Two Books I Finished Yesterday

First I finally got through Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. i actually like it more now than i did yesterday when i finished it. It is a family saga about African Americans in Michigan between the 1920's to the 1960's. We are mainly following a character named Milkman from birth through his 30's. He's a priviledged son of Macon Dead, a man who owns property throughout their town and Ruth Dead, the daughter of the only black doctor in the town. These two win my vote for worst couple ever. they hate each other terribly and use their children (Milkman has 2 older sisters) against each other. We hear them tell various aspects of their stories too, as well as the story of Milkman's aunt Pilate who is the free spirit of the story.

It is hard for me to read books where everyone is hurting everyone else. Macon suffers from an overabundance of pride and stubbornness and Ruth strikes back the only way she can. Milkman just drifts through the first 2/3 of the book, hurting everyone along the way. It was especially hard to read the sections with Hagar (Milkman's girlfriend, Pilate's granddaughter) as she perfectly articulated a lot of how i feel about the problems BF and i have had. I haven't wanted to kill him though, nor have i tried to!

So i wouldn't say i didn't like this one, nor would i exactly be able to say that i did like it. it was of my TBR books though and on the 1K1 list. I tentatively think it is a 4/7 but i wonder if that may not change as i digest it a bit more.

The other thing i finished was Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things on audiobook. This is 7/7 for sure! I almost wish i had saved this for my drive tomorrow as i am going to be in the car for 10 hours. It is a series of short stories and poems, beautifully written. I would say that as i had this on audio book the only way i knew the poems from the short stories was that the poems were shorter. which is probably good for me because i've got a bit of a prejudice against poems. My favorite stories were "A Study in Emerald" which was a Sherlock Holmes story, "Goliath" which is a Matrix story, and "October in the Chair" which has one of the best cliffhanger endings for a story-within-a-story i have ever read. I have to give BF props for taking me to see Beowulf because otherwise i NEVER would have understood the last story "Monarch of the Glen". "Bitter Grounds" was rough to read as it has an incredibly accurate detailing of the feeling of depression. I'll be picking up more Gaiman on audio when i get back from Louisiana.

Comments

  1. Gaiman on audio is fantastic, even if you've already read the books. I enjoyed Fragile Things when I read it, but my appreciation for it went up several notches after I listened to it. Sometimes it is good to hear the author's inflections and emphasis to get the full meaning out of the story. His M is for Magic collection is nice. It has at least two repeats from Fragile Things. His reading of Stardust is amazing. I have the recently released Author's Preferred Edition of Neverwhere that I cannot wait to listen to when I have a longer drive planned.

    I agree that Monarch of the Glen is much better when one has read American Gods and knows more about Shadow and when one has at least a cursory knowledge of Beowulf.

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  2. Unfortunately my library has only a couple of his on audio cd. They actually have a few more on tape but i haven't had a tape player in years! i can't seem to bring myself to buy them as they are always so much more expensive than the regular book, even if it is in hardback, so i am stuck with the library selection for now.

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