Friday, October 7, 2011
I've picked up some books to read in search of some good stories.
1. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
3. It Looked Different On The Model by Laurie Notaro
4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
5. The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein
6. Kindred by Octavia Butler
What I like about this selection is the good mix of different genres- from drama, self-help, and fantasy to comedy and sci-fi.
I've already finished the last 3 books on the list and am in the process of going through the rest.
The Night Circus
A magical, fairytale-esque tale about magicians, fortune tellers, proprietors, contortionists all surrounding a mysterious traveling night circus called Le Cirque des Reves. There are so many different characters, each with their own unique story and the part they play revolving the circus. The chapters are short, no longer than 7 or 8 pages long- making this such an easy read. The book shifts to different times and stories of the characters from chapter to chapter. What I like most about this novel is the descriptive language wooing you into the dreaminess of the atmosphere- an excerpt shows such an example- "within these nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits an utterly unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds... and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air" Besides magical-ness of the book (even the cover and design of the pages are beautifully created) I found that the 2 main characters and the whole plot about their competition and love affair that the book centers on to be slightly less than average, a little bit childish and at times even boring. It still however is a unique book and I found all the other characters very interesting. Overall, I give it a B.
The Art of Dancing in the Rain
A story about life's ups and downs of a master and his family, told from a dog's perspective. The dog is Enzo and he is probably the world's best dog and companion. Enzo tries to learn all about the human life so that when he dies and gets reincarnated, he will come back in his next life as a man (He watched this on the history channel). Enzo has been by his master Denny's side, who is a race car driver, ever since he was a pup and have been there through drives, family trips, when Denny got married and the building of his family. It is such a heartwarming story and call me corny, but I think I actually cried really hard at the end. Honestly, this book will make you laugh and cry. It's easy to read, yet is meaningful and teaches us what it means to be human and go through the rough patches in life and appreciate the happy moments we've got. I give this an A.
A sci-fi novel that takes the time traveling theme to a whole other level. It uses time travel to describe the pain and suffering of slavery, really turning it into a reality for the reader in a way that makes us genuinely feel the pain and connect to what happened. The main character Dana is a black woman currently living in the 1970's with her newlywed-ed white husband Kevin when she suddenly got transported from her LA apartment to the antebullum South where she meets the person responsible for her time travels. Every time Rufus, the plantation owner son, is in life-threatening trouble, Dana is forced to transport there to save him. Each time she goes back, she stays longer than her previous visits. There, she experiences the life that none of us could ever imagine. The author did such a good job in making me feel that those terrible things were actually happening to me as it is happening to Dana. It's disturbing- almost like a horror story. But it is absolutely a must read. This book is a page turner and I could not put down the book. I finished it in 3 days. I give it a A+
What books are on your reading list?