October 26, 2015

Recent Reads

119. The Green Road
Book blurb: Spanning thirty years and three continents, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigan family, and her four children.

This is the fourth book I've attempted to read from the 2015 Man Booker Longlist, and I'm happy to report that while I did not love it, I did make it all the way to the end. 

This family story is narrated from the point of view of the various members, and as with most families, I found certain characters more interesting than others. And like most families, some members get way more air time than others. 

I've got a couple of bones to pick with the style of writing in this book. For one, I'm not a fan of third person narratives as, unless superbly done, they create a distance from the characters for me. Also there is something about the flow of the writing that kept pulling me out of the story. At no time did I feel like I was immersed in the story - I was constantly aware of the fact that I was reading a book. On the plus side, there are scenes, conversations, and settings that the author captures brilliantly, and those gems are really what kept me reading on. 

This is the second book I've read by the author, and like the previous one, I have to confess that this is not a story that I connected with, and it will not stay with me. But those gems, oh so wonderfully sparkly. I'd give this one 2.5 stars, and will round up for those gems. Rating: 3 stars.

120. The Three Incestuous Sisters
Think of this book as a picture book for adults. 

Once upon a time there were three sisters: one beautiful, one smart, and one talented. And as with all fairy tales, they live happily together until a boy arrives. Then all hell breaks loose, and there is a whirlwind of love, jealousy, sabotage, revenge, and despair. Will women never learn? Sigh.

The text is very simple, but the art is quite wonderful and evocative. You could spend quite a long time simply looking at the art in this book and making up stories of your own. I liked this strangely disturbing story. Rating: 3 stars.

121. On Immunity
I listened to the audiobook, which was well narrated by Tamara Marston.

This is not the book I expected to read. I expected a historical look at vaccines, past, present, and future, and that is not what I got. It is a collection of essays chock-full of the bricolage the author found during her clearly extensive research on the subject. While some of the bricolage was indeed interesting, I wish an editor had taken out some of the tangents, and created more of a logical structure to this one. It could be that these tangents would be applicable to parents, but since I am not one I can only assume that is the case.

The book starts out in the manner I expected, and then veered into what one might title " A Mother's Search for Peace of Mind." Still I learned things and connected several dots, so this was certainly worth a read as it is a good introduction to the topic. I'll be looking for other books that cover the history I was in search of, so if you know of a good one please do let me know. Rating: 3 stars.

122. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol.2: Fandemonium
This volume collects issues #6-11.

The art in this second volume continues to be fab, but the story line, while a bit better than the previous volume, is still not sufficiently developed. Maybe twelve gods is simply too much to deal with? This installment tries to solve the murder mystery created in the first one, and has some interesting twists. All I can say is be careful what you wish for, and everyone is not what they seem.
C'mon writers of this series, take it up a notch and execute on this vision. Rating: 3 stars. 

No comments: