Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Sunday, June 24, 2018

“The Night Bookmobile” by Audrey Niffenegger

I read this graphic novel about a month ago and never got around to writing about it. I know I enjoyed the story, which turned out to be a bit darker than I expected (not a bad thing). I must say I was less than impressed by the artwork (that's not to say I could have done better . . . although someone could have) but luckily that didn't detract from the story.

I really liked the premise of this book: everyone has a "magical" traveling library that holds every book they've ever read. The more they read, the more books are added. Although my blog obviously doesn't go all the way back to my Dr Seuss days, it's kind of like my very own Night Bookmobile from 2009 on! And much easier for me to find.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

“Outline” by Rachel Cusk

It's happening again. I'm reading faster than I'm blogging and I'm getting behind. Yeah, I know, I have that rule that I can't start another book before I've blogged about the last one . . . well, I broke the rule a few times. Oops.

It's really unfortunate in this case, though, because I thought Outline was a great book, and now I won't be able to do it justice because I finished reading it weeks ago. If I'm honest with myself, though, I may not have been able to do it justice even if I'd blogged about it right after I finished reading . . . at least now I have an excuse.

This book's structure kind of floats somewhere between short stories and a novel. It seems like each chapter could stand alone as a short story, but the chapters are linked more than those in the usual book of short stories, and various characters appear and reappear (and the narrator remains the same throughout).

The general background of the book (I don't feel like it can be called a plot, and I don't know what else to call it): an English writer travels to Athens for a week (or was it a month?) to teach a writing course. The book is entirely composed of conversations the writer has (with her seatmate on the plane, a few friends, and the students in her class). I fluctuated between disbelief (that people would actually open themselves up enough to have such deep, meaningful conversations with practical strangers) and envy (that people have such intelligent conversations and I don't . . . though it made me feel better to remember this is fiction, after all), but despite disbelief and envy, these conversations were pretty intriguing. And it was really interesting to get a brief glimpse into the life of each student in the writer's class (in the first chapter where they are introduced) . . . but frustrating to come back to them a few chapters later and have to flip back in the book to match up the new stories with their old ones. 

So . . . I can't remember anything else I wanted to say about this book. But I am looking forward to reading the following book, Transit.