Monday, June 04, 2007

May Reads

Books Read

Books Bought

A Widow for One Year – John Irving

Our Man in Havana – Graham Green

Our Man in Havana – Graham Green

Gilead – Marilynne Robinson

Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys – Chris Furhman

Second Hand – Michael Zadoorian

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Final Solution – Michael Chabon

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood

Holes - Louis Sachar

Monkey Bridge – Lan Cao

Month two in this great experiment that is me reading and I think I am hitting my stride. I read seven books this month including the longest book I think I have ever read and a devasting novel that I am still thinking about daily. So I will get right to it.

The month started with Lan Cao's Monkey Bridge, a book that I got for a dollar at a garage sale last month. It was a short novel that would have been better as a memoir but was still ok. The story focused on a young girl from Vietnam that comes to Amercia during that last airlift as the war was being abandoned. The whole book was more of a history lesson than anything else.

Next I read the highly recommended Holes by Louis Sachar. I know it's a kid's book but since it was suggested by a 10 year old that has read 3 to 4 times more books then I have so I had to read it. I watched the movie and the book was exactly like the movie and I really enjoyed both of them. Thanks for the suggest Ad!

The Reader is a German book translated into English about a young man's relationship with an older woman who just happened to be responsible for the deaths of numerous Jews during WWII. The story is really a book about a generation dealing with the shame of the holucost. You can either have some sort of understanding for what would lead people to such atrocities or you can have rightrous indignation but you can't do both. Some passion is lost if you try to understand.

After three quick books I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This book had come recommended by two guys whose opinons I think very highly of and after reading the book I thin even more of them. There is a lot of hype around this book right now because Oprah choose it for her book club and it is a bit different from her normal faire. I read the last 20 pages in the car, out loud to Kate, as we drove to pick Finn up from a day with Grandma. The last two pages were read between tears and sobs. No book has affected me this deeply before and I think I started this reading thing for a book like this. The story of a man and his boy in a burned out America trying to make it against all odds hit me hard and when we arived to get Finn I grabbed him up and squeezed him and kissed him until he got both hands on my face and pushed me away. I wouldn't recommend this book to many people, actually I can't think of anyone I would recommend it to because it is intense and hard. But if you read it I want to hear about it. I want to talk about it, but I don't recommend it.

After such an intense book The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys was a nice change of pace. It is a coming of age story about a couple weeks in these boy's lives that change their tracjectory forever. Even though there is some tough stuff in this book as well it was easier to take. More of a Stand By Me story.

While wandering through Half Price books I found a Graham Green book and had to get it and read it. Kate's sister is a huge fan and so I had to read at least one of his books. This was a fun entry into the wolrd of Graham Green with the madcap espianoge tale of a spy who makes up his contacts and information. Poking fun at the spy game while entertaining as well.

The last book of this month was the longest book I have read in my life. It was one of two books suggested by the fantastic Tonya and apart from the outrageous amounts of sex in this book, I liked it a lot. It was a nice way to end a busy week of reading following the lives of 4 novel writers as they try to navigate the waters of love, loss, and pages and pages of sex. There should be a lot fewer books next month, summer is heating up and I should get outside more.