As you can tell, I’m on a bit of a blogging binge…should make up for lost time (actually, it’s been a long time, so probably not entirely…). One reason is finding the motivation, another reason (which is probably why I’ve found my motivation) is that Jeff and I got a new glider as one of our baby shower presents…so while Jeff plays his video games…I sit on our glider and type away. It’s been quite nice!
But I digress. The Literate Lushes is still going strong! We’ve had some pretty heated book club sessions, which is always interesting, haha. Here’s what we’ve read since I left off in April:
April: The Book Thief
I’ll just add that I really enjoyed this book. As I mentioned in the last Literate Lushes update, it’s quite a sad little story, but so well told. It’s from the perspective of Death, which gives it a really unique insight into the war and the lives of those he’s in charge of taking with him. Surprisingly, I really ended up liking Death–he just gets a bad rap.
May: Small Acts of Resistance, by Steve Crawshaw
I was debating on this book back in March, and finding nothing else worth sharing with everyone that I hadn’t already read, I decided to go with it.
The book is broken up and consists of a bunch of small little vignettes. The consensus amongst all the Literate Lushes was that these short stories were too short. On the one hand, it was nice to get a small taste of so many different issues/areas/geographies/historical events, but on the other hand, I wish the author would have spent more time explaining the background or outcome of these stories a little more. His failure to do so made the beginning of the book very frustrating: hey that’s really interesting what you just shared there…but why did it happen? what happened afterwards? where does this issue stand now? what happened to that guy?
Some stories further in the book got a little more detailed, but it was still a little disorganized and a bit all over the place. Overall, however, most of us found it very interesting and I’d like to think we all learned something about important issues that we may not have known otherwise, so mission accomplished!
One other issue some of us had was that it was very anti-USA in a way. Sure, the US of A ain’t perfect, and our government has had it’s hands in quite a few shady historical events, but the author seemed to take a lot of jabs that weren’t necessary, and you could tell it influenced his recounting of these stories.
I still recommend this book, but just know that you’ll probably have a lot more questions than answers at the end of each story (although you’ll learn some really neat tidbits along the way).
June: Horns, by Joe Hill
Random factoid, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Not that it matters, but hey, the more you know!
Anyhow, this book provided quite a bit of discussion amongst our group, although I’d venture to say that most of us really enjoyed reading it.
The basic plot is that the main character wakes up from a night of debauchery and finds that he has horns on his head. These horns have a certain power that make people be brutally honest with him, and I mean brutally in the full sense of the word (like your mother telling you how bitter she is at you for giving her stretch marks, or your dear old grandmother telling you how much she really hates when you come around to visit). Obviously all hell breaks lose (the book is filled with these fun little puns–maybe too many), and you follow this guy on his journey trying to figure out how/why this happened to him, and in search of the truth of a tragic event that led him to the night of debauchery that the book opens with.
The book bounces back and forth a lot between when the character was a kid, when this tragic event happened, and the present. I thought it worked for the most part, but there was definitely a lot of jumping around.
The end seemed to confuse most of us Lushes. I won’t go into detail since I don’t want to spoil anything, but lots of stuff happens and we weren’t quite sure how or why.
I found the book very entertaining for the most part, I thought the general concept of the book was pretty unique and enjoyed following the threads along. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that I generally have very low standards for books as far as their ability to captivate my attention. As such, this book was intriguing enough that I had to speed through to the end to find out what happens to our unlikely character.
July: A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
Another random PSA, John Kennedy Toole received a Pulitzer Prize award for this book posthumously. He had committed suicide before it was even published. His mother found the transcript in his stuff, and took it to a professor at Loyola and told him he needed to read it. Said professor eventually gave in to the incessant demands of the mother, read it, couldn’t put it down, and got it published. Again, the more you know.
We don’t have our book club on this one for another couple weeks, so I’ll keep my thoughts to myself for now. But in general, the book is about a guy who eats a lot of hotdogs, belches a lot, and pretty much has no sense of reality, haha.
Until next time, happy reading!