Friday, December 23, 2005

yes and more yes

1. it's not outright brilliant, or soul provoking, but it is irresistible and highly entertaining. it's called whatever by heather woodbury. it's has such an addictive quality to it, i couldn't put it down, it drew me in like a soap opera or wb sitcom. 12 sterotyped characters in the early nineties play out one of those shakespearean tangle-knot comedies between new york, seattle, santa cruz, and portland. one of the most fun things about this book is that it operates in several different vernaculars, including early 90s surfer rave talk. ha ha. her writing is good, although can give a feeling of let down when she falls back on old cop-outs and predictability. but it's pretty damn ambitious, and i really liked it. 2. this book makes me ache in a way that is bliss. return of the soldier by rebecca west. beautiful imagery. sometimes when i pick up a 'penguin classic' book with that mint green border and the usually boring cover picture i am afraid that the contents will read like mildew so old and unpalatable. but this book feels fresh- although she's not often blunt, her writing is perfectly accurate. there are a couple passages that have run on flowery indulgences but they are no harm to this gorgeous book. it details the homecoming of a soldier to his immaculately kept home, tidy life, cousin jenny-the narrator, and his wife, kitty. however, this is complicated by him having suffered memory loss so that all he remembers is the last day that he spent with his first love, who is now a poor, shoddy woman. the way west describes his happiness while he is only living in one part of his life is just SO GOOD. read it. it's not long, only 80 or so pages. mmmm.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


The beautifully illustrated graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson is a wonderful ride. I picked it up a while back at work and opened it to a super-over-the-top-teenage-love moment and wasn't too sure if it was something I wanted to read at all. Finally gave it a try and it sucked me in. The illustrations are enough, almost 600 pages worth of small panel masterpieces. While some of the story is too much like songs sensitive high school boys write, it doesn't really matter when you're in the story. You relate to what you've felt before and ignore the fact that out of context some of it would make for a good laugh.

Friday, December 02, 2005

seasons in the city.

Couldn't sleep the other night, so I go to finish a short book I had been reading, I lament to Ariel how it's ok, but kind of cheesy and I'm not that into it. Then I dive into the last four chapters, which were completely awesome. The book is Marcovaldo or Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino, I know most people that read this blog have read it, but oh well. Giant soap bubbles flying through the city; being the only person left in a city in the heat of the summer; the world of cats, a cat restaurant; the Destructive Gift, a Christmas gift that creates more consumption because it's used to destroy other gifts. So good. Maybe I was just in the mood for the book when I read these and the other times it wasn't what I wanted, I don't know. Looking back on the rest of it, there was a lot of good moments, cool ideas, but its way of creating these extremely exageratted siuations wasn't really that amusing to me for most of it. But it's so short that what I didn't like about it can be easily excused.