Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Reviews, pt. 2

More! Books!

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - I had heard that this was really sad before I even picked it up and I figured I could handle it. A sad book can be a good book, ya know? But I feel as though sad isn't the right descriptor for this book. Devastating, maybe. Depressing, definitely. It's not just sad. It's morbid and sorrowful and not uplifting in any way, shape, or form. I can't recommend it in good conscious. It is definitely well written and the plot is very tight. But my goodness, this book HAUNTED me for days and days afterwards and all I wanted was for it to get OUT of my brain.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - This book, on the other hand, is incredibly sad but also incredibly amazing. It's a non fiction book chronicling the author's survival of the first year after her husband death. It's so well written and honest, like a guide to her grief. I am hesitant to recommend it because it IS incredibly sad. About halfway through the book, I woke up Alex crying and whimpering, "I'm so glad you're not dead!" But while it IS sad, it is also serves as such a great reminder to keep your loved ones close. To appreciate them. To talk to them. To make good memories with them. Because you don't know how much longer you have with them.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - I was a little hesitant to read this book once I found out it was set in a circus. I'm not sure why since I haven't been to a circus since I was, I don't know, 6? But my fear of clowns knows no bounds and circus = clowns in my head. So imagine my joy when I realized there are no clowns in this book. There is, however, an elephant. And since I'm partial to elephants, that helped a lot. I liked this book quite a bit. It was sweet and romantic. (Also, I kept picturing Robert Pattinson as the dude since he's playing him in the movie adaptation. Which is a bummer...I like to make up the character's face in my head.)

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding - I don't know. I didn't really have much of an opinion on it. I started reading this in 2008 and never finished it. But I was determined to finally finish it this year. And I did....that's about it. I guess I didn't care because I'd already seen the movie and I knew what happened? Or maybe because the whole thing feels really dated now. Maybe it's because I'm not single anymore. It is funny and it's a fun, quick read read. Whatever. I can't work up enough excitement to write more about it.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler - Hoo boy. What can I say about this book? I wanted to like it. I really did. I felt like I SHOULD like it. But...I didn't. I felt like I was plowing through a school assignment with this one. It's quick and easy to read, so that's nice. But the language and characterization are SO dated. I had a hard time with the overt racism towards African Americans AND Jewish people, not to mention the REALLY sexist view of women. It was just so weird because none of the characters were really developed. I had trouble envisioning the world and the action. Not a fan. But I feel bad NOT recommending it since it's Raymond Chandler. So...yeah.

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