was a required read at uni, and it was stylistically challenging and in terms of plot it was difficult in the way that it focussed on politics, which is not a particular interest of me. Although I ‘only’ rated it three stars, I remember everyone else in the course hated it and many people didn’t even finish it, while I was quite intrigued and interested in reading more of the author’s work.

3.       A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.
Luckily, I’m not reading too many books with love triangles, because they generally annoy me. The series that pops into my mind when thinking of them, is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I still haven’t finished the series, and I’m really not in a hurry to do so. Anyway, I remember really wanting Clary and Simon to end up together in the first two books.

4.       A popular genre that you hardly reach for.

5.       A popular or beloved character that you didn’t like
Frankenstein’s Monster. (Which does not mean I didn’t like the novel)

6.       A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
Jane Austen. I’ve read Emma and Mansfield Park and tried to read Persuasion. I did not enjoy them at all. I do still want to give her one more chance by reading Pride and Prejudice. Some day.

7.       A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing.
Instalove/Love triangles. Both insanely annoying and unrealistic.

8.       A Popular series that you have no interest in reading.
The Selection Trilogy.

9.       The saying goes ‘The book is always better than the movies’, but what movie or TV-show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
Bridge to Terabithia. The movie touched me so much more, but I must admit I saw the movie first..

Monday, 10 August 2015

Review: Brave New World

“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Year: 1932
Pages: 177

Mothers and fathers no longer exist. Children are mass-produced, and are conditioned to agree with the government from the moment they are born. They are divided into groups, some learn to hate nature and books, others are taught to be promiscuous. There are even children who are treated with medicine or are allowed less oxygen just so they can be the way the government wants them to be. People are not religious, rather, they worship Henry Ford, who introduced the assembly line. Though to the reader clearly a dystopian world, most characters seem to be happy – for them, the government have created a utopia. The protagonist, Bernard Marx, turns out to be less susceptible to the conditioning, and he questions the ways of the world. When he goes to a savage reservation and meets Linda and her son John he learns about the idea of free thinking. As he takes the two savages back into the city, the two worlds collide and the main question this novel poses becomes apparent: is it better to be happy and ignorant, or to be knowledgeable but unhappy?

The society in Brave New World may seem far-fetched, but in essence, the aspects that are so much different from the world as we know it, are extreme but logical consequences of the consumer society: everything is based on satisfying (materialistic) needs and having a prosperous economical system. Modern interpretations of the novel often look at the novel as a ‘wrong’ prediction, as does Mark Frankel in his essay in which he proposes a different version of the future of consumerism. He argues that the ‘real’ future will be based on the infinite number of choices people will have, rather than the limit of choices (32). While this is a well-argued essay, I believe Brave New World deserves to be looked at as literature and a critique rather than a scientific work. Moreover, the future Frankel describes is not at all so far removed from Huxley’s ideas: consumerism still feeds the world.

Not only is Brave New World great food for thought – in the end you almost believe that ignorance is bliss – it is also a brilliantly written novel both in structure and prose. We are introduced into the world through a tour in a factory, which allows us to understand how people are made and how they think. Because of this structural element the focus is only on understanding the world for a very short time and we can start forming our own opinions quite early on.

Friday, 7 August 2015


It's Friday, and that means it's time for a #Fridayreads! In this post, I'll share with you what I'll be reading over the weekend / next week.

The physical book I'm currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It follows Jacob, an old man, recounting his days working for a circus. I'm really enjoying it, but I'm only about 70 pages in. I'm hoping to finish it before the end of the week, but I probably won't because I'm working Saturday and Sunday.

I'm listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler as an audiobook. I was trying to find the perfect audiobook last Tuesday, and spent the entire day listening to snippets of books I really didn't enjoy. Finally I decided to try this memoir, even though I don't really know Amy Poehler, or like SNL. I'm enjoying it greatly. I'll probably finish this next week while cleaning and doing laundry.

Lastly, I'm reading Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh, which is a graphic novel. It's a wonderful but enormously sad love story, and I'm excited to finish it tonight.

These are the books I'm currently reading, and although I'm sure I won't finish them all by the end of the weekend, I think I will pick up another one, just because I read ebooks while in bed and the current ebook is Blue is the Warmest Color and I am finishing that today. So I've been browsing through Scribd to find the perfect e-book, and I think I'm going to be reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin. All I know is that it's well-loved and about books. Sounds exciting!

What are you currently reading?

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review: Alice in Wonderland

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Author: Lewis Carroll 
Year: 1965/1971
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 327

7 year old Alice is sat under a tree in her garden and she’s bored. A white rabbit wearing a jacket and checking its pocket watch of course immediately grabs her attention and she follows it, even down into its rabbit hole. Curiously, upon entering the hole she starts falling, and keeps falling, and falling, and falling. So begin Alice’s adventures in wonderland.

 When it was first published in 1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland mainly received bad reviews because it was seen as nonsense. By the time Through the Looking Glass was published in 1871, though, it had gained critical acclaim. Up to this day it’s one of the most widely known children’s stories. Often both of Alice’s adventures are bundled in one volume, as was mine. This review will thus be of both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

This novel works on so many levels, and all these layers are worth exploring and studying, making it a book that can be read over and over again. And you have to, if you really want to understand it. Linguistically, it is so interesting, it makes you think about language, it makes you consider every word you’re saying. However, sometimes the language is incredibly difficult to understand, it doesn’t always make sense. This is mostly so when reading the poems integrated in the story. They’re very hard to understand, but they do add to the story.

