08 March 2011

Finally finished: a short tale of distractions

Having access to the internet does very bad things to a reading list, at least on my part. I kept getting distracted whenever I DID have time to read. I'll be working on that. For one, I finally finished Michael Chabon's Summerland, after having started on it back in DECEMBER. It's a shame that I took this long. The days of reading a book in a day have passed, maybe not permanently but it's definitely been a while.

Summerland was an enjoyable read, to the point that I wish I could keep the copy I was reading. Alas, it is not to be, but I broke my book buying pact and scoured Amazon's sellers for a used hardcover first-edition copy. (Also: Jurassic Park because why not "kill two birds with one stone" when the seller clearly has in their hands a used hardcover first-edition copy of the novel? I feel sorry for Elbert, I truly do, getting stuck with me, a bibliophile growing ever more hardcore even in this age of digital media.) I would like to keep my words on it brief this time:

-if you are a fan of baseball, you may be amused by all of the metaphors that Michael Chabon incorporates throughout his novel (I was amused but I am not a super-enthusiast, I only know the basics of the game.)
-if you are a fan of the end-of-the-world mythologies that exist throughout the world, you may find this book to be a worthy take on them, maybe even feel like reviewing the very stories that the author draws from (I belong to THIS particular group, if there is such one (probably))
-if you like children's books with some serious growing done by the main child characters - there's a few of them

I'm a very new fan to Michael Chabon's work, so any other recommendations of his work are appreciated at this point. I just picked up Summerland without any foreknowledge of the story, and almost assumed that it was about a type of heaven or afterlife, because the word "summerland" has been used as a name for Heaven. With no spoilers, I can tell you that I was very wrong, but I was glad to be wrong.

The second book I'd like to talk about briefly is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. This book was a New York Times Bestseller and to its credit, I saw several things that might have made it so:

-It has various elements to attract readers from all kinds of backgrounds and interests - the story takes place over the time period when African-Americans were finally given rights and all regions across the USA were adjusting and transitioning to the legal changes, for one; another is the relationship between the child named Lily and of the memory of her deceased mother, and how everyone in the story is impacted by this girl's very mindset concerning the dead
-Again- the relationship between mothers and daughters, except I'm mentioning this again because Lily is a daughter figure to a number of other women throughout the story, and even more intriguing within the story is how outsiders view their interactions because all of these other women are "black" while Lily is "white"
-Bee-keeping! I like honey so I admit, it was kind of THAT detail in the title that drew me to pick up this book. Actually, I think Sue Monk Kidd did a very good job of describing settings and one of the places that I liked to read best concerned the apiary.
-It was a story that was very easy to digest, but still left some room for a reader to think about what might have happened to the characters after the conclusion of the novel.

1 comment:

punkychewster said...

thanks for reading! yes the internet is positively evil. i have been reading crime and punishment like FOR-Eh-VER now and find it so hard to put the computer away and pick up that booK!