Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2009! > Bucket's Books in 2009

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message 1: by Bucket (new)

Bucket I've joined the group four months into the year, but my reading log has everything I've read thus far in '09. Here's hoping I make it to 50!

So far:

1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver (in progress)



message 2: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) Welcome! And great start!


message 3: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments tip of the hat to 10+4!


message 4: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy (plantwoman) | 160 comments You've got some really great books on your list. I've been reading Updike a lot recently. I'm 3/4 of the way through the Rabbit series. He was such an amazing writer. I also have several Kingsolvers on my "to be read" list. Are you enjoying "The Bean Trees?"


message 5: by Bucket (new)

Bucket I finished The Bean Trees and really enjoyed it! Reading one more Barbara Kingsolver book now and that will be it for a while! I'm enjoying her immensely, but need a new theme/perspective for a while! So that's 14 done!

The Bean Trees really showcases Arizona and has some extremely well-done characters (what Kingsolver does best, perhaps besides telling how things in nature work!) I fell in love with Taylor, despite her flaws and really rooted for her throughout the book. Great ending too! I loved the symbiosis theme - very interesting.


message 6: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy (plantwoman) | 160 comments That's great to hear. I think I'll move it up my "to be read" list.


message 7: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver

I enjoyed this a lot, but I need a break from Kingsolver! :)


message 8: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

It took me two weeks to read it, but I am glad I did. This won't be a favorite, but it definitely gave me a lot to think about.


message 9: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell

Caldwell had quite a few interesting statements about her life here that gave me pause and let me think - her thoughts on how children remember events that they don't understand in certain ways (she remembers her dress from her aunt's funeral because she must have been staring at her feet most of the day, for example) and often come to understand them differently later. She also had some great insights into how to look at one's parents and understand what they've given you - consciously and unconsciously. I liked the almost name-dropping feel of the insertion of the books that have affected her - it was a long, varied list. I also liked the ebb and flow rather than a straight chronology. This was quite introspective and clearly writing after the fact. We were never 'in the moment' - which removed me from the story a little. This was okay though, as it allowed me to connect her thoughts to my own life as I read.


message 10: by Bucket (new)

Bucket Here's the whole list again (so I can keep track of it!):

1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell


message 11: by Bucket (last edited May 22, 2009 09:34AM) (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer

I completely fell in love with this book and can't wait to pick up some more magical realism. This story was extremely well-woven and the truth was there throughout - everything was true - despite the sometimes unreliability of what was being said. I loved Shed's thoughts and actions and his ability to be so many things to so many people, through his silence and also his ability to give love, unconditionally. Shed is completely unselfish and was therefore the perfect character to tell this story. The dynamic between the white people and the Indians/whores was really intriguing, as was the sheer amount of sexual openness in this story. I loved the parts about knowledge becoming understanding, and having a chance to tell your story to death before you die.



message 12: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments I just ordered it from my library...sounds really fun!


message 13: by Bucket (new)

Bucket It's very sad, actually - both sad and hopeful in the end, but it's very tragic, what happens. Throughout the first two-thirds though, it is a fun read, even though you know terrible things are going to happen. These characters are well worth getting to know.


message 14: by Bucket (last edited May 26, 2009 12:31AM) (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

This book just didn't come together for me. The idea was there, but Mr. Fforde focused on the idea and ignored developing his characters or polishing his writing. The Crimean War thing didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story even remotely and many twists and turns in the story felt conveniently abrupt. The writing was also lukewarm overall, and occasionally poor - at one point Thursday literally picks up a mirror and describes her physical appearance; isn't that the first overused device we learned never to succumb to in Creative Writing 101?


message 15: by Joye (new)

Joye (joye18) | 74 comments Bucket wrote: "1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Cars..."


Bucket wrote: "I've joined the group four months into the year, but my reading log has everything I've read thus far in '09. Here's hoping I make it to 50!

