I'm a GoodReads user testing new waters after the serious website changes. I mostly read fiction, usually Anglophone classics/ modern classics; I like nonfiction (mostly social and cultural history), good fantasy and graphic novels. For guilty pleasure, I read advice and how-to books. I made at least two reading resolutions recently; 1. read less, live more; 2. read books which give me more pleasure. I have poor filters, and books I find stylistically pleasing tend to be depressing, so I need to do something about that; if you think you know a book that is very well written, but won't make me weep, please drop me a line.

The Island

The Island - Victoria Hislop 2,5 stars - between "OK" and "liked it" (regardless of the fact that the book was definitely too dark to be a good 'beach book', and was marketed as such).

Imagine reading a Reader's Digest 'condensed' version of Gone with the Wind - The Island mas the makings of an epic, but is insufficiently developed. And no wonder: the author had a great vision and came up with an interesting story on an interesting topic, but the execution was less good than the project deserved. (Sample fragment to follow).

- (Sometimes) wooden dialogue
- Spoon-fed expositions (argh)
- too many "and then!!!" moments, some of them almost laughably so.
- Maria, whom I strongly suspect? of being the protagonist, is too selfless to be true
- redundant narrative frame and narrative frame characters
- to freely shifting PoV for my taste

- great subject matter
- convincing research
- this book taught me something, which is more than I expected from it.

Currently reading

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Anne Fowler
Zuleika Dobson
Max Beerbohm
How to Be a Victorian
Ruth Goodman