Monday, March 18, 2013

The Plane! The Plane!


I'm writing this from the plane! Wifi on the plane! I might never read another book. Hah. Just kidding. Actually, the page is loading strangely, so I have no idea if this post even has a title.

TOB in progress...
I'm pretty pleased with the TOB so far. I've read some books I really enjoyed,  read some head-scratchers that just didn't work for me, and saw the book I hated most go down in the first round. Yes! In the end, I read far more of the titles than I thought I would. I still have to finish May We Be Forgiven and How Should A Person Be?. I decided not to bring MWBF with me to Florida because it's hardback. And that's just crazy. I will definitely finish it.

HSaPB? is just a wacky read. I wouldn't say that I liked it, but my expectations were so low, I'm finding myself pleasantly surprised. The weirdest part is there's an entire chapter called "Interlude for Fucking" and it's don't even know how to describe it. Lots of uncomfortable and very vivid descriptions of sex, made even more uncomfortable by the fact that the guy's name is Israel. I mean, really? It's hard not to read it as a political statement of some kind. What kind, I don't know.  I'd say more, but my child is sitting right next to me, and a sweet old man is on my other side. (Yes, motherhood means sitting in the middle seat. Blech.)

I'll be curious to see what happens in the Round 2 match-ups. I guess my predictions are for Orphan Master to win over Fault; May We Be Forgiven over Building Stories; Gone Girl over Beautiful Ruins; Bring Up the Bodies over How Should a Person Be?.

I don't know if I think Building Stories is better, but someone, sooner or later, is going to say, "It's not a novel!" I predict it in this round because the Judge's bio says that she likes to read on the train. Building Stories definitely defies train-reading! The one I'm most on the fence about is Gone Girl vs. Beautiful Ruins. I liked them both a lot, they're both strong contenders. I feel like I'd be happy either way, but we'll see how I feel after the decision.

In all liklihood, I'm just not going to get to Bring Up the Bodies before it's over. I read Wolf Hall in the summer when I was less busy. I have a feeling the same thing might have to happen with Roll Out the Barrel---just kidding!---Bring Up the Bodies. But we'll see. Maybe I will be inspired to tackle it when I get back from Florida.

As for March, I have two books with me here that could be a go. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It was recommended to me by a teacher friend, and it just sounds like a good read. Sort of creepy and gothic. I actually read the first 75 pages of 500 on the plane. I'm going to be honest that it's feeling like a slow starter. According to the jacket and blurbs, it's some rip-roaring ghost story. You'd think there'd be a little more action so far. But it's engagingly written and I certainly understand the creepy house so far. I'm sure I'll keep reading it just because I'm already so far into it.

I also downloaded The Making of the Atomic Bomb to my Kindle in the airport. That sucker is 800 pages. I'm not dragging it around anywhere. Totally worth the purchase. I bought this because of my strange fascination with nuclear power. I think I originally bought a copy when the tsunami hit the Fukushima Nuclear power plant in Japan. I guess it's dumb to buy it twice, but I think I'll be much more likely to read it when I can have it with me all the time. I was inspired to put it on my list this year after reading a review from the Year in Reading series over at The Millions.

What about you? Have you started a March title yet?

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, you don't have to be a mom to get the Middle Seat Shaft. I get it when I fly with Bill and we don't have kids! :)

    As for the Tournament, I was surprised by TFIOS over Round House on the very first day and HSAPB over Arcadia today. (Even though I have not read either of today's contenders -- just based on what others have said.) I'm shocked RH is not a zombie -- I wonder if people didn't think it would go down so quickly?

    For the next round, I agree with you completely... I think Building Stories was such a great story (I keep thinking about it, a month after reading it!) but someone is going to say "This is the Tournament of *Books* and *this* is not a book!" I was shocked it made it past the first judge without that coming down, so I think you're right about the second judge.

    I am also conflicted about Beautiful Ruins vs. Gone Girl as I think they are equally strong books, but in different ways. (And, if I was stuck on a deserted island and had only one of them to read again and again, I would take BR so I guess that shows my preference...) I wonder if the judge will want to be a contrarian and shoot down the "big book" of 2012 (GG) just to do it. I haven't looked into the judge at all, so I don't know if that's something that person would do.

    The other two brackets seem like gimmes, although, again, I was really surprised today.

    As for my March reading, I'm about halfway through that Why I'm Like This that I told you about. It's a collection of autobiographical short stories which... really has to be totally fucking hilarious to get my best rating... and so far... it's not! The stories are fine and I laughed a few times early on, but the last few have just had me smiling. I mean, they're good stories, but... I feel like I have enough friends that I could just call up and say "Tell me a funny story about your childhood" that I don't need to read this book (I will admit that I am completely spoiled by having Bill and Bob around all the time -- brothers who are best friends who remember *all* of their [now hilarious] childhood stories and both have a knack for story telling with amazing comedic timing? Yeah. So... that's a tough act to beat for "humorous autobiographical short stories". But that's my damage.)

    Having said all of that, it's not *bad* -- I definitely find some of the stories relatable (her dad is a gadget-aholic. I don't know if you remember this, but Dick was too... so I could totally relate when she was talking about him bringing home the "latest! great! thing!" every week) and it's a super-fast read (I've been picking it up between HHhH and the latest Mercy)... I just think my expectations may have been overly high.

    Sooo.... I'm glad we just had this little chat, since it gives me a chance to re-set my expectations for the rest of the book and I suspect I will now enjoy the rest of the stories more! Heh.

    I've also been perusing a couple of TBP books -- it just takes me awhile to document my perusals, since I like to share some photos with ya when I'm done. One should be ready in the next day or so and I should be finished perusing another one this weekend, so maybe... write up next week? Sure. Let's aim for that.