For this week, I have no reviews, sadly.
It’s been an extremely busy week. I’ve been putting time aside to work on my novel. You see, I’ve been neglecting it lately and when I go a week without working on it, I get nervous, which affects my productivity, which affects my mood, which then makes me sad, which then makes me irritable, which then makes me cranky, and I’m not very fun to be around when I’m cranky.
I haven’t stopped reading though. So I wanted to share my impressions of books I’m currently reading, upcoming reviews, and future critical topics.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I’ve been mystified by this book from the first time I picked it up. The cover is truly a treat for the eyes, both with and without the jacket. The book so far is astounding for its writing. The protagonists aren’t as captivating as I would have hoped, but I’ve been more interested in the other characters in the circus anyway. But there are a lot of characters to filter through. It’s easy enough to read, but it does take some time sorting out all the intricate details, the layout of the circus, characters’ relationships, and the magic. Did I mention that this book is about two competitors, magicians, locked in a game to the death?
Looking for Alaska by John Green
This is the first novel John Green wrote, which eventually lead him to write other winning books. If you’ve read any of Green’s works, then you know what kind of characters he often writes about, the socially awkward, smart witted, literary driven teenagers. And Looking for Alaska is no exception—so far. I’ve only made it a few pages in, and while I’m intrigued by the plot (upon arrival at a boarding school in Alabama, Miles Halter meets Alaska Young and is enamored not only by her beauty but her as a person), the setting and protagonist/narrator are nothing new from his other works.
I’m keeping my expectations low for this one, not because I think it will be bad but because it’s his first book. Green’s concepts and writing style are more than likely fleshed out better in his later works. Natural progression would suggest this. Or I could be surprised and find his later works a form of regression, which would be equally interesting. I suppose if I had read Green’s work in published chronological order, I’d be having the same feelings about Paper Towns, but then again, there are no written rules telling what and how to read. Just pretentious, “well-read” people who do.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This has been on my list for a while to read, and I’m almost finished with it. It’s been heartwarming, heartbreaking, and adorably hi-la-rious! The book originally released in 1999 when I was only eleven years old, so even if I had read it, I doubt I would have had the same appreciation for it as I do now. It’s received mixed reviews and has been banned in certain schools, which to me only invites more people to read the book. Tell me not to read it? I’m totally going to read it.
What I love most about this book is how it’s written through a series of letters written to an anonymous reader. The narrator’s voice in this story is a cornucopia of feelings that are painfully honest, vulnerable, passive, charming, and smart. So far, it’s such a good read.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
I’ve been scrolling through walls of text and finding it to be a fascinating read. Susan Cain studies the history of introversion and extroversion, discusses the Extrovert Ideal (I didn’t know this was a thing), combats the negative connotations often associated with introverts, and examines introverts in an extroverted conditioned culture. Instead of doing a review for this book, I think I will do an expository post and provide some of the information that I found most intriguing. Anyone who’s an introvert will appreciate or find some comfort in knowing that they’re more like a rare breed than a failed genetic experiment.
Upcoming Book Reviews
Since I’ll be writing reviews for these lovely books, I won’t go into too many details about them. Here’s a list of my upcoming reviews.
- Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi
- Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1) by Jeff Vandermeer
- The Honey Thief by Elizabeth Graver
- Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
My first critical topic will be analyzing the world of fan fiction, which includes its history, what it means in a contemporary cultural context, what it means in terms of copyright laws, and the extent of authors’ ownership over their material. This appealed to me because it’s an entirely different domain of writers and readerships. Some authors have brushed it off as a low-brow genre while others have encouraged this cultural phenomenon.
I have a dozen more critical topics circulating in my head, but we’ll see how it goes. I’d love to incorporate some Classics into this section since—I don’t know—reviewing a classic doesn’t seem to have any value these days especially when they’ve been around for more 65 years or more. But discussing and analyzing its text and meaning does. We’ll see. Just like you can’t read everything, you can’t write about everything.
So, there you have it, my schedule for the next few weeks. I’ll have a new book review posted for all of you next week.