Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review

The Bell Jar--I don't even know where to begin with this one. Yes I enjoyed it but it feels wrong to even critique it knowing that it's what really happened to the author and ended in her suicide. It's a semi-autobiographical book so it's considered fiction, but from what I've read on Sylvia Plath it's pretty true to her life. (and talk about tragedy begetting tragedy, her son also committed suicide and her husband's second wife with their young child) Then to read about all the controversy surrounding it's publication in America without her pseudonym, I almost feel bad reading it like I'm reading someone's private journal. Would I want my diary of my downward spiral in the hands of millions? I hope she did. Because I can't un-read it or apologize to her. It was such a brutally honest book and that is probably what I loved about it in addition to her writing style. I give it a 10 but I only recommend to those who can handle the darker side of life. (It reminded me a lot of Iodine by Haven Kimmel--I reviewed it a few months ago--but in a more literal version).

Redeeming Love--Not my usual type of book but so many people told me I should read it so I gave in with a pretty skeptical mind and was pleasantly surprised. (A lot of people also told me to read Twilight a long time ago and I hated it, so I'm always nervous when a book is highly recommended) I think the author did a wonderful job of really showing the inner-workings of the minds of the characters and their complicated feelings. It made me go back and read Hosea too. There are so many great lessons in this and I recommend it for anyone who has ever felt undeserving of someone's love, whether it's God's or another person's. I give it an 8.

A Shore Thing--Go ahead, judge me for reading this, it's only fair since I judge all of you who liked the Twilight series. But I figured what better to read after 2 serious books than some lighthearted chick lit by America's most infamous self proclaimed guidette?! I had never even seen an episode of the Jersey Shore but after a few pages of the book I had to force myself to, so I could at least put the book in some sort of visual frame of reference. The book is pure smut, but I did laugh out loud a few times. I can't imagine how the editor made it through this and how much she actually had to edit. I recommend it only to those seeking a trashy look at Jersey Shore life. I give it a 2. (yikes I liked this more than the book club pick from last month!)

Slaughter-house-five--This is my second Vonnegut book and I really enjoyed it too. I give it a 9. If you read the previews for it about being a time-travel anti-war book with aliens, then you probably won't read it, but there's a lot more to it than that. I assume all of his books are written in the same voice and so I will probably like them all. I plan to read more. And I can read each in a day or two because of the short paragraph style he uses. But I think if I paused at the end of each paragraph I could write a paper about what he just said. I recommend him if you like weird satirical social commentary style books....I didn't know I did before I read his! As always, I do not agree with everything he says but I try not to let a few passages ruin a whole book for me.
Sidenote: The more books I read the more I find out about lots of events in history. In Sarah's Key I looked up tons of info on the Vel d'Hiv roundup in WWII and after reading this I learned all about the fire bombing of Dresden. The fact that he was an actual witness to the horrors of that event explains a lot of his writing and it is evident when you read it. And I think when you understand that, you can appreciate his writing even more. (that goes for every author....and every human being I guess)

Bossypants I read in 24 hours. Thank goodness a friend let me borrow it because I was like 140 on the waiting list at the library. I held onto it for an extra day so she wouldn't think I was a freak for reading it so fast but now I'm confessing it to the world on the interweb, so she will know anyway. Tina Fey cracks me up and I loved this book. I give it a 9. There are hilarious stories about her childhood, adolescence, and then SNL and 30 Rock stories of course. It reads like a fun conversation with her and I think if you like her, then you'd like the book!

Frangipani was a book that just caught my eye on the shelf and I picked it up. This is a rare thing for me to do. I usually only read based on recommendations by friends or media sources. It was a delightful tale of a relationship of a mother and daughter in Tahiti (written by a Tahitian) and had lots of insight into Tahitian superstitions and folklore. There wasn't really much drama or excitement in it so it was kind of a hum-drum read but I liked the stories and I liked the main character. I give it a 5.

I tried to read the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which was recommended to me by a few people but after about 30 pages I couldn't take it. It's a fiction book with so many footnotes I couldn't get through to any of it. Maybe I'll try again when I feel more footnotey. Can anyone who's read it sell me on it?

I've already got 4 books lined up next and am almost done with my Esther Bible series. What are you reading??


Mama Mia said...

I love reading your book reviews. I've read through some of your archives and have mostly been reading ones you recommend. Right now I'm reading one called Time of My Life by Allison Scotch. I'm not sure I like it, but I'm determined to finish it. A stay-at-home mom travels back in time to her pre-married, pre-baby days. I'll be writing my own review of it soon.

The Moores said...

I just finished a book called Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar. It's the re-telling (with lots of conjecture and assumptions) of the story of Rahab and Jericho. I liked it so much. It's always so interesting when an author can take a Bible story you've known your life and really bring it to life.

Katherine said...

I finished Bossypants in 24 hours. Only because Todd finally made me turn out the light! I would have read into the wee hours of the morning. So funny. I want her to be my best friend.

Leslie said...

I LOVE that you read snookie's book and can't wait to pick it up myself. Fully appreciating your vonnegut fascination too. :)

have you seen the tabs feature on blogger? i feel like you could do a "book report" tab for people to easily reference all of your fun reviews.

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