21 May 2010

GTTBRPU200 #6 22 - 26

Although I didn't blog about it at the time, this was the last section of books counted in the official GTTBRPU200* effort, before I started full-time work at the end of January. I'm book-logging again because, believe it or not, I'm still trying to get the TBR pile under 200 o.O Oi. After this booklog, I need to come up with a name for this year's effort - preferable one that's easier for people to remember and type ;) :D
The TBR pile has been hovering about about 212 for the last couple of months; I read some books, I buy some new ones to add to the stack, and the dratted thing just keeps hovering. One day, I will remember that in order to make headway on a pile, one must stop adding to it first O:)

But anyway. On to the booklog.

*Get The To-Be-Read Pile Under 200

#22: Around the World in 80 Days ~ Jules Verne

So, in trying to get the TBR pile under 200, I may or may not have totally cheated and gone through all the Really Short Easy Books that I own. I have this series of children's classics, for example, of which Around the World is a part, and, well... it was short!
The story itself is pretty much what you'd expect from the genre; I'm sure it's exciting if you're below ten :) Simple plot line, simple characters, simple conclusion. *shrug* Nice to be able to say I've read it, but that's about all.

#23: The Arrival ~ Shaun Tan
THIS is one of my MOST FAVOURITEST books EVER. It's a picture book, entirely wordless, by OH MY FLUFFY PINK FROG! The story it tells!

The Arrival is about immigration, in general terms. In more specific terms, it's about a man who leaves his family behind to go to a foreign, scary, alien place. He meets new friends, navigates the strange, unintelligible signs of the new world to get a job, and eventually, his family joins him. But seriously, picture = thousand words. This book is all pictures. Nothing I can say will do it justice. Just go BUY IT already and READ IT, for the sheer beauty of the imagery, the talent behind the drawing, and the incredible complexity of the story demonstrated only in images. So pretty!!

#24: The Amber Photograph ~ Penelope J. Stokes

I tried to read this one once years ago and it didn't work. I think probably because I'd just read two of Stokes's other books, and this one felt too much the same. However, coming back to it now, fresh and not having read her work for a long time, I found this book incredibly inspiring.

The younger character's (sorry, can't remember names right now - she's early 20s, though) mother dies, sending her life into a tailspin, and setting her on a determined path to uncover the mystery surrounding her parentage, when all she ever wanted was her Daddy's love.

Amber, a slightly older character, must battle the scars left behind by a childhood of misery and abuse; all she wants is to escape the shadow of her father, but it seems that everywhere she turns, she's reminded of him. She's moved across the entire country and that still isn't far enough - until she begins to find solace in her art.

Their paths cross, and secrets begin to come unraveled. A much shiny book that tackles deep issues and still realistically concludes with a feel-good ending, this book actually inspired one of my short stories, which ended up selling second time out. I'll tell you which one after it's been published - don't want to jinx it :D

Oh, and I should mention that this is a Christian novel. Rare that I find Christian fiction to be well-written, but Stokes seems to manage it - even if her books are all kind of the same.

#25: Tiger ~ Stephen Mills

I bought this one to act as 'research' for The Hunter Hunted, which I was in January attempting to revise. I was rather delighted to discover that my portrayal of tigers was reasonably accurate, and that with just a little tweaking I could not only make them more realistic, but make the story deeper and more complex also. Huzzah!

Seriously, if ever you need to know about tigers, this is a go-to book. Excellent, comprehensive and comprehensible information on patterns of behaviour, inter-tiger dynamics, mating, rearing cubs, territories, hunting, and the effects of their diminishing territory fills this book. Well, almost; there are also excellent sections on man-eaters, conservation efforts, and a huge list of places you can go to see tigers in the wild. I *hugs* this book muchly B-)

#26: The Handmaid's Tale ~ Margaret Atwood

I read this one in preparation for the new job - it was one of the texts I would be teaching to my year 11s in Contemporary Literature. I'd only read one Atwood before (The Blind Assassin, which inexplicably is linked in my mind to Merc's wonderful story, The Wish Master), and had quite enjoyed that, so I had hopeful expectations.

Expectations fulfilled and succeeded. Critics don't call this 1984 from a feminist perspective without reason; and I love 1984. So you know O:) Near-ish future dystopia, fragmented narrative, lyrical style full of vivid imagery, death, destruction, sorrow, joy, hope... I loveses this book. Be warned, it's not G-rated; there is the occasional swearing and explicit if clinical (deliberately so) descriptions of sex - but the ideas that this proposes are simply *explodes* Read this book!!


Spartezda said...

I got The Arrival a few weeks ago, and it is indeed lovely. :D So inspiring to the imagination, too!

Inkblot said...

*pats the shiny* It's beautiful, isn't it? :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Oooh, I like the look of 'The Arrival'. I think I'd use it in the picture book unit for high school English :-)

Inkblot said...

That's what I was going to use it for, with year 7, only then I ended up not having a year 7 class! :)

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