Haneen Reads

Just some book reviews

Feb 2023 Books

Published March 11, 2023

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I’ve done it again! Cannot believe how I managed to read another 7 books in February.

1. The Black Ball by Ralph Ellison – 2018

A great collection of four short stories about four different experiences of black lives. The way Ellison writes these raw vignettes is marvelous, at first, he draws you in slowly and then suddenly “slaps” you across the face with the truth. Loved it.

2. His Dark Materials 2: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman – 1997

Alright, so I actually enjoyed this a little bit more than the first! Don’t get me wrong I loved the first, getting to know Lyra, Mrs. Coulter, the Gyptians, the witches, Iorek, Lee Scoresby, and Asriel.

3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – 2020

This was just OK for me.
The plot had a lot of potential, but if you’ve read older novels about colorism, she didn’t really do much with it. I mean “Passing” by Nella Larson was like a quarter of the size of this book but was a much more complex, realistic, and thrilling story.

4. Robot 0.2: The Rest of the Robots by Isaac Asimov – 1964

This is a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov, part of his “Robot” series, and contains eight stories. It wasn’t as great as “I, Robot”, but was still very much enjoyable.

The stories explore the relationships between humans and robots, as well as the ethical and philosophical implications of creating “conscious” machines. Just like other works by Asimov, these stories were not focused on plot or character development, but rather on situations and intellectual investigation.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia 1: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis – 1955

A lovely and entertaining prequel to the Narnia series. It tells the story of Digory and Polly, who discover a magical world through the use of magic rings created by Digory’s uncle, Andrew, who’s a magician.

Of course, the book is full of religious allegories, exploring themes of good versus evil, temptation, and the consequences of actions. Although I found the pace to be a bit slow, I still very much enjoyed stepping back into Narnia.

6. Africa’s Tarnished Name by Chinua Achebe – 1997

This four-essay collection by Chinua Achebe is a masterful work of unapologetic genius. I loved every single word of it.

7. The Stranger by Albert Camus – 1942

This is my second time reading The Stranger by Albert Camus.
The novel explores the philosophy of existentialism through the eyes of its main character, Meursault. The story begins with the news of Meursault’s mother’s death and follows him as he navigates through the subsequent events of the funeral, his (problematic) relationships, his experience at a certain “event”, and finally his reflection on himself after the same “event”.

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