Reading Wrap-Up #07

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

51wsPaf2xbLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, children’s

GoodReads rating:  4.12 / 5 (572,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 14/4 – 15/4

Summary: Charlie and four other kids win their way into a tour of the mysterious chocolate factory of the eccentric Willy Wonka.

Thoughts: I love reading these short beloved tales when I’m a bit burnt out from reading. They’re always pleasant and entertaining and this was spectacular story.

Other adaptations: Both the ’71 and ’05 film were well received. I can’t remember the latter to well but I enjoyed the ’05 one with its music and storyline (followed the book very well) as well as the addition of Willy Wonka’s backstory.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

41un18HtUSLRating: ★★★

Genre: Mystery, classics

GoodReads rating: 4.25 / 5 (627,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 10/4 – 15/4

Summary: When a mysterious host invites an assortment of people with seemingly nothing in common to their private island, guests begin dropping like flies. Who is doing this, and who will survive?

Thoughts: Good, but a bit overrated. I think the more modern mysteries I’m used to have moved the bar higher.

Other adaptations: The ’45 movie and ’15 T.V. mini-series are both well liked. As the mini series is only a few episodes, I might give it a whirl.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

71FNFSVUrkLRating: ★★★

Genre: Young adult, romance, contemporary

GoodReads rating: 4.16 / 5 (315,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 18/4 – 23/4

Summary: 16-year-old Lara Jean has written private love letters to her five past loves, including her current crush and sister’s ex, Josh. One day, all the letters get posted and all h-e-double-hockey sticks breaks loose.

Thoughts: From the beginning, the story wasn’t believable and Lara Jean wasn’t likable. In high school, especially in the later years, nobody really gives a shit who likes who, who’s had sex and all the other things Lara Jean builds up in her mind, but I suppose that’s part of being in high school: a lot of people don’t realize others don’t give a shit and none of it will really matter in a year much less a week. Good idea, meh execution.

Other adaptations: The Netflix series is what started the craze around the story. I watched about half the movie and thought movie Lara Jean was much more likable and relatable, but movie Josh was unbearable, coming back to wondering why Lara Jean went to such extreme lengths to maintain the relationship with this asshole in the first place. Well made and cute movie, but just missed the mark.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

61fbkNIiueLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, death

GoodReads rating: 4.29 / 5 (12,200 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 23/4 – 29/4

Summary: “[M]ortician Caitlin Doughty embarks on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead” and “investigates the world’s funerary customs and expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with dignity.”

Thoughts: In my previous post, I mentioned how much I liked Stiff and how I got interested in the topic thanks to Ask a Mortician YouTube channel… well, she has some books, too! Any fans of her videos can clearly hear her distinct and soothing voice and dash of tasteful humor through her written words. This book is so well-written and interesting and makes me really think to what extent I would like to personally attend to the body of my deceased loved one when the time comes.

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.


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