So far:

1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vlad..."





message 16: by Joye (new)

Joye (joye18) | 74 comments Did you enjoy the Mary Gaitskill book? Didn't she write Veronica?? I really loved that book!


message 17: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments Try the later Thursday novels...he gets really good!


message 18: by Bucket (new)

Bucket Mary Gaitskill did write Veronica - I haven't read it yet, but it's on my list! I thought that "Bad Behavior" was decent. The theme was interesting, as were several of the stories. To me it seemed like almost all of the stories were the same though - they even featured characters that had almost the exact same traits (young, female, U of Michigan grad, moved to New York to be an artist/writer) and this definitely bugged me. It felt to me like you could read only 3-4 of the stories and get the same thing out of it. Those 3-4 would be worth reading though!


message 19: by Bucket (last edited May 30, 2009 12:20AM) (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver

I liked revisiting Taylor and Turtle from "The Bean Trees" for sure! The characters in this book are absolutely wonderful - I thoroughly enjoyed every single one. Kingsolver even brought minor characters to life. The settings were also great. My one complaint about this book is that it was totally predictable. Kingsolver's 'hints' were blatantly obvious and I had the end figured out somewhere around page 100 - about when Cash first comes into the story. The switch from one character's perspective to another's was easy enough to follow, but I sort of disliked it. I would have chosen just two characters (maybe Taylor and Annawake?) and stuck with that.



message 20: by Bucket (last edited Jun 05, 2009 09:00AM) (new)

Bucket Testing my ticker!





message 21: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

This took me three weeks, but it was worth it. I was enthralled by the connections between Saleem's life and the history of India. It was interesting to think back to "A Fine Balance" and Mistry's portrayal of events that happened here too - the Prime Minister and her beautification and sterilization projects. This book is profoundly sad - nearly everyone is destroyed and, in the end, even those who remain will be destroyed if Saleem's prediction is true. However, I still found a little bit of hope in this novel - Saleem has a son (sort of) and both India and his son will continue on. I liked the idea of the pickle jars at the end, but the discussion of the 'flaws' seemed a little like an excuse for not trying to fix them - it was a really good excuse, but still an excuse. I also enjoyed continually turning back to the prophecy on page 96 -it was fun how each piece suddenly made sense when it was fulfilled.







message 22: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon

This is the first time in a while that I have enjoyed the shifting perspective in a book. The shifts felt seamless and I was never confused about whose perspective I was seeing. As well, the characters were all equally interesting. This book has a TON of characters and takes place in New York, Prague, and even Antarctica at times. It is massive and all-encompassing. Also, I found it very sad. Watching Sammy destroy his life was especially difficult - moreso than Joe doing the same, especially since Joe gets back most of what he lost in the end. While I enjoyed this book, it didn't engage me the way that most 'epic' type novels do. I don't think that I'm particularly going to miss the characters now that it's over. This could be because of my lack of interest in comic books. I also wonder if it's because of the lack of emotion the characters show. Considering the tragedies they face, I didn't see a lot of real, true emotion from them. This is especially surprising because the author got inside each of their heads, but apparently just for the purpose of telling part of the story that only that character could have told. Towards the end, Joe had one page of self-reflection and, later, Sammy had a paragraph, but that was it!





message 23: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

This book's situation is eerily forsee-able, which made it pretty interesting. A lot of what has happened to the world/humanity in this novel we have already started to see some of or are on the verge of (genetic modification, lack of oil, global warming, technology we can't control, germ warfare...). It was interesting to see these things taken to their extremes. I really enjoyed the idea of the "Crakers" - especially when they began to know and do more human things (art, religious worship) that were supposed to be programmed out. Their existence also lended a human quality to Crake and made it clear that his motives were very complex. I loved the parts about language and Snowman's recitation of the old words that would be lost if he didn't remember them. Snowman's loneliness is immense and he is amazingly 'good' - to the Crakers, to himself, to the people in his past. My main complaint is that most of the characters were shells for the story. Only Snowman is real (he struggles with selfishness, with anger, etc...) but I wanted something more from Crake and, especially, Oryx.





