Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Normally after almost a week of vacation with my family I'd have a big long list of books I read while I was there. But, this being Nanowrimo, Thanksgiving found me unbelievably still cranking away at my novel (last day! Eek!), so I only have two books to report on. The first is Vampire High by Douglas Rees. Doug is actually a librarian at one of our branches and I had no idea until just recently that he was an author too. I believe he normally writes children's historical fiction, but this one looked funny and I'm a sucker (ugh, sorry) for vampire books, movies, TV shows, etc. so I picked it up. (I also grabbed it as an incentive for me to finish my novel - a kind of "Look, he did it! So can I!" thing.) It's actually really good. The basic premise is a regular kid enrolls at Vlad Dracul High School and soon discovers that most of the other kids there are vampires. He's there to be on the water polo team (water sports are a state requirement but vampires will melt in the water, hence the need for a few regular human kids) and is guaranteed an automatic 4.0 if he just shows up for games. Instead, he decides to start trying to pass the classes and throws the school into upheaval. It was smart and funny and imaginative and even had a twist or two at the end I wasn't expecting. Good job, Doug.

The second book was The Sinner by Tess Gerritson. This one was sitting on the end table next to the recliner in which I attempted to write at my family's house. With nine or more people running around all the time, it was a little hard to do. Basically reading this book was just me avoiding writing. It's about the murder of a nun and how it relates to some corporate crime. It was okay, but way too predictable for me to pick up another of her books.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This weekend while babysitting I read The Realm Of Possibility by David Levithan. It's a series of interconnected prose poems, each written from the viewpoint of a different high school student. I don't know enough about poetry to say if the poems themselves are good or not, but a few of them were uncomfortably close to those I produced during my nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I'll go eat worms junior high / high school poetry writing phase. So, I think it's a safe bet to say he gets the emotions right at least. I do think a couple of them were lovely (especially the last one) and there was one I really liked about a guy whose girlfriend is in love with Holden Caufield. It started out funny, with lines like "...Whoever made the cover blank knew what he was doing, because what image of Holden could be stronger than the picture in my girlfriend's head?" but turns sad when you realize how much he likes her and is trying to connect with her, but can't because of her fixation. I started the book a little wary of the format and occasionally I had to flip back to remember who was talking and who they were talking about, but I ended up really enjoying it.

When Daisy read Cassandra At The Wedding, she said it reminded her of The Velvet Bubble by Alice Walker. So of course I had to read it too. I must say though, I'm really glad I took my time reading this book and didn't have the time to sit and read it straight through, because spending several hours straight in Dorrie's company is not a comforting thought. It's written in the first person, so you see everything through her twisted viewpoint and the more you learn about her father, the more odd her attachment seems. Not that it ever seems normal at all though. And is, in fact, not only creepy, but also crazy. And not the funny kind of crazy - we're talking seriously twisted pathological, get that chick some therapy and medication now kind of crazy. Talk about your unreliable narrators! It's disturbing, but actually kind of fun to put together what really happened. Thanks for the recommendation, Daisy.


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