Wednesday, April 22, 2009

0. Un Lun Dun

by China Miéville

I'm always complaining about how much I have to read and I have repeatedly vowed to myself that I would not finish things I don't like. But that hardly ever happens. I feel like I owe it to the writer/publisher to give the story/book a chance and I slog along unhappily. I bought this book during CW last summer and I was really looking forward to it. I had a major public transportation day yesterday and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dig into this book. Another disappointment. It's a YA. I got to page 90 (out of 471) and I can't tell you one thing about the protagonist(s). The world they went into was amazing and there were pages and pages of details about it. But I have the same complaint a I had about The Lightening Thief: instead of a story, it felt like someone was thinking of a bunch of stuff that could happen. Near as I could tell the girls fell into Neverwhere and needed to find the wizard.

9. Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow (365 pp.)

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. In its defense, I'm not the target audience. It's about a computer-techie kid who lives in San Francisco. After a terrorist attack on the city he takes action against the government because of the loss of civil liberties in the name of keeping the city safe. The book is aimed at a YA audience and it makes a lot of great points that I think young people should be thinking about. However, Cory has talked about how quickly he wrote this book and it felt like it was written quickly. Some of the story developments were awfully convenient. Recommended with reservations.

Monday, April 13, 2009

7. and 8. Maus I: My Father Bleeds Hisotry and Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began

by Art Spiegelman

I knew these were going to be really good. They've been on the nightstand forever. I've been waiting until I was ready and honestly, the real reason I chose them was because they are short and I knew I'd read them fast. I feel like I've been getting bogged down in every book I've picked up this year.

There is no way to convey how fabulous these books are. They are graphic novels about the comic's father's experience in the holocaust. The first one is easier than the second one but they are both really grim. There was a part that was so sad I had to pause. Bob came in the room right then and I said, "This book is really sad."

"Yeah," he said, "But it's great."

I won't say anything else except the narrative structure is genius. My highest recommendation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

6. Watchmen

by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

I don't know what to tell you. It was interesting. I'm not a big comic book person to begin with. I can understand the acclaim but wasn't for me.