First off this is not about sex, a bed, or linens. I want to discuss books. Books have been a little bit of an obsession in this household. Sparky has become a reading fiend. I have not felt inclined to become competitive. The last time I was in a book reading competition, I killed it. The English teacher had to invent new levels for me. I ended up a “phoenix” which was four or five levels above what she had initially determined to be the top tier – “eagle”. Anyway, Sparky has been not only reading physical books but listening to audio books. Although I can see the attraction, I have a problem considering audio books as having been read. Nevertheless, I have been reading some of the books Sparky has brought home from the library. (Since he works there it isn’t out of his way to check them out or return them.) So far I’ve been intrigued and disappointed, sometimes within the same book.
After reading the entirety of the book “Baking with Kafka” by Tom Gauld I realized that I am not as smart as I thought or as quick to recognize British humor. I did read the whole thing which is a testament to my need for closure. I kept thinking that the next page would tickle me or be in some way amusing. Hope springs eternal. At least until you close the back cover and think, “I’ll never get that time back.” I felt the same when I started reading “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh. The difference being that about 20 pages in I was howling with laughter and had to stop to wipe the tears from my eyes.
Having a little trepidation about another of his book selections, I steeled myself and seeing as it was a thin book figured it wouldn’t be so bad. After 2 pages I was confused. Was it just me or did this book just make no sense whatsoever? I continued to read and become progressively less happy about reading the book. I must be a glutton for punishment so I finished the book. I felt as if I were having a mental collapse. The circular logic, the repetitive thoughts, the nonsensical obsessions conspired to make me doubt my own sanity. Fra Keeler by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi was a painful experience. My husband thought it was “interesting” and “fascinating”. I suppose there is some merit in the writing since she won lots of awards for this novel. It was not my cup of tea.
I did enjoy a couple others, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. It kept me engaged and I wanted to see how things were going to come out… I won’t spoil it with details but I did like it. Then there was the book “One Hundred Favorite Folktales” which is a compilation of 100 stories from around the world. I liked that there were themes linking continents and countries. It was fun to see the variations of the stories. Over all the Russian folk tales were more brutal and the German ones a little scary while the Norwegian stories seemed to favor a gentler touch. Calmkate recommended “A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World” by C. A. Fletcher and it was a good one. I was engrossed and managed to read it in 2 days. I guess that’s the sign of a really good book! Then I tackled “Boy Swallows Universe” by Trent Dalton and though it was a grittier story I did enjoy it. I’m thinking the Australian authors might just become favorites…
What’s on your nightstand?