Book Fortytwo: Blankets

Blankets , Craig Thompson

It feels so much more founded to call a graphic novel beautiful than a regular novel, doesn't it? I mean, it's not just the story, but the pictures, too. Well, I loved this and thought it was, indeed, beautiful. I like stories that capture the sweetness and naiveté of young love. I used to hate earnestness, and now, when the story is told just right, I find it charming and perfect (maybe because I was too close to it then, but now that I have some distance I can look back on it and laugh a little). I suppose I am also drawn to stories that center around people's relationship with god and religion, an idea that fascinates me. Who are these people who believe in god and why do they? I think that's nicely addressed here.

Also, you can't beat all that snow.

Book Fortyone: I See You Everywhere

I See You Everywhere, Julia Glass

It seems as if the new criticism of contemporary fiction is that people just don't like the main characters (especially of female characters, have you noticed?). I know, because I, too, have been guilty of this. But is this really a fair critique? Must you love everyone you read about? I think you could definitely say that about I See You Everywhere. Neither of two sisters, who alternately tell their stories over a period of thirty years, is really very likable. Meaning, you might not want to spend a lot of time with them. But, did it make for a good book? I think so. I suppose I was after a good, solid, contemporary novel (you know, with a story and characters) and this is exactly what I got. There are surprises and some emotionally heavy stuff, but I'm not going to spoil it for you.

In summation: not quite as good as Three Junes but better than The Whole World Over.

Book Forty: Mind's Eye

Mind's Eye, Håkan Nesser

Don't you think it's so obnoxious when people say that they figured out who did it in a mystery right away and that the story was really predictable?

You do? Oh, okay, never mind.

Book Thirtynine: Poem Strip

Poem Strip, Dino Buzzati

Oh NYRB, you already had my heart, but then you go and publish a graphic novel? Swoon.

While the drawings were beautiful (I saw glimpses of the Hernandez brothers in there), the story was a bit... loose. Not bad, just totally bizarre and at times, difficult to follow. I got the gist of the Orpheus and Eurydice story and then it got so poetic that, well, sometimes I like my stories to be more like stories. But whatever. I'm still super happy and found much strange loveliness in there.

Book Thirtyeight: Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris

Ugh, ugh, and ugh. You know how the Twilight books are bad, but bad in the most wonderfully entertaining way? Well, this book is just plain bad. Nothing entertaining about it. In fact, the writing is downright dull. I think from now on I will just stick to watching True Blood. As bad as that is, at least it allows me to moon over Alexander Skarsgård.