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$48.75 for the rest of 2011…

January 17, 2011

I’m on book four of 2011. Here are the three I finished so far…

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (A) (borrowed)

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (A-) (pre-owned)

Feed by Mira Grant (B) (Kindle gift-card! Thanks mom!)

..and I just bought Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists. I used a $10 B&N gift card — my educator discount lowered the $15.00 price-tag to $11.25 — I didn’t want to pull out another gift card to cover the balance…so I decided to use $1.25 toward my $50 limit. 🙂 You know, just so you can keep me all honest.

For those of you still checking this blog out for Around the World ideas, well, this book takes place in Italy. And it’s one of the most acclaimed books of 2010. It was either this or The Art of Racing in the Rain…a book that I’m desperate to read, but physically can’t bring myself to buy because I know that I’m going to CRY LIKE A BABY. I might be the only person in the world who loved The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst; a man tries to get his dog to talk so he can learn what happened the night she died — and it gets weird, like talking-dog-cults weird — but I bawled like a baby during that book. And despite HATING John Grogan’s writing style in Marley and Me (Hated. It.) I STILL cried when that damn dog died.

So, an entire novel narrated by a DOG…who is old…and who witnesses the trials and tribulations of his humans? Seriously. This book was made for people like me. It’s almost like Garth Stein was writing in his den and saying, “I know how to get that Shelbi to cry…”

But Feed made me cry (and for those of you who have read it…I didn’t cry in predictable spots either) and to pick up a book that I know is going to wreck me inside seemed so masochistic.

I’m giving The Imperfectionists a shot.

I do want to give longer reviews to the books I’ve finished, but I might not do that for every book this year. Feed deserves a closer look — it’s popping up on a few people’s best of 2010 lists and the sequel is out in May. Fans of the Hunger Games trilogy who are looking for something to fill the void since devouring Mockingjay should be directed to Grant’s dystopian zombie-infected America of the near-future. Like Collins’ best-sellers, it’s not brilliant writing, but the story keeps you turning the page — all 600 of them. (Or, as my Kindle told me, all 7000+ page positions.) Some have billed it as YA lit…and I wouldn’t hesitate to hand it to one of my teen readers…but I can’t tell if that was the original audience for this book.

There is ample repetition that annoyed me. (If the narrator told me one more time that her brother liked to “poke dead things with sticks” I was liable to throw SOMETHING across the room — throwing books across the room doesn’t really work when you’re reading on a device that won’t survive.) And because the book reads quickly, there was too much reminding, and not enough trusting that readers were gonna follow the world Grant was building. Exposition could have been shaved down without losing anything. And I’m not a fan of the overuse of pop-culture references in lieu of pure creation. A futuristic Starbucks is fine. An entire category of bloggers named after Steve Irwin? That’s a bit much for me.

But Feed is equally original and comfortingly predictable. It’s nice where the good guys stay good guys and the bad guys are just pure evil. The future is not too out there — didn’t require a huge jump to understand the technology advances. And Grant’s heavy-handed look at the role of media in our changing world came off as thought-provoking instead of preachy.

That’s my take on the book anyway. Anyone else read it?


One Comment leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    July 25, 2011 12:38 pm

    Okay, so this comment is way late b/c I only just saw this now, but I had to tell you that I also loved The Dogs of Babel. Yes, most people think it is creepy but I thought it was touching.

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