I’ve been plowing through books on my iPad these past months. It’s nice to be back to reading more regularly after not for so long. And I’m getting used to reading on an e-reader. BUT, my love of physical books is not diminished. If I had a bigger house and more room for more bookcases, I’d be buying more books.
That is me to a “T.” I love just having books upon books around me. I’ve got at least 4 books on my nightstand, a bookshelf in my bedroom, an even bigger one in the living room, and I’d have another one if I could!
But back to the books I’ve been reading. Here are some that I’ve read all the way through (meaning they were enjoyable. I also have a slew of books that I started and couldn’t get into for whatever reason):
Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
This was a lot of fun to read. Questlove is a philosophizing music nerd. He even says he probably would have been diagnosed with autism if he were a child in today’s age. The book is a mix of stream of consciousness, allusions and references to music from all kinds of genres, socio-political commentary, and just plain autobiography about this musical genius/ giant. I get these fixations of finding a person/ group/ concept and doing a lot of background research to understand him/her/them/it better. So The Roots have been on my recent fix, mostly from seeing them on the Jimmy Fallon show (see previous post), listening to Questlove on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and subsequently watching their music videos on YouTube. They’re an interesting bunch. This is a book I want to buy for my bookshelf.
Just finished How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway.
I came across this on my Overdrive app for one of the public libraries that I belong to, and though I was worried about the starting point of it being about a Japanese woman married to a US serviceman post WWII (a bit cliche, in my opinion), I thought I’d give it a try. And it was surprisingly good. There was the usual heartache-y storyline that comes with the whole culture clash thing and the struggles and sacrifice that an Asian warbride experiences. But instead of focusing on the love story, it focused on her, her daughter, and her relationship with her brother and family back in Japan. The white husband was barely present. I get tired of that overplayed story of the Asian woman/ white man relationship which provides escape for the Asian woman from a repressive and oppressive Asian culture. So this had more depth of story and character development. Not worth buying, but it was a good read.
A friend of mine bought me this book in preparation for a trip we’re taking to Iceland: Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
This was a mystery/ suspense story (nothing too intense for me; I’m a wimp when it comes to books, movies, and TV shows). Also a good read. Interesting story line, not very predictable, set in a country I don’t know. This was actually in book form, so that was a good break from the usual e-reader format. I’m curious to know what else this author has up his sleeves.
Also read Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel
I really don’t remember how I came across this, maybe from a book review online. But it was a happy accident. This was a really beautifully written book about a girl and a boy. Basically a love story but told in such a lyrical way, nonlinear, through memories of different characters. All to describe the life of the main character Lilia. It’s too hard to explain the book’s storyline because it really is simply a love story. But tie in a father and mother with unique stories, lots of road tripping across the U.S., Montreal, a detective with his own quest. And I was drawn in.
Books have always been my escape from reality, not that reality was bad or anything, but a way to jump into another world as an intensely connected spectator. I love deep and complex characters. I love beautifully crafted language. And with this world of online borrowing, I can just start a book, see if I like it and then move on if I’m not hooked right away.
Here are some books I started and just couldn’t get into:
- Too Big To Fail (about the stock market crash in 2008)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (not sure, it started off OK but I just couldn’t get through it)
- A Visit from the Goon Squad (another that started off well and then got tedious)
- Bel Canto (ditto)
- Please Look After Mom (a translation from a Korean author – I wanted to like it, but maybe I’ll need to try again)
What suggestions do you have out there?