wishfulclicking: (skins: mini in glasses)
These are the rest of the books I've finished in 2011:

The Blood Chamber - fairy tale retellings with a gothic, feminist bent. This book is short but the language is lush and thick in some parts, making it feel longer than it is. I did not love every story in it but the ones I did, really were some of my favorite things read this year.

The Pushcart Book of Poetry - I find that reading anthologies of poetry help me find new authors/poets to read. It was from this book that I found Adrienne Rich and Szymborska.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Magical realism, protagonist I liked following, the idea was followed through well enough though towards the end the brother stuff made me pause and squint. I do want to read this one again though.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - I really didn't like this book though I appreciated how it was written.

Ender's Game - I need to make a post about this one later. Short one: I can see why it is a classic, and I did buy the sequel.

Among Others - I need to read this one again too to solidify my feelings on it.

The Dream of a Common Language - Loved it. Made me go out and find her other works (to my disappointment). Definitely plan to read again.

Delirium & Before I Fall - both of these are by the same author and I liked them both enough to follow her on goodreads and look for the rest of her work. I remember when reading her I thought these are books made to be movies, but that wasn't backhanded praise, just I could easily see things visually while reading them.


a list of the others to return to later )
wishfulclicking: (beyonce with book)
39) Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. Fresh in a standard way I'm used to with these two; that sounds like backhanded praise but what I mean is that if you've read their other collaborations you will understand the tone set out in this novel. I still contend that the two of them are essentially writing the same story just with minor differences but I do enjoy reading this story so that is not a complaint.

38) Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth by Adrienne Rich. Poetry collection I picked up because I was in love with the author's previous work, I probably should have just left it alone. There are some good poems in here but nothing that moved me the way The Dream of a Common Language

37) view with a grain of sand by Wislawa Szymborska (There's an accent mark missing here but I can't figure out how to insert it without pasting from elsewhere). This is probably one of my favorite books ever. I definitely plan on buying a physical copy of this one: Szymoborska just contains so many layers and weaves together these grand details...ugh, I still have to post some to the poetry comm.

36) Nemesis by Phillip Roth. Okay, I picked this up on a whim and on its small size. It was okay, the protagonist felt so distant and I pressed on because I was interested in the scenario surrounding the story but then there was this narrative switch at the end that felt like a copout that I can't get over. But I do plan to read something this author is noted for to get a better feel.

35) Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar. Pleasant book, real clean prose that just moved along without notice; but this book hit on my issue of the double standard of Older women sleeping with teenage boys vs Older men sleeping with teenage girls. His stepmother was, I think, twelve years older than him and closer to his age than she was to his dead father, but still.

34) Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich. Paste what I said about #38.

33) Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. Nice cap to a rather good trilogy though I wish the romance part hadn't happened.

32) Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. Lovely collection.

31) The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I did enjoy this one more than the first, mostly because the crew managed to mature a bit though I still couldn't stand the protagonist and I'm glad he sacrificed something for someone instead of the other way around, though I was hoping Alice would turn out alive. I am more interested in the third after reading the second than I was for the second after reading the first.

30) Crush by Richard Siken. After seeing parts of this poem all over my flist, lj, and on tumblr I had to track down the full thing and I wasn't disappointed. It's not often I can use visceral and not feel cheap.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
Right. Skipped two days because I have a pattern of inconsistency to uphold, but on with going through the books of 2011:

44)The Marbury Lens. This book. One of my lowest rated ones of the year because it held such promise but really went nowhere and had some features that were awkward. sometimes the journey just ends up taking you no where )

43) The School Among the Ruins. Backtracking, early on I read The Dream of a Common Language and loved it so I thought why not pick up the rest of this poet's work, that didn't work out so well. This is the third collection I've read this year and it was better than the second but didn't really touch the first experience. Something I noted was the poems felt more distant from the subject and more energy seemed to be placed on spacing than creating standouts.

42) The Theory of Clouds I could create a stretched analogy comparing this book to the very nature of its subject but I'm way too tired. TToC follows people throughout time studying clouds. I like stories that follow different people with a loose theme connecting them so I did enjoy this. I'm reaching for an adjective to describe the feeling of realizing that it seems that the small sample of French literature I've read has employed much longer paragraphs than most American literary fiction I've read; but the flow is not harmed by that.

41) Arkham Asylum Madness Quick graphic novel featuring Arkham through the eyes of night nurse. Has an appearance by the Joker, Harley, and Ivy, and the Scarecrow but the story isn't that long or deep.

40) ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound. If Pound were writing today he'd probably be on Tumblr utilizing italics and CAPS to make his point about current literature needing to be news and calling people dumb in very long sentences and accusing them of bringing down the nation's conscience. Though this book was about poetry, and Pound favors a style of poetry that I don't, it was fun to read his ideas about reading and writing; the book contains a lot of truths and I saved a fair amount of quotes.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
I just signed up for inkingitout on DW with a goal of 100,000 words. Ugh, I approach these with a certain level of trepidation though I can only look at myself for consistently failing these sort of things.

Moving to an attained goal for 2011, I did say I wanted to do some wrap up posts so here are my thoughts on books 45-50:

50) The Stranger by Albert Camus. This was a reread and I took it in better this time around than when I was in high school and just burning through books because they were classics, no it did not make me want to go through my existentialist phase again but I could appreciate the sparseness of the prose and how clean everything was. No drama was around really any part of it until the protagonist was shaken out of himself by his predicament.

49) Ariel by Sylvia Plath. Another reread but, wow, did I actually feel everything more this time when I'm in my midtwenties and am dealing with depression and just life. I'm just thinking about how I read so much Plath when I was younger because the darkness of it attracted me and her life story was like some sort of magnet for my teenage self but now with some years between my first reading, this second one made me feel so different. She'll cut her throat at ten if she's mad at two.

48) Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard. Just fine. Quick play to read. I already own it and this reading didn't make me want to give it away but it didn't make me want to keep it either.

47) Mule: a novel of moving weight by Tony D'Souza. Very enjoyable fast read about a dude falling into drug trafficking (marijuana) when the recession hits. Varied characters, the protagonist was one of the weaker characters but his situation was intriguing enough for me to speed through the novel. I could definitely see this being a film

46) Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. I saw this twist coming early on but that's not much to brag about considering this book's intended audience; but while this was a quick read and the idea was interesting, I am not continuing with the series because I really didn't care about the main character at all. Now I just need to see the film.

45) The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard. Lovely. Hurtful. Makes a point without beating me over the face with it. I've owned this book for years (bought it during a phase I wasn't exactly proud of but did end up with me owning some great books so it wasn't all that bad). Unrequited love blows. I couldn't even work up a righteous fury because Mo wasn't even that horrible, just obtuse, and considering the time period very good about it all. Housman restricting himself and his views of Wilde made me sad too. It was this book that made me pick up Indian Ink because I figured if I loved TIOL I'd love his other play, not so much. I really have to stop picking up an author's work I loved because it has most often led to disappointment.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
Since 2011 I've read twelve books, a rundown (in reverse chronological order):

Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
Nation by Terry Pratchett
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula LeGuin
Before I Fall and Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich
Among Others by Jo Walton
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
The Pushcart Book of Poetry
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

expansion on the books )

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