February 01, 2012

I'm literate!

I need a new working hours hobby. I'm getting very bored of reading newspapers and need something a little more entertaining. Not that my daily dose of Tim's writing isn't entertaining, but it just doesn't fill a lot of time. I'd be much happier if he came out with fifty pages a day, although I'm sure I'd get bored with his style eventually. I do plan on working here for a while, after all. I think I need to follow some blogs or something and I am certainly open to suggestions.

One thing I've always wanted to do is keep track of the books I read in a year. Since I pretty much learned to read I've just devoured books. I'm not a super speedy reader but I do enjoy it. In elementary school I'd read whatever there was especially Eric Wilson, who came up in a conversation I had today. I had to Google his name to be sure I remembered it right, but I nailed it. They were not only exciting, but Canadian, and I even got to meet him once. Stuff like that is a BIG deal when you're a pre-teen.

 In school we always had to read books but I never did. I only remember ever reading one full book that was required in a class, A Prayer for Owen Meany. I liked it well enough, and loved Simon Birch so I actually put in the effort in grade 11 to get it done. It wasn't great, but it was good, although Irving really pushed the limit on foreshadowing. I bought a copy of it at the TC book sale last year to add to my collection.

I read less when I was in university for obvious reasons but started to do it more in the last two years of my program. Since graduation I've been reading so much and it's been glorious. Sometimes I read in my time off but generally I stick to in the morning while I eat my Cheerios, at night while I'm in bed, and then on my lunch breaks. It's amazing how that time can add up.

I started Confessor just after Christmas but I finished it in the first week of January. It was big and a little dry so it took me a couple weeks or so to get through. It was the twelfth book in a series that now has a spinoff and I was ready to finish it off. It wasn't great, the quality of the series started to seriously go downhill after the third or fourth book, but it wasn't bad. It was epic in its length but not its contents. Terry Goodkind was really into the happy endings and it was only the tenth and eleventh books that didn't end so victoriously but they were very predictable until that point. How do you end a twelve book series where it looks like the good guys can't possibly prevail? You make weird stuff happen. I wasn't really satisfied with the finale but it was fitting enough.

After that I read Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. In case you weren't aware, I tend to read chick-lit and fantasy books almost exclusively. Like the first book, it was totally entertaining. The reviews on the back cover were right, too; it went by faster than its predecessor and was hilarious. It was funny but not so much that I'd abandon all reason and actually laugh out loud or anything.

I finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman on Friday morning. I like the title because it reminds me of Will Shetterly's Elsewhere and Nevernever books from the Borderland series. I spent an obscene amount of money on used books to complete my Borderland series when I first got a credit card. If you're into fantasy with a modern day twist I highly recommend the series, or at least the two Shetterly books, because it is a compilation of different authors. I know the GVPL has them. Good luck finding them anywhere else.

So Neverwhere, right? My dad recommended it as an easy read that was really good. It crossed the line between modern day reality and fantasy which isn't something I normally go for, with the exception of Harry Potter and the Borderland series. I've read  Stardust by Gaiman before and remember thinking the movie was superior. I just don't like his writing style. I find it weird and it just doesn't draw me in. I also never got really attached to any of the characters so it was hard to care about what happened to them.

Now I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I know it's super popular and trendy, but books are big for a reason. Harry Potter? I was hesitant at first but of course got sucked in. Twilight was the same thing. Is it stupid? Absolutely. Did it get me through second year winter exams? You know it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is really good so far. I'm not quite halfway through it yet and I had a hard time at first with the location. It takes place in Sweden. I've been to Sweden. I almost got lost and stranded in Stockholm in the middle of the freezing cold night once, but I've been there. I spent roughly 48 hours in the country and they included taking the wrong bus, getting poor travel directions, nearly getting stranded several times, hopping on a train with no ticket that I should have by all rights missed, almost missing my connecting train, and making friends with a very friendly train ticket taker man (I'm sure there's a title there that I just can't think of) who essentially rescued me. It was a whirlwind experience that brought me close to panic but I persevered! I'm not really an adventurous person so it was way out of my comfort zone. It all worked out, though, and that was nothing short of outside intervention, I'm sure.

Why bring up my trip to Sweden? Early on in the book one of the characters goes on a train for a ride. I started remembering my experiences on the Swedish rail system and it was making me squirm. It's funny how an uncomfortable memory can have so much effect four years later. It's another one of those moments that needs to be laughed at, although I feel like I could tell it like a harrowing tale of adventure and stowaways. I'm hardcore like that.

Standby for future long winded book reviews coming at you in the future.

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