The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I was actually looking forward to reading this book, because I happen to like the movie. Long story short: I really shouldn’t have been looking forward to reading this book.

Story just a little longer: This books is slow, and it feels like nothing really happens, even though obviously things happen. Those things just weren’t all that interesting. Except for a few minor exceptions, this book seems pierced together by a string of meaningless events.

Also I don’t really think Andrea or Andy, the main character, is all that likable, which might be Lauren Weisberger’s point. I guess under all the seemingly meaninglessness, there might be a hidden critique of the vain fashion world, inhuman bosses and Andrea’s transformation from lovable daughter and friend to workaholic and fashion conscious.

I don’t think this was a good read, but it isn’t necessarily a bad read. What seems like a string of meaningless events to me, might be a great read for some. I can acknowledge that some people might like this book, if they like reading about the problems of a twenty something working her first job out of college as an assistant for a heartless, unreasonable boss.


“’You remind me of myself when I was your age.’ […] I grabbed my bag and hers as well and wondered if this was the proudest or the most humiliating moment of my life.” – page 368

Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

I have to admit every time I go about reading a classic, I worry that it will be – to be blunt – boring. Not because it was/is a bad or unimportant book, but because it might not be a timeless book, but more a revolution of its time. Or maybe it just isn’t for me. Luckily I am often wrong.

Lord of the Flies follows a group of boys stranded on an Island after a plane crash. We experience the boys’ attempt at a life away from civilization; making rules, appointing a chief, coming up with ways to find food and to find a chance of rescue.

It’s interesting to read through the boys left to their own devices in the face of trauma, and see how they handle it surprisingly well at first – considering their age – and then surprisingly bad – still considering their age.

We have a few characters playing men, and two trying wholeheartedly to be the “alpha”, causing the story to go from boys doing their best to survive to survival of the fittest and strength in numbers.

For me this story is about the “true nature of man”, when the boys are left on their own without any sign of consequence for them. This isn’t saying that the “true nature of man” is found in some of the horrific acts this book depicts, but merely the true nature of a boy having to become a man too soon. It shows a development of sin in innocence, and throughout the story we get to question, who’s beast and who’s man.


“The beast was harmless and horrible” – page 162

Quotes I Liked – When God Was A Rabbit Part 2

“‘Memories, […] no matter how small or inconsequential, are the pages that define us.'” – page 122

“I am here but I am not yours” – page 131

“I watched him weave in and out of parents holding cigarettes and lager instead of their children’s hands.” – page 133

“‘Do I believe in a mystery; the unexplained phenomenon that is life itself. The greater something that illuminates inconsequence in our lives; that gives us something to strive for as well as the humanity to brush ourselves down and start all over again. Then yes, I do. It is the source of art, of beauty, of love, and proffers the ultimate goodness to mankind. That to me is God. That to me is life. That is what I believe in.'” – page 141-142

“‘There is absolutely no reason at all why a rabbit should not be God.'” – page 142

“That’s what she wrote; with an ironic exclamation mark. It had the power to break a heart.” – page 185

“The sound of the trunk fracturing and splintering and falling to earth was the sound his heart would have made, could it speak.” – page 215

“His own death he’d made peace with years ago, but everyone else’s still frightened him and so he held her hand to not let her go.” -page 217

“‘I have the not-knowing again and I feel scared.'” – page 248

“I saw them hold hands and jump; witnessed the last seconds of their friendship and they never let go.” – page 254

“Everyone had a story of grief. Everyone else’s was worse than yours.” – page 259

“When sweets were a penny and god was a rabbit.” – 269

“‘That’s the person I know, and through him is the way you’ll know me, because connected to all these things are moments, and for so many of them, I was there. And that’s the thing that hurts so much. […] You see, you were the only person who knew everything. Because you were there. And you were my witness.'” – page 308

Quotes I Liked – When God Was A Rabbit Part 1

I am splitting this post into two parts, as there were a lot of quotes I liked in this book, and some of them are a bit long, so here are the first twelve quotes I liked from When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman:

“‘Without a reason, why bother? Existence needs purpose: to be able to endure the pain of life with dignity; to give us a reason to continue. The meaning must enter our hearts, not our heads. We must understand the meaning of our suffering.’” – page 13-14


“‘You said I could be anything I wanted when I was older.’ I said.

She smiled and said, ‘And you can be. But it’s not very easy to become Jewish.’

‘I know,’ I said forlornly. ‘I need a number.’

And she suddenly stopped smiling.” – page 15


“‘Are you going to die?’ I asked, and she laughed as if I’d told her a joke, and that laughter meant more than any No.” – page 33

“She was always late because she had unmanageable hair” – page 33

“She loved moments like that. The inclusiveness of family. I guess because she had none.” – page 49

“They lived in a temporary world of temporary men; a world that could be broken up and reassembled as easily and as quickly as Lego.” – page 51

“This was a world of drama, where comedy and tragedy fought for space.” – page 52

“[…] that strange day, the day when I discovered that even babies could die.” – page 56

“’I don’t want people to know I’m different’” – page 74

“It was an excess energy born of the dangerous, an energy that could unexpectedly turn play into war.” – page 103

“I wanted to be liked. But I was an outsider. And people didn’t miss outsiders.” – page 111

“‘Nothing stays forgotten for long, Elly. Sometimes we simply have to remind the world that we’re special and that we’re still here.’” – page 115

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

I am very conflicted about this book.

