Category — If you read one book…
Read “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides.
I rarely buy new releases. Most often, I wait until way past paperback phase until I’ve heard enough commentary to convince me it’s a must read. But I was so excited about the release of this book a few months ago, I did something a little crazy… I bought the hardcover from a bookstore. Yes, that’s right, a bookstore (not Amazon!) and in hardcover (did you know hardcovers cost as much as $30 these days?!). With Jeffrey Eugenides, I was confident it would not disappoint. He could be writing about the Kardashians, and I would still want to read it.
While I admittedly was not a big fan of the characters, it didn’t matter. His writing, his insight into the female psyche (how does he do it?), his character development… It’s all so enjoyable that during times when I put the book down, it was never far from my thoughts.
He has this remarkable ability to provide a 360 view of his characters so that they become part of you. Not necessarily a part of you that you admire or love, but one that you understand. One that you appreciate, perhaps even respect, despite their downspiraling tendencies. Intertwining social commentary with the story, his insights are little gems I stored away to reflect on later.
As I neared the final pages of the book, I was nervous. I didn’t know how he would end it without being predictable or corny. But I thought the execution was perfect… Beautifully on point; satisfying, even.
March 12, 2012 No Comments
Read “The Reader.” Maybe.
I’m having a hard time deciding whether to recommend this book or not.
I’m a little late to jump on this book’s bandwagon given it’s already been made into a movie. Regardless, I was really excited about finally getting a chance to read it. I saw the movie when it was in theaters, and I can remember walking out of it in a daze… The story is a powerful one to say the least. A young boy’s heart is broken by a woman twice his age who he later discovers is a former prison guard at a Nazi concentration camp. Throughout his life, he struggles with reconciling the woman he loved with the monster she’s accused of being. But the thing is, the movie left more of a lasting imprint on me than the book did. I was shocked because I always love the book more than its corresponding movie.
Maybe it’s because I already knew the story. Maybe it’s because I had Kate Winslet in my mind rather than having a blank slate for the story to unfold. Or maybe the movie is just better than the book. I leave it up to you to decide.
August 4, 2011 4 Comments
Read Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz.
One of the reasons why I love reading so much is that it is one of the only times when I truly become lost. Breaking away from my own constant stream of thoughts, I have the rare chance to fall into someone else’s – to lose myself in the experiences of characters whose lives are either completely different or strikingly similar to that of my own. Hours pass seamlessly, and when I eventually come up for air, I’m shocked by all that I missed around me. There’s someone new sitting near me at the park; the plane is already landing at my final destination; Andrew has fallen fast asleep and its 2 AM.
With Rich Boy, I was hooked from the beginning. My five hour plane ride to L.A. went by without me even noticing.
I have to say, though, I was a little disappointed at the ending. I liked the direction she took, but I think the execution could have been more satisfying. I was left wanting more- searching the back pages for the hope of a sequel, all the while knowing that there never would be one.
What do you think?
June 8, 2011 6 Comments
Read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. While some may have read this back in high school, being a product of public school myself, this certainly was never on my required reading list.
I recognize that for many, including myself, having the time to read for pleasure is laughable. After coming home exhausted from work or school, the last thing I want to do is read, and I end up plopping myself in front of the T.V. Regardless, it’s one of those things that (like cooking) I have avowed to make time for. I’ve thus come up with, what I think, is a reasonable expectation: one classic a year, one regular novel a month, and a few articles a week.
I assume that not everything I will read will be recommendable, but I’ll be sure to post about those that are.
Ok, back to Anna. I have to admit that this took me about two months to read. Being a little over 800 pages, it is not the book for those who are easily distracted or have the tendency to give up on slow parts. In the beginning, I just didn’t understand- how could people think that this is one of the world’s greatest novels? Sounding like a pretentious snot, I would actually start off conversations saying, “So I’m currently reading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina . . .” and then quickly follow up with a promise that I don’t normally read nineteenth century Russian novelists for fun but was just really curious if they had any opinions on the book.
Despite my early misgivings, I powered through. Having now reached the end, it was such a reward. Tolstoy’s ability to capture and convey so many unique personalities, encapsulating not only their thoughts and actions, but their shortcomings, heartaches, delusions- I had to constantly remind myself that the book was written almost 140 years ago. Through seamless transitions from character to character, Tolstoy tells his story from numerous perspectives- women, men, children, wives, husbands, lovers, mothers, fathers- painting a portrait of aristocratic Russian society that is not only all-encompassing but also captivating.
What’s your favorite classic?
April 27, 2011 8 Comments