Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cannonball Read - TRIPLE Shot!

It's hard to find time to write when I spend every waking free-time moment reading. And watching the Oscars. And American Idol. And going to Chicago. But yes, I'm still reading, and the time on the train to and from CHI really helped me along (remember when I read a whole bunch on my way to and from California? I need to go on a trip every month). First up: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman. Some of you may know Pullman for his His Dark Materials trilogy - and some of you may not know him at all. Nate gave me this book for Valentine's Day, and since it was short and written for teenagers, I thought I'd give it a whirl and bump it up to the top of my list. There's mystery and intrigue, drugs and beatings, dead fathers and stolen diaries... so basically, it was kind of lame. It just didn't hold my interest. I finished it, but just because the protagonist is female and it's a book for teens, that doesn't mean I have to love it. Sorry, Nate.
Next up was Bill Bryson's Neither Here Nor There, about his excursion through Europe. I read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods last year, and then something else he wrote, and again, these funny writers just aren't that funny to me. Also, I've never been to Europe, so reading about the roads in Italy or the nasty food in Austria didn't really mean much to me. I think I'm done with Bryson for a while.
Finally, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This book won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and Stephen King (and Nate) loved it, and even though I tried to read it last year and didn't get very far, I decided to give it another whirl. And - WOW. This book is out-of-control awesome. I ANNIHILATED it on the train - started somewhere around Valparaiso and finished outside of Jackson. McCarthy has created a terrifying world and two wholly compelling characters, both of which you as a reader know so little about (where are they? what happened?), and I found it hanuting and sad and horrifying - which I thought maybe I would like, but didn't know I would love. And it made me think that maybe we need to have a can opener in our apocalypse survival kit.
The Ruby in the Smoke - C
Neither Here nor There - C-
The Road - A


Nate said...

The P38 baby! US military folding can opener for C-rations. I got 'em in both kits. I also recently learned that canned food can be opened by rubbing it in circles on cinderblock or stone.

Carrie B. said...

Wait, you were in the Chi and didn't call? :( (no worries, my feelings are that hurt) :D

Senora Fuerte said...

Awww, I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy Neither Here Nor There. I really liked it, but I acknowledge that it could have been largely influenced by the fact that I was living in England at the time. I'd recommend his book about Australia, but that seems like it would be folly.