Books, books, books. I freaking love books!

Last time I talked about books, I was getting into Black Sun Rising, first in the Coldfire Trilogy. I didn't make it very far, I don't think. I know I didn't make it to the end of the book. The Gods they worshipped conveyed their powers through bodily fluids, which didn't really seem that... appealing? So I eventually stopped reading, and never went back. To that book, anyway...

Cormac McCarthy's The Road - Grade: A+ Hands Down. This book is just beautiful in its desolation. Even the lack of quotes in the book is telling. It was just really impressive all around, and I didn't find any parts slow or drudge-y. Highly recommended.

Orson Scott Card's Xenocide (Book 3 of the Ender series) - Grade: C. I don't know why I came back to these. I guess because my bro offered them to me? Ender's Game was INCREBILE, and life-altering, and so moving that when I finished it on a plane I used the only thing I could find to immediately express what was bubbling inside of me: the airplane paper throw-up bag. Speaker for the Dead wasn't nearly as impressive, I'd maybe give it a solid B. So here I was back again, after not having read book 2 for quite a long time. Book 3 was mildly interesting, I liked the God-spoken and the Planet of Path. But mainly, this book just drug on and on and on. And Card even split was supposed to be the 3rd book into the 3rd AND 4th books! Egads. The only thing I remember of the last 200+ pages was wanting it to be over.

Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue - Grade: B. This is the companion (not really the official sequel) to The Giver, though none of the characters from Giver feature in this novel. Lowry's style and prose is much the same, beautiful and rich. I enjoyed this book, though it didn't really evoke anything in me like Giver did, so it didn't rate nearly as well.

Orson Scott Card's Children of the Mind (Book 4 of the Ender series) - Grade: B-. Again, this book didn't compare at all to Ender's Game. That book set a standard that could in no way be duplicated. Book 3, and subsequently, 4 went way more "science-fiction-y" than the first ones did, sometimes to the seemingly absurd, but Card continued to paint his picture anyway. I again felt the plot and characters dragged, but the ending I felt nicely wrapped up the series and had good conclusions, though I don't really know how I feel about Ender's "redemption," or if he ever even achieved it.

Lois Lowry's The Messenger - Grade: B+. This book is the sequel to Gathering Blue and I guess a tie-in to The Giver? Sort of. The third book really, really made the 2nd much more enjoyable in the way it played with the previously developed characters. The storyline was pretty interesting, though the ending was just bizarre and answerless, much like the first. On that note, if you read these other two books by Lois Lowry, it decidedly and definitively alters the ambiguous nature of the ending of Giver. Asked if I would recommend the other two, I'm not sure how to reply to such a query. I think in some ways I liked it better not knowing, but in others I like had the solidity of knowing.

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies - Tentative Grade: B-. This is a collection of short stories, which I'm afraid I didn't get all the way through. The ones I did read were kind of interesting, though in some ways vapid. But that may have been the point. Before I had to give it back, apparently, I didn't get to the best stories, so this one may have to get another go before I give it a final grade.

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go - Grade: A++. One of my top 5 favorite books of all time. This was my 2nd go, and I read it aloud to Turtle. I have always said this book is The Sixth Sense in book form. The more you read, the more you figure out what's really going on. And, as this was my 2nd go at it, nothing was the same as the first time I read it, because I already knew. I especially loved torturing Turtle by stopping whenever they dropped a humongous clue, and saying, "Did you figure it out yet? Did you?" :) This is a must-read book for any list.

Brian Jacques' Doomwyte (Book 20 of the Redwall series) - Grade: B. This book actually went back to the Mossflower days, centering the storyline around one of the mischevious characters of that prequel to the first book in the series. While this was wholly refreshing, the storyline did not hold, nor keep my interest like, say High Rhulain did. So I was kind of disappointed by that. But Jacques' stories are always enjoyable, though the songs get old sometimes, and I have now read all 20 of the books in this series.

Dave Pelzer's The Lost Boy - Grade: B. This is the sequel to A Child Called 'It' which is an absolutely heart-wrenching account of a young boy being abused. This being the second installment, young David has now escaped his cruel and abusive mother and tries to adjust to life in foster care. It's interesting for the most part, though I don't know how critical I can be of someone's biography - after all, it was his life.

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore - Grade: F. This book is honestly Oedipus Rex on bad Japanese crack crossed with a stilted, wacky porno, is more of an acid-trip than The Island and wrapped up with less overall meaning than Watt. It was just, that horrifically bad. The biggest irony here is that Turtle got me this book for Christmas. Her mom's best friend (whom I lived with for two months, and we exchanged books a number of times, because we have similar tastes) recommended this book. Turtle asked if there was any sex, and she said maybe one or two paragraphs, but I could skip them. Well, I don't know what book she read. Because the book *I* read was definitely X-rated. I think there were 17 or 18 sex scenes, all detailed. Then there was the violence so graphically described I couldn't read it or I'd throw up - it was just that detailed. Then there's the disjointed, broken-down pieces of story Murakami wants to call plot. I may just not be Japanese enough to get this stuff, but nothing in this book gets explained. From the beginning where the mushroom-picking shool children curl up unconscious while their teacher watches and then wake up two hours later like nothing happened, except for that one little genius boy who's in a coma for three weeks, and then is stupider than a rock when he does wake up, all the way to the end where the 15-yr old runaway main character after all the insanity of the 48 chapters in between just decides that now that he's fulfilled his Oedipal-ness (in full I might add) he's going to go home and go back to Junior High. NOTHING GETS EXPLAINED. It's like 5x worse than watching Spirited Away for the first time. This is the type of book that makes me want to get stupid drunk and stupid high until I can't form coherent sentences and then write a book. Because it would still be better. Perhaps I'm being too critical. Perhaps I just failed to suspend my belief - but leeches falling from the sky, meeting soldiers from 1812, raping your sister in a all just doesn't work. After he relased Kafka Murkakami purportedly set up a website so readers could ask questions about the meaning of his novel, and over 8,000 were asked. He responded to about 1,200 personally.

"Murakami states that the secret to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times: 'Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren't any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It's hard to explain, but that's the kind of novel I set out to write.'" -Jacked from the illegitimate source, the Wiki

Sorry ol' man, far as I'm concerned you're just trying to rationalize the fact that your acid-trip of a novel meant something, when all I see is that you're a depraved, really horny weirdo who can't write cohesively enough to have a solid, explainable plot.

I'm done ranting. But there's not going to be a second read from me. I already donated it to my local library; only because I couldn't bring myself to burn it.

My next reads are: Richard Curtis' How to be your own Literary Agent and Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle. Mmm, scrumptious.


Becca said…
AWESOME! I love book recommendation. It gives me so many good ideas. I totally agree with The Road. I read it almost straight through I was so engrossed. Just great! I should do a post like this, except most of the books I read lately are therapy related.
brittany said…
You absolutely have to watch this. now!

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