28 February 2013

Tournament of Books 2103

Get ready : The 2013 Tournament of the Books Finalists :
Pre Tournament Playoff Round :

The Morning News 2013 Tournament of Books :

Book Riot pre-Tournament discussion :

MY CHOICES : in bold

WINNERS : in blue
not necessarily based on what were my favourites, a bit of a mix of favs plus what I think will go well in the competition
RE-SELECTIONS in italics

Play In Winner
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Fobbit, Yellow Birds

Round 1 Winners
May We Be Forgiven V Play In Winner : Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,
Building Stories V Dear Life
Bring Up The Bodies V HHhH
Arcadia V How Should A Person Be
Song Of Achilles V Beautiful Ruins
Gone Girl V Ivyland
The Round House V The Fault in Our Stars
The Orphan Master's Son V Where'd You Go Bernadette

Round 2 Winners
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk V Building Stories V May We Be Forgiven
Bring Up The Bodies V Arcadia V How Should A Person Be?
Gone Girl V Beautiful Ruins
The Orphan Master's Son V The Round House The Fault In Our Stars

Round 3 Winners and Zombies

Orphan Master's Son V Building Stories
Gone Girl V How Should A Person Be?

Zombie Round Winners/Finalists
Z2 V Gone Girl
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk V Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son

06 February 2013

The Daughter Of Time ~ Josephine Tey


Back to a classic

This was one of my high school texts, and I decided to revisit it after reading a comment about it being the classic detective mystery novel, if not "one of the most important books ever written’" (Peter Hitchens 2012).  When I started it, it slowly came back to me ... slow dawning of "I didn't like it then ... and I don't like it now!".  I gave up.

I think a big part of that is that I am just not into English monarchy family trees.  (Maybe it is the Irish in me??).

05 February 2013

The Night Circus ~ Erin Morgenstern

 ~ OK ~

A confection of spun sugar,
As fulfilling as a diet of cupcakes

There was something magical and delightful about a narrative jam packed with evocative imagery.  But really I had to hesitate before the word "narrative".  While the visuals were all there, the plot was flat.

This was like a spiraling stand of elaborately decorated cupcakes. Lovely to behold, something to be admired.   Each more enticing, but really just sameness covered by differing buttercreams and frosting ... and beware of overindulgence!

Or maybe the analogy should be a carousel : all sparkle and promise but not really going anywhere.  It starts, it goes around at a predictable pace accompanied by lights and music, it stops.  That's it.

The main characters, Marco & Celia, were one dimensional, behaving for obscure reasons. Some of the supporting players were interesting, some lackluster.  While the settings and clothing all had an ornate filigree of description, we were left to our own devices to decide why characters behaved as they did and just what was going on.  The lack of substance couldn't be disguised in the end as the plot came to a not-too-exciting climax.  And like the carousel : That's it.  Ride over.  Not for thrillseekers but lovers of the superficially pretty.