Daily Archives: September 15, 2010
This week is Book Blogger Appreciaton Week.
As I’m new to being an “official” book-blogger, and not just a blogger of all things, often including books, I decided to take part in this fun week of events.
Part of BBAW is an interview-swap.
I was fortunate to get to swap interviews with Ms. Jennifer from Jenn’s Bookshelves.
(You should check out her lovely and well-written blog, seriously.)
Q: Whats the first book memory you have?
A: My mother reading some of the Golden Book Classics to me. I still own them and read them to my children. My mom worked full time and often didn’t have a lot of time to read to me. So, she recorded herself on tape, reading a book to me. I wish I’d kept some of those tapes! It’s possible they exist, buried in a box somewhere.
Q: Favorite book of all time/Least favorite book of all time?
A: Yikes! There is no way I could mention just one favorite! I love all of Stephen King’s early works. He introduced me to the world of horror fiction and I’ve been a fan since. A few of my favorite classics include Jane Eyre and East of Eden. I read Jane Eyre in high school, and when I reread it years later I realized I didn’t appreciate what an amazing book it was. I read East of Eden with my book club. I absorbed it, I relished in Steinbeck’s writing.
I don’t have a least favorite book per se. If I don’t like a book, I either don’t read it, or stop reading it!
Q: Whats your guilty pleasure book?
A: Again, I don’t think there is just one book, but several. I recently discovered Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. It’s not Pulitzer prize winning writing, but I love it. I’m also a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, specifically on audiobook. I can’t get enough of Claire and Jamie!
Q: What book do you think needs to be made into a movie?
A: I would love to see THE PASSAGE made into a movie. Another series of books, which ultimately will be made into movies, is Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan’s The Strain series.
Q: What book are you most looking forward to?
A: Several! The first is the second in Del Toro’s Strain series, The Fall, which releases later this month. I’m actually reading it now. I simply love it! I’m a fan of Lee Child’s Reacher series. I just finished listening to 61 Hours and I can’t wait for the newest, Worth Dying For. I literally could go on and on!
This was a lot of fun, and next year I will definitely take part again!
In fact, while still within the first twenty pages, I debated leaving it conveniently on the bus.
However, like a good little book-nerd I plowed through. Thank goodness I did, because when the metaphoric clouds parted and the sun came out, it came out full force and nearly blinding.
“Cloud Atlas” is less a novel and more a collection of short stories that are all connected. Sometimes, the connection is really minute, but in other cases it’s fairly blatant. Separate narratives intertwine, some touching and some mysterious and almost all fascinating. All of these stories come together and create a literary ocean of narrative and styles. This ocean doesn’t go unnoticed or unintended – one of the last lines of the book is “Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”
Michell is a playful writer who effortlessly switches from sci-fi tales to a practically Dickensian voice in a matter of pages. His characters are vivid and all over the map, from practically saintly to completely flawed human beings. It’s a pretty spectacular piece of literature to wrap your head around.
As previously mentioned, I could have lived without the sailor story that both opens and closes the book. Framing device or not, it’s by far the least interesting of the pieces here. However, everything else in-between is gold, as far as I’m concerned. Of particular awesomeness are the narrative of a young reporter about to reveal a giant environmental cover-up, and the tale of a publisher trying to escape blackmailers who winds up committed to an old folks home. There’s also a fascinating tale of a young man trying to become an assistant to a famous composer, who is now old and blind.
If you’re looking for something different from a standard novel, try “Cloud Atlas.”
(FYI — The Guardian has a really excellent piece that explains the book much better than I ever could, if you’re interested in more information.)
**Breaking news as of 9/14, apparently a cast has been partially announced for the forthcoming film of this novel, which I’m sure will be beautifully done and only slightly confusing. However, Tom Hanks and Natalie Portman, sha-zam! Check out the rest at The Book Case: A Superstar Cast for Cloud Atlas**