There are some books that I don’t really know what to say about. A few sentences are enough, but a whole review? I got nothing. Here are those 6 that fall into this category, and that end my 2016 challenge.
- A book by a Canadian author – Margaret Atwood Cat’s Eye – a story of Elaine, a painter, who goes back to her hometown (this hometown happens to be Toronto), for a retrospective of her art. She reminiscences on her high school friendship with three other girls. In one sentence, it’s a really good novel about coming to terms with one’s past, and with our identity. It’s both funny and sad at moments, compassionate and gripping. One thought stroke me most from that book – some version of “Everyone around me my age seems adult, and only I am pretending.” Pretty much sums me up.
- A book by a South American author – Roberto Bolaño Los detectivos salvajes – I’d call it a great saga about poetry and poets, and journeys and searching. With many colorful characters. Who reminded me of the beatnik movement, and I may be wrong, but I will remember them as “South American beatniks.”
- A book published in 2016 – Emily Bleeker When I’m gone. Somehow, the word that comes to my mind is “cute.” The story is such: Luke buries his beloved wife after she dies of cancer. Then, he starts receiving letters from her and begins obsessing with finding the answer to the question of who’s delivering them. Reminded me of “PS I love you” (which I didn’t like, by the way). I liked “When I’m gone” a little better.
- A historical fiction book – Eduardo Roca El taller de los libros prohibidos (Workshop of Forbidden Books) – the author’s look on how printing was invented. To be honest, at first I thought this was going to be about some place where all the prohibited books go to. Nope. But the real idea was equally good. A lot of characters, which at first made it a little hard to follow, but they all tie up nicely. And it’s always good to read about how people used to live 500 (or more) years ago.
- An erotic book – John Cleland – Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure – a controversial book that used to be prohibited. It caused a scandal back in the day (first published in XVIII century), but nowadays we have 50 Shaded of Grey, so we’re not discouraged, right? Okay, but in all seriousness, I’m not going to compare this to 50 Shades of Grey or any other book. It’s a story about a poor girl, Fanny, who’s used by a rich and manipulative owner of a brothel. When you take away all the vulgarity of that book and the rather simple language, it’s a story as old as the world – about how rich people take advantage of the less fortunate. Also, I am so not a fan of erotic books.
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales – if I need to read fairy tales, what’s better than the ones written by Grimm? Also, I just happen to have that book at home. No idea why. Please don’t judge me. Anyway, the fairy tales by the Grimms brothers were the first I ever read on my own, and they scared me a little. I mean, they teach children that beautiful people are always good, and that stepmothers are always evil. Not to mention parents abandoning children in the woods, mother making her daughter slice her own feet to fit a shoe, and beautiful princes that will always, I mean always come to your rescue and marry you. I mean, if you’re beautiful and joyful, and good and virtuous, that is. But if you’re beautiful, it’s guaranteed you’re also the other three. But in all seriousness, these stories are fun to read when I’m an adult, but if I ever have children (hopefully not), I will not read those to them. Not a chance.
So, there goes my list of books I read this year for the challenge, but I didn’t mention some others, that I read “in the meantime.” In total I read around 40 books in 2016, plus I started some, but gave up after a few chapters. Not a bad year, though worse than 2015. I do however, go rather for quality than quantity – hence the number of abandoned books.
More on the subject to follow.