Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books: My Summer Reading, and Best Books 2010

I started this year's summer reading with Stephen King's "Full Dark, No Stars"... I hadn't read any King for a long, long time, and this offering is made of four novellas (I love King's short stories and novellas the best!). These are a true set, they go together to span the whole expanse of human's doing what they do - plot revenge, harbour resentments, and keep dark secrets - but with a lightness... I would tell King there are stars, because in each story I laughed out loud more than once, and that gives relief as a reader, and breeds empathy towards the characters.

Reminds me of: King at his best! Read if you enjoy the short stories more than the horror novels.

NEXT STOP, since I was in the mall waiting a looonnnggg time for my family, I walked into the book store and picked up Stephen King's "The Stand", a large novel, an old man who came and sat next to me joked I would be alright for entertainment if I had to sit there all day. I said 'I better not be sitting here all day!'. The fall out of catastrophic epidemic (you might say 'plague', though it is in this case a variant of influenza that does the damage) and the resurection of society in the aftermath were compelling for me, and I got through this fairly quickly for its size.

Reminds me of: nothing I've ever read.

Next Stop: Justin Cronin "The Passage" I had picked this up prior to reading Full Dark... and it flowed on really well after reading The Stand, I like to flow from one book to another. Another catastrophic health crisis and again, the restructuring of human civilisation in the aftermath. The nature of the soul, the very essence of humanity is explored, and if you love the supernatural there is something here for you too.

Reminds me of: The Stand, also, The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Next I picked up Emma Donoghue "Room" the back jacket says "Jack is five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures eleven feet by eleven feet....". Just from this, I was fascinated, I wondered if this was a prison where mothers have their children, or a Flowers in The Attic type situation, or is Ma a whack job like Bad Boy Bubby? I devoured this book, which is both joyful and sad and is told magically through the eyes of a child.

Reminds me of: Hide And Seek by Clare Sambrook

Currently Reading: Greg French "Menagerie of False Truths" gets better as I go along, fascinating portrait of the various manifestations of autism, but has some gross stuff about insects and trout fish and what they eat!

Reminds me of: Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs

My Favourite Books Read for the First time in 2010
1. Good To A Fault, Marina Endicott
2. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
3. Room, Emma Donoghue


Anonymous said...

Hi Starry,
I love reading Stephen King, and I also enjoy a lot of his movies as well, I'll have to keep my eye out for this novel. Thanks for the heads up.

Kaz said...

Hi Starry,

watch alot of Stephen KingS movies and also sat right behind him at a college basketball game back in 2003 or 04..He has a house 45 minutes from where i live.Just thought i would share..

Starry said...

Oh my gosh Kaz! As a writer I'd be so trying to bump into him! I write a completely different genre but I still love to listen to and read his thoughts all about the business. I kinda like how normal he is... people think he must be weird but he's not!
So do you live in Maine? or I guess he might have a lot of houses?
So nice to hear from you again, and I hope you see the new year in safe and sound.

Kaz said...

Starry, body bother him as he went to alot of the games as i believe he live in Maine,Bangor Maine i believe,and yes i live in Maine.Stephen got hit by a van when he was out walking or running,can't remember not far from where i live he was lucky he live but was hurt pretty bad..yes he is a normal guy.Starry sure he has a few houses,he has also donated money to a baseball field.

Yes will be safe for New Year,staying home and it is safer,or not sure might even be working..Hope you have a good new yr.and ring it in with a toast..

Jace said...

Great list, Starry, although I haven't read any of them. ;) I used to love Stephen King's horror stories but stopped reading him years ago - must read some of his newer ones. :) Here's to more great reads in 2011!