Sunday, August 25, 2013

What I'm Reading Now...(and What I've Recently Read)

I've taken a break from blogging - life is simply too busy - but I didn't want to leave the reading community so I thought I'd try to do quick updates with simple reviews until I can get back into the swing of regular writing (who knows when that will be???) I'm going with a new rating system of apples (mainly the MAC apple) because I know how to  make this symbol and as a teacher, apples just seem like the right fit. 

Books I've recently finished:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn - ever bit as gruesome and satisfying as Gone Girl. I don't recommend this to anyone with a weak stomach or an easily broken heart. Mothers our there, BEWARE! I would give this book an easy  - but I like a dark and twisty story.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owl by David Sedaris is a collection of short stories and essays by the author. There are moments that are laugh out loud funny and satire abounds, and if some of the satirical pieces weren't so outrageous, I'd use them at school instead of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift to teach satire (they're pretty controversial - they must be for "eating babies" to be a safe topic). However, he does get a bit too liberal for me at times and in those moments, I found myself a little put-off by a few pieces. Overall I'd give this a  rating. Enough charm to be funny, but a little too much to be hilarious. Does that make sense?

Grendel by John Gardner. Admittedly I read this for school, but I enjoyed the story. A fresh take from a different perspective gives new meaning to old work. Other than a few anachronisms sprinkled in the text for shock and awe value, it is a good story. Grendel the monster feels more like a whiny five-year-old than a true monster at times, but it well catalogs the logic lurking beneath the surface of a monster while making the reader consider the monster lurking beneath our human surface. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are no words to review this novel. There are only two kinds of people in the world - those that love The Great Gatsby, and those who are so far beneath intelligence I can't spend time writing about them. It is the absolute of the decline of the American dream.  and  - just sayin'

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCammillo (for CJ -he asked me to read this after he finished it and how could I refuse?) A great story for believing in magic, and love, and happy endings. A fantastic "pick me up" 

What I'm reading now:

I'm currently "double-dipping" (triple if you count stuff at school) with two novels:

Saints at the River by Ron Rash. So far, a little predictable and there are some writing errors that are driving me batty, but I'm pressing on.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. A good story so far, intriguing and mysterious.

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