May 26, 2015

Recent Reads

55. Pink
Book blurb: Yumi moonlights as a call girl because her day job doesn't pay enough for her to feed Croc, her voracious pet. Haru, an aspiring novelist who has nothing to say, sleeps with a woman his mother's age not just for the money but to work on his "power of observation." When Yumi's step-mother turns out to be Haru's sugar mommy, it's time for - new shenanigans.

I honestly am not sure how I feel about this oh so strange Japanese graphic novel. I was intrigued to read something by the author, who is women's comics legend, and her imagination is a bizarre land indeed. The pet Croc, is indeed a crocodile for a starters! The book comes with an Ages 18+ warning in bold letters. The sex is explict, and many of the themes would certainly not be appropriate for young readers. At no time did I feel I could relate to any of these characters, or what they were going through, but there is something about this story that sucked me in. I am sure that there are things lost in translation, but this is a story that I will think about for a while to come. Rating: 3 stars.

56. The World of PostSecret

I always have fun reading these collections of postcards mailed in to the author. Each postcard shares a secret. Some I could totally relate to, others not so much. I did not love this one as much as the earlier collections. What I enjoy about these books is the window into the sheer variety and commonality of humanity on the planet. And that makes me happy. Rating: 3 stars.

57. Shovel Ready

I was drawn to this book by the premise: Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a bombed-out shell of its former self. Now he's a hitman. In a New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to "tap into" a sophisticated virtual reality for months at a time and those left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets.

I really enjoyed this gritty, dark, violent, often funny sci-fi noir novel. I listened to the audiobook wonderfully narrated by Arthur Morey, whose gravelly voice was pitch perfect for this story. There's a hitman, or four, there's a damsel-in-distress, there are theological musings, and a critique of people who spend all their time in a virtual reality. A fast paced thriller with nuggets like this one: You'll leave a trail of trash on this Earth that will far exceed anything of worth you leave behind. For every ounce of heirloom, you leave a ton of landfill.
It will not be for everyone, but if you like this kind of story, I'd highly recommend this one on audio. Rating: 4 stars. 

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