Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Ding, ding, ding

We have a winner! Carl will be receiving a great book entitled Bee Season! Look here for more details. Good job Carl!

#10 I'm not telling

I was home this weekend without any reading material and found a "romance" "novel" (neither romantic or novel-like) that I'm not even going to give you the title of. It was crap, crappity crap crap. And the "love" scenes weren't even that good, which is the whole point of the damn things anyway, right? Also, no I did not stay up way past my bedtime to finish the stupid thing. No, I did not.

So, I'm right on track with five books a month. Maybe I'll finish Manifesta this week and then I'll be ahead! Raise your hand if you, like me, think that it is somewhat ridiculous that it is almost May. What happened to January through April?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Going, going...

No one commented on my contest in my post for book #8. Is it that people don't like prizes? Don't like copy editing? Don't really read this at all? The prize is still up for grabs folks. Take a chance.

#9 Best American Non-Required Reading 2003

I'm a sucker for these Best American series books. They sell them at the campus bookstore for super cheap and I pick one up whenever I see a new one. I love short fiction and am fascinated with how an author can create characters or a situation that I get invested in with such a short amount of space. It's amazing. Sometimes I wish that I could write fiction. I'm pretty certain that I can't in any meaningful way though.
This is the second book in this particular series and I wasn't very impressed with it. I didn't like more pieces than I liked. It was really hit and miss, whereas with other collections, I like almost all of it. However, it did have a fascinating piece about Saddam Hussein by Mark Bowden from the Atlantic Monthly and a super funny very short piece titled "How to Write a Suspense Story" by James Pinkerton that had me laughing out loud on the bus.
According to the forward, the collection was put together with the help of high school students and it really shows. It seemed to me like a lot of stories were about younger people, mostly high school kids, and how they're horrible to each other. I'm not against reading about cruelty but it all seemed so immature. Blah. If you can find other sources for the Bowden and Pinkteron, I highly recommend them.
After Take Back the Night and It Affects Me Weeks, I'm feeling super gung-ho about activism and feminism so expect a lot of that soon. Thanks for reading all.

Friday, April 08, 2005

#8 Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

I picked this up at a used book store on my glorious day off. So, um, this was a book about, um, stuff and then things happened and the end. Or rather this is a book about a family whose members are very alienated from each other and a lot of f-ed up stuff happens and then the author doesn't quite know how to end it and it turns into an orgiastic, mystical thing and who cares what happens to the very important main character in the mental hospital and TA-DA, the end. You can see how very strongly I felt about the book.

I really dislike it when I feel like the author wants to end the story doesn't know how to and comes up with all this crazy stuff just to finish the damn novel all ready. I can totally tell and I'm sure other people can to. I understand that writing a novel is an enormous task (just ask this guy) but if you don't know how to finish it, please just wait. Don't rush to a conclusion because it won't make sense with your characters and will turn something that was really interesting into a pile of mush, in my humble opinion. Anyone out there who has had similar experiences with other novels? Warn me please.

P.S. This post contains one of the most fantastical run-on sentences I think I will ever have the joy to compose. First person who guesses correctly wins a prize!

Friday, April 01, 2005

#7 Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

Hurray! I did 7 books in March! I only have 43 more to go. Wooo! Ahem, back to business. I had high hopes for this book. I really like Woman Hollering Creek, but have sadly never read The House on Mango Street. When I began this, I was really interested but perhaps due to literary overload, my interest dropped off. It took a bit time to finish and the middle was strangely narrated. It took me longer than I want to admit figuring out what the heck was going on with the second part's narration structure. I liked the beginning and the end but the middle, not so much. I usually like weird time lines (see here) but this seemed too disjointed to me and the end was pretty cheesy too, come to think of it.

I like the idea of a huge immigrant Mexican family's history and experiences being told by the only daughter and I got really excited when she mentioned places in Mexico City that I saw last summer but I was kind of disappointed in the novel as a whole. Celaya's, the narrator, retelling of American and Mexican history is pretty darned humorous, especially when talking about popular culture but I don't think it makes up for the sagging middle.