Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jonathon Livingston Seagull- Bach (Book #25)

This is an allegorical tale of a seagull who dreams to find his own way despite his flock branding him and outcast for daring to dream a different dream. This is a metaphor for life about how you should not waste your life conforming if you think you have a gift and you should pursue it despite all the naysayers. That's a beautiful message, I suppose, but I just didn't like this book. I thought it was tedious in how it learned to fly, and I got the point of the book but didn't appreciate the story in which it was told. This was a book, that despite being incredibly slim at about 125 pages with tons of pictures, that I almost gave up on because I simply couldn't bear to turn the page.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life of Pi- Martel (Book #24)

I passed up on this book many times due to the premise: a 16 y/o castaway rolling through the Pacific with a tiger? It sounded ludicrous. I ended up checking it out from the library just to give it a try and found myself turning the pages without the ability to stop. This is a novel more than just about a sea faring adventure. It begins with character development and background information critical to appreciate the second half of the novel when he is stranded in the Pacific. You leave this story half believing his story and half doubting, you find yourself contemplating the nature of God, and the human spirit of endurance. It's a beautiful story and one I may actually buy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Catcher in the Rye- Salinger (Book #23)

I believe Mystic recommended this book to me and I have to say I enjoyed it very much though I am amazed at its popularity. I can see a young person, a teenager, relating to this novel and its theme of alienation and feeling misunderstood. There is one part in the book, where he wakes up to his English teacher petting his head in the middle of the night, and he says this has happened to him at least twenty times in his life, that made me feel the true power and skill of Salinger's writing. It was an interesting book and I'm glad I read it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Recently Deflowered Girl- Hyacinthe Phyppe (Book #22)

After reading huge rambling sagas I wanted a nice short book that could help me maintain my 100 book challenge, and this book was it! It's out of print now but the link I provided gives you the full text of this 47 page "advice" book filled with hilarious situations and the author's humorous advice on handling that particular situation. I can only imagine the controversy it caused in the time and place it was published!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Caramelo- Cisenros (Book #21)

Considering my goal is to read 100 books in 2009 I'm not sure why I'm latching on to novels that are over 400 pages in length equivalent to two books, but I'm glad I made it through this one. This is a sprawling novel told from the eyes of young Celaya. She describes her journeys to Mexico from Chicago with her large family and weaves in stories of her grandmother's past, and her own current life and struggles. The story is told very pretty, and reads almost like a poem instead of a novel. At times this threw me off and could get disconcerting, but on the whole I got over it. She has some beautiful insights into life, and what amazed me the most about her novel is that though Mexico is pretty much as far from Pakistan/India as you can get, the similiarties in culture and values was unbelievable. Her book illustrates how similar human beings are.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Bean Trees- Kingsolver (Book #20)

It took me a little while to get into this book due to the very particular dialect of Kentucky and slang the narrator used, but overtime I grew to accept it as part of her personality and ultimately found her way of phrasing things charming. This is a novel about a fiesty girl traveling the country in a beat up car hoping for bigger pastures ahead. On the way she is given a little Indian girl to take care of by a random stranger, who she takes along with her to her final resting spot in Arizona. The premise didn't sound that great to me but the novel is lovely and heart wrenching. Kingsolver can write very well, and I have found in her a writer whose work I will continue to read for some time to come.