May Book Thoughts

EEK!  I’m late!  I have an excuse though… I was off tromping through the most gorgeous countryside I’ve ever seen with everything I could possibly need on my back.  (Including, of course, a book.)

Dancing with Einstein by Kate Wenner

Wow.  I know next to NOTHING about the Cold War.  I’m aware of certain aspects simply because Cat’s Cradle is one of my favorite books.  I really enjoyed this book more for the insight it gave me than the actual story line.  Enter one lost and confused girl who does something.  She wants to understand why she does it.  She goes to four different people telling her story and each person gets something different out of it.  Something happens, leading to something else, and girl learns to stand on her own with a new undestanding.  Its typical, yes.  I generally stray away from depressing topics simply because I’ve had enough of them in my own life, I don’t want to read them too.  It was neat to see how she dealt with it though.  Wenner writes like the intelligent person she is.  She explains some things but you have to be patient and wait for that part of the story to unfold.  Overall, pretty interesting.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

So, yes.  I believe I am a new McCarthy fan due to a slight obsession with a band.  (The frontman, Ben Nichols, did a solo project based on another McCarthy novel he had read in high school.)  I picked up All the Pretty Horses through my library since this was one of the only novels (besides The Road, of course) they had.  Can you call a novel “visually stunning?”  I can see everything he was describing.  Literally.  I live and drive in the areas he described of Texas.  The restless youth, painted skies, and wild horses tapped into memories and scenes I hadn’t thought of in a long time.  I simply couldn’t put the novel down.  He uses a strange style, as I have struggled with during The Road, but it makes sense with his writing.  McCarthy tells us the minimum to get his point across, using a little punctuation as needed.  You take what you want from the novel without having to endure being told what to think or any added flourishes.

James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl

A childhood favorite.  It was sitting on my shelf beckoning me to go on a well-loved adventure with a dear friend.  I couldn’t resist. 🙂  Just as good as I remembered it, which is saying a lot.  I am excited to see that his writing appeals to the adult me just as much as it did to the child me.

Dead in the Family by Charliane Harris

Since this is barely a month old, I’ll save my overall opinion for after a few people I know read this get through the novel for themselves.  I’m just excited for Sookie-and-Eric.

Drown by Junot Diaz

Diaz seems to have a few themes and characters he REALLY enjoys writing about because they keep popping up short story after short story.  It was like reading a novel that had been published from several different vantage points.  The recycling of characters was an interesting concept to deal with.  Part of me was happy to see some of the characters come in and out of my conciousness.  The other part of me was getting a bit confused.  Is this the same story?  Are these the same characters?  Is this a continuation of something else?  The reason I picked this book up was because of my New Yorker podcast where someone read one of the stories out of the book.  The writing is amazing, it just gets a little muddy when the characters keep reappearing.