I feel like I open every blog post now with some sort of “sorry for not blogging in a long time, my life has been super busy” explanation. It’s still more or less true, even now that I’m out of school. Despite being something of a lousy blogger, I’ve still been reading though! And while I am still hoping to keep to my goal of 50 books by the end of 2013, I’m going to cheat a little and blog about the last three books I read all in the same post. After all, I never technically said I would write 50 posts too, right?
Book 1: “A Winter’s Dream” by Richard Paul Evans
From the author that brought you the overly-sentimental, yet heartwarming and cheesy “Christmas Box” series comes another feel good, but first cry a lot type of book. A spin on the biblical story of Joseph and the dream coat, this modern day marketing salesman takes the fall for one of his brother’s mistakes in the ad company. To ensure that no one knows, Joseph is forced to promise his brothers that he will leave the company and the family, leaving the other brothers free to absorb their father’s attention. Exiled from his home, job and family, Joseph finds a new job at a different ad company, and learns to live on his own, finding love and happiness, etc etc. Eventually his family’s ad company is in trouble, and his brothers come to him explaining their plight and how sorry they are, although they don’t recognize that it’s him at first. Then Joseph forgives them and the brothers learn their lesson and everything is some Don Draper advertising version of peaches and cream.
Maybe I was just not in the right mood for this sort of “feel good” family tale, but I liked the idea a lot better than the actual book. A modern day spin on a famous biblical tale: pretty cool. But then I remember that I already know how it ends, and basically everything in-between, and it gets a little less exciting. Perhaps if it was a bit more of a departure from the original, I would have been more of a fan.
Book 2: “Franny and Zooey” by J.D. Salinger
Let me preface this by saying that I love love love “Catcher in the Rye.” It took me a little time after reading it in high school, but I realized after reading it how crafty and wonderfully ironic and amazing it is. So maybe the same thing will happen with this book, but for now, I’m still in the “not quite to realizing how great this book is” phase. Also known as, “wow, that book sucked.”
Honestly, the entire time I was reading, I kept waiting for some deeper meaning to pop out at me, because clearly this sort of snobbish dialogue between a brother and sister about a book about religion for an entire 200 pages has a much more complex meaning, right? I would think so…Maybe I’m just not getting it, but considering that I read “Catcher in the Rye” at 16, I would hope that by 22 I would have evolved mentally enough to grasp this one.
All this complaining aside, don’t let me discourage you. Maybe in a few weeks, this epiphany will hit me and I’ll have a whole new perspective on the trials and tribulations of Franny and Zooey. I’ll let you know if that happens.
Book 3: “The Urban Hermit” Sam MacDonald
Unlike the previous two works of fiction, this was not a book I would normally pick up. But surprisingly, I liked it the best of the three. The autobiographical memoir of a 300-pound post-college bum who owes a ton of money and needs to stop spending all his money at the bar, this once social butterfly becomes “the urban hermit.” Living on about $8 and 800 calories a day is his plan to survive for a month, but soon turns into a year as he learns about financial responsibility, the importance of physical health and finds a job as a journalist. Sure he screws up once or twice along the way, but 160 pounds less and a lot of money saved later, it definitely seems like a success.
Most of the book involves MacDonald talking about how hungry he is or how he wants a beer, so it may not seem like an awe-inspiring tale. However, his voice is one you can relate to, his problems are real, and though his solution may be a bit drastic, it makes for an interesting read. Definitely makes you lose your appetite for dried lentils and canned tuna.