All posts tagged: Spring Reading Thing

‘Bonjour Tristesse/ A Certain Smile’ by Francoise Sagan ~ A Review

Contrary to the last book I read, as part of my “Classics” experiment (Paul Auster’s “New York Trilogy”), I’m sure as hell glad I picked this one up! Francoise Sagan’s first two novels have proved short, sweet and to the point ~ making the couple of days (on/off) it took me to read them highly enjoyable and utterly worthwhile. Amongst beautiful landscapes and fascinating, highly complex characters, Sagan weaves two searing, deliciously “French” tales of love, passion, jealousy and betrayal. One simply cannot help but marvel at the maturity and writing prowess of the (18 year old) author ~ while, simultaneously, looking forward to everything else she has to offer. I have to admit to being totally enthralled by Ms. Sagan’s work, of which I, definitely, plan to read more in future (looking up “The Unmade Bed” & “That Mad Ache”, as we speak). All in all, a highly recommended read! Advertisements

‘The New York Trilogy’ by Paul Auster ~ A Review

(a.k.a. Post a Week 20 ~ 09-15/05/2011) If you like puzzles or riddles with no clear answers, you might just enjoy this. I picked it, in an effort to follow up on my decision to read more of the “classics”. The premise sounded original & intriguing (fact which, I feel, made my eventual disappointment even more bitter. High expectations an’all…) Now, I am not one to easily dislike a book but I can, honestly, say I hated this 😦 I slogged through the stories, feeling like I was having my teeth pulled and desperately trying not to give up. In fact, had this book not been part of my blog TBR challenge, I would have definitely spared myself the pain. I remember reading a review that said “Somewhere along the way Paul Auster was decreed a “literary author,” so if you dare to say he’s boring, pretentious, and not really all that good with words, you are simply one of the great unwashed who don’t get it.” I am willing to take my chances… The …

2010 TBR Challenge: ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters

Let me begin by saying I’ve highly enjoyed Sarah Waters’ work, so far. I loved “Tipping the Velvet” & was whisked away by “The Night Watch”. That said, I have to admit to being slightly on the fence about her last effort. As always, the prose is excellent, the atmosphere superb & the characters engaging – albeit a bit stiff. Clearly a brilliant portrait of post war life (& its implications) in Britain, the story also manages to have a highly appropriate claustrophobic feel to it & a tension that steadily builds throughout. As far as I’m concerned, these are two of the most important elements in the genre. Sometimes, however, they are just not enough & I was tempted to say this was one of those times. I’ll admit to approaching this with the highest of expectations -which may well have been a contributing factor. Still, I just felt something missing. Given the fact that the book was described as a “chilling ghost story” taking place in a huge, lonely & decaying mansion, I …

2010 TBR Challenge: ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

In direct contrast with some of my more recent reads (see Scarlett Thomas’ PopCo) this book commanded interest and undivided attention from the very second it was picked up – and faithfully followed through to the very end. How could it not, when it read something like this: “I could introduce myself properly, but it’s not really necessary. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.” / “A SMALL PIECE OF TRUTH: I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while …

2010 TBR Challenge: PopCo

Having greatly enjoyed Ms. Thomas’ “The End of Mr. Y”, I picked this up with high (probably too high for my own good) expectations. After a “painful” couple of…months (which should, by itself, say something), trying to stick with it, I finally read the long-awaited conclusion a few minutes ago -and, frankly, feel it was hardly worth the hassle 😦 Despite the fact that the characters were interesting (if with loads of unexplored potential) and the criticism of today’s society thought provoking (if a bit preachy at times) -I found the book, overall, to be highly tiresome. From its insanely long, unnecessary descriptions of the lives of bullied, teenage girls, to the endless presentations of their buying habits during company “ideation” meetings -it was all a bit too much for me. Not to mention I’ll probably have to kill someone if I hear another word about homeopathic remedies..:roll: Having said all that, I have to admit I’ve read mixed reviews and heard a lot of different opinions while discussing this with friends. However, considering my …