When God Was A Rabbit tells the story of Elly, her family, her best friend, and the people she meets along the way. Split into two parts, we follow Elly as a child and as an adult.

This was a semi-good book, but it wasn’t a great book. There were so many stories and storylines, and sometimes it felt like it was trying to grasp too much.Some of the stories felt either unfinished or finished too quickly or too simply, making it a bit of a hot mess.

Despite that, there were parts where the book really pulled me in. Sometimes I really understood Elly and her frustration with certain things, I don’t want to spoil in case, you’re considering reading it. It has humorous moments that I really enjoyed, and even though I call this book a bit of a hot mess, it was still a good read. The different storylines in this book were intriguing, which is why it was a bit disappointing, when the stories didn’t feel properly finished.

If you like stories about family drama, comedy and tragedy, this book might be something for you. It’s bittersweet and at times heartwarming. Not an incredible read, but a good read for passing the time.


“She was always late because she had unmanageable hair” – page 33

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

If you just want my opinion in one sentence, here it is: If I didn’t have to work, I would probably have read this book in one sitting.

I didn’t know this book existed, until Nicks and I were looking for a book to read next for our bookclub, but as soon as our eyes graced this book we knew it was perfect. My expectations were huge – which is a very dangerous thing, as it increases the chance of crushing disappointment -, and they were completely and utterly met. If only every book was as captivating as this.

This book tells the story of Eddie. Eddie dies at the age of 83 at the seaside amusement park, where he has spent most of his life. He does this in the hopes of saving a little girl from being crushed. In the afterlife, Eddie is set to meet five different people, who has impacted his life and whose lives he has impacted in one way or another. Not all of these people are, who Eddie expects them to be, but they each have a lesson for him about the life he has led.

An enthralling story of overlapping lives and the unexpected impact people have on each others lives without even realizing it. It is sad and lovely and I want and am going to read it again at some point, definitely more than once. This book left me with a lump in my throat more than once. It made me smile through my tears, and I am so thankful to Mitch Album for writing it. The only bad thing about this book, is that I’m afraid Nicks and I will never find a book so perfect for us as this one. It is the book of a lifetime. You should not – unless you are unable in every way – miss this book.

Britt said she’s not a fan of what she refers to as “abstract books”[Footnote: Britt never said she wasn’t a fan of abstract books, she just doesn’t like them to such an extent as Nicks] . I am utterly fascinated by them, and I love them to death. This one is abstract enough for me to build a religion around it, and concrete enough for Britt to like it. I know, I know. We are talking this book up and your expectations will be massive. That’s never good.But let me tell you some thing to get blood on your teeth – The Five People You Meet in Heaven (TFPYMIH) will change the way you look at a lot of things.

TFPYMIH also has a love in it. It’s only a subplot, but that love is so pure and beautiful that it almost made me redefine my romantic interests forever. With vivid description, I almost felt the deep infatuation and love Eddie shows. I felt how real love must feel like.

Mitch Album is a genius, and I think he deserves to have an afterlife in the kind of heaven we find in TFPYMIH.


 

“That’s what heaven is. You get to make sense of your yesterdays” – page 96

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves follows Rosemary Cooke, or Rose, as she tells the story of her life. Roses childhood have been unlike most others, and when she goes to college she has managed to avoid facing the unresolved issues from her past for many years, but a run-in with the law and a girl named Harlow forces Rose to face her past.

This book had me going “What?!” at one specific point in the plot and if you read the book you probably know which one I’m talking about. It made me see Rose, her family and especially her sister in a whole new light. In some ways this plot twist changed everything, and it other ways it didn’t change all that much. It didn’t change the fact that – to me – this book was about how our past and our family shapes us and despite not always liking it, we have to live with it. The plot twist did, however, also raise other themes – that I wont elaborate on now, as I think it might spoil the plot twist a bit.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves tells a beautiful, sad and hopeful story of sibling rivalry, love, guilt and coming to turns with your past, present and future, trough a storyteller that isn’t always completely reliable. It explores a peculiar and then again not all that peculiar relationship between siblings. It explores the inner turmoil of feeling left behind and being afraid of being left behind again. Rose struggles with who she is and how she wants people to perceive her. This follows her through the entire book, despite how much she grows as a person, and how much love she has for those, who made her the way she is.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves raises some interesting questions about the definition of family and about being human. It introduces great characters. It has some unexpected turns, and there was one in particular that left me speechless. This story left me sad, angry, happy and hopeful. It made me root for Rose, while also hating some of her decisions. It left me conflicted about my own state of mind about certain issues. For me it did, what a good book was supposed to, and I strongly recommend it to everyone interested in a great reading experience.


“”The secret to a good life,“ he told me once, “is to bring your A game to everything you do. Even if all you’re doing is taking out the garbage, you do that with excellence””

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, page 271