This is a
look back on the books I read in September. It was a pretty good month. Seven
books, go me. I quite liked most of them. It was a brilliant month really.
Fire, Graceling, I don’t know. I uh, yes. I liked Graceling a lot, surprisingly
much. And I was very exciting about this book. Also you know creepy monsters
who are so beautiful people can’t stay away, sounds kind of cool. And I like
underdogs. Essentially this book takes place before, probably 30-40 years
before Graceling, in a country across the mountains, called the Dells. The
Dells do not have gracelings, they do however have monsters, extremely
beautiful humans and creatures. The human monsters have the ability to read the
moods and thoughts of others, and can control them. The main character is Fire,
who is a human monster. Her father Cansrel spent most of his life in a very
disturbing relationship with the old king, severely influencing him and they
pretty much fucked over the kingdom. Now they are both dead and Fire is asked
to help uncover a plot against the new king, Nash. It’s okay, the plot is
interesting enough, I liked Fire, and I liked some of the characters, mainly
Archer and Brigan, because at least Archer was interesting, I mean he’s clearly
an asshole, but he had layers. I think Fire made some very responsible decisions.
She knew she couldn’t have kids, no matter how much she wanted them so she
prevented it. She was a bit whiny though. And she is more vulnerable than the
main character of Graceling, Katsa, but yes. The book moves sort of slowly and
then suddenly everything happens at once in the last 40-ish pages, that’s
annoying. Also, and I might be severely overanalysing this, but I feel like
there is some victim blaming in there. Fire is essentially so beautiful people
can’t stay away from her, and they want to rape her. Cashore isn’t really
apologizing rapists, she seems to clearly find it reprehensible. Still the
characters keep telling Fire that men can’t help themselves, because she’s just
so pretty, and it just felt a bit wrong to me. I sort of liked the book and I
want to read the last one, but yes, weird.
liked this. I liked how insidious the “government” was when they changed the
commandments, changing every rule to just fit into the way they need it to be.
I loved that I read this without actually knowing very much about the Russian
revolution (I feel slightly ignorant in saying that), and now I want to read
history books. I feel like I should get Marx books. Anyway. It was really cool,
I liked it. It is about a farm where the animals have had enough of the
subjugation from their farmer (a.k.a. the Tsar of Russia) Mr Jones. So the
animals revolt and they do their own thing. And it starts out being all cool
and good and awesome, and they are friends and they make good food and a lot of
grain, and it’s all good. Then it all goes to hell. The pigs start to go all
fascist dictators and they do it insidiously and creepily, and it’s friggin’
awesome. I loved it.
surprisingly good. I hadn’t expected it to be as good as I thought it was. Don’t
know why, I’m just very judgemental I guess. It’s about two people, Aria and
Peregrine, and set in the future. Aria lives inside a protected dome called
Reverie, where people are protected from the horrors of outside. Peregrine is a
Savage, who lives outside. When Aria’s mother disappears Aria gets into trouble
trying to find her and is thrown out. Meanwhile Peregrine wants to get in to
find his nephew, who was taken by some of Aria’s people. The character
development is interesting, their relationship with each other is interesting
and it develops slowly and sort of beautifully. The world-building was good,
and I like that there is this weird electrical storm thing in the atmosphere
that is never actually explained. It’s great. Anyway, I liked it, I might read
the others too, eventually.
This is a
collection of short stories that were originally 90-second interludes for the
radio. The idea is that Vonnegut is “killed” by Dr Kevorkian and is just on the
brink of dying. There he speaks to people from history, who are obviously dead,
people like Adolf Hitler, or presidents, or just random people. It’s really
weird, and I really liked it. I don’t know what it is, it’s just really cool. The
stories are so weird, and the way he wrote them makes them still look like a
radio segment, he signs off, he greets his listeners, it’s really hilarious.
This is a
book that I think I got because it was cheap on Kindle, because that’s how I
live my life. I buy books based on their cheapness on Amazon. I also bought it
because it’s based on a Norwegian fairy tale and how often do you hear that?
It’s a fairy tale called East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which is very
similar to my favourite fairy tale; the White-Bear-King-Valemon. This is about
a young woman who doesn’t have a name, everyone just calls her the lass. She
lives in Norway and a long, cold, unyielding winter is gripping the nation. The
lass can understand animals and one day a huge polar bear asks her to come with
him, to live with him for a year, and in return her family will be rich. She
goes with him, and lives with him in a palace of ice. In the nights a strange
man sleeps next to her. One night she looks at him and he tells her he has been
cursed by a troll queen and the only way to break the curse was to live with a
woman for a year without her looking at him. Now he has to go east of the sun
and west of the moon to marry the troll princess. The book is fun, the folklore
is cleverly used and the story is interesting. The ending seems a bit rushed,
but overall I really liked it. It was cool.
Vonnegut, because I might be obsessed. He wrote really simplistically, and it’s
really clever, and it’s also really hilarious. He is extremely funny. The book
seems sort of slapdash, according to the narrator Eugene Debs Hartke it is
mainly written on slips of paper or napkins. It’s the story of Hartke, a
teacher and Vietnam Veteran who is fired from his college job and takes a
teaching job at the prison on the other side of the lake. The story isn’t told
chronologically and we slowly get told what happened to get Eugene fired. He
was telling jokes and trying to educate his kids, which is obviously horrible.
Therefore he has to teach at the prison, where there is eventually a breakout,
which we hear about through the whole book. Eugene is an odd person who neither
masturbates or swears, but who seems to have little qualms with killing people
and cheating on his wife. It’s extremely weird, and the disjointed story
telling makes it very interesting. Also, he’s a cocky weirdo, he refers to the
prisoners tearing down a Vonnegut statue during the prison break. For that
alone I have to love him.
Oh my God
I love it. I don’t know why but it took me a while to get into it, but when I
did I was so excited. It’s so good. I like dystopia, and this is a fine example
of the genre. The book is about a boy named Todd, the last boy in Prentisstown.
Prentisstown is a town with only men and boys. All the women have died from the
Noise germ, released by the inhabitants of New World. Suddenly Todd discovers a
whole in the Noise, just absolute quiet. His foster fathers make him run away,
without really explaining anything. Todd runs back to the swamp where he found
the quiet and he meets a girl. They run away together, and Todd’s world pretty
much falls apart as all the lies he has been brought up on are revealed. It’s
really good. The writing is really interesting and the aesthetics are cool,
because of the way Ness shows the Noise, it’s amazing. Aaron is freaking
terrifying, Viola is an amazing badass. And all the Manchee feels, trying to
not spoil it. It’s friggin’ amazing.