Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March reading

April Fool's Day is a holiday that I've always loved more in my head than in the world, mostly because I'm always surrounded by people too busy or too lazy to take advantage of it, and since I'm also too busy and too lazy, a day devoted to tricks and pranks and illusions goes by with nothing but vague wistfulness.


March books:

The Ramen King And I by Andy Raskin
This book made me laugh (snort, giggle, and squeak). It made me hungry, especially for ramen and sushi (I may have to hunt down the local restaurants mentioned...); and it made me squirm at the difficulty of figuring out what actually makes someone happy. It reminded me of Murakami, a head-on collision between the mundane and the weirdness of real life. It comes out in May (I'm putting a link here, since the book isn't out yet).

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
Gobbled this one up. It's been a while since I read a comic. I always feel like the dual punches of words and images overload my brain a bit. My imagination goes hyperactive, trying to unfold in too many directions at once, so I dole these out as an occasional challenge and treat. All of the art in here is GORGEOUS.

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry
Absolute delight. Reading this felt like romping through a Magritte painting. It has so many of my favourite things in it that I felt like I was unwrapping one of those crepe paper balls, and every little trinket that fell out made me hop with its shiny rightness. Detectives, dreams, bicycles, umbrellas, typewriters, carnivals, clocks, phonographs, hats, and sleepwalkers.

The Private Patient by P. D. James
This book has one of the most unflinchingly horrible discoveries of a body that I've ever read. And its so succinct, and so brilliant, that I read it three times to see how she turned my stomach over. I've never read a P. D. James book before, and I was taken aback by how good it was. It made me think about how a mystery story is a distorted portrait of intersecting trajectories.

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
I liked this book, but it didn't grab me the way I wanted it to. It's a story about an orphan shoved out into world that teeters on the edge of strange and ridiculous things that hurt the unlucky. I wasn't sure what kind of world it was though, or how far into the strange it was possible to go, so I always felt like I was tripping over things.

Suzy, Led Zeppelin, and Me by Martin Millar
I laughed a lot. And I was very sad. And I got all nostalgic for music that I don't really know at all. I couldn't think of any of the songs he mentioned, not even a tiny bit of melody, but I still had so much fun. So, I think that's a good sign.

The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
I've been wanting to read this for a while. I liked it and I loved, loved the strangeness and harshness of the magical underneath version of Moscow. I wasn't quite satisfied with the almost-end--the explanation for why things happened didn't quite balance out for me--but the very end was exactly what I wanted it to be without being anything I expected.

1 comment:

Bookgeek said...

So I really liked The Good Thief. Maybe because I read it at a time when I desperately needed to escape. And it was unusual enough to set it apart.