In terms of the main plot, a lot happens as well, and many things can be analysed in very different ways. I feel like Alice’s discomfort – never being quite the right size, is something that likely alludes to puberty, meaning the target audience is slightly older than children. But it also speaks to me as a young woman who’s just finishing up her master’s degree and has to venture into the real world, but doesn’t really know how to fit in. This ties in with Alice’s realisation that not all puzzles seem to have a solution – some things just don’t make sense, and you have to give in to that. This struggle is continued in Through the Looking Glass where Alice learns that she cannot control everything that happens to her, which is represented by the chess game. Hashtag relatable!

I myself had interpreted the mushroom as a kind of drugs – allowing all the weirdness. But I read somewhere that people see the caterpillar as a symbol for sexuality because of its phallic shape, and the mushrooms – given to her by this caterpillar – would help her gain control of puberty as it helps her change sizes. This all worries me slightly, as Alice is seven… but I am interested in hearing whether people agree and have evidence from the novel for this claim?

All in all, I really loved this novel. It intrigued me in terms of language, and I didn’t expect its themes to relate so much to my situation. I was a little annoyed by Alice in the first book, but in the second she was much less of a brat.  What did bother me greatly were the lousy endings to both novels. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Review: Station Eleven

"The more you remember, the more you've lost"

Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Year: 2014
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 333

I recommend going into this novel without knowing what it is about, so I’m not going to give a summary. It’s even difficult to classify it as one particular genre, but to give you a general idea of what the novel is about, I’ll tell you this: There’s a pandemic which could have apocalyptic consequences. We learn about the world before the disease, during it, and many years after.

This is the only book I was able to get through in the month of June as it left me in a major slump. I don’t really know why, though. Writing this review now makes me realise I have forgotten quite a bit of the story, it hasn’t stuck with me as much as I thought it would. I have to admit the feelings it made me feel, the impressions it made on me, they did last. However, because the story didn’t, I can’t rate five stars, which is what I initially wanted to.

Still, four stars means it is a brilliant book nonetheless. Its structure is so clever and well thought out – we get to know our characters through many years and even though it jumps back and forth, it never becomes confusing. Moreover, it is very original in the way it handles the potential apocalypse. Generally, books surrounding an apocalypse focus on the actual downfall itself and direct survival, leaving to the reader’s imagination how the world will continue. Mandel offers much more insight, leaving out the tumultuous years right after the pandemic, skipping quite a few years. For this very reason, many people whose reviews I read, actually disliked the novel. I feel, though, that this is just the originality needed in such a popular genre. It’s even more original because it also focusses so much on how the characters lived and developed many years before the disease.

I would say the main themes of the novel are memory and nostalgia. The story is driven by nostalgia, because our main character collects things associated with the past and the story builds around this. We’re constantly reminded of the past, as are the characters in the future parts of the novel. Those who remember the past are nostalgic about it, yet focus on moving on. The past is not a taboo, but they’re also aware that they can’t go back. Because of this positive spirit of moving on, Station Eleven is not as bleak as other apocalyptic stories. I’m not saying it is a happy one, though, a lot happens in this book, and hardly anything will make you smile. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tag Tuesday: On My Shelf #1

As I'll never really do a bookshelf-tour kind of post, I thought another way of showing off what books I own is the On My Shelf tag, originally created by Iain Broome. The idea is simple: random numbers which form coordinates will determine what book on which shelf you’ll be talking about. So if the numbers are 3 and 5, you’ll talk about the fifth book on the third shelf. I used to generate ten numbers, so I’ll be talking about 5 books.

18,3 – Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I bought this after I’d read and loved Fangirl and read it immediately after I received it. I absolutely adored this book. I thought it was better than Fangirl, less cheesy, even though this one’s quite cheesy too. I rated it five stars, cause for a young adult love story, it’s perfect.

7,19 – Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Almost two years ago, I saw an advertisement on a Dutch version of Craigslist for a huge box filled with old Wordsworth Classics for very cheap. So I got it and now I have over 50 books in this old series. This is one of them, I haven’t read it yet, and although I’m excited to get to it, I doubt it’ll be soon.

22,8 – Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Another one that I got in that big box. I own many of Verne’s books, because as a kid I had this abridged version of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, which I loved. So as an adult, I decided to buy his books. Never got around to reading them though..

1,4 – Little Women & Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
Yet another Wordsworth Classic, but not one that belongs to the older series. I bought this about a year ago, and have always been avoiding any kind of spoilers of Little Women. One day, a few weeks ago, my friend was talking to me about spoilers and how an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. talks about spoilers and this book. In recounting the episode, my friend spoiled Little Women. I tried reading it about a week ago, and couldn’t get into it. Now I don’t know if it was because I was spoiled, though, because I wasn’t enjoying the writing either..

1,11 – The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
I’m not a Jane Austen Fan. But you may have noticed I do collect Wordsworth Classics (because they’re cheap, not because they’re pretty). I own all of The Complete Novels collections they have brought out so far, I think, and I haven’t read much from them. I prefer owning the separate books as well, because these huge books are difficult to read. 

That's all for today! Be sure to check back soon, because I have a ton of reviews to post!