Monday, September 24, 2018

The Pilgrim's Progress

I don't know if this is the worst book that I've ever read or if the audiobook was so atrocious that it made it into the worst thing ever. This book was a nightmare. I get it, I get it, I know it's supposed to be a Christian allegory, but listening to six hours of this (fully fucking dramatized) was hell. HELL. I wanted to bleach my ears. I couldn't handle it anymore, did Satan narrate this? This book made the Lord of the Rings trilogy look like a cake walk!! The Pilgrim's Progress was a long ass journey to heaven made by "Christian" and other people he runs into. They face all sorts of dumb shit and get into dumb trouble and make lots of dumb decisions but SOME FUCKING HOW still make it to heaven (spoiler alert). Christian loses lots of companions, walks into dumb scenarios every other page, but luckily for him, he had some faith so he made it. UGH. I hate everything. I'm glad this nightmare book is over.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sea Prayer

This books was good but not remotely what I expected. It's soo soo small! I thought it was going to be a legit big adult novel, I mean it's Khaled Hosseini for crying out loud! Instead I got a small picture book. And don't get me wrong, it's still a good story, and the illustrations are gorgeous, BUT... it's a kids book. It could legitimately be shelved with the juvenile literature. All bitching aside, it is the heart-wrenching story of a father reminiscing to his son about how beautiful their country used to be and thinking about all the good memories they had. The father then laments that his son was too little to remember the good times, and all that he'll think of when he thinks of home is death and destruction. He promises his son that they'll get to a bigger better home, away from all the chaos of their war-torn country and then offers up a prayer to the sea to grant them safe passage. This is a chilling story and one that any refugee will relate to.

Born on the Links

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I have never picked up a golf club in my life. Ever. I am not what you would call... athletically inclined. Hell, I can barely manage bowling. Despite not playing golf and knowing virtually nothing about it, I enjoyed this book immensely. My boyfriend is an AVID golfer. Not only does he love playing eighteen in the morning, he actually wants to watch golf on TV. Now that is a true fan. I partly wanted to read this book to see what the appeal is, but realistically, I love sports books and I knew if anything could me into golf, it would be reading about it. John Williamson did a great job outlining the early history of the sport in Scotland while detailing how it changed and evolved over the years. The book really takes off however, when golfing is introduced to the United States. America helped streamline golf and slowly began to dominate the sport. It took off like wildfire and soon thousands of golf courses were sprouting up all over the country. Honestly it was all very fascinating how different players, equipment and even policies affected the game. The author didn't shy away from early controversies though involving the clash between amateurs and pros, the limitations facing women, and the racist attitude towards African Americans. The only "golf history" left out that I could tell was information about schools incorporating it and the push to get more youth involved. Other than that, this book did a great job outlining the history of American golf. The author covers the different courses, players, tournaments, and even goes play by play in some crucial matches. There are even nice appendixes at the end outlining all the winners and locations. A must buy for any golf aficionado.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Vox

This was a hard read, it made me sick to my stomach and I had to put it down multiple times. Imagine the backstory to A Handmaid's Tale, and make it worse. That's what Vox was. I think this novel was so upsetting because women's rights are currently being stepped on and reversed and even though we may not thing it's a big deal, those small liberties can have a snowball effect. Vox didn't feel very dystopian to me, it felt like a warning. Vox imagines a world where women's rights are slowly stripped away until it's too late to do anything. The religious nut jobs have taken over the government and overnight the workforce is cut in half. Women only belong in the house as caretakers and nurturers. They aren't allowed to read (except the Bible), write, or do anything without their husbands. Most upsettingly they are limited to 100 words per day. Wrist counters keep track of all the words spoken and keep them in line. Men however, have complete and utter freedom. Dr. Jean McClellan and her daughter must suffer in silence while her husband and three sons can gab and laugh and talk, what would Jean do if she had a chance to upset the balance? Would she take it? Vox is an unforgettable, compelling thrill ride that will make your stomach roll and your heart shudder. It's a nightmare that everyone should read.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm glad I finally got around to reading this classic and I'm a little upset that I didn't like it more. I knew the gist of the plot before I read it because of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (nerd alert) and because it exists everywhere in pop culture. But I was still completely taken aback by how much I disliked the character of Dorian Gray. He was such a vain, pompous, scumbag that could do no wrong. It does beg the question though, would he have turned out the way he had, had it not been for the influence of his two friends who unknowingly set him on this path of self-indulgence? As a young man Dorian's friend paints a wonderful portrait of him and Dorian is so saddened that this painting will always look lovely and beautiful while he is destined to grow old and decrepit. He wishes that the burden of his sins and aging would fall upon the painting instead of himself, and lo and behold they do. After every wrong deed and every passing year, the painting becomes more dastardly and evil. His morality is long since gone and he has no care for how his actions ruin those around him. How long can the painting carry the burden of Dorian's indulgent, sinful, and lately, CRIMINAL ways. Fascinating concept, but there is too damn much dialogue in this book. Still glad I got around to reading it though!

Sheets

This was a quick and charming read. Intended for middle schoolers, this graphic novel will have a wide appeal with lots of ages, especially teens and adults. Sheets deals with depression, the loss of a family member, dealing with bullies, and self esteem. It's poignant and funny, and not something readers will soon forget. Marjorie Glatt is just trying to survive middle school and to top it off she has to run her family's laundry mat while her dad deals with a deep depression after the sudden death of her mother last year. It's a lot of pressure on a young girl, who just wants to keep the family business alive. To make matters worse she has a feeling that there is a ghost who keeps coming in at night, trying to sabotage her business. Will this poor girl ever get a break?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fables: The Great Fables Crossover

What a fun crossover volume! Jack (of Jack and the Beanstack fame) has been exiled from the fables for a long, long time for his tricks and nonsense. But when he calls up Bigby and tells them about a new threat to Fables, the literals and who can rewrite the universe or destroy it, Bigby decides it's time to step in. Together they step in with a bunch of good literals: Revision, the Page sisters (badass librarian sisters), and others to try and save their lives and their universe. It's an ambitious and wonderful crossover. Rose Red is still a hot mess, Jack is up to his Shenanigans, and Bigby's temper is getting the better of him, and I loved every second of it!