Stay Where You Are and then Read ( Friday Book Club)

It has been two weeks since I posted about books and in that time I have read five books. Personally, I thought my reading rate would have been better than that, especially with a week off work, but sickness and stress have kind of deterred me from reading this week.

In the end I read:
The Wave by Morton Rhue
Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy
Stay Where You Are and then Leave by John Boyne
Deadly Heat by Richard Castle
Divergent by Veronica Roth

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The first two are pretty old, though may be called modern classics, rather than classics. I read The Wave in a flash because it has a fascinating premise and is really really skinny. Despite its age it hasn’t really dated, stories about students and schools seem to have a timeless vibe about them because everyone can relate to the experiences being expressed ( well, except maybe the fascism experiment at the core of this school experience). And I actually read The Wave in the middle of reading Maestro. I found that novel quite hard to get into because it felt further removed from my own experience – I am not a boy born to migrants living in Darwin. I don’t know if it’s Goldsworthy’s style, or because the main character was a boy, but some of the description was quite full on and not really to my taste. That being said, I did persevere and it is a good, if somewhat sad story.

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During the maelstrom I was reading this new John Boyne novel. I enjoy his work for children much more than what he writes for adults because he writes so simply, and while that can be used to great effect in the former it is clumsy and unforgivable in the latter. I also like his books that are more realistic and less fantastical. He has a way of showing the extraordinary or horrific in such mundane ways that render them perfectly. This one is a good companion (though not prequel or sequel) to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

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Then onto my guilty pleasure. In case you didn’t know, Richard Castle is the main character in one of my favourite TV shows, Castle. The basic premise is he is a writer tagging along with a New York homicide detective to get inspiration. In the show he refers to the novels he is writing and someone has actually written them. And I love them.

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I also finally picked up Divergent to read. And it’s as awesome as everybody says it is. I have Insurgent waiting for me on the shelf, and as soon as I can I will be buying Allegiant. What I don’t get though is why all these YA fictions have to be turned into films. Well I do get it, people want to make money, but the authors thought of them as novels, not movies, and now I’ve pictured it one way I don’t want to see how anyone else pictures it.

Coming up on my next blog: A day in the park.

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(Non) Fiction : Friday Book Club

Two books this week. Two very different books.

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I forced myself to finish the Julian Barnes essays because I knew I would need to write about something today. Really I wanted to stop reading half way through, but I persevered and only ended up skipping one.
He is just a bit pompous. One thing that I hate above almost anything else is when authors use another language in their text and don’t translate it. This is not so bad in a novel because maybe the character is from that country and so speaks that language and the author may use it to highlight their displacement or confusion. When someone does it in a non fiction text though, it is just rude and irritating. You’re not showing me how clever you are, you are showing me how discriminatory you are. I don’t speak French, and therefore if I am to understand your meaning you need to explain it to me.
Most of the text was just self indulgent twaddle. I didn’t really learn anything and he didn’t really excite or interest me with any of the authors or texts he chose. There were only three things I got out of it. I want to read Madame Bovary, there are two memoirs by remain poets that sound are uncannily similar and that Barnes should stick to writing fiction.

The other book I read, I had to finish because I needed to know what happened so I didn’t have nightmares.

Boyne’s novel is pretty straight forward without too many tricks or embellishments and really is just a classic ghost story. Naturally I loved it. I got what I paid for. I really like his writing, though this is the first if his novel’s for adults that I have read.

Now onto holiday reading, I have an Atwood, Funke and Murakami on the shelf.

Coming up on my next blog: relaxation!