Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Finished 50: Some Category Award Things

With the awesome Anna and the French Kiss I have now read 50 new books this year, so the next couple of posts will be about those.  Starting with a little category award type thing, though I don't think the categories have any relation to anything real.

Book That Made Me Swear The Most While Reading
I have a fairly dirty, I-could-be-an-extra-on-The-Wire mouth at the best (worst?) of times, but The Hunger Games made me exercise it to the full.  I was swearing, calling the whole thing fucked up, texting my friends to warn them that it was fucked up, and generally doing Clay Davis impressions every so often.  That possibly sounds like a condemnation, but the ranting came from the world being so real and the peril being so present and the Capitol and Game Planners being so evil I was wanting to call down curses upon their heads, not to mention the escalating wtfery that was going down.  A definite example of It Got Worse, the book kicks into high gear once The Games start, but even before that there are moments of "what?  Wait, what?  That really happened?  Are you kidding me?".  Highly recommended (and I still managed to read it on a train).  See also Mark Reads for someone equally new to the series discovering it.

Book That Made Me Laugh The Most While Reading
Movies in Fifteen Minutes - if you know the website it's pretty much that but with films not featured online.  As ever, the parodies are great, but best of all it made me remember about some films I love (and others from which I am staying far away) and sent me into a mammoth Lord of the Rings rewatch that get me going during the first days of NaNo.  Nothing like sitting around drunkenly with your friends remembering jokes you'd made *cough*seven*cough* years ago at university.  The book is quite hard to find - had to Amazon Marketplace it - but it is out there and definitely worth hunting down.  And if that's too tricky, there's the site and the Twilight film reviews: Twilight, New Moon ("Bella, you should be wearing a life jacket") and, possibly my favourite, Eclipse (extra added sparkle-saga).

Book That Saved Me During A God-Awful Train Journey
That might not sound like particularly high praise, but if I hadn't had The Changeover at the time I probably would have ended up on the news for going mad on an over crowded train (Salisbury to Exeter, let's have fewer carriages than we need, no one goes to the West Country).  Sitting on your bag in the corridor with no natural light being stepped on is not fun, so I was glad to have this book to distract me.  I ordered it in the first place because of this (slightly spoiler-y) post but didn't really get round to reading it till that journey.  By the point I started I was at the changeover itself and was rushed along by the language, which is about 4 pages of amazing prose and imagery.  After that I rushed through to the end, and then spent the last twenty minutes or so of the journey digesting what I'd read (by then I had a seat near the door so this was accompanied by great Devon countryside).  I was very glad to have put this in my bag on a whim.

Book That Made Me Glad Not To Be Fifteen Anymore
Don't get me wrong, I loved this book - read it in one sitting and carried it round the house while fetching coffee - but it did make me glad I'm not a teenager.  Part of that is that it is so true to life (the cliques, the way your friends suddenly morph into evil bitch trolls from hell, the panic over how to fit in) but another part was seeing things that the narrator didn't.  The original love interest is a twat, it's completely clear he's not worth anything...unless you're a fifteen-year-old girl, in which case he is hot.  Reading that back that sounds horribly disparaging, but I know that if I've read this when I was fifteen I would have been wondering the same things about him as Jessie; it completely captures the way crushes can blind you to the truth about a person.  Ditto long term friendship.  To sound like a pompous reviewer in a Christmas culture mag: one of my favourite books of the year (and it made me want to play Dungeons and Dragons).

Some quick final 'categories':

Why Had I Never Read This Before? - Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

Who Needs to Sleep When You Can Read? - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (also gets the Most Obvious Product Placement Award)

I Finally Read a Booker Winner and It Was Good - Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

I'm Sorry, What?  Part 1: Now That's a Twist - Wake by Lisa McMann (also gets the I Need the Next Book NOW Or, Y'Know, When I Can Afford It Award)

I'm Sorry, What?  Part 2: Where Did That Come From? - A Passage to India by E.M. Forster: highlight to read a potential spoiler the bit where Mrs Moore died on the boat out of India!  What the hell, Forster? It surprised me so much I physically jumped on a train journey.

More to follow soon, maybe including a top ten and things I've learnt from my readings.

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