22 November 2010


'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' by F. Scott Fitzgerald
November 17, 52 pages

I feel like this 'book' is a bit of a cop-out for a week's worth of reading. It's just a story.

But it's a great little story. I do enjoy the way F. Scott FItzgerald writes. It is quaint. He is a brilliant storyteller. 

It's an interesting idea. And really quite sad; it shows that being different in a world that is the same is tough. Even at the end of the story no one appreciates Benjamin Button's uniqueness: he dies alone.

I've heard people say that life would be better lived backwards like this. And maybe it would, as long as everybody else lived the same way.

I should really see the movie. I think I would enjoy it.

14 November 2010


'Stuff White People Like' by Christian Lander
November 10 - 13, 203 pages

Well, I haven't read a book like this yet this year. It has pictures! It's a list of one hundred and fifty things that 'white people' like. It's pretty funny.

It's even funnier when you realise that some of the points describe you completely. Also a little bit concerning.

This is a great read if you feel like laughing but not concentrating very much. You can read it cover-to-cover (like I did) or just open it up at random pages for a giggle.

Lander also has a blog, which I just checked out - pretty good, and some other books. Oh, and for the record, I am 20% white according to this book.

10 November 2010


'Olive Kitteridge' by Elizabeth Strout
November 4 - 6, 270 pages

What a real book. It is told through stories which eventually overlap. In each new chapter we meet new characters who are facing their own challenges. But mainly it's about Olive Kitteridge, a retired maths teacher. A complex portrait of her emerges as you read.

It's about pain and family and growing old - ugly, but beautiful. It's about not being perfect. I really enjoyed this. Definitely deserved the Pulitzer Prize. A real tapestry. Honest and thought-provoking.

'They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young firm ones, that love was not to be tossed away carelessly'

06 November 2010


'Notes from Underground' by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
October 27 - 31, 118 pages

It was high time I read some Dostoyevsky. This book had been sitting around waiting to be read for quite a while. I was looking forward to it for three main reasons: its excellent reputation, I love Russian literature, and I also love the cover (despite the spelling mistake: 'unatractive')

It took a while for me to get into this novel. It's quite abstract - packed full of ideas rather than events. Once I found my feet (missing some key ideas on the way I'm sure) I found myself enjoying it. It's funny. It's also quite concerning. And it's very clever.

 I think it would improve being read again. But after I've read some other Dostoyevsky novels.