Friday, January 18, 2008

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Before I watched Fight Club, I had never heard of Chuck Palaniuk. While I loved the movie, I was unsure if I would like the book. So I started with a book that has not (yet) been made into a movie. Survivor begins on page 289 and counts down to page 1 as narrator Tender Branson tells his life story into the black box of an airplane that is flying over that Pacific Ocean, about to crash into the Australian Outback. What makes Branson unique is that he is the sole surviving member of a religious cult. Branson takes you on a journey like no other, from his cultist upbringing to his unplanned demise.

What might you have in common with a ex-cult member who is hijacking a plane, you ask? More than you can possibly imagine. Though you may not agree with everything that Branson does, it is easy to relate and feel for him, on some level at the very least. The only complaint that I have is that the ending is somewhat anti-climatic/somewhat cliffhanger. I imagine Palaniuk did that on purpose, but I find it takes away from the story. I would definitely recommend Survivor and plan to read other novels by Palaniuck in the very near future!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

A voice from the dead. A forgotten soul. Primarily, if not solely, known as "Wife of Odysseus." Atwood provides a powerful feminist approach to The Odyssey through the voice of Penelope. While Odysseus encountered war, adventure, and triumph; Penelope waited for essentially half of her adult life for Odyesseus' return. For twenty years, Penelope thwarted suitors attempts to marry and take over the throne. For twenty years, Penelope watched as men half her age satisfied their ravenous hunger for meat, wine, and sex at the expense of her household. For twenty years, Penelope was unable to do much other than wait, hope, and cry. For Penelope was stuck in a time where men held the power and women were only silent backseat participants. A time when women were seen as property and a means to an end. A time when women were enemies instead of allies, all vying for attention from what else but a man? A remarkable read and wonderful addition to your Atwood library.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 Booklist

Here is my list of books that I read in 2007. It is rather unimpressive. I left out the bajillions of nursing textbooks that I also read because I don't consider them to be books, just torture. * represents books that I rather liked.

**The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
*Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
*We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
***Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Jones
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
*The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
**The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
***The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
**Stardust by Neil Gaiman
***American Gods by Neil Gaiman
**Coraline by Neil Gaiman
**The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
**Rose Red: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
On Writing by Stephen King
**I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
*The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
***Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling