Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Alexander McCall Smith, Tears of the Giraffe. I enjoy these stories, even if they are maybe overly sweet. This follows The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and is a similar simple and compelling book that is not so much mystery as short interlude in Precious Ramotswe's life. Portuguese Irregular Verbs (a collection of short stories by Smith) was absolutely hilarious and you get touches of the same absurdist humor in this series. I do think there is a little too much philosophizing and moral reflection going on - I read these books because I enjoy the humor - not particularly because I want to be touched by Mma Ramatswe's unique perspective every other page.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy. Shut up! I've been stressed out, ok? This is my Star Wars. I love the first one (Foundation), but I always hated the Mule, so I don't like the last two as much. Darn psychohistorians, anyway - I always thought it was a way to sneak predestination arguments into science fiction.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There are so few books that reduce me to my inner 10-year old. I gulped this down (didn't everybody? I heard from several people they thought there might be some spell causing the book to bind to their fingers untill finished), but I kept getting too stressed out and had to walk around the house flapping my hands before I could stand to read anymore. I cried through the last few chapters, just because it was over....(Neal Stephenson is the only other living author who does that to me). I won't say much, but I did see a strong reflection of the Lord of the Rings in the last two books.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan. Hilarious. Hopeless. Bilious. Shamefully funny and bitter. Misha Vainburg is so disgustingly self-indulgent, wallowing, and worthless that you can't help but love him even when you want to kick him. This book is almost like a tragic marriage of Candide and Borat - but even more skewed than that sounds. The best book I've read in a long time.