message 24: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger

Every few months, my boyfriend and I choose a book we each have enjoyed for the other to read. He chose this one for me. As a fiction reader (almost exclusively), the philosophical analysis was definitely a unique read! I definitely prefer to get lost in a story, but this was food for thought.
Some of the Christian analysis made sense - Christ as the ultimate individuated ego for example (as he is both God and man). I didn't buy all of the interpretations of biblical stories, though. For example, Edinger (and Jung?) argues that when the Bible says giving to the poor is giving to God, this means we have to consciously accept all aspects of our personality, including those we don't like to achieve individuation. I think it just means we should help those less fortunate out of love and compassion. I enjoyed reading the section about sacrifice and how in the Old Testament man sacrificed to God (other people, animals, etc...) but in the New Testament Jesus (as God) sacrificed to man. I also found the word "fourness" in the book - which is a fun word!






message 25: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov

One of the more interesting moments in the story was when Cincinnatus' mother (or someone pretending to be her) visits him in prison. She tells him about 'nonnons' which she had as a child - ugly warped objects that you held up to an ugly warped mirror so that their reflection then looked beautiful and like a recognizable object. This was an important theme. Throughout the story, Cincinnatus has a 'double' - another Cincinnatus who does/says what he really wants to while he does/says what he is supposed to. His double leaves the prison to go home, moves the bolted down table, and dances with the jailer, among other things. His crime is also interesting; he's accused of 'gnostical turpitude' which seems to me being too hungry for knowledge and seeking it out. I enjoyed this book and the length (short) was just right. It's interesting how Nabokov's alternate worlds (here and also in Ada) are only a little different from reality, or different in ways that most writers ignore. It's very subtle.





message 26: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs

I was surprised to learn that Brent is just one year older than me! This was different than most things I read - not literary at all, but very interesting and also extremely painful at points. It is clear that Brent is full of hope and that he's made it through, which allows there to be positive notes throughout. The writing itself is okay, better than I expected actually. I can't judge this piece alongside literature though, as it is really about sharing Brent's story and getting his message out there.





message 27: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk

For the first 250 pages I hated this book, but I have to admit that it did come together a bit in the last 40-50. The ending pulled in all the elements and I was finally able to see into Victor - see who he really was and how he was changing. I wish that the entire book had been more like these last pages. I think there were two problems: 1)Too much shock value. I have no problem with X-rated or bizarre events, but many here seemed to serve no purpose other than to shock. 2)Too much telling. Repeatedly, Palahniuk would end a scene in the middle and then later on relay through dialogue or description what had happened. Why not show the scene?





message 28: by Bucket (last edited Aug 22, 2009 03:09PM) (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton

This book was extremely easy to read and contained a lot of interesting well-researched information without being dry. In fact, much of the writing was full of emotion. I thought that there would be more about Jezebel here (Elijah, especially, and also King Ahab got just as much focus; both were also recast as being different than we think). However, it didn't really bother me that the book was a description of the whole history of Israel from Jezebel's marriage until her death and even a little after because it was extremely interesting. I was especially interested to read towards the end about the Israelites' creation of monotheism while in exile.






message 29: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem

A very quick read and easy to follow. No stopping to think necessary! I liked that the invented world didn't take over the story. The inventions (karma cards, memory boxes, drugs like forgettol and addictol, etc.) were simple enough that Lethem didn't spend paragraphs describing them. Basically, the plot and Conrad's character development were the focus here; refreshingly different than some sci-fi or dystopian literature. I'm not big on the murder mystery thing, but there were definitely some interesting moments here. When Conrad sleeps with Catherine and realizes that it doesn't matter that he doesn't feel 'male sensations,' it's about being with her. I also liked when Conrad said that his job wasn't about finding the guilty party in a group of innocents, but finding the few innocents in a group of people guilty to various degrees.






message 30: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin

I have mixed feelings about this book. It's the very first 'chick-lit' I've ever read, and I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. Giffin keeps the story moving well and navigates it's twists and turns without giving away too much ahead of time. One thing I could particularly relate to was Rachel's relationship history. I've definitely missed opportunities because I was too shy, too scared, or deluding myself. I like that Rachel (eventually...) seizes this opportunity that she missed before, despite everything that's telling her not to - it's very redemptive. I did feel, however, a little frustrated with Rachel. She did seem a little boring to me and I wasn't sure what Dex saw in her. Her personality was pretty flat and she had little drive. She was just too passive to be a fun character. Darcy is the absolute opposite of this, and I didn't understand why the two had remained friends so long. I also think this book should have ended just a little sooner. After the climax, there's a chapter where Rachel is preparing dinner for her and Dex, cooking for the first time. The end of that chapter would have been a perfect ending. On a side note, I can't believe the next book is from Darcy's perspective! I would not enjoy spending a whole novel in the mind of a character who seems to have no likable qualities.





