• Ups and Downs and Reading Slowly

    Posted by Charity, 4 years ago

    It’s official I’m switching to storybooks. That is the only way I’m hitting 50 books this year. I only read 2 books in August! How is that possible? And one of those titles was actually pretty small. Bah!

    Here’s my latest reads;

    #32 is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
    Selznick is the genius behind the title “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” which is soon to be a movie (which is perfect when you know the story). Wonderstruck is similar to “The Invention” in its merging of narrative through text and imagery. In Wonderstruck Selznick conveys two distinct stories, one through text and one through images that are separate but also magically combined. This was an ARC, so you won’t find it on bookshelves just yet, but that will give you time to read the other title first, and you should seriously consider that as a life choice.

    #33 is The Griff by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson
    I’m a huge fan of Christopher Moore and I also enjoy reading graphic novels, so when the two were suddenly combined I had high hopes. Unfortunately I found myself a little disappointed. The dialogue of the story wasn’t up to Moore’s normal standards and to make matters worse, I found the layout of the panels confusing at times which is going to be off-putting to any readers who are entering into the world of graphic novels just for Moore. In the introduction, Moore jokes that the good parts were his and the bad parts were Corson’s, but since my favourite part of this book was the introduction written by Moore, I have to wonder if that joke wasn’t more honest than Moore expected. If you haven’t read anything by Moore, I would recommend starting with his regular fiction titles (ahem Lamb) and only consider this title if you want to make sure you have read everything by Moore.

    #34 is This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
    I find it hard to believe that this is the first book by Oppel that I have read. This book was so well written I will definitely be looking at his other titles in the near future. Oppel introduces the reader to a young Viktor Frankenstein and his early forays into the world of alchemy and dark magic to save his twin brother. Oppel tells a strong tale of his own and also provides an interesting back story for this iconic character to potentially explain his infamous actions.

    #35 is Mr. G by Alan Lightman
    This title looks at the creation of the universe by Mr. G. The inclusion of an aunt and uncle who want to assist with his endeavours should make the story extremely funny, but somehow the potential for absurdity is completely ignored. There are some profound philosophical conversations throughout the book and on occasion we are given a glimpse into some worlds that seem very similar to earth but with obvious cultural differences but in the end I found myself not caring about the main characters or the universes that were created. Oh, and there was way too much science for my brain. So if you know someone who digs the science behind creation, they may enjoy this title, but if you’re looking for a good laugh, this title will be disappointing.

    #36 is Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente
    In my last post I spoke about “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” which is also by Valente. I happened to come across some information while reading that book that indicated that “The Girl” was first mentioned in Palimpsest as the favourite book of one of the main characters. I so enjoyed “The Girl” that I knew I had to check out the origin of the tale. Unfortunately, while I found the basic concept of Palimpsest interesting, I quickly got lost in the convoluted tales of the four main characters. I also fell victim to a problem that has always plagued me, confusion created by foreign (non-English) names. For some reason, names that aren’t English are my own personal reading kryptonite. I will, without fail, get those characters mixed up, confusing storylines, characteristics and motivation. This leads to having to reread many sections, as I can’t understand why the character is suddenly acting so out of character. It always ends poorly, and it’s one of the reasons why I haven’t read much non-English literature. It’s my failing but the book always ends up suffering for it. I am looking forward to reading the prequel to “The Girl” but Valente may have lost me when it comes to her adult fiction.

    That’s it for now. I’ll post again when I have another 5 titles done. So, sometime next year at this rate!

Comments on this post:
  • Christine L

    • Most Helpful

    4 years ago

    Charity, thanks for your posts ... excellent reviews. I have definitely put "This Dark Endeavour" onto my TBR list. Thank you also for your comments about Moore. I too am a HUGE Moore fan (A Dirty Job is the one that got me hooked). I had the pleasure of meeting him at a Chapters event and he is as zany as his books. However I am not a graphic novel fan yet was considering picking it up because its a Moore project. After your comments I think I will give it a pass and wait for the next novel. And remember ... its not a competition ... its about sharing!

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