Monday, November 4, 2013

31 Days of Books: A Review

Whew!  You guys, I did it.  31 book reviews in 31 days.  Some days I had to double up, and some reviews were probably more thoughtful than others, but they're all up!  Thank you to everyone who showed interest and encouraged this project.  It was not easy, but I feel like I learned a lot.

I though I'd recap by mentioning a few reflections on the project:

*  The whole "31 days" concept is a really good challenge if you want to express or share something you're passionate about.  I definitely want to do another one and don't think I'll wait till next October.

*  The hardest part of each post was the "One Sentence Summary."  You will probably notice a lot of complex sentences, bending the rules of what can be included in one sentence... but I knew if I allowed myself to elaborate on the plot, the review would become 1) way too long and 2) probably give too much away.

*  While I did modify the structure a bit along the way, I realized a bit too late that I should have included a rating system (e.g. out of five stars).  I specifically chose books I liked well enough to recommend - reviewing books you don't like can be fun, but gets too easy and boring over time - but some of these are a good 3.5/5 while others are novels par excellence.  Interestingly, as I added my reviews to goodreads, more than once I adjusted my rating on there to reflect how I feel about the book in hindsight.

*  When I first started out, I composed a list of what I was going to review.  Any of the requests I got for authors or specific books happened to already be included in that list.  [You know me so well ;]  The only alteration that was made after drafting up the list was to sub out "Silas Marner" to include a poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. [If you're a big George Eliot fan, I'm sorry.  I just wasn't feeling up to her that day.]

*  By far, the most viewed review is Animal Farm, which kind of surprises me.

*  The funnest (and often easiest) part of each review was actually "One reason you maybe shouldn't read it."

I plan to continue more book reviews, and will likely use a similar structure, though I look forward on expanding certain parts of it.  I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit about each of these books.  Books are my love language and literally nothing compares to the feeling I get when people tell me they're reading a book I recommended or they're enjoying one of my favorites.  So, if you choose to pick up one of these, please do let me know and mention what you think of it.

Below I've compiled the final list with links to each review:
  1. The Fault in Our Stars
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Pygmalion
  4. At the Back of the North Wind
  5. A Wrinkle in Time
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo
  7. A Study in Scarlet
  8. Northanger Abbey
  9. The Woman in White
  10. Much Ado about Nothing
  11. Animal Farm
  12. The Age of Innocence
  13. Six Characters in Search of an Author
  14. Oedipus Tyrannus
  15. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  16. Room
  17. History of Love
  18. Ender's Game
  19. Manalive
  20. Surprised by Oxford
  21. A Severe Mercy
  22. To the Lighthouse
  23. Heart of Darkness
  24. Hunchback of Notre-Dame
  25. The Scarlet Pimpernel
  26. A Tale of Two Cities
  27. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
  28. To Kill a Mockingbird
  29. Wieland
  30. Phantom of the Opera
  31. Frankenstein

Happy reading!


  1. I think I've actually read two of them. Does that make me illiterate?

  2. Being the reader I am, I thought I wouldn't see any books on here I have read ;) surprised to find 2 :) but I do see myself reading some books in my time off during February and March. I would love to hear which one you think I would love most. :)

  3. Thank you for the recommendations, Samara! I've read perhaps 20 of these and enjoyed them thoroughly, so the fact they are recommended with ones I have not read means I should read the others. Naturally! :)