Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Reviews

So before I start reading my new books I figured I'd finally write brief reviews about the ones I've read...

The Glass Castle
by Jeanette Walls

I picked this book up absolutely randomly and holy cow. Seriously, a book I could not put down. (I told myself I'd read a certain amount of chapters every night, but I always found myself saying, just one more chapter...) It's the author's memoir of growing up with two absolutely nutty, out of their gourds parents, and her siblings. It may sound boring or cliche but her parents were really out of their gourds, and when the first line of a book is "My first memory is of being on fire." (or something akin to that) you're like whoa, okay. It's not a glamorous life at all, and as the families current situation of the moment always seems really horrible, whatever is in the next chapter is inexplicably worse. Your jaw will be dropping mid-book, and you'll be thanking yourself for the common luxuries of life such as heat, clean clothes, and a shower every day! (And sane parents, I hope.) It really is a story of her complete faith in her parents, whether she really loved them for their jillions of shortcomings, or if it was because she was just a naive child, who knows. (I lean towards the latter)

Of course it has a happy ending, as the author is fabulously wealthy and writes for MSNBC now, but seriously, this will make you look at your childhood and realize it was pretty darn good. READ IT. Seriously. :)

Life of Pi
by Yann Martell

Ah, the book you've seen every-friggin'-where, with the drawing of the little boy curled up in a lifeboat with a tiger. That's pretty much the meat of the story; it's about the son of a zookeeper who eventually winds up on a lifeboat in the Pacific with a handful of zoo animals. I don't want to give this book away at all, but it is somewhat about religion (and different views on it), and even though I am not a religious person it was a great read. I started this book off knowing it was written to make a point, but it starts reading so much like fantasy as events really get going that I completely forgot about it, and during the last few chapters, went "oooohhhhh". It really all ties together nicely, and it really is a story of survival about a boy with a will to live and a 350 pound tiger named Richard Parker in his boat that he has to figure out how to deal with.

Starts off kinda slow at first, but read it all, you'll need it for later. Once it starts going it's a great page turner, and you'll constantly wonder where all of this is going...

by Vladimir Nabokov

HATED it. I really wanted to like this book, I've really wanted to read it for a while now. It's a classic, it's controversial, blah blah. But it read as SO excruciatingly wordy and heavy to read that about 1/3 of the way through it I put it down and said, screw this (no pun intended), but I really can't be compelled to care anymore. Large paragraph after large paragraph of drawn out, wordy descriptions of this or that or here or there with very little dialogue or actual real-time actions or events just made me want to fall asleep. Blah. Next!

Yay! Now that those are out of the way, I can post my next two once I'm done reading. Feel free to recommend me some books, also, that you think I'd be interested in. I'm always up for new and exciting reads. :)


the girl with the pink teacup said...

Fantastic reviews, Sami. I read Life of Pi years ago when it first came out, but now that you've talked about it I want to read it again. And, being the weirdo I am, I've always wanted to read Lolita, but am having second thoughts now... HA! You are a crack up! More please!

Al said...

i have really wanted to real lolita for a long time as its a classic but i keep putting it off incase i wont like it... now i will keep avoiding! :)

and the glass castle sounds awesome! i love books like that!!

love your review!!

Kim said...

Nabokov is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring to read. Controversial story or not, you have to make people WANT to read it, Vlad.

I've wondered what Life of Pi is about. Now I might actually read it.

Merrick said...

Couldn't agree more about Pi. I struggled to read it and spent the better part of a month getting through the first 3/4. But boy, as soon as it came together I really enjoyed it and the ending was worth the payoff. It was given to me 4 years ago with a note that said, "this book will change your life." Not sure it did, but I sure enjoyed it once I powered through the rough parts. Enjoyable reviews!