Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lizard, by Banana Yoshimoto



Oh I love Banana! This was a collection of short stories that, in true Banana style (or perhaps Japanese style) didn't follow my Western notions of linear storytelling with a  beginning-middle-end, a conflict and resolution or clear plot points. Instead they are more like poetry, or a delicate painting, or the leaves of an elegant flower. They are delicate and elegant stories that provide a brief but deep look into a moment in someone's life, a glimpse into their souls. They are beautiful and satisfying.

The curiosity left by these stories is not "I wonder what happened next?" but "I wonder if that character still feels that way?"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sushi Daze, by Rob Payne



This was the second book in a row I read that took place in Tokyo, but this one had fewer murders at least. I liked it--the author must have really been to Japan, probably as an ESL teacher himself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the Miso Soup, by Ryu Murakami


Wow. Wow.


This book was so good and so creepy at the same time. It would make a good movie. It’s definitely NOT for everyone.
 It's especially creepy because it's not clear what exactly happens at the end of the book.


****************SPOILER ALERT**********************

Monday, April 23, 2007

Catch 22, by Joseph Heller



It's true--this is one of the funniest books ever! But holy cow, is there ever a lot of sex! I wonder if real GI's have that much sex. Probably.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Mile High Club, by Kinky Friedman



Oh, Kinky Friedman! He's like the Big Lebowski guy ('The Dude') but more racist and misogynist. And I think the plot of this might have been unduly influenced by a Lawrence Block 'Bernie Rhodenbarr' mystery. It seemed VERY familiar.

And the more I think about it, the more I am absolutely convinced that the character in Marian Babson's Canapes for the Kitties, Macho Magee, is based on Kinky Friedman. I like the idea of the real Kinky Friedman sipping on white wine instead of Jamieson's Irish Whiskey.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spanking Watson, by Kinky Friedman



Oh, Kinky Friedman. Always so entertaining that I never really care if his books aren't really about anything. 

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shiver, by Lisa Jackson



This was the first "suspense" mystery I remember reading in a long, long time. I enjoyed it, thought, and I might read more of them. I also liked how it turned out to all be

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Beloved, by Toni Morrison



I am so glad to have finally read this book. The movie really is faithful to the book. It was the reading the movie. Except that Beloved had dark sin in the book. But it was very faithful. We never learn Beloved's real name. I guess she represents all who were lost. I don't understand why

Monday, April 2, 2007

Jingle Bell Bark: A Melanie Travis Mystery, by Laurien Berenson



Melanie Travis is always fun to read, but her obsessive love of poodles is just plain strange sometimes. It's like she really thinks that the whole world thinks of poodles as the epitome of dogdom, or else is dying to know more about them.