message 31: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I loved reading this and discussing her ideas with Matt as I was reading them. The idea that tolerance can have negative effects is interesting, especially when it leads to allowing things we all agree are wrong to occur in our midst (like murder). The part of the book where Ayaan discusses the Dutch people's refusal to see that 'honor killings' and female circumcisions were taking place in their country simply because they wanted to be tolerant of a different cultural/religious view was a real eye-opener for me. I don't know enough about Islam to know how violent or non-violent it inherently is, in its purest form, but I do know that it's ridiculous to allow murder in the name of freedom. All in all, this was a very engaging and thought-provoking read.





message 32: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott


The God of Small Things - I had a very difficult time getting into this book, despite the fact that it told an interesting story that normally would have had me really engaged. I think that some of the more 'experimental' elements took me out of the story. I wasn't thrilled with how out of order the story was. I think this can serve a purpose and even could have here, but the author told us each of the climaxes (Sophie dying, the love affair with Velutha, Estha being sent away) within the first few pages and then the rest of the story just told what happened in between. There was no sense of reading to find out what happens. Also, some of the wordplay took me out of the story as it made me way too conscious of the author and her aims. Once I got about halfway through, I finished pretty quickly though as I did start to care about the twins quite a bit.

Grace (Eventually) - This was a very quick read (took me two days) and easy to digest. I would read an essay, let it sink in for a minute or two, then open up the book and read another. I enjoyed most of them and found quite a few take-aways, most of them easier said than done - things like self-love and forgiveness are struggles for everyone, including Anne, but her focus and drive to try and achieve them is interesting and inspiring. Sometimes I'm not sure if she and I could be friends, but I like her writing anyway!






message 33: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
I'm so glad that I noticed this on the shelf at the library. This is definitely the most unique book I've ever read about the Holocaust and probably the most emotional for me. I'm not sure if it was the depictions or if it was literally seeing through the eyes of Vladek, who is curmudgeonly and stubborn, and so matter-of-fact when telling his story. The horrors are extremely vivid here and I struggled along with Art to digest both Vladek himself and his experiences. I think this story within a story approach worked extremely well here.



message 34: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton

I was hooked from the beginning, but I haven't been so disappointed in an ending in a long, long time. The book literally just stopped. I didn't need everything to turn out perfect, I just needed to know how things turn out. As well, the lack of an ending makes it so that Ruth's footnotes on Yves' story make no sense. When is she writing these footnotes and why? Is she publishing his testament? The author had that perfect opening to give Ruth the ending and she didn't use it. Throughout the bulk of the story though, I was definitely engrossed. I liked the way I could feel for Ruth (as a person in the modern world) and see her as a stranger (through the eyes of Yves) at once. The language was occasionally too flowery, but this fit with the "Mandragoran style".



message 35: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton
36. Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Shahriar Mandanipour

While there were aspects of this book that were disappointing, I ultimately really enjoyed it. And I think that my disappointment, especially at the ending, was purposeful. After all, if the narrator had been successful in writing a strictly censored love story, it would almost be an endorsement of censorship as a practice. I loved the way the narrator faded in and out of the love story and became as much a player in it as Sara and Dara. I also enjoyed seeing his perspective on how he chose to write different pieces of the story and the historical information he imparted - like what music and poetry in Iran used to be like, and how writers use fruit and plant items to describe parts of the anatomy that they can't name. There were a few twists in the story that felt a little too easy or convenient, and I'm not sure if these can be justified by the fact that the narrator is doing whatever he can to get this story to be approved by Mr. Petrovich.


message 36: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton
36. Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Shahriar Mandanipour
37. Elegy for a Fabulous World, Alta Ifland

