Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Never Let Me Go

Double post day!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a different kind of book. My sister said today “it was subtle and slow, but in a good way.” I agree. Please excuse the brief explanation, the book is better if you realize what is going on as it is slowly revealed to you.

Kathy, the main character, is reminiscing about her school days at Hailsham. There’s some typical friend drama, some not typical friend drama, and some other weird stuff going on. Some of the teachers say mysterious things or act strangely around the students at times. The students at Hailsham are special, and not everyone likes them outside of the school. Once they are done with school, their lives are very different from normal lives.

I enjoyed this book. Again, sorry for the vague description. If you enjoy futuristic novels with interesting moral questions, read this book. I wish I could discuss it more on here without ruining anything, but I can’t. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m interested in seeing how they handled the book.

In the Sea There are Crocodiles

In the Sea There are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda is based on the amazing true story of Enaiatollah Akabari (a name I had to copy and paste to spell correctly). The story starts when Enaiat is ten and his mother smuggles him out of Afghanistan into Pakistan - and leaves him there. He travels throughout the Middle East working in various places and dealing with racist/mean people. Crossing many dangerous borders illegally, it takes him five years to reach Italy where he seeks political asylum.

While this book was not as powerful as other books I’ve read about the Middle East, I enjoyed it. I peeked at some reviews on Amazon, and some complained it was too simplistic and good for young adults. While I agree young adults should read it, I think anyone can enjoy reading this book. It is always fascinating to read about other cultures. I thought the parts where Enaiat talked about how certain groups hated each other and how he was smuggled across borders were captivating.

I would not put this book on the top of a reading list, I would still recommend it. It’s quick, sad, interesting, and fun at times. Overall worth reading at some point.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Always Something

I am a huge Gilda Radner fan. I’ve loved her ever since I was little and happened to see her on television while flipping through the channels. It was an SNL sketch where’s she’s a little girl and she leaps up into a wall as hard as she can. I thought (and still think) that was so funny. Not only was she hilarious, but she was married to Gene Wilder - another one of my favorite people.

While I knew she had had cancer, when I picked up her book, It’s Always Something, I did not expect it to be about that. I don’t know why. I thought it would be how she described her wanting the book in the beginning - about marriage and owning a home and funny little stories about all those things. It was not, because she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

I listened to this book in my car, Gilda reading it from my tape player, and I cried so much. Her story is so emotional. She wrote her story in a fantastic way. I felt her pain. I felt her happiness. It made me think of people I know who have had cancer in a different way. I’m prouder of them, even more inspired by them.
I would highly recommend this book. It goes through many details of treatments and how she felt, so those who are easily affected by these types of details should be cautioned. As I said, I cried about every five seconds.

It was an amazing book, and I think it’s better if you listen to Gilda read it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger is about siblings in their twenties. Basically, something is majorly up with Franny. She cries, faints, and is generally disagreeable. Her family is concerned about her at home because she lays on the couch and cries. Her boyfriend and family discover it has something to do with a book she carries around. She and her brother, Zooey, discuss the book together and have interesting religious talks.

This book went a little slow for me. It’s definitely not my favorite, but the religious discussions in it were interesting (for awhile). I loved Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, but to me this book was not as good. However, a boy in one of my classes said Franny and Zooey was his favorite book. So I don’t really know what to tell you. If you hate Catcher in the Rye, books were people discuss religion and books, or books where people complain a lot - this book is not for you. If you slightly enjoy any of those things, you will slightly enjoy this book.

I would also like to add that Zooey is a hilarious character to me and I really enjoyed him. The book was worth reading just to read about him.

To Kill a Mockingbird

My posts on books I read for fun are mostly meant to be summaries and a quick blurb on what I thought of the book. I hope they help you decide whether or not you want to read these books. Also, these are recycled from my Tumblr. I'm deciding which blog system I like better. :)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was not about what I thought it was about. No, I didn’t think it was about killing birds. I actually don’t really know what I thought it was about. I knew it involved a trial and racism. I did not realize it was narrated by a child. Or that a lot of it would be childhood adventures. All of these things were pluses for me.

The book is about Atticus Finch’s children growing up and how they handle the trial he is part of. Atticus is a lawyer who has to defend an African American in the south at a time when African Americans weren’t thought of very highly. He takes the case anyway because he feels it is the right thing to do and that all people are people. His children, while not racist, are confused by this concept because people in their town are criticizing their father and being rude to them.

The children, Scout (the narrator and youngest) and Jem (Jeremy), are both hilarious and awesome. Scout refuses to be a proper young lady and has some keen insights to the people around her. Jem is going through some changes as he’s growing up and learning how to be a big brother, son, and adult.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was interesting to read children’s reactions to a case that would be very - intense. I’ve read books about trials but most are from the perspective of a lawyer or adult. To read about a trial from the point of view of a lawyer’s youngest daughter (I think she’s about eight at the time of the trial) was new and excellent. It brought new insights to how families are affected by things like their parent’s jobs, especially if they involve taking an unpopular position.

Overall: Enjoyable. I loved it. It’s one of those books that doesn’t feel like it’s teaching you something while it’s teaching you something. Scout is amazing.