Monday, June 4

Bibliophile [May reads]

It's that time again: a wrap up of May reads. I think I'm going to start doing these after each book, maybe as a second post on those days. Some of these are just too good to be lumped into a longer post- I would highly recommend every one of these, in truth.

Room (Emma Donoghue)
My coworker, who has obviously revealed herself to be a sick puppy, lent me Room. This one's a bit brutal in concept- it reminded me of A Child Called It (which I think I read wayyyy too young, but it was a fad book when I was in middle school). Once I started reading, however, it really isn't too scary, as it's from the eyes of a little boy who lacks understanding of his situation. I would recommend this one, and don't give up if the writing bothers's in the child's vernacular, but you learn to ignore it as you get caught up in the story.

Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
Of course we all know about this series, which I started at the end of April. Excellent story! Pretty long, so settle in for a solid week minimum of the same mystical world. I need a break between the series, personally- I'm hoping to read the next one in July. It's an epic fantasy novel- there's love, violence, war, honor, family, get the idea. I thought it was an engrossing read, and it's fun to follow it up by watching the HBO tv series. I'm going to read before watching, so I haven't gotten started on season two of the show (the seasons correspond to the novels), but I'm looking forward to it!

Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese)
Now that's what I call a novel. This was an absolutely fantastic work. The author is a doctor, which lends such credibility to a novel that focuses so heavily on the medical profession. He gets into the ethics of medicine, prioritizing work over personal life, The plot is so carefully constructed; while reading, I felt I could really trust the author to take the novel to great places. Have you ever gotten worried while reading that the author may be in over their head, may not have thought through the entire story, may make decisions for the characters that you don't agree with? Maybe it's just me, but some books (like this one) just give me a sense of peace within the first few chapters, a trust that such an excellent concept and such interesting characters are going to be developed to the potential it deserves. Loved this- read it.

bel canto (Ann Pachett)
It's hard for me to decide which novel I loved more, this or Stone. They were both such beautiful, poignant stories, I was so sad to finish them. Bel Canto is short and sweet- it took just a few days to read, but it has stayed with me over the past week. This was very quotable prose, and I found myself pausing to make note of several passages. I loved this: "She prayed that God would look on them and see the beauty of their existence and leave them alone" happy must one be with their life to wish that it never changes? Sometimes I feel that way, and this novel makes me feel grateful. Though you may say it ends tragically, it's not a tragic novel. To me, it's a novel about how disparate, perhaps antagonistic people or ideas can be simmered down to their simplest forms, at which they are in harmony- to me, it's about the common thread of humanity. Worth the read.
Fool (Christopher Moore)
This was pretty much hilarious. I literally giggled a few times on my commute while reading. I was recommended the author, not the book, but this was the only one of his works that the D.C. Public Library system had in Kindle format. If you have any interest in witty humor or in Shakespeare, you should pick this up immediately. It's a comical interpretation of King Lear, written from the point of few of Lear's fool, named Pocket...but don't expect any iambic pentameter here. This book was the definition of cheeky and irreverent, and I loved every minute of it. I can't read to read his other, reputably better works.

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