31 December 2014

2014 Favourites

2014 ~ An interesting year in reading!

I took the advice of others and decided that life was too short to read what you are not enjoying, so there were many marked as unfinished (The Bees; The Blazing World; By Night In Chile; How A Mother Weaned Her Girl From Fairy Tales; Long Division; The Magicians; Mermaids In Paradise; Perfidia; Red Rising; This Is The Water)

But there were also some that I kept reading (book club? as a form of punishment? prize winners that I didn't enjoy?) and wasted valuable reading time (Annihilation; Family Life; The Fracking King; Frog Music; The Paying Guests; Serena; The Son; The Turner Of Silences; The Wonders) ... whoa ... that is quite a lot of NFM reading (Not For Me).

So ... favourites from 2014 :
THE ENCHANTED by Rene Denfeld
THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton
STATION ELEVEN by Emily St John Mandel

And very much enjoyed : (and just couldn't decide what to move to the Top 5)
Half A Yellow Sun
The People In The Trees
An Untamed State

And also great reads : (but just out of Top 5 contention)
Bone Clocks
A Dance With Dragons
Egg And Spoon 
Fourth Of July Creek
The Golden Age
The Wolf In Winter

13 December 2014


An added bit of awesomeness ... this graphic from Google Images 
comes from the Bookshop Santa Cruz ... awwwww ... happy memories!!!

Long List for Tournament of Books

So far I have read : 
All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld 
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Area X: Southern Reach Trilogy : Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
California by Edan Lepucki
Euphoria by Lily King
Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Secret Place by Tana French
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

03 December 2014

The Interestings ~ Meg Wolitzer

** OK **

Seriously?  The Not-At-All-Interestings
In fact : The Downright-Borings

In some ways I felt the author was trying to (badly, very badly) imitate A Secret History (with its slow simmering plotline peopled with eccentric misfits coming to terms with a dark secret). But this was boring, repetitive and superficial, fluffed up with token pop-culture references, full of irrelevant repetitive detail and peopled with caricatures.

By the end I wondered why I had hung in there and finished. What uninteresting characters! What a trivial narrative!

That self-obsessed, centre-of-their-own-universe, trite shallowness of adolescence resonates throughout the book. All well and good for adolescents, except the characters that we meet as teens seem to age chronologically but not emotionally.

We are kept at arms length from the cardboard characters. We are told they are Interestings, full of promise, talented, witty etc but that is only words and their actions belie this. They are boring (Oh, OK, it was exciting when Julie changed her name to Jules! Wowee!!) and one dimensional (Look at me! I'm gay!) and hung up on stereotypes and physical appearances (repeatedly told of the buxom-blond would-be dancer, and eczema-covered love reject, and hunky probable-rapist).