I didn’t finish a huge number of books in July, but I’m going to blame this on the fact that I began Dragonfly in Amber at the start and Diana Gabaldon likes to write 900+ page novels with tiny font (but I’m not complaining!) I also had a few events on, which I will get to in due course! Due to these things, I finished two relatively short books this month, although both varied dramatically in pretty much every single way possible.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (2005)
This is the second of Eckhart Tolle’s books that I have read, and one that largely builds upon the premise set in The Power of Now, which I finished reading last month. To my surprise, I actually ended up enjoying this one even more, and taking more from it. While the first book was focused on tuning in to the present moment, A New Earth uses this to demonstrate how we can recognise the ego in ourselves and live our most authentic lives.
According to Tolle, it is through the dissolution of ego-motivated attitudes and actions that we will be able to create a new, more sustainable Earth, both in terms of human happiness and the physical effects that we are having on this planet. He also emphasises that everything we need to begin awakening is already within us; it is a case of unlearning what we have been conditioned by, rather than learning something new. I loved this. Once again, these ideas resonated deeply with me and I found myself covering this book in highlighter and annotations.
Tolle’s tone was very direct again, but I found that this time I was expecting it and was used to it so it didn’t detract from his message at all. I honestly think that A New Earth is a book that has the potential to make a massive difference to our level of consciousness, and if people adopt even some of Tolle’s ideas into their lives, we might all have a new perspective.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan (2017)
This was the first of my reads for BookTubeAThon, and unfortunately it got me off to a very poor start. I had high expectations for this book as the premise sounded so intriguing, but a third of the way into it I was seriously debating DNFing it. The story follows Andy, a boy who falls through a mirror at a carnival into a new dimension, simultaneously leaving a mirror version of himself in the world he just left.
This all sounds as though it would lead to an exhilarating read, but that was not what I got. The story picks up just before Andy falls through the mirror, so we are given no time to learn anything about him before he is thrust into this new dimension. As a result, I didn’t feel anything towards him throughout the entire novel, as his backstory is never really built upon. All of the characters that are given backstories, however, seem to be placed at completely irrelevant points and they don’t always make much sense. It doesn’t help that Jordan uses flowery language in some parts that could hardly be understood and didn’t seem necessary at all. Add to all of this the fact that I genuinely have no clue what was happening in the last hundred pages as the villain (?) was introduced seemingly out of nowhere, and this added up to a pretty disappointing read.
I don’t like giving books negative reviews, and have rarely given out one-star ratings, but I really couldn’t find much to redeem this book in my eyes.
My rating: 1/5 stars
(RW) Mamma Mia! (2008) – Can you name a more iconic summer film? I thought not (5/5 stars)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) – So cringy it was good (4/5 stars)
Further to reading this month, I also went on a few bookish trips! Emily and I went to Edinburgh for five days, and I have a blog post coming up soon with all the literary-themed things we did and saw while we were there. We also went to YALC for the first time, and Emily summarised absolutely everything far better than I could in a few words in her blog post about it. Edinburgh was beautiful, and I almost cried at YALC because of how many people who love books that there were in one room. Both made me so happy.
Let me know if you were at YALC this year! Which panels did you go to? If you didn’t go this year, would you consider it in 2019?
Have a beautiful day,