This month I read quite a bit- I needed a distraction from my everyday life and books are my source of escape. Why deal with your reality and the things that you don't have control over (like realtors, end of the school year madness, a sick puppy, etc...) when you don't have to? Reading is so much healthier (and cheaper) than drugs or alcohol (I think a bottle of tequila costs about as much as a hardback book). This month I am pleased to say that I read quite a few good books. You know what else is really good? Dessert.
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognani
Dessert: Molten Lava Cake
This book is fantastic and fun on the surface, but once you take a moment to reflect, it's a much richer, meaningful novel (you know, like the inner fudge). Sebastian, a teenager who has lived with his eccentric grandmother and has been sheltered from the outside world (they live in a glass dome, for crap's sake), meets Jared, a boy with a heart transplant, and slowly learns what music, friendship, and the outside world are about. Humorous, smart, and a tad sentimental.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Dessert: 7-layer Bars
I received this early-release copy from Amazon Vine and really liked it, although not quite as much as some of Patchett's other novels. This book is a layered novel full of great characters and an interesting plot, describing the journey a pharmacologist makes into the Amazon to obtain information about a dead colleague. My only criticism is that the science behind the novel is a bit sketchy, but that's just me. I am really excited to see her read next month in Santa Monica.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Dessert: A bowl of Rice Krispy Treats Cereal
This novel is about the decline of the newspaper industry (soon they will be extinct, just like my beloved Rice Krispy Treat Cereal- rumor has it they're back, but I can't find them) and how this in turn affects the people involved. Told through the different perspectives of the staff at a failing paper in Rome, Rachman evokes a feeling of nostalgia, but also the need to be flexible as the world changes.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
This timeless classic was a novel I read with all my classes at the end of the year- between reading it with them and for lesson planning purposes I think I read it five times this last month. For those who have never read it, it's a science fiction story warning us not to become apathetic and mentally lazy. Just don't see the movie...
Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
Dessert: Bubble gum ice cream
I really love ice cream, and I try to like all flavors. Unfortunately, one that I don't love is bubble gum ice cream, because of the stupid chewy chunks that the good parts. This is exactly like Home Land; the premise, a man writing his high school reunion newsletter with updates, is decent. Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of "gum" spread throughout that takes away from quirky ideas and good intentions. Lispyte is often shocking or obnoxious for no point (I'm fine with both as long as there is a good reason), did nothing to add to the "slacker" genre that was popular when this novel was published, and didn't do much to make me want to keep reading.
Fatelessness by Imre Kertesk, translated by Tim Wilkinson
Dessert: Apple Pie
Apple pie is a difficult dish to make if you have to peel the apples and make the crust from scratch, although, for a dessert, I like to think it's a little nutritious. This is the same with Pulitzer Prize winning Fatelessness- it's a difficult story to read, as it's about a teenager surviving Nazi concentration camps. It was a little tough to get into, and at times I did wonder on the quality of the translation, but as a whole it was a really good, and important, book. I in fact did not choose it, as it was May's book club selection- I am glad I read it, though, showing that sometimes it's good to try something you may not normally choose.
We'll see how many I read next month... Any other good ones from May?