Thumbs up for Silence by Shusaku Endo. Literature.
An engrossing story taking place during the state-supported massacres of the sizable minority of Japanese Catholics in the 1600’s. To simplify greatly, it deals in a well-rounded, satisfying way with the issue of staying true to one’s religion when to do so may not be the moral thing to do; and the effect of that dilemma on the faith of one man, Father Rodrigues, a young missionary.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima. Literature.
I couldn’t decide whether to read slowly in order to savor Mishima’s exquisite prose, or gulp it in sheer ecstasy. This book did once more raise the question: Why do so many of the greatest writers in the world – of which I will unhesitatingly say Mishima is one – chose to write books of which we know what the finale will be from the first pages?… >> Read more
Thumbs down for Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara. Literature.
This book’s main endearing quality is that it’s short. Also that it makes no emotional impact, which is a good thing, because some unpleasant things happen in it (murder, tongue piercings, explicit BDSM). It was not actually so bad that I wanted to put it down, but other than the faint interest of the fact that things do not go as they would in a “Western” novel, it’s completely forgettable in every way.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Literature.
I was strangely attracted to this book in spite of the fact that both my coworker and my boyfriend said the same thing about it: “That’s an AMAZING book. Don’t read it, you won’t like it.” This is because they know I assiduously avoid depressing novels. However, what they didn’t realize is that I have no objection to bleak survival stories – and this book is bleak, bleak, BLEAK – it’s dysfunctional interpersonal dramas I hate.… >> Read more
Two big thumbs up for Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Edith Grossman. Literature.
I won’t lie: I probably would not have assayed a 940-page book at this point in my life had it not been a Christmas present from my boyfriend. He has excellent taste in books so my reaction was more an intrigued “hmm!” rather than a horrified “aaaagh!” – but it’s still a daunting prospect.… >> Read more