Friday, June 14, 2013
I know the other Naughties have been busy. Poor Syd is sick, and I'm doing this Friday read.
Soooo. Whatchoo been reading?
I'm reading a few things that I'm enjoying. Here they are, in order of my interest in them (not that you asked):
1. Skippy Dies. I'm about halfway through and I'm afraid that Skippy will really die. This book is amazing - funny, heartbreaking, weird, poignant, everything. The only reason I haven't read it in one sitting is that, as I said, I'm afraid Skippy is really gonna die. The book's been pretty unflinching so far and it doesn't strike me as one where Everything Turns Out Okay In the End. Trust me - even if you don't think a book set in a semi-elite boys' private school in Dublin is your cup of tea, this one could surprise you.
2. Absurdistan. Every once in a while, despite my best efforts, I fall for a "literary" writer, and Gary Shteyngart is one of them. I loved The Russian Debutante's Handbook, and I love Absurdistan. He's a fantastic prose stylist, he has a hilariously deadpan sense of humor, his insights into American and Russian culture are deep and searing and, unlike Skippy Dies, I'm not the least bit invested emotionally in any of Shteyngart's characters. I know that sounds awful - how can you like a book if you don't identify with or care about the characters? Trust me. You can doo it. (Say that last line in a Rob-Schneider-in-an-Adam-Sandler-movie voice.) (If you don't watch Adam Sandler movies then congratulations, you're better than me.)
3. Bill the Vampire - The Tome of Bill series is self-published and, at least in this first volume, it kind of shows. There are parts of the book where the humor feels forced, or the narrative goes into a little bit too much detail - but this is nitpicking on my part. It's a funny book. The protagonist is a great mixture of dweeb and hero, and I like the relationship he has with his two best bros/roommates, who are quite believably nonchalant when they discover he's become undead. Whatever its flaws might be, it keeps me turning the pages. And I really want to find out why Bill bursts into flames when he touches a mint condition Optimus Prime action figure.
Okay, that's me. What about you?
Posted by Kinsey Holley at 5:00 AM