December Reviews- Rocky Road

December's reading has been strange- I read six books, but there was a lot of ups and downs. A rocky road, if you will. This of course leads us to an ice cream metaphor, which, not at all shockingly, has been on my mind all damn day. All I want is a vanilla shake with those delicious pink and white little animal cookies in it. I cannot stop thinking about it. Luckily for my waistline and impending long run, I have neither on hand. It was my initial thought to compare this month's books to this delectable dessert, but I don't think most of the books warrant such privilege. My ice cream-free reviews:

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
384, 391 and 400 pages

I already spent a post discussing the trilogy and don't really feel like taking a walk back into Katniss' love triangle, so I'll make this brief. For those of you who have been living under a rock, The Hunger Games take place in the future, after the earth has been decimated. Each year each of the 12 surviving "districts" are called upon to send two representatives to The Games, which involve sticking a bunch of teenagers into an arena where they must fight each other for food or resources. The game is over when only one survives. Katniss ends up volunteering so her sister is spared, leading to three books worth of revolution, violence, and love. Like I said before, this is great YA reading- high-brow, quality contemporary fiction it is not. While I have some serious issues with the plot line, it will be a series I recommend to my young teenagers when they exist. For your viewing enjoyment is the LEGO trailer of the movie, which a friend told me about recently:

Marathon by Hal Higdon
304 Pages

I actually wrote about this as well in Non-Fiction Nagging. Bottom line- while I can't tout it's amazingness yet since I haven't completed a marathon, I think it's definitely worth the price and the read if you're a runner. I have been loosely following the weekly mileage guides and have seen improvement (possibly) already. I'm really looking forward to the Surf City Half in February to see if this leads to something positive.

There But For The by Ali Smith
256 Pages

I hate giving bad reviews, but for this book I have to. I picked up through Amazon Vine after semi-enjoying her earlier (and Booker Prize finalist) The Accidental. The premise behind this novel is intriguing- a man gets up from a dinner party and locks himself in the spare bedroom, refusing to come out or communicate, with the ensuing story being told from the perspective of four people. Unfortunately, the execution was shoddy- boring, unrealistic (he ends up staying for months- they would have busted through by that point) and not as funny as intended. Unfortunately, I can't recommend this one.

The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
366 pages

Another one I can't recommend! Sonofab. Sorry, folks. I had strangely, unrealistic expectations for this novel and it completely fell short. Amis is a hit or miss writer; this novel had received better reviews than his past ones, but I don't believe I'll be reading another one of his. The underlying concepts- the sexual revolution in Europe, English literature, and transitioning from college to adulthood- are interesting, but the text just didn't deliver.

All in all, this was sort of a disappointing reading month. I'd recommend The Hunger Games and Marathon, but the other two stay away from. Here's to a better January! My next book will be very, very carefully selected!

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen Hal's online marathon stuff? I read it while training for my full last year. I'm curious to know if I'd get anything out of reading his book after reading that and running one full.