04 March 2006

January & February 2006 Books


After reading a truly tiresome John Irving book last autumn, I kind of let the habit of listing my monthly read books (in my myspace blog) go to the dogs. Oops. As Whitesnake once wisely said, "Here I go again..."

1) Waiting for Gertrude - A Graveyard Gothic by Bill Richardson
This is a re-read. I like this book as it's just a cute tale. It takes place in the Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris. The people who have been buried there, have become reincarnated as cats. So there's the tom cat with three balls and a ferocious sexual appetite (Jim Morrison), the amourous Oscar Wilde cat - amongst others. This is about a cat, sadly and anxiously waiting for her lover to be re-born (Gertrude Stein). Nothing deep, but a cute read nonetheless.

2) 101 Things to do Before You Die - Richard Horne
This was a gift from my friend Felica. I LOVED it. There's nothing I like better than reading a book that causes you to be interactive, for the better. The title pretty much explains it all so I won't babble on about it. I have completed about nine of the things to do before I die and almost completely about ten activities. Some of them can and will be completed - others, will not. Honestly, I just can't see myself swimming with sharks when I don't even know how to swim in the first place. Haha...although, doing that can complete another goal in the book. Dying.

3) Transformation Soup - SARK
Okay, every now and then I go through a self-help kick. And dammit, there's nothing wrong with that. I like how she writes, I like how encouraging and realistic she is, and I especially like how free and colourful her books are. This book is a re-read, however I just ordered a couple more of her books off eBay and await their arrival.

4) Walden; or, Life in the Woods - Henry David Thoreau
So I decided to finally read this fucker after purchasing it five years ago. I knew a person a long time ago and this book reminded me of him. Anyway, what can I say. It made me want to take a nap. Every chapter, I was waiting for it to be over. Some good quotes in it, but the subject just didn't hold my attention. Sorry.

5) Brighton Rock - Graham Greene
After reading pages about the woods and solitude and fishing and stuff, I filled my head with some old gangster murder stories from Greene. It was interesting and certainly held my attention. In my head, I can see it working well as a movie (which I think there is a movie by this title). I wasn't blow away, but it killed some time.

6) Life of Pi - Yann Martel
I got absolutely lost in this book! It's been a while since I felt lost with a book, so I thank Felica for the recommendation. Perhaps this book isn't for everyone, but for such a seemingly impossible story plot, Martel really pulls it off. And not only did I just read some good fiction, I actually learned some stuff (go Team Brain!). There's a lot about animals and zoos in this book and according to my friend, it's 99.9 percent true. So great read, recommended for those animal lovers out there!

Favourite book of January?
101 Things to do Before You Die - Richard Horne


Due to beginning to work full time again, the amount of books read is far from substantial.

1) A Creative Companion - How to Free Your Creative Spirit - SARK
This is the first of two relatively recent eBay SARK purchases. This is a slim volume from her. I liked it, but it didn't have that drive that I expect out of SARK. However, there's a lot of good and fun ideas that I will eventually put to use. It's an earlier work from her, and I do believe that she has improved on encouraging us.

2) Wild, Succulent Woman - SARK
This is the second book I won off eBay. I have read this book a number of years ago and I know it will be one I will turn to time and time again. Yes, I admit it...I like self help. The reason I like her books is how real and genuine they seem. They are not for everyone, I understand. I think it's somewhat comforting to read one's words, written in bright handwriting and know that I can relate to what she is saying. January and February were healing months and I feel much more grounded, happy.

3) In the Skin of a Lion - Michael Ondaatje
This is the second Ondaatje book I have read. Previously, I read The English Patient which I enjoyed. I believe I like how he writes. He manages to write very matter-of-factly, in my opinion, yet turns a rich story out in the end. In this novel, I felt as though I was in that time and understood the dirt, the mess of the characters lives.

4) Selected Writings of Truman Capote - Truman Capote
This is not my first taste of Capote. This book has been kicking around the apartment for far too long and it was time to pick it up. I started to read this one when I was feeling under the weather and I felt short stories were the best my mind could handle. I loved it. I like his style of writing, I like how he tells a story. He places a sense of reality in his fiction, and I appreciate that. However, saying that, I felt a bit tired of the non-fiction section at the end of the collection. I skipped two lengthy non-fiction stories simply because they kind of bored me. It felt gossipy and tiresome, for me. I hate skipping sections in books but I figured that life is too short to read words that just don't cut the mustard for me.

Favourite Book of February?
I want to say SARK for the creative energy she encourages me to see, but in the long run I have to give it up to Capote's Selected Writings.


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