Sunday, September 27, 2009
"The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka
My grade: A-
Hmmm....I'm not really sure what to say about this book, and where to begin. The story itself is so absurd, it automatically makes for a fantastic read. On top of that, the story is told in such a nonchalant matter, you begin to wonder if something like that has ever happened to you.
I don't want to say too much about it, in order to not ruin it for you. I will just say that it's definitely worth it!
Friday, September 25, 2009
"Hurry Down Sunshine" by Michael Greenberg
My grade: B
This is definitely an interesting book. It is a memoir, written by a man whose teenage daughter suddenly goes bipolar (literally). Although this is partially her story, mostly it is his. It is written well, and as a parent myself, I can definitely relate to a lot of his fears and feelings. I couldn't help but feel, however, a sense of detachment while reading this book. Partially to blame for that is, in my opinion, my belief that this story would sound very differently if it was written by a mother rather than father (but not this girl's mother, who's quite detached from the girl herself). Also, what definitely played an undeniable role in this was my general lack of big interest in the subject material itself. In fact, I'm not really sure how or why I bought this book in the first place.
Having said that, I do think that Greenberg paints a good picture of what happens when a person goes crazy, and the effects it has on the people around him. If this subject is of interest to you, this is a good book to read.
Friday, September 18, 2009
"If I Told You Once" by Judy Budnitz
My grade: A
This was really an excellent book, which I can only recommend to everyone. In the beginning, parts of it reminded me of "The Road", due to its gloom and creeping heaviness. At some point, however, it started to bear an uncanny resemblance to "One Hundred Years of Solitude", with its many generations living together, no one ever dying, and the stories repeating themselves. But I mean that in a good way; I'm a fan of Marquez.
It's hard to say what this book is about exactly. It's kind of an immigrant story, but not exactly. It's a story about mothers and daughters, but it's really much more than that. It reads like a fast read, but it's much more profound than that characterization suggests. It made me cry (a lot) and it definitely gave me something (a lot) to think about. Special thanks to Anna for recommending this book.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
"Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf
My grade: didn't finish
I cannot grade this book, as I feel that would be an unfair thing to do, seeing as how I didn't finish it. It should say something, however, that I couldn't force myself to continue through the 141 pages. There is definitely talent there; I certainly won't be the one to argue otherwise. But, it's simply boring and doesn't draw one in. This is the kind of book that hasn't outlived its time, figuratively speaking. It also forces one to draw comparisons to other English family sagas from the 19th and 20th centuries, which I believe do a better job at being able to entertain today. I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately, I believe it doesn't hold up to par in its genre.