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Sui Generis reading round-up

Busing to work buys me enough extra time that I have been on a reading rampage for the past month or so. Some of the books have been so incredible that I cannot help myself from sharing. Unfortunately I do not have correspondingly additional minutes for full blog write-ups. Instead, here is a quick list of the standouts.

  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Finally, I got around to reading this awesome book. I can't say enough good things about it. It's flawless fiction, magical and spellbinding all the way through. Read it now or you will eat your own arm with regret.
  • Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami: Murakami's breakout novel offers a firm, robust plot of its own but it was interesting to note the sketches of themes that he would later unpack in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (a well, the winding of a spring, the separation from a woman who the main character loves, the unexpectedly ending up with another woman in the end). Its shorter length makes it a perfect introduction to Murakami if you have not read him yet. I look forward to reading more of his books, and soon!
  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami: The writing/translation leaves much to be desired and the text is riddled with editorial errors. It was serialized as a comic in Japan after the success of the novel, but it reads like it went the other way around. Still, I enjoyed it, although I would have probably liked it better if I had read it ten years ago.
  • Stitch 'n' Bitch: Not a novel; I picked up a library copy for the Hot Head cap pattern that I am currently in the middle of knitting. It is specifically written for women, but it offers great instructions and ideas for knitters of either gender. Plus nice color photos in the center.
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson: I thought I might have mentioned this before but it is hard to tell since Blogger's search feature sucks so hard. Anyway, it is a graphic novel and it blew me away. Forget about 'comic books,' this is one of the most moving books I have read ever.
  • Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson: This was my only sour note in the bunch. I was expecting great stuff after 'discovering' Snow Crash earlier this year, so this much lengthlier novel was only a bigger letdown for all its girth. For all those words there's just not enough plot, action, or interesting content to go around. I will be skipping the rest of the trilogy.


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