"The book I'm looking for,' says the blurred figure, who holds out a volume similar to yours, 'is the one that gives the sense of the world after the end of the world, the sense that the world is the end of everything that there is in the world, that the only thing there is in the world is the end of the world."
- Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ultra Mini Reviews September 2012

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Very good book. It's hard to talk about too much without spoiling its secrets, but if you're in the mood for a literary, realist, understated dystopian set in England... read this!

Free Will by Sam Harris

Like Harris' last book, the ideas here are probably served just as well by its related YouTube video as they are by the book itself. I agree that the idea of free will doesn't make much sense either as a function of what we know about the universe or even as a function of our subjective experience. The book is fine, but the idea(s) is(are) great, and will probably stick with me forever!

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised By Wolves by Karen Russell

Russell's novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer last year, along with Denis Johnson and David Foster Wallace. This is her story collection, and it's solid. The stories are all quirky, fun things with eccentric characters and premises, but she tries hard to mine the situations for real heart (and is successful at least half of the time). Sometimes the unusual premises border on genre (e.g., the titular werewolf girls). This is the kind of book that I would write about more at length if I set aside the time, but since I'm just doing these mini reviews I'll leave it at, simply: "Very good book."

Weather Central by Ted Kooser

Kooser would later become a Poet Laureate. This book was fantastic. I am just crazy in love with this book. One of my favorite poetry collections I've read. I got this from the library, but I plan on buying several of his collections later on.

The Mysterious Affair st Styles by Agatha Christie

Christe's first novel. It's what you would expect, solid!

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