Since my last book-related post, I’ve been reading feverishly from a wide variety of genres. As I typically do. Being that most of my Top 5 Books of All Time are classics I of course have a few of those on my list…the first of which:
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. This one was okay, it was rather Jane Austen-ish…with the whole wealthy man and the not-so-much female falling in love, but not admitting it, becoming miserable about the unrequited love…that’s actually requited, but since there’s no communication sadness and drama ensue. It was also clearly trying to address the injustice of the wealthy being uber-wealthy and the poor being uber-poor, but I felt as though it didn’t come off smoothly…it had much more of a contrived feeling than it should have. Overall, I enjoyed North and South, but recall it dragging at times (I read this two months ago, that kind of time gap puts a serious strain on my memory!).
Next…Anna Karenina. This was a big step for me! Not only was it a complete and total 900-page monstrosity, but it was also my first experience with classic Russian literature…my ‘ole go-to has always been English lit. Right from the start I found it far easier to get into. I’m guessing that’s because this is translated text, so it reads like a modern novel. As for the story itself, I loved it…up until, I dunno…page 650-700. Then it just got O.L.D. It dragged for a bit before this sluggish train finally got movin’ again and collided with a rather ‘meh’ ending. For anyone who hasn’t read it, I won’t spoil it by going into detail on my thoughts about how this train came to a grinding halt at the station. For those of you who have read it, all I can say is choo-choooo man.
Ok…get me outta the 19th century!! Classic hiatus!!!
I’ve never read Philip Dick…I’ve heard great things about him, so I decided to give A Scanner Darkly a try. Mistake, mistake, mistake. I just can’t get into drug-themed books. Fear and Loathing, On the Road and now this one. They leave me feeling mentally-grimy…as if I need to scour my brain with bleach. I won’t say that this book was awful, I’ll just say: make sure this type of genre is your thing before committing to it. In my humble opinion, the best and most moving part of the book was Mr. Dick’s afterword.
Enter YA Fiction. John Green’s Looking for Alaska…I’ve wanted to read this one for a while now. Not fantastic, was hoping for some four-star material here, but ended up with a three. Still, that’s okay, because I was completely pulled into the story…I enjoyed reading it and it’s exactly why I always toss in a young adult book every now and then. It’s like a fast-moving, breath of fresh air.
Ooooooh, Kurt. You had me at Slaughterhouse-Five, but lost me with Cat’s Cradle. I just couldn’t get into it. This disjointed, off-the-wall story, filled with an odd sounding Vonnegut created vocabulary. If anyone has read this…what was the narrator’s last name and what was the significance of the unclaimed cemetery statue?!?!???!!?
The Silver Linings Playbook…thank you Matthew Quick. The first four-star book of my post!! I have no idea how reading pages and pages of dry play-by-play descriptions of random Philadelphia Eagles games from their ’04 season could end up getting four-stars, but it did. I really enjoyed this book. Fast-paced, engrossing, enjoyable characters…it’s definitely a worthwhile read. Which of course has me wondering about the movie…which I can now watch because I’ve (say it with me) read the book first!!