Category Archives: 52 books in one year

True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang

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It took me a bit longer to finish this one. Not sure why because I really enjoyed it and reading this book never felt like chore.
I think the main reason why it took so long was that I read everything a bit slower. The book is written as a letter from a father to his unborn daughter. The story takes place in Australia in the 1870’s and is written in old Australian English style. Often I had to re-read a sentence. This is probably because English is not my native language.

I liked this book a lot. Again the story is sad and demands everything from the characters to survive and make the best out of their lives. It’s a story about how life can be so unfair for many people and hope is often the only thing that keeps you going.
Stories like this one feels like they make me stronger and make me think a lot about my own life and everyday decisions I make. I even feel guilty sometimes, I’m sitting there in my cosy chair with my cup of thee reading about all the misery these people have to go through.

“after we ate we was silent on our blankets looking out across the mighty Great Divide I never seen this country before it were like a fairy story landscape the clear and windy skies was filled with diamonds the jagged black outlines of the ranges were a panorama.

You’re going to ride a horse across all that.

I know.

He laughed and he were right I knew nothing of what lay ahead.

See that there he pointed. That is called the Crosscut Saw and that one is Mount Speculation and yonder is Mount Buggery and that other is Mount Despair did you know that?

No Harry.

You will and you’ll be sorry.”

I finished the book a couple of days ago and I’m reading another book already but I keep thinking about ‘ True History of the Kelly Gang‘. The fact that I keep thinking about it and had a lot of emotions throughout the book means it had a much bigger impact on me then I first realised. This is why I rate this book the maximum. Not sure everybody would like the way it is written and I have to admit it wasn’t always easy for me to follow the story.

Again a massive book and I’m so happy I found this one. Every great book I read makes me even more motivated for this challenge and the long-term satisfaction it will give me.

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The Coma

3rd book of the year : The Coma by Alex Garland.

A very thin book with a lot of illustrations, these drawings were done by Alex Garland’s father, Nicholas Garland. I liked the drawings, they really suited the story well. I even think I liked the drawings better than the writing ..

Throughout the book I was happy knowing it was a very small book and I would finish it in 1 or 2 sittings. I wasn’t very found of the book, never really got hooked. I didn’t think the main character was interesting nor his story. I don’t want to be too harsh though, Garland is a very good writer and The Coma is very well written. I just never got into the whole story.

Waking was the most reliable part of a dream, as built into dreams as death is to life. You dream, you wake: you live, you die.

The main character was beaten and got into a coma, we follow him while he is ‘dreaming’ in his coma. He realises he is in a coma and tries to get out of it. The entire book is a sort of dream where the character moves from one place to another without knowing how he got there etc. I did kinda like this because I’m into the whole ‘dreaming’ thing. I dream very heavily myself and I read a lot about lucid dreaming and dream control. So that’s what made the book not an entire disappointment for me.

I had high hopes for this one, I really like Alex Garland. He wrote scripts for movies I really liked a lot, also The Beach is a book I enjoyed very much many years ago. Maybe I’m not fair and I should reread it in a year or so. I have a feeling I missed something and that its my fault it was a disappointment. Not sure.

I don’t regret reading the book, it made me think a lot about my own dreams and the possibilities to control them.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Image via Wikipedia

Second book of the year : The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao written by Junot Díaz.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this one. I did not read the back of the book or researched anything about the writer or the book before I started reading it.
I bought the book more than a year ago at a book fair only knowing it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It definitely deserved the prize.

Reading this book was an amazing experience and an emotional rollercoaster. The story is about Oscar, his family and the dark history and hard life they have to lead.
The book can be hilarious and I really liked the nerdy aspect of Oscar. Reminded me of some people I used to know when I was into computer gaming.
Though often funny, I found this book to be very dark. Oscar’s life and the history of his family is filled with horrifying and disastrous events. Specially the story of his grandfather was a very dark one and was told in such a realistic manner that even I started to fear for my own children ( though I don’t have children, yet).
This was my favorite part of the book, I was more emotionally attached to Oscar’s grandfather then to Oscar himself, who was after all the main character of the book.

The ending was great and very fulfilling. It made me think a lot about my own life and what I want from the future. And it definitely made me realise how lucky I am to be able to write my own opinions and feelings without being sliced into pieces by an evil dictator.

That’s life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep it away like it’s nothing. If you ask me I don’t think there are any such things as curses. I think there is only life. That’s enough.

Tuesday, I crashed my car getting back from work. Luckily no one got hurt. I have to buy myself a new car though. I stayed very relaxed the entire week and could not stop thinking about Oscar and the things he and his family had to go through. Crashing my car just didn’t compare to their misery.
It sounds a bit strange and corny, I know. But this is why I decided to do this challenge. I wanted to grow as a person, become a better human being and realise what I want out of life.

It’s only my second book and I feel both books already tought me some very valuable lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you mister Díaz.



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