Monday, July 31, 2006

July reading recap

I know it's not quite the end of the month yet, but I don't think I'll have much time to read this evening...

This month I read 18 books, 5 of which were mysteries (that's very abnormal for me)

Best book of the month:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This is a wonderful book. It worked well on audio because Alyssa Bresnahan is a good reader and was very realistic as Susie (I haven't read the book, so I might not spell the characters names correctly).

I started this book on a day when I had a fairly long drive (1 hour 30 min each way), but I had to finish it off during my 20 minute commutes to work. It was really hard for me to only have the story in those small chunks. I really wanted to read it straight through. It was agonizing for me to have to wait for my next segment.

The Lovely Bones is a story that will stay with you. The novel has a really unique premise, but it is one that would have had to be told just right. Sebold does this masterfully. Her characters are imminently sympathetic (with the obvious exception of George Harvey). During the course of the novel, readers become like Susie, concerned only with the comings and goings of these characters. My heart was in my throat when Mr. Salman was in the cornfield, similarly when Lindsay broke into the house.

The thing that happens to Ray on the 7th tape seemed to be pushing the premise just a little too far, but that was the only time that I really questioned the believability of the story.

Biggest disappointment of the month:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

I have to confess that despite this book being literary and award-winning, I really didn't like it very much. Maybe it's because I'm vegetarian and ichthyophobic (completely insane, I know, but I have an irrational fear of fish) so the whole castaway thing was just a bit too much for me.
Also, I don't think it is a "story that will make you believe in God" (viii).

On a more positive note...
I loved chapter 92, the "exceptional bontanical discovery" (284), but I don't want to say too much about it fo fear of spoiling it for those who haven't read the book yet.
I also liked the character of Pi, particularly early in the book. I enjoyed the awakening of his poly-religious tendencies and how they affected the people around him.
I also really love the cover art of the Canadian edition (illustration by Jamie Bennett and design by Paul Hodgson / pHd). I think it's much compelling at first glance than the American one I've see around.


  1. I hated Life of Pi.

    But then, I hate literary stuff. *shudder*

  2. I agree, I really liked The Lovely Bones... I have Life of Pi coming up soon... I bought it because "I should", I hope I don't hate it, but I don't have high hopes, to be hoenst!