Saturday, August 29, 2009

A reading update

I promised an update on my course reading list post, so here is:

Read:
HOW I LIVE NOW and WHAT I WAS by Meg Rosoff
COSMIC by Frank Cottrell Boyce
THE SAVAGE by David Almond
NORTHERN LIGHTS by Philip Pullman

Yet to read:
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne
THE BRIDE'S FAREWELL by Meg Rosoff (available in bookstores in September)
FRAMED by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Maybe others by the same authors, depending on how I get on

I also plan to re-read:
CHARLOTTE'S WEB by E.B. White
SKELLIG by David Almond

I wrote reviews for Goodreads of both THE SAVAGE and COSMIC:

THE SAVAGE is a story about storytelling, its magic, and its redemptive power. The illustrations by Dave McKean are both haunting and laugh-out-loud funny. The text is mesmerizing. Clearly, others disagree, but I found it a realistic depiction of a child and his relationship with violence. Pure magic. (5/5)

Frank Cottrell Boyce and I definitely have one thing in common: we dream of space. That's why the end of this book is such a pleasure. Boyce's descriptions of space, the moon, earth, the feeling of being so alone and so far away in such vastness are magical. Through his writing, Boyce took me into space. Cosmic!
I was frustrated because I didn't understand the characters, and the pace felt so slow I almost stopped reading at times. But I'm so glad I stuck around to finish a beautiful book.
(4/5)

I probably haven't written any reviews for Rosoff's books because I'm still thinking about them. However, I ranked HOW I LIVE NOW 5/5 on Goodreads (I didn't get on as well with WHAT I WAS). Rosoff's writing is extraordinarily beautiful. I find her books take completely unexpected turns, some good, some bad, and seem to defy categorization. At their hearts, though, they are very much about people and desperate lives.

So, for two novelists I had never read before, I'm so grateful to have discovered Meg Rosoff and Frank Cottrell Boyce. David Almond has been a bit of a mixed bag with me, so I was also pleased to discover a work of his I like as much as THE SAVAGE.

What? Nothing about Philip Pullman? Yeah, saving him for my next post, along with some thoughts about why I love the books I do and why I just can't enjoy others.

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