19 January, 2010

2010 books

Here is what I have read so far this year.

Small Steps by Louis Sachar

This is not quite as surprising as Holes, but just as interesting and character-driven. Louis Sachar does this a lot: takes a supporting character from another story and gives him his own novel, referencing the other storyline but not leaning on it. This one develops the character Theodore/Armpit from Holes. Really good and surprisingly romantic.

The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I had no idea how much I was going to love these books. I'm glad I waited to read them until I was an adult though, because I think a lot of the sophisticated stuff Tolkien does with the names and languages and analogies to our world are most interesting to adults. Especially adults with degrees in Linguistics. If I am a language nerd, Tolkien is the president of ALL language nerds.
Also, you read right. My degree posted, gents!!!


Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

To be fair, I have read this before, but I think everyone should read this book multiple times. Even though it's a nonfiction account of Barbara working undercover at several minimum-wage jobs and trying to live on the money she makes, it reads like a novel. You love and hate the characters (who have fictionalized names). Also, she makes some great points about poverty and the assumptions people make about the working poor, especially single mothers. Really good.

These books are on my hold list at the library:

Push by Sapphire
I don't think I can bring myself to see Precious, even edited. Movies about rape are way too traumatizing for me. However, I am interested in the book, although from the few pages I read at Costco it seems like it might read a little like Flowers for Algernon + stereotype-driven Black English, which might get old fast. We'll see.
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh I am so excited to read this. I mean, I've seen the movies so I know how it ends, but I have found that I am starting to like the books better. It took until about halfway through the Two Towers, but now I am starting to appreciate how verbose and tangential Tolkien is. Also, I have a huge crush on Faramir. He is so strong and sensitive.
Stay tuned for my future blog entry: "How Lord of the Rings ruined me for all actual men"
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Probably someone is going to KILL me for not having read this yet. I have no excuses. However, I insist on reading the book before I see the movie (if I ever do). I'm actually a little worried it won't be as good as everyone says it is. Luckily, the waiting list is so long by the time I get it I will likely have forgotten most of what I have heard about it. I don't think I have read a dystopian novel that I haven't liked, which is heartening.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I was SO EXCITED to read this right when it came out, but then I lent out my copy of Hunger Games and she never gave it back and then it just sort of slipped out of my poor, afflicted mind. When I eventually get a hold of this book, I will once again be excited to find out what happens to .... uh oh. What is the main character's name again? I need to buy another copy of that book. It was a HARDBOUND too. Darn bookthief. It's the worst kind of theft!

So these were the four books I was hoping to check out when I went to the library today, but all four of them were unavailable and had long, long waiting lists. So, I need some suggestions regarding what to read, seeing as I'm unemployed and out of school and free to do WHATEVER I WANT SUCKER. Like go to the beach every day it doesn't rain.

Janssen and Rachel, I'm looking at you.



7 comments:

theFinn said...

I hope The Road doesn't disappoint you, because that would hurt my heart.

Ashley said...

The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke is pretty good so far--I'm dying to get through Angels and Demons so that I can return it and go grab the last installment.

Her name is Katniss Everdeen and it's SUCH A GOOD SERIES!! My heart positively hurts for you that you lost your copy. :(

TheMoncurs said...

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner was fantastic. Also: Unwind by Neil Schusterman, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Complications by Atul Gawande...

I could go on. I got tons more.

L'homme pressé said...

the road is sad, but good. Skip the movie version. Remember when that one girl came to your house to get you for church and I had just finished reading The Road on your couch and I answered the door and maybe I was crying a little bit? Yeah, I do. Also, I find the cover for The Two Towers mildly amusing.

Melanee said...

One of my professors suggested Nickeled and Dimed and I read it over the break. It was a good read and brought up some good points about working and 'living' off minimum wage. I will have to find Small Steps. Louis Sachar is one of my favorites.

Rachel. said...

Remember when I was sitting on an airplane finishing The Road and the male flight attendant who had been flirting with me moments before walked by me and I was weeping uncontrollably? Oh, yes. Me too.

I second Inkheart (though I have only read the first) as well as The Graveyard Book. I also recommend the Bookthief, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dangerous Angels (the Weetzie Bat books), and the Uglies series. If you need more, let me know.

I love you, fellow reader.

jackie said...

Have you read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak? What about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer? Those are some of my recent favorites.

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