Friday, May 30, 2008

Dan's New Top 10 List

I suggested this a long time ago, and Cris did it, but not me, so I decided I should! So here goes.

Atonement. A for sure part of my ten. Atonement was amazing!

Harry Potter. I just reread the 7th book! Holy shnikes! Can you get better than that?! :)

Pride and Prejudice. Still on here. It's great. A classic.

Cold Comfort Farm. Fun story+hilarious characters = good book.

Flight. Sherman Alexie. That's basically enough said. :)

I Capture the Castle. love it.

Wuthering Heights. Oddly enough, I really enjoyed this book! The movie was WEIRD though. :)

Where the Heart Is. I laugh and cry every time.

Princess Nevermore. Cris read this to me when I was younger. So cute. Now I own it and every once in a while I pick it up again and I love it!

Cold Mountain. I'm a sucker for romance and tragedy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights was a super fun read. Surprisingly, it was way easier than the other Victorian (is that the right word?) books I've read. Classics are usually hard for me. Oliver Twist I couldn't even finish (I'll try it again), Huck Finn took forever, Pride and Prejudice took all of a month or two, but I read Wuthering Heights in a week or two. It was a nice book for bedtime. During AP test week, I relaxed with it rather than some crazy teen novel. It was good! I still don't really get Heathcliff. I guess he's just very passionate. I checked out the movie version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, so hopefully that'll help.
Anyway, it was pretty and a nice romance. Plus, fun crazy people! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

The God of Small Things

From the perspective of literary achievement, I don’t hesitate to recommend The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, a book about a set of fraternal twins and how Things Can Change in a Day. Structurally, linguistically, stylistically this book is awesome. I especially enjoyed it on a words-and-sentences level—Ms. Roy uses fun tricks like capitalizing Significant Words and runningtogether other words, and throughout the book makes marvelous use of repetition with certain phrases and images. It’s like she invented her own language, and it’s truly truly beautiful—poetic and unprecedented.

But content-wise, this book is quite grim, quite depressing. Save for one small window of happiness, there’s a persistent sense of foreboding and sort of sickening horror from the first page to the last, and what we're left with in the end is this incredible sadness. Too, the author writes India as a place I would never want to set foot. A place of crushing poverty, a world smothering in its own steaming filth and grease-laden decay, a country of pervasive environmental catastrophe and awful people.

Honestly I don’t know whether I can recommend this book to my sisters. My reading experience was conflicted. I was delighted and horrified at the same time—which is itself disturbing. But if you’re interested, read more about it in this New York Times review, and decide for yourself.