Another Five-book wrap up

These are five of the last seven books I read. It's quite a weird mix, going from twee children's book to creepy western. 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Sometimes when I’m bored I go through free classics on Amazon and get them, for no good reason. Anyway, that’s how I got this, and it’s been sitting on my Kindle for years. And I wanted something short and sweet so I read it. It is about a young girl named Dorothy who lives with her aunt and uncle in Kansas and one day she is in her house when a tornado hits it and she and her little dog Toto is transported to Oz, where her house lands on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East. She is hailed as a hero for this and when she says she wants to go home she is advised to go to the Emerald city and ask the Wizard to send her home. On the way she meets a Scarecrow without a brain, Tin Man without a heart and a cowardly lion. They go with her to Oz to ask for help. It’s very sweet and twee and Dorothy is a total badass. The wizard is a total idiot, and the world that Baum made was very wonderful. I think I might read more of the books, cause it’s a long series. It feels nice to have read it, because I’d seen the movie, read all the Wicked-books, and seen Wicked on stage before actually reading the source material.

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
This was my first McCarthy. I’m not sure it was a good place to start. I maybe should have started with another one, but what is done is done. This book is about this young boy, called the Kid, who lives in the West in the US, and he joins up with this band of soldier types who go around killing Natives and scalp them. There are named men, and there is one guy who is mostly referred to as the Judge. He has a name, but mostly people call him the Judge. He is just this incredible psychopath who talks about the beauty of killing Natives and aren’t Mexicans awful. The writing was really good. McCarthy doesn’t really use punctuation to indicate dialogue, but that didn’t bother me. I found it really easy to follow who was talking at any time. The Judge is really creepy, the Kid is really creepy, it’s always fun when tweens go around scalping people, right? Anyway. The Kid sort of has this moral compass, and whenever his cohorts do something completely fucked he seems to be almost apathetic, but disgusted. And I found it really fascinating, but I kept getting distracted, I’m not sure why. I want to try another McCarthy, though, even though I wasn’t completely convinced by this one.

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave 
This is a middle grade book I guess. It’s about a young girl named Isabella, she lives on an island named Joya. She is the daughter of a cartographer and they’re quite poor. They live under the yoke of an almost sadistic governor who has managed to chase all the animals away and who has basically only built a school because his daughter wants to go to school. Isabella is friends with the governor’s daughter, Lupe, and when Lupe does something that leads to a poor girl’s death they have an argument and to prove that she isn’t rotten Lupe runs away and disappears into the Forgotten territories. Isabella decides she has to go and find her. So it was very sweet, and short, and it was nice. It didn’t blow my mind, but I clearly was not in the demographic. I feel like there was sometimes these moments where I didn’t know where they were, or what had happened, it felt like there were bits of text missing, and that annoyed me. It was however beautifully published. There are little drawings on all the pages, stars, animals, elements from maps, and that was incredibly beautiful. It was a very sweet and sad story about friendship though. And Lupe’s story was very beautiful in a way. I feel like it could have done with more padding. It felt a bit rushed somewhere and a bit too concise. Anyway. It was fun and sweet, but not like, mind blowing.

Slade House by David Mitchell
Slade House is a short sort of companion novel to The Bone Clocks. It is set somewhere in London, and in Slade Alley there is a house that people go to and never come out of. There are five stories all based around a different person or two going into the house. Every story builds on the previous stories, in the second story a cop is investigating the disappearance in story one. The disappearances are based around the main antagonists in the Bone Clocks, the Anchorites. They use the souls of certain people to power their house and every nine years they need a top-up. It was quite cool. It’s short and it’s sweet and I liked it. It’s very David Mitchell and even though it was short. Because it is a companion novel to the Bone Clocks there are quite a few references to the Bone Clocks, but there are also several references to Cloud Atlas and a couple to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and I am again in awe of David Mitchell’s self-references. I want to meet him once and ask how he plans them out. The ones in this were sort of obvious, but still, I love them. I loved it. It was great.

Irish Bitches Be Crazy by Emma Comerford
So I went to Ireland, and because I am the consummate tourist I thought I’d buy something Irish. So I chose a humorous book about Irish femininity, because that’s normal. So this is a humor book about being a woman in Ireland. It’s a sort of tongue-in-cheek sociological/historical study of Irish woman, how the Irish woman has changed over the decades, and how different developments have changed women, and the world. It talks about famine, family, catholic guilt, friendship, slut shaming, fashion and a weird obsession with death. I think it would probably have been more fun if I was Irish, or knew someone Irish. I think a fair few of the references went over my head. I still did chuckle now and then and I liked it, but it wasn’t great. It was fine.