Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What I've been reading

Ranee, I was so inspired by your post that I thought I should finally post something as well. :) I promise I've been thinking about it for awhile, but haven't gotten around to it. Story of my life!

Some books I've read in the past few months:

"Waiting" by Ha Jin. It was just okay. I didn't find the plot very compelling, and I felt very little sympathy for the main character. Basic plot is a man who wants to divorce his wife in the country so he can marry his girlfriend in the city. I wasn't impressed by the ending, and a few parts of the plot seemed to be thrown in there to add some excitement, which it failed to do. It's not a bad book, but don't read it unless you have to. :)

"The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. I really enjoyed this book. It was compelling and I found myself thinking "what would I do in that situation?" It wasn't always 'fun' to read because parts of the plot were emotionally difficult or painful, but that's the way life is. I also like it when novels involve a little history, and this book includes a bit of Afghanistan's rocky history. Overall, I would recommend it.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. YIKES! What was I thinking? I figured I would read this book because it's sort of a Sci-Fi classic, right? Boy was I disappointed! I chuckled a few times in the first couple of pages, but soon after that I was struggling to get the pages turned! I understand that it's a different style or genre than I'm used to, and now I know why to avoid that style in the future! It was an enormous waste of my time.

"My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. I read this because it was recommended by a friend, and also in preparation for the movie coming out. It was a good book; a fine book. I didn't love it, I think because I didn't really find myself emotionally connected to the characters. I didn't' really sympathize with the mother at all because I thought she was a bad parent in many ways. I was surprised by the ending, but not particularly moved. The part of the book I was most interested in was a side story about a questionable past love between two characters. I don't think that part will even be in the movie. But I'm still very curious to see what they do with the movie, because the commercials don't look too much like the book. We'll see...

Well, those are my most recent reads. I am currently reading "The Eighth Day" by Thornton Wilder. So far it is just okay, but I'm not too far into it so I'm hoping for good things. :)

Summer Reading

Okay, so here are the books I've gotten through the last couple months and I will share...

1. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
I suppose I must admit that I am a member of a generation that wants instant gratification. Artistic writing is lost on me I suppose. Dickens wrote in a time where people valued Realism, and I must admit to hating realism in any form of entertainment. I am a self-proclaimed fairy tale lover. Good endings are a must, and even if everyone doesn't come out happy they should at least be somewhat happy...please? Anyway, Dickens was hard and I feel a little proud that I did it. This book is about a young man who is given 'great expectations' about where he will go in life. These expectations greatly affect how he lives his life. My critique--real like. I couldn't quite get into the language, making it difficult for me to enjoy. Every time Uncle Joe talked, I didn't understand it and would get lost...I think I needed a better copy of it that had explanations. Still, I don't think I would have enjoyed it then. My friends tell me that Dickens has written better, and I will tackle them when I have forgotten Great Expectations! ;)
2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
I have little to say about this book. I can sum it up in one sentence. Her life was crappy; it got crappier; got slightly better for a chapter or so; and then got incredibly worse and ended terribly. Realism. Again.
3. Austenland, Shannon Hale
If you like Jane Austen you will LOVE this book. The dedication went like this: "To Colin Firth. You're a really great guy but I'm married, so let's just be friends." I laughed my head off! This book is about a girl shamefully (why?) obsessed with the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries. It had a happy ending, thank heavens. I loved it. Shannon Hale at her best. It was witty and very entertaining. It was one of those books I was reading so fast to find out what happened I'm sure I missed a lot of things.
4. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Do books that are TERRIBLY long (750 pgs.) always have to be so disappointing when you get to the end? I felt this way at the end of The Count of Monte Cristo (1200+ pgs.). There were some interesting parts but the end totally let me down!! If you'd like to read it, it gives a very sympathetic southern view of the civil war (not surprising considering Mitchell grew up in Atlanta in the early part of the twentieth century). It is hard to like a book when the heroine starts out unlikable and just gets worse and only realizes how ridiculous she's been until the last ten pages...and then the end!! Sigh. I loved Melanie, though.
Next on my list: something ridiculously unimportant and easy. With a happy ending.