01 July 2006

Books - May & June 2006

I suppose you can say that spring took a hold of me and I became a little distracted. I haven't read as much as I would have liked to!

May 2006

1) Watership Down - Richard Adams
I took my sweet, sweet time with this novel. It was beautiful, tragic at certain times, and a delightful pleasure to read. I never thought a simple story about the life of rabbits could be so marvelous! He takes you on a journey through the eyes of a strong and lively team of rabbits and creates a completely believable story. I was impressed, to say the least. I cried, I smiled, and I cheered on those fiesty little rabbits. It's a must read, I believe. I did not want the story to end as I felt as though I befriended each and every rabbit. I like to believe now that rabbits have their own little personalities and worlds in which they live.

2) Farewell My Concubine - Lillian Lee
Perhaps, this was another case of lost in translation. Overall, this proved to be a beautiful and rich tale of unrequited love. I'm all about sad and tragic. I love stories like that, especially when they are set in Asia. I could almost feel the texture of the costumes and painted makeup. However, I know what it feels like to love so deep and not have it returned. I did not feel as though the characters truly felt this pain. I only believe that this was a case of lost in translation.

June 2006

1) Tough Guys Don't Dance - Norman Mailer
I have always heard about Norman Mailer and I was expecting great things when I picked up this novel for one whole dollar at the used book store down my street. Maybe spring distracted me, I don't know. I just couldn't get into this book. It wasn't a bad read. It simply didn't do it for me. There were a few lines in it that were pretty crass and made me chuckle. I couldn't get into it.

2) Runaway - Evelyn Lau
I love reading published journals of any kind. I thought I would give this a whirl since it's sitting in a box in my apartment, ready to be given away for free. This was a widely acclaimed novel about a young runaway from Canada, living on the streets and making her way through drugs and prostitution and thensome. I have to take into consideration that I cannot relate whatsoever to the life that she lead, when she was only fourteen years of age. I wasn't like that, at that age, and I am certainly not like that now. It was good for a while but soon, I became annoyed. I realize she was only a young women when she wrote this so I shouldn't judge so harshly. I found that she became very repetitive in her use of sentences/phrases. I found her to be kind of self-centered and spoiled - when she clearly had many opportunities to be something big. Her diary became quite annoying and I was glad when I finished reading it. I suppose if someone published my own private diary, they would call me spoiled and self-centered too.

3) The Unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro
Man, was I ever glad when I finished this book! This was 535 pages of well-written nonsense. As you can tell, I didn't enjoy this read. I'm confident that Ishiguro is a fine writer. This was the first novel of his that I read. It simply went nowhere. It went in circles and didn't successfully wrap up - maybe that is why it is called The Unconsoled? Whatever the case may be, the story just irked me. The main character is a famous pianist who is visiting a city. He has no complete memory of this city, it's inhabitants, or why he is there. Yet, he wanders around without admitting he is clued out. He runs into people who know him and they rant and rave to him, telling him on and on about old timey stories. If I want some of that, I would go back to my old town and listen to the folks babble on and on about something I am not really interested in! The main character often gets sidetracked, becomes arrogant here and there, and ditches people. He walks around in circles and ends up right where he started, at the hotel. He runs into more people he cannot remember and they tell him more stories that make no sense. 535 pages of unnecessary dialogue! Good grief, at some point during reading this (while having PMS), I actually threw the book at the wall.

4) Foods That Harm - Foods That Heal - Various Writers (Reader's Digest publication)
This was a treat to read. I read it over several months, tasting a few entries per day. I'm often dumbfounded by domesticity and I figure that I must have fallen asleep during home-ec when I was in junior high. There were a lot of quirky facts about food and a lot of probably widely known facts I didn't know whatsoever. It wasn't a suspenseful read nor challenging, but it was informative and pretty to look at. Lots of great food photographs. The section about worms in food, however, frightened me a bit.

Favourite Books of May and June?
Watership Down by Richard Adams and Foods That Harm-Foods That Heal!

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