|100 book challenge - May edition
||[May. 31st, 2007|11:49 pm]
I did well in May. I begin to believe I might actually make it to 100 by my next birthday:
22 - Tim, by Colleen McCullough: I'd read The Thornbirds, which is one of those "epic and depressing" novels that Oprah types live for, so I went in to this a bit apprehensively. It's nothing like her Thornbirds. It is, instead, a sweet story about a rigid, isolated, middle-aged woman who befriends a 20-year-old retarded man - a man who is, in some ways, further handicapped by the fact that he is staggeringly handsome. We meet his family, and see their relationship enhance both their lives. The ending is flawed by a strange last chapter, but it was just a nice book.
23 - Godbody, by Theodore Sturgeon: This made me incredibly nostalgic. You see, every generation or so, Jesus gets reinvented. Right now he's portrayed as a rigid taskmaster, only kind to those who follow his rules. But back in the late 60s/early 70s, Jesus was a hippy, trippy dude who was all about the love. And there was a whole literary genre about Jesus making a reappearance, sort of this time-traveling Zen master: Paul Gallico's The Man Wno Was Magic, Richard Bach's Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Godbody is one of those books. Jesus just makes us feel warm and good all over, and sex is the language of his love. It was sweetly naive, and makes me miss those times. It's not much of a novel, really, but it is a classic example of the genre.
24 - Pagans and the Law, by Dana Eilers: Very basic look at some of the issues that religious nonconformists face.
25 - The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller - Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy' by Brian Thompson: This is a little book we picked up in England, and it vividly illustrates the arc of a fad. Tupper wrote a book of proverbial sayings that was a runaway best seller in its time, but no one has ever heard of him now, and by the end of hs life he was a joke. Success in your lifetime does not always guarantee a Dickensian immortality.
26 - The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banjeree Divakaruni: This tale of a magical woman from India who settles in San Francisco reminded me very much of the everyday magic present in many Spanish novels. It is a very cinematic story, and i was not suprised to learn that Bollywood has made it into a movie. A quick, enjoyable read.
27 - Darcy and Elizabeth, by Linda Berdoll: This sequel to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife may win the award as the most abysmally bad book I have ever read. I cannot even begin to describe how dreadful it was. Not only is it glorified fan fic, it's glorified fan fic based mostly on her first fan fic novel. I read the first 80 pages and was rewarded with a rehashing of the same bits of story over and over - as if Berdoll just couldn't let go of her own little creations. Nothing was happening. After that I started skimming. Sure enough, she continued to retell the same bits of story from slightly - only slightly - different angles. It completely lacked any of the ridiculous fun of the first book and I only slogged through because I was curious how she would deal with one specific character (usatisfactorily, of course). It was appalling.
28 - Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
29 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
30 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
31 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Yes, I'm rereading them in anticipation of the final book. Yes, I am still enjoying them very much. No, I'm not going to bother reviewing them.