I just finished The Hobbit, which I've never actually read before. I loved that Bilbo finally returns home and has to be like, "Wait, guys! I'm not dead!" That was sort of hilarious.
I'm also trying to power through a couple Nicholas Sparks books that I borrowed from my sister forever ago (ergh), but to cleanse my palate I'm also reading Great Expectations. Yay!
Just finished Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending. A great little novel about the decieving nature of remembrance.
I finished Bring Up the Bodies last night and it was fan-fucking-tastic. But now I have no idea what to read next.
The ALA announced all their award winners for children's & young adult literature today. I was pleasantly surprised by how non-safe they played it (no John Green for the Printz! I'm in the serious minority of YA readers who finds him sort of insufferable). I'm not very curious about "Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe", which walked away with three big awards. Katherine Applegate (the Animorphs lady) won the Newbery Medal, the wonderful "Seraphina" by Rachel Hartman won the William C. Morris award (best debut) and my favourite YA of 2012, "Gone Gone Gone" by Hannah Moskowitz won a Stonewall Honour award. Basically, I'm very happy to have a reminder of why I read and review YA novels amidst all the sexist vampire crap and terrible romances.
My mom's friend wrote one of the Caldecott Honor books. Can't imagine how excited she is.
I found Seraphina to ride a steadily downward slope of quality. But the concept is interesting, so maybe the sequel will be less dull and eyeroll-inducing. I agree that the John Green book is NOT that great, but he already won for his better book Looking for Alaska.
I've been on a serious re-read kick of Animorphs and Everworld and for the most part they still hold up wonderfully, so I was tickled to see that Applegate won the top award. I was also inspired to read winner The One and Only Ivan, and it's really, really good. It's definitely geared towards a younger audience but captures humanity and universal themes quite well, the writing is quite pretty, and it evoked many emotions in me - I nearly (or maybe did) teared up a bit at a couple of points. Applegate does not coddle or talk down to her audience at all (obviously, given that Animorphs involves slugs enslaving through body snatching and genocide-ing the species they don't need).
I'm up to 5 books from 2012 that I liked enough to recommend: The One and Only Ivan/Katherine Applegate
I've Got Your Number/Sophie Kinsella
Gone Girl/Gillian Flynn
Days of Blood and Starlight/Laini Taylor
Cold Days/Jim Butcher
Ang Lee - The only 2x Bafta/DGA/Oscar-Winning Director!
Meryl on Oscars: Y’see these little babies? These are my best f***ing friends
and they never let me down. Try to get ‘em away from me and I’ll eat you alive.
I really need to read Laini Taylor's work. She's one of the few hugely hyped YA authors who all my friends and co-bloggers adore.
My current reading choice is Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. It's equal parts fascinating and horrifying, but also a very humanising portrait of a secretive country.
Finished Dead Souls. Sort of disappointing to read something that started out so strong (the first book is incredibly solid) and then just sort of dissolves because the work was destroyed. I also was not prepared for all the anti-semitism.
I'm ten chapters into 'On the Road' and I can't say I'm remotely enthralled, though it is an easy read. Does it get better?
In March, the poet/translator Anne Carson (long regarded as one of Canada's finest writers, despite not being as well known abroad as Atwood, Munro, Ondaatje, Gallant, etc) is publishing Red Doc>, a sequel to her most famous book, Autobiography of Red. So I decided to read the latter again. Even though I'm not a huge poetry person, I think Carson is excellent, and I've always admired Autobiography, a novel in verse that is a loose modern retelling of the myth of Geryon and Heracles. But I loved it even more this time. Carson's writing is innovative and academic, but it also hits you at gut level; it's full of sensuous and startling imagery. I'm tempted to call it the best work of queer literature in the last quarter century. (It's at least up there with Angels in America.) I can't wait for the new book.
Also, Zadie Smith has a new short story in the latest New Yorker. It's a treat, as Smith doesn't write much short fiction, and a double treat, since it's not behind the paywall. I just read it this morning, and I thought it was quite excellent: cleverly structured (liked how the chapters are like scores of a badminton game and how she changes perspective), but not overdoing it, with a beautiful sense of character and place. Stories of this kind can easily be heavy-handed, but Smith's execution is nicely understated. She should write more short stories. She also does an interesting, insightful interview about the story for the magazine, which is worth reading too.
I'm nearly done with End of Your Life Book club. This can be a cute sad tearjerker starring Meryl lol
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”