Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Purple ruffles for spring

Debuted my cute new shoes at work today. Ruffles are quickly becoming a Miss Bibliophile fashion theme. Now if only it would rain so that I can wear my new wellies....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


After three long weeks of plodding through it, I've finally finished my book club's latest pick, The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. It just took me forever to get through this book, and I'm not entirely sure why as it's not an extremely long or difficult read. At first I thought it might have to do with the author's pacing, but I think it came down to more of me lacking the motivation to read more than a handful of pages at a time. And it's not because the story was uninteresting- it was...or should have been, in theory. It deals with three middle aged women, former college classmates, and their mutual "frenemy" Zenia who has had a negative impact on each of their lives. After attending her funeral, they encounter her again, alive, and each have to revisit their pasts with her before a final confrontation. I think there's a lot of potentially interesting book club discussion material here, like issues of multiple names and identities, and the flawed relationships in the novel. But in the end, something about this book felt tired to me. Possibly the setting and time period (1950s-1990s Toronto) had something to do with it, but I suspect it had more to do with the fact that the characters and themes seemed like things I've seen before, although I can't put my finger on where or when. I'll be interested in hearing what the rest of the club thinks.

And in the meantime, onto my next book...Hurray!

Monday, April 27, 2009

You can't have a shelf full of Kindles

I recently heard that fiction is the most popular category of books downloaded for Amazon's Kindle, and within that, romance novels are the most popular genre. As a friend wisely pointed out, this is probably so people can read romance novels in public without being embarassed by the cheesy covers. The flip side of that is discussed in this NY Times article. My feelings about the Kindle are mostly neutral, but of all of the anti-Kindle articles I've read, this is the one that speaks to me the most.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Vampires...definitely not of the Twilight variety

I’ll admit that Let the Right On In by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist first peaked my interest because the story sounded like Twilight in reverse- girl vampire befriends the loner teenage boy next door. I saw the Swedish movie adaptation a couple of months ago and quickly knew that I wasn’t in Forks anymore. After finally reading the book, I can safely say that it is one of the creepiest, most disturbing novels I’ve ever read. Horror is not my most frequently read genre, but the few things I’ve read by Stephen King seem like childrens’ fairy tales in comparison to this book. As long as you have the stomach for it, Let the Right On In is worth reading, however, because Lindqvist’s writing is so interesting. It’s not just the vampires and mass murders that make this book so chilling; the suburban Stockholm setting and the dismal characters are portrayed in a way that casts a cold, depressing chill over literally everyone and everything in the book. Juxtaposed with the horrific details of the storyline are a handful of moments, usually conveyed with just a single sentence, that illuminate the tiny (usually very tiny) grains of humanity left within some very horrible characters. Even though this is definitely a horror novel, it has the potential to raise so many little questions and interpretations that I can easily imagine it yielding lots of discussion in some kind of Gothic lit class.


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