Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Three Book Reviews

I'm now up to 4, count them 4 books read in 2009. It's like a mini-miracle because I'm the slowest effing reader alive. Here are the reviews:

Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
A friend once told me this story about turkeys that were being genetically engineered by a turkey manufacturer without beaks and with oversized bellies. It meant that the turkeys couldn't peck at the workers and would be larger for our Thanksgiving dinners, but apparently the sight of it was kind of sad. The birds were too fat to really move around because their stomachs would drag on the ground and they were beakless. If Atwood is correct in this book, then these turkeys are the start of something truly awful. Chickie Nob anyone?

I wanted this book to be brilliant and interesting, but instead it was really good and interesting. Atwood's a little bit out there and I feel like she's really hit or miss. This was a hit, but not a brilliant hit. It's a subtle difference, much like Britney Spears and Christian Aguilera.

4/5 or 7/10 stars.

The Nine, by Jeffrey Toobin
I would have sung from the heavens about this book if it weren't for the last 50 pages or so. The book basically tells the hidden stories from the "Rehnquist" court. It has a lot of gossip and interesting stories about how weird and human the justices are. I think I liked this book so much because I'm uber nerdy when it comes to the law, so it sort of fit in with that. Plus I love to gossip, so it fit in with that as well.

However, I can't forgive Toobin for the what happened to the book after Rehnquist dies. I would have loved this book if he had just stopped after that, it would have been perfect. But, he didn't, instead he went on about John Roberts and Alito and other shit that I don't care about. The worst thing you can do to a book is to have a concentrated focus and then write numerous pages completely outside of that focus. It's a cardinal sin of writing and Toobin committed it! Damn him.

4/5 or 8/10 stars

Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
This was another book that I wanted to be so, so good. And part of it was and part of it was just meh. It's a collection of short stories focusing on Indian culture and love. Some are tragic and sad and others are uplifiting. Some are riveting and others are just boring.

My favorite was one called Blessed House where this Indian couple move into their first house and find these cheap, gaudy Jesus icons all over the house. It reminded me of the time when I lived in Morrison Hall with Kara and Ro and we found this secret compartment in a kitchen drawer. We were so excited to find out what could be in this drawer (we knew something was in it, it just took a little bit of effort to get it) and Kara went in and our little college hearts fluttered with excitement and all she pulled out was an old bag of those chow mien noodle things.

Anywho...3/5 or 6/10 stars.

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