It happens. Every once in a while, I read a book or two—or maybe four in sequence—that inspires in me reaction that’s zilch at worst and feeble at best. I began it with the tired rant of One Day—although, because I am dorktastic, the feedback I got and the Much Loved Status of the book has me thinking whether I could more sensibly “justify” my reaction. We’ll see. Anyhoo, here’s a batch, read a couple of days ago, that, in all, barely filled the notes of my reading notebook—for different reasons, yes, but here they are:
#25 of 2011 • My Mother Taught Me by Tor Kung. – I underestimated this one, although it came with high recommendations—basically, a friend gleefully pushing the book into my unsuspecting hands. It’s powerful, the “right” mix of sensuality—lyrical sensuality—and in-your-face crudity. An orphan adopted by a gleefully incestuous family, always disturbing, but my rare prudishness aside, goodness, the language is perfect. Jarringly so. And, oh yeah, poet-extraordinaire Jack Gilbert wrote this one.
#26 of 2011 • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. – I found myself strangely unmoved by this book. I’d probably be going on and one by this book’s careful plotting and world-building, and all those moral observations and conclusions and decisions the reader has to make; the narrative, too, the revelations, and how Ishiguro all unfolds it, and blah and blah and blah. But I don’t want to. I don’t care. Guh. I kept on reading the book because, well, I was curious. I wanted to know what the fuck was going on. Oh well.
#27 of 2011 • How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One by Stanley Fish. – I admit, the marketing got to me. Then again, I am always on the look-out for these kinds of On Literature / On Reading / On Writing books. Well, basically, it’s about reading a sentence, knowing what is, what it’s made of, what it can do, how to write it. It’s self-indulgently dorky. Dorkily self-indulgent? A professor belaboring a sentence. I loved that. I mean, I know how it feels to love sentences so much that when a book fails, I usually just scan and skim, spelunking for sentences, haha. Then again, I do wish Fish focused more on the literary side of things. So. The verdict? It’s not bad. I’m not head over heels about it, but it’s going to be on my shelf for books on craft. [For an awesome review of this book, go to Kelly Coyle at The Millions.]
Aherm. Well. That was liberating. Off to get my Diligent Blogger pantz on. Augh.