Friday, June 25, 2010


Yikes! I kept thinking that as I read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I had never read anything this violent or graphic before. I had to just skip whole paragraphs and pages of gory violence.

That doesn't mean that I didn't appreciate that this was a good book. I understand why it is on the list. The satire of the 80s is pretty funny. I liked how the reader could tell how connected with reality the narrator was by how he described the clothing that he and his companions were wearing. The resolution at the end is clever.

But, yikes...what violence!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day.

It's fitting that I am writing about American Pastoral by Philip Roth on Father's Day. This book was fantastic. It made me a little sad, though. Without giving away too much of the plot, the protagonist's daughter commits an act of political terrorism and the book is about how the protagonist deals with his feelings about his daughter and the terrorism, and how it changes his family and his outlook on the world.

There are a lot of flashbacks where this guy is pushing his daughter on the swing, or playing with her as a baby, etc., and it made me sad. As a parent of a one year old, I always love to imagine the possibilities of her life. Whether she'll love basketball, or classical music, or whatever. What she'll decide to be when she grows up. Who she'll fall in love with. And I can't imagine a few years down the road, having my life turned upside down by something like what happens to this guy. Very sad.

I can't stress enough, though, how fantastic this book is. I just couldn't put it down.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Everyone loves Amelia Bedelia.

Me: So this book I'm reading is really long. Amelia by Henry Fielding.
Mike: Amelia Bedelia?

3 days later...
Me: I can't figure out what's so great about Amelia anyway. All the men in the book want to be with her.
Mike: Amelia Bedelia?

A week later...
Me: Amelia's husband is such a moron.
Mike: Amelia Bedelia?
Me: [head explodes]

Finally finished this one. It was actually not about a character who takes directions literally and gets in funny scrapes. (thank you, wikipedia for refreshing my memory on that one!) This Amelia really dragged. The women in this novel were all kind of annoying. Even Amelia, the apparent best woman in the world, got on my nerves. There is a lot of hand wringing. And Booth is SUCH an idiot. Every time things start to look up for the family he messes it up somehow. Oh well. At least they really seemed to love their children and each other. I thought that part was really sweet.

I can't believe I'm done with #30!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A vocabulary lesson.

Oh HI! Thought I forgot about this? No waaaay. Recently finished another semester of grad school, so it's summer and that means...summer reading. I'm about halfway done with Absalom, Absalom! and that Bill Faulkner LOOOOOVES his vocabulary. Ow, my brain. Also, was the period not invented when this book was written? You know, that little dot that ends a thought? Needless to say, I'm not loving this book so far. This may also be due to the fact that I keep falling asleep when I read it. But that's ok, because it's one big long thought, so I wake up and I may have dropped the book in my sleep, open three pages beyond where I was, and it's the same sentence peppered with words like "dulcet," "wroils," and "miasmal."

I love vocabulary, but I cannot get onboard with all these unhappy Southern ladies and that dude Sutpen. Period.

Final thoughts to be determined.