Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Even though I would like to, I still find it hard, for some reason, to sit down and read classics. It’s sad, really, because classic books got that title for a reason. They are deemed to be brilliant and wonderful and giving something to the reader. I’m not sure why I don’t read more, but I have finished Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland just now and it was quite good, if, a bit, mad.

This story, told and read and seen so many times before, tells the tale of Alice and what happens after she sees a white rabbit in a waistcoat and follows him down a rabbit hole. She meets an endless line of animals and even gets to attend to the Queens Croquet game while trying to figure out what makes a raven like a writing desk. It’s a world where you can grow or shrink by just eating or drinking something and where nothing ever makes sense, but that’s part of the charm.

A funny and slightly crazy tale by Lewis Carroll, this makes for a lovely read. I can see why this is a children’s book, since you can’t lack in imaginative skill when reading it, but I thought it fun to read as a grown-up as well! The language is soft and flowing and the story is filled with riddles and songs and pieces of poetry. It was like stepping into a whole new world where nothing made sense but it didn’t matter, because it was amazing. I found it a delight to read and I will certainly read the sequel!

Red seas under red skies

Less than a year has passed since I first heard any mentions of Scott Lynch and his Gentleman Bastards series. During these ten months, I've read the first and second book twice and the third once. I decided to reread the series in anticipation of the fourth book, which is supposed to be out early 2015. Right at this moment, when I still have the third book to reread, it feels like the fourth can't come soon enough. And isn't it just the best feeling in the world, when you find a series you love so much that you actually ache for the sequel?

In this, the second part of the series, Locke and Jean has just left Camorr to seek new adventures. They end up in Tal Verrar, after a brief spell in Vel Virazzo, where they plan to bring out a really big score. For Locke to hear that what he intends to do is impossible only makes him want to do it even more. But as usual, there are people lurking around in the shadows who wants a say or two in Locke and Jean’s life. They have to tread very carefully, so as to not break everything they’ve worked so hard for during the last two years.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The Gentleman Bastards series is amazing. Scott Lynch is amazing. He creates a whole new world for the reader to dive into and you gladly do, because the world in which Locke and Jean lives is so different from how life looks like today, yet feels so very real and believable. The first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, was wonderfully written and so full of events that it will make your heart beat faster, never knowing who will survive and who’ll end up getting his throat slit. Red seas under red skies was even more action packed, practically filled to the brim with plots and side-plots and so much action and intricate schemes. Some may say there’s too much happening, but I love that there’s always things going on, even though you don’t always understand them until afterwards. I believe this is a series that most people would like, if only they gave it a chance. I know for a fact that I will never regret the day I picked up my copy of The Lies of Locke Lamora and I eagerly await the fourth book.

The Night Circus

Years ago, I came across a novel called The Night Circus. The title sounded interesting and the cover was absolutely beautiful. But when I turned it around to read the summarize on the back, all I found was six sentences that sparked my curiosity. Never before have I found a book with a gorgeous cover only to realize that the story itself is, if possible, even more gorgeous.

The Night Circus is a magical place, a circus that shows up without warning and is only open during the night. No one knows where it will show up, or when. It’s just there, when yesterday it was not. It pops up like from the ground and disappears as silently and quietly as it came. And when you walk through the gates, it’s like walking into a dream.

There are things going on in the circus that patrons does not know about, however. It all started when Celia Bowen was six years old and bound to a challenge for which the rules she does not understand. It takes her years to prepare herself for the challenge and even longer to actually start playing. But it isn’t until she’s well and truly in the game that she realizes exactly what the purpose of the game is. And how it ends.

Celia’s opponent is a man named Marco, plucked out of an orphanage when he was nine, to be confined within a townhouse, surrounded by books, studying for a challenge for which the rules he does not understand. It takes years for him to prepare himself for the challenge and even longer to actually start playing. But it isn’t until he’s well and truly in the game that he realizes exactly how the game is played. And what he stands to lose.

This is a fantastic story. Every angle of it is absolutely amazing. It is a love story from start to finish, between Celia and Marco, between a red-haired girl in a black-and-white circus and a boy who’s supposed to take over the farm and watch the sheep for the rest of his life. And, first and foremost, it’s a love story between the circus and its patrons. Between me and the novel itself.

Erin Morgenstern has created something extraordinary, something so unbelievably amazing that I can’t comprehend how lucky I am to have ever come across this book. It has everything I could ever have dreamed of and more. Every part of the novel is perfect. The characters are deep and intricate, the language beautiful, like poetry, and the story is filled with secrets. One thing leads to another which leads to another which will explain the first thing. It’s amazing how everything loops and fits together and to read the book is to be a part of it all. To be a part of the circus itself.

It’s my third time in as many years reading this fantastic novel and I know I will read it again and again and again, until my copy is worn out and I need a new one. And even though I’ve read it before, I still found lots of things this time around that I didn’t acknowledged the first two rounds. To be able to read and reread a book and find new, interesting details every time is absolutely amazing.  I felt like one of the circus patrons; they can wander through the circus a thousand time but they still find new paths to take and new tents to explore. Rereading the book is exactly like that.

The Night Circus is one of those books which you never want to end. You practically want to reread the sentence you just read again, to make it all last longer. You can smell the caramel and the smoke, feel the rain against your skin, the chill of frost in the air, the red scarf around your neck. You can practically taste the magic, not to mention the caramel covered appels and the hot, spicy cider. This is one of the few books that you will finish, but wanting to reread the moment you put it down after reading the last words. It is simply amazing and beyond anything I could ever have dreamed of. This is, and will always be, one of the best books I’ve ever read, and one of my all-time top favorites. Few things can top The Night Circus.