Books

Casino Royale-Review

Oh,

Suddenly it’s all coming back to me why I never wrote very much on this blog and it’s because I’m absolute shit at writing reviews. Nevertheless, I’m gonna give it the old college try and then maybe one day it won’t be such a pain in the arse to write these.

Lets start with the basic, I read Casino Royale on a whim. It’s like one of the those things where you read the book because the author is well-known and when someone asks, you want to be able to say you’ve read it. For example, a million and ten years ago I read Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut because I wanted to say I’d read Vonnegut. But, I didn’t want to seem like one of those pretentious people who reads Slaughterhouse Five on a coffee shop patio to let everyone know they’re the kind of person who reads Slaughterhouse Five, so I read a lesser known work. Is it more pretentious that I thought so much about it?? Probably, but I’ll live with the knowledge that it was a couple years ago and I’ve grown since then.

Anyways, lets refocus. Tangents are my weakness.

I would give Casino Royale a solid 3 out of 5 stars. I liked the book well-enough, but there were quite a few places where I started to get a little lost.

I will say that giving the novel a 3 out of 5 seems pretty generous when I didn’t actually enjoy the novel as much. I’m usually a voracious reader once I get started and I found myself having to remind me to read the book. There were some moments when I’d rather lay on my bed staring at the ceiling than pick this book up.

Now it may seem confusing that I would give the novel three stars if I didn’t want to read it that much, but overall the book wasn’t awful. I enjoyed Bonds general story and I particularly liked how Fleming chose to describe surroundings and people, just the level of detail was enjoyable for me. Fleming’s not as in-depth as JRR Tolkien but not so skimpy to leave you wondering what he’s talking about. It’s a nice medium:

“He slipped the case into his hip pocket and snapped his oxidized Ronson to see if it needed fuel. After pocketing the thin sheaf of ten-mille notes, he opened a drawer and took out a light chamois leather holster and slipped it over his left shoulder so that it hung about three inches below his arm-pit.”

I genuinely like most characters I just really didn’t like Bond. Which kinda is an issue when he’s the main character.

Probably one of my biggest issues with the novel is how gross and misogynistic Bond is. It’s hard to get over how literally awful the character is when it comes to women when it’s so obvious and you see it over and over again. I did my super best to ignore the largest and the smallest of obtuse opinions and actions.

For those who maybe aren’t familiar with Ian Fleming’s work, the first James Bond novel was written in 1953. So yah, it was a different time but even reading the novel with that mindset going in, I was still bothered. One of the worst examples of this is:

“And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the sweet tang of rape.” [emphasis added]

Now I’m not one-hundred percent sure if ‘rape’ was ever defined as something else half a century ago, but as far as I know it wasn’t. Either way, my immediate response was “Ummmm wtf.”

I know not everyone feels the same way, so take it as you will, but it makes me super uncomfortable and it was incredibly off-putting.

Another issue with Bond is how absolutely hypocritical and ridiculous bond is. When he found out a woman is going to be working with him he has a hissy fit because women slow him down (because he gets boners over them). Literally, in the book his thought process is I’ll work with her now and once the jobs done we can sleep together. (Cue eyeroll)

Moreover, Bond whines about working with Vesper a million times and he complains about how ridiculous she is for getting into trouble and then he gets in the exact same situation. Just kill me now.

Overall, TL;DR, Fleming is wonderful at world building and character building, but he built Bond as a whiny, douche who rips off two stars of this novel.

 

Books

Wow, it’s been a while

Oh,

I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. I’m pretty sure it was in 2016 for glories sake. To be fair, I did forget this blog existed for a while, but never fear I’m back and better than ever.

For some updates:

I’m still reading, but just not as much. And currently all but a precious few of my books are locked up in a plastic bin, until I stop moving around every few months. Unfortunately, my lifestyle doesn’t call for that at this moment in time, so it’s gonna be a hot minute before I see them again.

Now, since one of my last blog posts was my “2016 bookish resolutions” I figured I’d update you to keep you in the know.

2016 Resolutions Recap:

  • Read a Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  • Maintain the overarching book buying ban
  • Get the TBR pile down to 60 books
  • Read at least 65 books this year
  • Read more diversely
  • Finish completed series

I want you all to know that I’m a terribly garbage human, who has to this day still not read the first tome in George’s insatiable Game of Thrones series. Although, I will say I have been desperately pawing around for a copy of the book since I trapped mine in one of the aforementioned crates. Moreover, to cement my status as a terribly garbage person, I have even fallen behind on the GOT show! Which is bad considering season 7 premieres a week from today (7/16).

