I’m happy to report that I’ve finished the second quarter reading with a few weeks to spare, namely because I fell in love with The Lovely Bones and read it in four days. The longest read from this quarter clocks in at a mind-boggling six weeks to finish Midnight’s Children.
Here are this quarter’s books –
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie: As mentioned before, I struggled to get through this book, not because it is poorly written or uninteresting but because it is extremely long and the prose is very dense. This isn’t to say there isn’t some fascinating reading in there, only that the reader is required to patiently sift and sort through a mixed jumble of thoughts and ideas that bounce back and forth in the time line of the main characters life. It’s confusing. Rushdie does a masterful job weaving different themes in and out of the story so by the time you get to the end you can see the whole picture – that is if you get to the end.
Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro: Reading this was like watching Downton Abbey from the perspective of the butler. It is a melancholy and thoughtful read as we are shown the highlights of his life and efforts to become a truly great British butler at the expense of missing out on having a life of his own. Like Midnight’s Children, it is not exactly a story but rather an experience of someone else’s life experience.
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold: After reading these other books, this book was a wonderful breath of life. Finally, a real story with conflicts and problems to be solved instead of a rambling narrative. The main character narrates her story, sharing her point of view and feelings about what’s happening in her family, but the kicker here is that she’s dead. The book opens with her remembering the details of her murder and she continues to follow her family as they struggle to cope with her loss. Riveting, fascinating, and the best book on the list so far.
Here are the rest of this year’s picks, feel free to read along with me!
- A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
- Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
- A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
- Dune – Frank Herbert
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee