Bout of Books 12.0 – Update #2

Bout of BooksHello dear readers!

Since my first Bout of Books update covered the readathon from Monday to Wednesday, this part will look at how my reading week from Thursday to Sunday?

On Thursday, my day was pretty busy and it wasn’t until 7 PM that I found some time to settle into the corner of my sofa and read. I began by reading around 50 pages of The Name of the Rose, but because it is a very thought-provoking read, I feel the need to pause every once in a while to think about the issues mentioned in the book. And as much as I enjoy challenging books that force me to think bigger questions, it just wasn’t what I wanted to read at the moment. I wanted a book that I could immerse myself into, which is why I began reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that everyone has been encouraging me to pick up. And I instantly fell in love with its epistolary style.

Pages read: 73
Pages read in total: 334
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco AND The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Scaffer & Annie Barrows

Friday was my “back-to-school” day, filled with excitement for the new semester and friends I hadn’t seen during the holiday season. In the evening I curled up with a cup of tea and reached for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, immersing myself to the post-WWII England and the lives of the inhabitants of the Guernsey Island.

Before going to sleep, I stopped to think about what it was that made me pick up TGLPPS instead of The Name of the Rose. I enjoyed both books very much, but for some reason I kept putting The Name of the Rose on the back burner. I guess the reason stems from the news of the past week – the tragedies of Paris terror attacks – and the polarisation of Europe. Let me explain: The Name of the Rose is a murder mystery set in a monastery in the Middle Ages, but it is also heavily interwoven with religious debates and politics of the time. For example, debates on whether or not Jesus ever laughed, whether laughter is sinning, and how Christian heresies are the cause of the actions of the Church. Although these discussions are set in the frame of the 14th century Europe, there are still points that echo into the modern society and the recent #JeSuisCharlie. My heart goes out to the families of the people in Charlie Hebdo, as well as to the other victims, and I hope that the events won’t further polarise the already tender relationship between the two cultures living in Europe. Reading The Name of the Rose, I can’t help but to play it against the recent events, which is not a good association. Sometimes reading can offer further understanding of the situation and relief to sadness, but sometimes you just want to escape.

Pages read: 71
Pages read in total: 405
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco AND The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Scaffer & Annie Barrows

On Saturday morning, I enjoyed a late breakfast with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. In comparison to my yesterday’s post, this book also has darker shades, as it deals with the German Occupation during WWII and the suffering that went on during those years. Part of me would like to believe that this was all just the writer’s own flare, but the truth of what happened might be even more terrifying than that. A lot of the book is set on the Guernsey Island on the English Channel, and the descriptions of the island definitely have inspired me to consider it as one of the places that I’d love to visit someday.

The Reading England 2015 challenge that I’m doing this year is catered to classics, so I can’t officially set this book on the list of “visited counties”. However, I am going to add my own little twist to my travel plan – A (Modern) Detour. My plan is to write down all the non-classic books in 2015 that were set in England and their setting, to see how far and wide I traveled without a map. I might not write a review of all the books, but I will definitely try to update the list throughout the year, along with the original challenge. Guernsey will have the honour of being the first detour, but I’m convinced that there’ll be more to come.

Pages read: 137
Pages read in total: 542
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

On Saturday night I couldn’t put The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pee Pie Society down, so I ended up finishing the last 11 pages after the clock had transitioned into Sunday. Ah, the book is such a treasure – heartwarming and vivid! I could barely catch any sleep after finishing it.

I spent Sunday baking, cleaning, catching up on podcasts and making paper stars. I think I’ll try to keep up with making paper stars for every book that I read, but since I’m not really naturally crafty, I’ll doubt that it’ll stick the whole year. I kept reading The Name of the Rose in between the different activities, and I’m slowly reaching the conclusion of the mystery. Again, I have nothing but praise for how the story is constructed and all the research that Eco has made for the book. Naturally there are some moments of information overload, but as the topic is surprisingly interesting – who’d known? – it can be easily ignored. As I’m writing this post, I’ve put down the book for the night. It would have been awesome if I could have completed The Name of the Rose within the Bout of Books readathon week, but I’m not really that bothered. I enjoy taking my time with this book, so I’ll let it simmer.

Pages read: 147
Pages read in total: 689
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Overall, I did finish one play and one book during the week, and my weekly total is almost 700 pages – that’s approx. 100 pages per day! I’m very pleased with how the readathon turned out and hopefully these updates haven’t bored you to death. Now I have some reviews to write, so expect those during the next week!

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