Up next, maintain the overarching book buying ban. I would say I did a fairly excellent job on this one and am continuing to do so. I’m not perfect, I still fingered the shelves of my local second hand book store and when I was feeling extra frisky I perused the shelves of Barnes and Noble. In my defense, however, I did get two Barnes and Noble gift-cards this past year, so really I was spending someone else’s money.

If I could go back in time, I would tell my deliriously foolish self that there is no way I would get my TBR pile down to 60 books. After almost two years, my TBR pile is hovering somewhere about 85 books, which is unfortunate. But is it really my fault that such amazing books come out every year? And that I have to read them? I don’t know, you tell me.

Now I wanted to read 65 books last year. Did I meet that goal?? No, in fact I came up 25 books short. This year, in an effort to recognize that I’m crazy busy and like to binge watch TV too much in my spare time, put 45 books as my goal for the year. Already, I’m 7 books behind. Oy vey!

I wanted to read more diversely and I stand by that goal. This was a pretty vague resolution, did I mean authors, characters, regions of the world? Yes, yes and yes. I would say I half accomplished this goal. Did I do way better than I had previously? Sure, could I still do better? One-hundred percent.

Finally, my last goal was to finish completed series. If you are confused as to my meaning, don’t worry, I recognize how poorly worded that is. This goal, to read all the books in a series that had no more books coming out, I think I did this, but I honestly have no clue. Unfortunately, I’m lazy and don’t want to go over everything I read last year to find out. I’ll just check the “I did it” box, because I’m pretty sure I did it.

In summation, I did a meh job with my resolutions for 2016. Hopefully, I’ll actually reach my reading goal this year and also read diversely. More importantly though, I’ll finally read A Game of Thrones!

We’ll see.

 

Books

Bookish New Years Resolutions

So technically, it’s over a week since New Years has passed and most people have outlined their resolutions already, but I think I deserve a little leeway. I’ve been super busy doing nothing and binge watching Sex and the City, so it seems pretty understandable why I’m a little late to the ‘new year, new me’ bandwagon. To be fair, I’m not lying to myself about going to the gym or getting up earlier or any of the other plethora of unachieved resolutions floating around out there.

Anyways…on to the actual post and moving away from my unnecessary but impossible to remove, witty banter. Last year, I had several Bookish Resolutions and I’m pretty sure most of them failed. One of them was to read A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a. Game of Thrones) and sorry George but I’m still stuck on page 11 of the first book. I know my TBR pile remained steadily around 75 books despite me reading books from it and I failed to even kind of post/review regularly. So all in all, my resolutions from last year were a spectacular failure.

In all fairness, I did reach and slightly surpass my goodreads reading challenge goal for the year without scrabbling the last two weeks of the year to read a bunch of books and best of all, mostly to my wallet, I maintained my book buying ban fairly well.

So, in an effort to keep myself from failing miserably all over again I’ve decided to keep my goals at a more realistic place. In no particular order:

  • Read a Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  • Maintain the overarching book buying ban
  • Get the TBR pile down to 60 books
  • Read at least 65 books this year
  • Read more diversely
  • Finish completed series

Seven goals. I like to think it’s not too many, but I’m sure I will find some way to disappoint myself at the end of this year and I’ll be honest I’m looking at you George. I love the show so much, I’m just not sure I have it in me to read that series and before you lose your heads, I know the book is almost always better than the tv series/film.

Anywho, the first five goals really don’t need an explanation as they are mostly carry-ons/overs from 2015. The last two, however, don’t necessarily require explanations but I’ll do it anyway. I’m trying to read a bit beyond the scope of what I regularly read/know for reasons you can find in blog post coming soon (keep an eye out!) to help expand my parameters of knowledge.

The last goal I have stems directly from my consistent but accidental picking up of books that are in series. I have the hardest time finding standalone books and because of this I have a never ending list of series that I’m in the middle of. I can name several off the top of my head that I only have one book left before I complete them and they’re just waiting to be read (several of which are on my TBR pile). I’d really like to finish those up before I start any more, but we’ll see how that goes. Like everything else it’s a work in progress.

Anyways…Until next time!