Monday, March 11, 2013

A Backlog of Posts

Oh my it's March already!?? How did that happen? Oh I know my head has been stuck in a book for the past three months! Well not a book... 30 of them! I'm very close to equalling and overtaking the total number of books I read in 2012. 

I have been writing blog posts though... by hand in a note book where, sadly, noone can see them.

I will try and start transferring them to the blog in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 in books

Happy New Year!

I thought I'd start off the year by rounding up my reading from 2012.

2012 got off to a bad start with no books being finished and didn't improve much after that. There were more months where I didn't manage to finish anything, which is not good for the total book count. As usual Easter is a good time for me to pick up on my reading but that wasn't enough to make it to 50 books this year. However I don't feel so bad as I've kept up a weird pattern that I found in my reading totals - 68, 30, 33! I feel like 2012 was a bit of a blah year for reading. 

I didn't get any "wow that was amazing" feeling until late in the year when I read The Plot Against America by Philip Roth and then again when I read Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Hmm now that I look over this list I realise that there were some pretty great books! 
Bereft by Chris Womersley was quite haunting.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson at times made me laugh so much I had tears running down my cheeks and I had to put it down and sit quietly while I calmed down.
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, while never ending was quite thought provoking.
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey is still my favourite read for 2012
There were a few firsts this year - I read Somerset Maugham for the first time and listened to an audio book all the way through.

Here are all 33 books I read this year. The reviews are linked to the books that have them.

The Complete Polysyballic Spree by Nick Hornby
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Statistical Probability of Love @ First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons

Bereft by Chris Womersley
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Poet's Cottage - Josephine Pennicott
Corduroy Mansions - Alexander McCall Smith
Boy Who Fell To Earth by Kathy Lette


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safron Foer

Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham
House of Fiction: Leonard, Susan & Elizabeth Jolley by Susan Swingler
Let's Pretend  This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeannette Winterson
Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Plot Against America by Philip Roth
Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Between The Assassinations by Aravind Adiga
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Breasts: A natural and unnatural history by Florence Williams
Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Book Borrower by Alice Mattinson
Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store - Robin Sloan
Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Canada by Richard Ford
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers

Books Unfinished But Blogged About
Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
Pocketbooks, 1999
Director - Stephen Chbosky
Summit Entertainment 2012

About the Book/Movie
Charlie is a freshman. and while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts
Oops I started writing this just after seeing the movie but then I got distracted and it's a whole new year now! So here's what I can remember after having read the book then watched the movie. I thought the book was ok, not due to the events in the book, but the point of view. I'm not a fan of first person narrative, even though this isn't strict first person as it is an epistle novel it still creates the same effect. I don't like being so much in the characters head... which is just me. My favourite scene, written out below,  got to me and that's what I remember the book for.

I have to admit, I felt a little sad because other than Sam and Patrick, nobody got me a present. I guess I'm not that close with them, so that makes sense. But I still felt a little sad.And then it was my turn. I gave Boba a little plastic tube of soap bubbles because it seemed to fit his personality. I guess I was right"Too much" was all he said.Next was Alice. I gave her a book by Anne Rice because she is always talking about her. And she looked at me like she couldn't believe I knew she loved Anne Rice. I guess she didn't know how much she talked. Or how much I listened. But she thanked me all the same. Next came Mary Elizabeth. I gave her forty dollars inside a card. The card said something pretty simple "To be spent on printing Punk Rocky in colour next time."And she looked at me funny. Then, they all started to look at me funny except Sam and Patrick. I think they started feeling bad because they didn't get me anything. But I don't think they should have because I don't think that's the point really. p72

I so much more preferred the movie! As I usually do with movies made of books written in the first person (Twilight being the other notable example) As I was watching the movie I thought that at sometime our lives everyone feels like Charlie. There are times when we feel lost and alone. Then suddenly we are accepted by a whole new group of people.  Accepted but still apart from until you open up and accept them too. The scene above translates well to the movie, with a slight change where the guy that says "Too much" instead says "He knows me".

I liked the Charlie of the movie much better than in the book. In the book you get a clearer idea of his unstable mental state. It still comes through in the movie but it is a bit more subtle, I think. 

I definitely recommend it.