Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday - Ian McEwan

I found Saturday very hard going. The story intrigued me, and I wanted to enjoy the book... but!
In my Friday night book club in February, one of the members of the group said she didn't enjoy Let me Sing you Gentle Songs by Linda Olsson, because she felt like there was too much detail, and she was getting  bogged down in it. I have to say that is exactly how I felt about Saturday. One moment Henry is standing at the window looking out and then we have pages and pages of description of his work. I was a bit confused when all of a sudden he was back at the window again.

To be honest, the only reason I finished this book was because we were reading it for book club... ok ok, I didn't actually have it quite finished for book club, and I did want to finish it to count towards the 100+
challenge. It was really hard going. I had the same trouble with Atonement, but gave up on that without a second thought. I probably didn't really get into it until about 3/4 of the way through... normally I wouldn't persevere with a book that I'm struggling with for that long. I'm definitely of the "life's too short to struggle with a book" train of thought.

What about you? Do you give up when the going gets too tough? Or will you push through to the end?
Perhaps it's just my frame of mind these days that I don't want too much detail in what I'm reading. I don't want to have to struggle to read a book.

Monday, March 15, 2010

February Roundup - 100 + challenge

I'm finding that the thinner books are increasingly harder to read than the
thicker ones. I was almost managing a book every four days.
This month I read 5 books:
The Wild Things - Dave Eggers
50 ways to find a lover - Lucy-Anne Holmes
Let me sing you gentle songs - Linda Olsson
Wonders of a godless world - Andrew McGahan
The Single Man - Christopher Isherwood

It was a mixed bag of books this month. From Wild things based on the
Maurice Sedak book Where the Wild things are, to chick lit 50 ways to find
a Lover. Wonders of a godless world, which won the Aurealius Award this
year, to the Single Man by Christopher Isherwood. I really enjoyed Let me
sing you gentle songs. It generated great discussion in book club.
The Single Man was rather hard going. The perspective changed from second
person to third person and back again. The end was well developed. Although
I havent' seen the movie, starring Colin Firth, I could hear his voice as
I've now saved a total of $11 for the buck a book challenge.

Wonders of a Godless World

I've just finished reading Wonders of a Godless World by Andrew McGahan. It has just won the 2009 Aurealis Award for Science Fiction. It is a bit of an unusual book.

About the book
Wonders of a Godless World is set on an island in the middle of an ocean. The main character is a retarded orphan girl who works at the hospital. Mostly with the mental patients. She has no experience of the world outside the island. One day a patient is brought to the hospital in a coma. Strange things happens to the patients he is put near so he is moved to a room on his own. The patient is called the Foreigner by the girl. Very few of the characters have names. Eventually the Orphan starts to hear the voice of the Foreigner in her head. He shows her wonders she'd never dreamt of. It explores notions of power, reality and how human interaction affects the world around them.
I found it was a challenge to read, and often had to reread bits to make sense of them. Some of the imagery created was amazing. I think it definitely needs a reread before I can decide if I liked it or not.