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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Last 5 Books I Read

The Time Travelers Wife
A lot of people told me how great this book was over the last few years, and I was excited to finally get a chance to read it. I really loved it too, it did not disappoint. It's definitely chick-lit at its most refined. The characters are really dynamic and interesting, and I found myself really rooting for the central relationship. The author takes the time travel concept and really puts it through its paces, playing with lots of different angles and scenarios to the plot device. She also does a really good job at hinting at the tension and darkness lurking around the corner. I recommend it to all, except maybe to boys.

Running with Scissors
I feel like this book got a lot of hype when it first came out, so my expectations were high. I didn't really like this book much though. It's a memoir that takes place right around the corner in Northampton. So it was cool to recognize all the landmarks and towns that get name-dropped. It just felt like a book that was shocking for the sake of shock value, like something the angsty kid in your creative writing class would crank out. There wasn't any depth, and the stories that were supposed to be funny just felt contrived. Of the last 5 books I read, it was my least favorite. No wonder you see so many copies of it at the League of Women Voters book sale.

The Joy Luck Club
I enjoyed this book. It was a page-turner, not very dense but full of interesting imagery and moments all the same. The characters were kind of flat, but the vivid setting and expressive storytelling makes you compelled to find out what happens next. As a narrative of the asian immigrant experience, it does come across as a little stale, falling into the same patterns of overbearing chinese mothers and self-loathing daughters who resent the pressures their parents put on them. The little vignettes in every chapter keep it compelling though. A good quick read.

Dune Messiah
When I was in high school, I had a friend who was obsessed with the Dune series. He liked it so much and so vocally, that it drove little contrary high school me to vow never to read it. However, at Paul's urging, I broke my vow and read Dune over the winter. I ended up really loving it, and was excited to read this, the second book of the series. These are great sci-fi books, epic tales of magic societies, political struggle, religious fervor and familial survival. Oh yeah, and drugz... If you like another certain story that takes place in a galaxy far far away, you'll love this preceding series.*coughgeorgelucasisacopycatcough*

Lady Chatterley's Lover
This book was not what I was expecting at all, but in a really good way. Not only is it a scandalous bodice ripper, but also a vivid portrait of England in that time period where is started to get really awkward to be the landed gentry. It hits all sorts of emotional and analytical points; the loneliness of wealth, the emasculating nature of the industrial revolution, the throes of passion, etc... Paul and I actually just started watching Mad Men, and it was crazy that this book got mentioned in one of the first episodes, while I was reading it. As the ladies on the show say, it really does paint a picture of a society where everyone thinks marriage is a joke. Also, it has some really scintillating naughty bits. I don't think most people thought much of it though when I read it in public. Once again recommend it to all, except maybe the boys...


  1. One of the things that I like most about the Time-Traveler's Wife (and something that I think once you know it, you're like, "Yeah, that TOTALLY makes sense") is that Audrey Niffenegger is actually an artist (visual artist) turned novelist. I'm so glad you liked the book too!

  2. aww! Dune makes me miss Dan Paradise so badly! hahaha