Fluttering pages

Posted by on Monday, January 16th, 2012

As I mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I noticed near the end of 2011 that I had read a lot already, so I figured if I pushed it, I could read 100 books before the end of the year. I managed to read 103 books, which was fun and definitely made a dent in my guilt-inspiring to-read shelves. These were some of the stand-outs for 2011.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  This book was astoundingly good.  I’m a fan of Ishiguro’s work, and this might just be his best book.  It’s beautiful and sad and hard to read but I found it impossible to put down.  I wish I could read it again for the first time.  I’m very glad I read it before watching the film version.  I did find the film beautiful and haunting, but it seemed more like an homage to the novel than a stand-alone piece.  I won’t say anything about the plot because I think it should remain pristine and unspoiled for anyone who hasn’t read it.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I used to always say that I was not a fan of historical fiction because it was was generally poorly researched and plot driven but not beautiful. I think I’ll change my tune, because that’s like the way I qualify my love for Country music. I love good country musicians, like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash and Hank Williams and Gillian Welch. I hate over-produced, soulless crap. And I love good historical fiction, like this. Brooks’ research is impeccable, and her language is beautiful. The book follows a fictionalized history of the Sarajevo Haggadah. The opening protagonist is a book nerd’s book nerd, and it just gets better from there.

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw. Oh, what a first novel. I haven’t written a novel yet, but if I do, and if I manage to write something a with even a modicum of the sensitivity and magic and beauty encapsulated in this strange little magical-realistic fantasy, I’ll die a happy woman. Again, no spoilers. Just fawning.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I’m a big Stephenson fan, but I was starting to worry that his success had made him into one of those authors who won’t consent to editing. When I heard Reamde was more like one of his earlier books, I was excited. When I actually picked up a copy, I was delighted. It’s long, but it’s fast-paced and interesting and nerdy and smart. I reviewed it on BooksForEars. Such a good book.

Filed in blather,Books | 2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Fluttering pages”

  1. gayleon 17 Jan 2012 at 12:21 pm 1

    I thought I had read Never Let Me Go, but as I look at the Amazon page, I’m thinking maybe not. Or maybe I just need to re-read it. Hmmm.
    Library trip today – your list is timely.
    (I’m a big fan of Stephenson, too. Snow Crash and The Diamond Age are 2 of my all-time favorite books. And if I could stop re-reading Cryptonomicon, I might find time to finish Anathem…)

  2. NutmegOwlon 17 Jan 2012 at 10:29 pm 2

    Never Let Me Go is one of my favorites of the past decade. I’ve had the film sitting in TiVo for awhile, but been afraid to see it. It is what you said and more.

    If preparing a reader’s feast, I would follow it with Atonement (Ian McEwan), and round out the trio with Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

    In case you’re still hungry. Overachiever.

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