That being said, I still am not as spot on with the goal as I'd like. For instance, I totally didn't read anything in February. Actually I started The Hunger Games (see below), but really only ready 20 pages or so, which doesn't really count. And in April, I only read one book, but once you see what it is, you'll see it was book enough for a month. : ) Here's what I've read since our last update!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I'm a big believer that some of the best literature that's coming out right now falls within the young adult genre. Some of my favorite books that I've read in the past five or six years are young adult (read anything by the amazing John Green). The Hunger Games is quite engaging as far as dystopian novels go. It's definitely a page turner and an interesting read. It's also an easy read, which meant that I was able to finish it off in a weekend and I didn't read the whole weekend (though it was hard to put down). For those of you who haven't been bitten by the Hunger Games bug, I highly encourage you to read the book or at least watch the movie, which was a fairly good adaptation of the novel. I love Katniss as a heroine and I only wish I was as badass as her. I plan on reading the 2nd and 3rd book this year, but wanted to take a break between the novels and read some other things. I didn't want to devote all my reading time to the Hunger Games for a couple of months.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Yes, I read another Steinbeck novella. What can I say, I'm a bit of a cheat with these two books a month business, eh? But I've been itching to re-read some Steinbeck this year and these two were less of a commitment than, say, The Grapes of Wrath. I first read Of Mice and Men about five or six years ago. I remember liking it, but not loving it. I of course remember the basic plot points (SPOILER ALERT): Lennie kills animals without trying and George shoots Lennie in the end. But I'd sort of forgotten the small details. After having read it a second time, I'm certain it's okay for me to say that I'm not the biggest fan of this book. I like it enough. It's certainly well written and the writing, similar to that in The Pearl, is terse and well structured. But for fucks sake, what a downer! I tried like hell to note one happy thing that happens in that book. And guess what? There isn't a single thing. They visit a whore house? That's about it, man. It's soooooo depressing. And it's the kind of sad that stays with you and creeps into your psyche, which I hate. That's the worst. Books like that don't bode well for me in the long run. Still, I'm glad I re-read it. It's certainly worth the read, I just don't know if, as far as classics go, it's on my list of favorites.
Oh, and PS. I was trying hard to think of a single classic I've read where someone doesn't die. And I can't. Maybe The Catcher in the Rye? Except Holden deals with death in the novel, or at least touches upon it. But yeah, I'm hard pressed to think of many where someone doesn't spectacularly die.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Hellz to the yeah! I totally read this shit! Truth be told, I still haven't finished this book yet. But I think that I'll have it done by tonight and that's practically April. So...count it! Okay, on to my thoughts...
WOWZA!!! What a book! The so-called Mommy Porn that's clearing off shelves and seemingly on everyone's Kindle landed on mine, too. : ) It wasn't shocking, really, though it's definitely, um, erotic. It's fairly graphic, though for the most part not cheesy like some romance novels. The writing is pretty bad, too. I can't count how many times James uses the word "bemused" or talks about how "hot" Christian Grey is, or for that matter how many times Ana says "Holy shit." Still, I laid in bed all day yesterday reading it. I couldn't put it down. I'm almost done with it (another hint at its extreme readability), but I'm debating whether or not to read the next two. I definitely could pound through them (pun INTENDED ; ) ), but I want to see where this book ends before I decide to plunge into the next two (yup, you guessed it...pun intended again).
I'm actually dying to discuss this one with my friends. The sex doesn't bother me and frankly, the whole thing reminds me of a more graphic version of the movie Secretary. But what gets me are the overused tropes from the likes of Pretty Woman and, well, any James Spader movie. I actually think that's why women like the book so much. It's no surprise that in this day and age the things we find sexy are Don Draper and Christian Grey. Secretly, I think, women like this book for two reasons: 1. A lot of women just want to be dominated in the bedroom, even if they don't necessarily want it in their everyday lives and, 2. Women love to believe they can change a man. And that's basically what this is. There is a lot of criticism that this book is less about BDSM and more about obsession, control, and jealousy. I definitely agree with that, and as far as weak women go, Anastasia Steele, despite her smartass-ness, is pretty weak. She's so sure she's strong, meanwhile she's constantly distraught over what Grey will think or whether she will please him or not. I don't know. I go back and forth on the whole thing. I've read that eventually Christian gets his just desserts in the series, but like I said, I will see how this one ends before I jump into anymore.
Have you read any of these books? Have you jumped into Fifty Shades yet? I'm dying to discuss that one! : )