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half, where each story seemed to feature the same narrator and everything seemed at least semi-autobiographical. "The Nonexistence of Adelaide Bauer" and "The Wedding" were my favorites in this section. As I moved into the second half, I loved "Milk, or How I Became an American Citizen" but through the next few stories I found myself drifting away a little bit. The lovely narrator disappeared in "Sawdust Power" and "The Random Bus" was only saved from being too cutesy because it was short. I didn't care at all for "The Vanished and the Sisters." Ultimately though, I liked the flow of this book. With the next story, the new delve into surrealism and a little bit of magical realism hooked me. Looking back on the book as a whole, I think it worked. The change in style may not have been gradual enough for me, but it was authentic. I loved the line, "Happiness is when you don't vomit," and the moment when the orphan discovers she has "bouncing breasts!" made me laugh out loud.


message 37: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton
36. Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Shahriar Mandanipour
37. Elegy for a Fabulous World, Alta Ifland
38. Things I've Been Silent About, Azar Nafisi

I love Azar's ability (and depth of insight into herself) to show what each of her parents have helped her gain and lose in her life, regardless of how things felt for her as a child. I also thoroughly enjoyed how literature has affected her life. The story here is more or less in order, but Azar does a good job of giving insights at the right time, whether their in chronological order or not. This is the second time recently that I've read about Iran that describes the censorship and lack of creative freedom there as actually improving the quality of and in interest in art of all kinds. It's as though artists have to be even more creative and sneaky to get their message across and, of course, whatever is forbidden is always more enticing. Definitely a beautiful and brave memoir.


message 38: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton
36. Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Shahriar Mandanipour
37. Elegy for a Fabulous World, Alta Ifland
38. Things I've Been Silent About, Azar Nafisi
39. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

Cal was an extremely interesting narrator. I loved the way this novel ebbed and flowed - the author did an excellent job of revealing details at exactly the right time, whether they came chronologically or not. The topic was unique and sucked me in. The other amazing thing was that Cal's point of view managed to be both a male and female perspective. Right after I finished this book, I picked up the New Yorker and read an article about a South African runner who is a hermaphrodite and having read "Middlesex" definitely lent a sensitivity to my reaction to this runner. Having spent two weeks in the head of someone so similar made the article an extra-interesting read. I loved the events of this novel, from Desdemona's silkworm shed in Turkey to her mock-courtship with Lefty on the boat, and from Callie's relationship with 'the object' to her transformation to Cal as she made her way across the country.



message 39: by Bucket (new)

Bucket 1) Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov
2) Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich
3) Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
4) Stubborn Twig, Lauren Kessler
5) The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (et al), Carson McCullers
6) By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
7) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
8) The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich
9) Goldengrove, Francine Prose
10) Intuition, Allegra Goodman
11) The Centaur, John Updike
12) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
13) The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
14) The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
15. Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver
16. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
17. A Strong West Wind, Gail Caldwell
18. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spanbauer
19. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
20. Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
21. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
23. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
24. Ego and Archetype, Edward Edinger
25. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
26. Lost Boy, Brent W. Jeffs
27. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
28. Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton
29. Gun, with Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem
30. Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
31. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
32. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
33. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
34. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
35. The Testament of Yves Gundron, Emily Barton
36. Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Shahriar Mandanipour
37. Elegy for a Fabulous World, Alta Ifland
38. Things I've Been Silent About, Azar Nafisi
39. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
40. Blankets, Craig Thompson

The art here was absolutely beautiful! The story was fairly standard, but the art brought it to a higher level. Thompson did a great job of weaving his theme of blankets/blankness throughout. The 'blankets' start with he and Phil's shared bed adventures as children and goes to the quilt Raina makes for him and sharing her bed. As well, this book takes place in the winter, when snow blankets everything and creates a sort of blankness - that the characters mar with footprints and snow angels. There is also the blankness of paper here - that Craig fills with drawings throughout his life - and the blankness of Raina's wall which he paints on. Some of the use of bible verses here was very poignant, and the very teenage fear of sinning was vivid and uncomfortable - the pressure on Craig was palpable.


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