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Book 50 Completed

August 2, 2010

Matt and I were gone for the weekend. We ventured up to Trout Lake with some friends and stayed at their parent’s house for a short mini-vacation.

On Saturday, Matt rafted the White Salmon river and I stayed behind to watch Elliott.  It was a fun weekend of games and enjoyable company. My highlight of the weekend was playing a large-group game of Taboo. The “grandmas” were picked to be team captains and Matt (in a snafu involving a forgotten name, I’m sure) was picked last ala the fat kid in elementary school during kickball games at recess. When it came time for him to give clues, Matt flew through each card with the power and precision of a Taboo professional. While most rounds were ending with 3-4 points, Matt led our team to victory with a 10 point finish. I went up afterward and said, “Wow sweetie. You’ve never destroyed Taboo like that before.”

And in all seriousness, my ultra-competitive husband replies, “No one picks me last for a game. No one.”

The question is: Will we raise competitive children? Or will our own die-hard (and sometimes unrelenting and unappealing) competitiveness drive our kids to the apathetic game-player role? Will Matt and I be sitting around on a Friday night making snarky comments to our four-year-old about a poor move in Candy Land? And will that four-year-old say, “It’s just a game.”

Time will tell.

Okay — so, how was Anil’s Ghost?

I liked this book. Didn’t love it…but I liked it. I cared about the characters, and thought it read quickly (even if the book in general was kinda slow moving). Now, I haven’t read The English Patient for a long time, but the style of Anil’s Ghost seems similar. Soft and understated. So…if you’re an English Patient fan, this might be worth checking out too.

The book — at its core — is a mystery surrounding a skeleton found by the title character and a Sri Lankan anthropologist. The remains are deemed to be proof of political murders. Anil’s Ghost is atmospheric. I felt it captured the climate of Sri Lanka in a clear and easily digestible manner. And it is beautifully written — fraught with lyrical sentences, beautiful metaphors, and deep, well-rounded characters.

My only “but” is that the book’s resolution is lacking and, I felt, unsatisfying. I wanted more for Anil. I needed a better conclusion to the mystery I had invested in for a few days. So, it’s not going to be my favorite book…but it was interesting and well-written. Not a good mindless beach read, but I never found myself slipping into sheer boredom — which is a good sign, I think. (On the same hand, I didn’t hide away — avoiding a weekend of game playing — to finish it either.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mome Rath permalink
    August 2, 2010 8:53 pm

    This sounds interesting because I haven’t read anything from Sri Lanka, however I’m a bit wary that you describe the mystery as unfulfilling. Although the prose sounds worthwhile, this might be a book I get to later rather than sooner.
    As for Candy Land, it is just a game — for those who keep getting sent back to Candy Cane Forest (where’s Lollipop Woods when you need it?).

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