Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So many books, not nearly enough time

I'm heading back to the Mawr on Friday (excited!), but I still have so many books checked out from the library that I haven't read yet! It occurs to me that many of these books aren't actually due back until the middle of September and I'll be home next week before I go to my cousin's wedding, so I could bring some of them to school and finish them there. Knowing my luck and my previous experience with Ol' Murphy though, I'll forget them, or they'll be eaten by geese, or some other ridiculous and possibly unforseen misfortune will befall them (and that's when the library ninjas will attack). I guess I'll just keep reading up a storm and see how many I can get through. In any case, here are the latest results of my ongoing spree:

I didn’t enjoy Geraldine Brooks’s Year of Wonders as much as People of the Book (which I *raved* about here), but it was still a good read. Brooks’s writing style is like nothing else. It creates an experience.

The story, which is based on a plague-ridden year in a real town in 1666, is beyond inspiring. Brooks brings the characters to life as she displays their strength, courage, and faith in the face of such tragedy and terror. I didn’t always like the story, but it never lagged. When I put it down, I always wanted to pick it up again.

The ending was a bit off. It was unexpected, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the way in which it was unexpected – the direction in which Brooks takes it – felt a bit…. wrong, almost.  I don’t know, I can’t explain it. In any case, that’s only the very end, and it’s still a good read, it just feels somewhat disconnected from the rest of the book.

I still love Brooks. I think she’s an amazing storyteller and an amazing writer, and yes, they are two different things.

Perfect example:

I also finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sometimes this book was well-written, but the storytelling lagged, and other times the story was truly intriguing, but the writing just wasn’t there. The writing issues might, however, be a result of the translation and not a flaw in the actual writing. …OK, so maybe it’s not the best example.

Anyway, I enjoyed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I had been warned ahead of time that it takes a while to get into and sometimes lags, so I knew to persevere. Had I not had that insider info, I might have developed different feelings toward the book.

At this point, I’m kind of ambivalent toward it. It was a good enough read, but I’m not sure it stands up to all the hype. In any case, I’m completely invested in the series. I’ve heard that the second book is better, and I’d like to see what else the characters get up to. Sometimes they were annoying, but they were endearing enough to keep me interested. I guess we’ll see…

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