End of March 2017 Review

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March 2017

With the beginning of the semester, I’ve been a bit bogged down, but here’s what I’ve been able to accomplish.

Books Read

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The first book down is the graphic novel, Awkward. It has wonderful drawings, almost resembling at times to anime or cartoons, but with a particularly endearing style for its topic. Overall, the story’s a bit weak and, like most graphic novel fare nowadays, is autobiographical. Hopefully, some tales not based on the author’s life will sprout out soon.

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Next came Bone Gap. I’ve seen everywhere praise for this book, and while it didn’t suck it up like so much other YA fodder, there was still this distinct unsavory taste to it. What?—I don’t know. But I can say I was not too impressed or overwhelmed by the protagonists, and even though the big twist at the end did catch me off guard and made it more fun, it took so long for anything to happen in this near-plotless book, that I’m not one hundred percent sure if it was worth the read. Props though for the Orpheus-like retelling.

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After that, I finally tackled ‘The Danish Way of Parenting.’ Obviously, non-fiction. It had a lot of good points and showed quite possibly how the thinking another culture has can influenced positively their children, but unlike other books in this genre, it didn’t have the zing or the writing appeal that its brethren tend to have. Above all, it got me thinking about how America is and whether our thinking and behavior is just merely passed down from generation to generation—almost genetically—and whether or not it explains the current state of America not being great; ie. Trump.

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From there, I went into ‘The Heart of Darkness.’ After reading it, I perused the comments section for it on many sites, and I can see why it’s meet with so much ire. The language is horribly difficult, and there appears to be very little plot. Frankly, it just goes over and over with metaphors describing the situation that Mallory is in. However, I didn’t feel it was all that bad. Truthfully, it’s nothing more than a hard to read YA novel. No plot—check! Very little useful dialogue—check! Rerunning the same tired metaphor—check! The only thing it does have going for it is…depth, which is what kind of makes it literature.

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Then came ‘The Road.’ In the beginning, I found it dry, but easy to push on as it was simply written and fast. I understand every single hateful word certain reviewers have for this book where nothing much happens. At the same time, his style builds and creates a wonderful image and world. In a way, it felt like a novelized episode of The Walking Dead. Truth be told, I don’t know why it won a Pulitzer, but—oh well!

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Lastly, I’ve struggle over the last month and a half with ‘The Fountainhead.” It was difficult to get into, but by about page 200 or this 727 page behemoth, things got going, and I finished up the last ¾ of the book in two weeks. That said, her writing is not always eloquent or efficient with her use of descriptions or words. The book could’ve been chopped down, especially near the end where classic Ayn Rand heavyhandiness started slapping each page with 3 to 4 page harangues or her particularly hypocritical philosophy. Many republicans adore her, and I can see why. She writes with conviction but no concept of reality or responsibility to fact or morals. Though the story at times was fun, my repugnance for her is only further fueled by this misled book.

Progress on 2017 goals

  • Finish Crasher: I’m at 80,000 words now. Nearing the end
  • Read Life: A Manual: 0 pages

The Fountainhead: Done

Here I Am: 0 pages

  • Send ‘All the Things in the Unknown World’ to agents: 151. I have not budged here a bit, though I have a slew more to send it off to. Oh, and by the way, no takers yet. Insert sad-faced emoticon if I used them or knew how.

Next Month’s Agenda

Again—finish Crasher. Then—start my newest writing project, one with a student. On top of that, I want to tackle one more of the big books on my slowly growing TBR.

 

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