April rewind

The Ring Sets Out by J.R.R. Tolkien
I didn’t finish the whole Lord of the Rings, but I read the first bit. I got caught up with other books, because I have the attention span of a 12-year-old kid with ADD who had a lot of sugar. I did start, so I am all excited about the story and the language and the weirdness. I love Frodo, and Sam is the best hobbit in the entire universe. Gandalf is so cool, and can I please marry Aragorn? I love it so much. I am so looking forward to the rest of the book. I can’t believe how excited I am about this. Some of the songs are so beautiful, and why wasn’t Tom Bombadil in the movie? It is AWESOME.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
The Wasp Factory freaked me the hell out. It was uh, weird. It’s about a 16-year-old kid named Francis, referred to as Frank, who technically doesn’t exist. His dad never registered him, or baptized him, or anything else to make him an actual member of society. Frank lives on a little island outside of Scotland. He lives with his dad, in a life of common contempt and distrust. He has an older brother named Eric, who lives in an institution because he had a nervous breakdown and started setting fire to dogs. Frank also had a little brother, who is dead. On the back of the book Frank explains that he has killed three kids, but he won’t do it again, it was just a phase. Then Eric breaks out of the hospitals and is on his way home. Frank quite likes blowing up stuff, killing animals and getting drunk. He has his own altar with the skull of a dog that savagely hurt him when he was a kid. Banks is a badass writer. He alludes to all these things that have happened to Frank as he grew up and eventually we get to hear what it is. It was interestingly paced and I got so curious as to what was going on. I spent a day flying back and forth to Norway so I had a lot of time to read, I read the whole book in one day. I am sort of freaked out. Frank is completely bonkers and seems to think he’s completely stable. He has created his own mythology. I was worried I’d never be able to sleep again, but I can, thankfully. The book was amazing. It was so good. Awesome.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
I was pleasantly surprised. I have seen the movie, and I sort of worried I wouldn’t like the book, cause I don’t know, I’m awful. I really liked the movie. I liked how completely oblivious and bitchy Holly could be, and how beautifully kind and vulnerable she could be. If you haven’t seen the film, or read the novel, it’s about a high-society girl named Holly Golightly who lives in Manhattan. She spends her days with rich men, not really working, or being a prostitute, I should point out, but just hanging out and getting money from them. She goes to prison every Thursday to deliver a message to a mob boss, and then to deliver a message to his lawyer, quite obviously related to some sort of crime, although Holly seems completely oblivious. She spends most of her time drinking and looking for a husband among her high society male friends. Her downstairs neighbour tells the story of how he met her and how his friendship with her developed. She calls him “Fred” after her brother, and no one actually mentions his name. Apparently he’s gay, but I don’t know enough about gay slang in the 40s to have picked that up. I really liked the book. I like Capote’s writing. I like Holly a lot, she’s an extremely annoying brat, but she’s pragmatic and she’s very honest about what she wants. I dislike “Fred” a little, I don’t know why exactly, he just seemed a bit whiny. I liked him too, I just, he’s annoying. I really liked the book. Thumbs up.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m not a touchy feely person, I don’t like sweet happy romantic stories, because I’m a bitter, black-hearted bitch, I assume. Luckily for me Pride and Prejudice is more pragmatic and not as sugar sweet. I sort of instantly fell in love with how awesome Jane Austen is. Her writing is hilarious. Lizzie is a lot of fun, and Darcy seems infuriatingly cool. I always worry about reading classics, but this went well. Lizzie is infuriating, I got really annoyed with how she wouldn’t realize that Darcy loves her. Spoiler alert, in case you’ve never read it, although, worst kept secret of all time. I really liked it. I liked it so much I’m worried. It’s nice to read something and realizing what all the hype is about. I’m a convert, I think. Let’s not be too cocky. Loved it.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
I loved this book. It’s sort of a crime novel, except there’s magic and ghosts and also sort of weirdness. I don’t usually like crime novels, I don’t know why. I will watch crime TV shows until the cows go home, but when I read crime novels I get extremely bored. Because I am a child, a whiny 25-year-old child, I need something else. And while I found Peter a bit annoying, and his type of character sort of bugs me in crime novels, for absolutely no other reason than me being weird. I liked the concept of rivers being people, or the other way around. I like the creepy vampires and the weird ghost-y stuff. I liked Nightingale. I feel like some of the mythology was missing, but it’s okay. I liked it though. Basically the book is about a young cop, Peter, who is called to the scene to work as manpower when a man is killed. According to a ghost, yes Peter is equally confused when a ghost talks to him, the man was killed because another man whacked his head off with a stick. Peter learns that magic and ghosts exist and he becomes part of the department in the police that works with ghosts, led by DCI Thomas Nightingale. Thumbs up.