Wednesday, January 31, 2007

End of January

No, "End of January" is not the title of a book. Sadly, the month is over and I only finished 2 books!! Though I did get started on a couple. Tomorrow we are headed to Maui for Greg and Jessica's wedding. I'm hoping that will give me a chance to finish up a couple new ones for February!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky - Raz gave me this one for Christmas - it is a quick read, written in the format of letters from the main character - Charlie - to an unidentified friend. The books takes us through Charlie's freshmen year of high school where his best friend has just commited suicide and Charlie appears to have no other friends. The book is very simply written - to the point where I often assumed Charlie was supposed to be slightly mentally retarded. But, given his performance in school and special attention from teachers, it is more likely that he is incredibly intelligent and just completely socially inept. While the book has no amazing revelations, it is very beatifully written - and often painful in its truth. I really enjoyed reading this - though the ending was a tad bit depressing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl : Ashley gave this to me for Christmas, after she started reading it. Listed as one of the top 5 fiction books of 2006, this is the fictional autobiography of Blue Van Meer, a high school senior with the IQ of a genius. After moving from town to town with her professor father, the two finally settle down for Blue's senior year at an exclusive prep school. While there, Blue falls in with an eccentric film teacher and five students. A strange death occurs, and Blue finds herself in the middle of a mystery. While pretentious at times, the writing is fabulous and the story engrossing. I found the ending a bit unsatisfying, but overall I would highly recommend this book - definitely among the best I've read in a very long while.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

"A Study in Scarlet" - Arthur Conan Doyle

I recently bought The Complete Sherlock Holmes - after I had a taste of the detective over a Stanford alumni serial email. A Study in Scarlett was the first short story/novella in the collection. The writing is a bit dense and tends to go off on seeming tangents...but I did enjoy the introdcution to the famous, albeit arrogant, Holmes. The frustrating part of the mystery is that it is impossible for the reader to solve - meaning that no clues are dropped along the way. As I was reading online about the story, it was pointed out that this mystery "convention" had not yet been invented - and that Doyle was in fact developing the mystery genre as he went. It's very interesting, though at time tiresome, to read Sherlock Holmes - fun to see the genre developing, but frustrating that things we've become so accustomed to seeing in detective fiction are not yet included. I'm excited to keep reading the collection now and again.