This post is about a book that I have not read, will read but don’t know if I’m ready yet.
It is “The Casual Vacancy” by J. K. Rowling her first adult novel.
I love Harry Potter and would rush out to get the new one the day it came out and start reading it right away. Now though it’s a novel for adults. It’s set in a small English village. It’s all about muggles who don’t even know about “He who should not be named….”, they probably don’t even use owl’s for their mail. I have such a fondness for Harry Potter that I don’t know if I want to potentially taint that with the new novel. It’s getting very mixed reviews and while from those reviews I think I can discern that if it wasn’t J. K. Rowling then the reviews would probably be a bit better as the expectations may not be so great.
This is a new area for her. I was thinking of how different this is to when I was younger and was shocked to find out that Judy Blume had adult books and could wait to get my hands on one. OMG at thirteen or fourteen I was not ready for the first few pages of “Wifey”. Yep still remember it etched in my mind forever, which was incidentally the Judy Blume adult book I probably should have started with, broken my naïve little self in slowly.
Now I wonder what impression the adult book from J. K. will have. The problem is because I love Harry there is already emotion tied to it, an expectation of wanting to love it. I don’t want to be disappointed and I know that it’s not fair to J. K. to compare but how can I help it?
It’s there I have it on my kindle (it’s not Harry why buy the hard cover?), I am thinking of saving it perhaps for Christmas when I will be in Hawaii. If I’m in paradise then everything will be good, won’t it? Even the first adult novel by J. K. Rowling?
Chip Kidd is a God in the graphic arts field. His book designs are some of the most creative and well known. Really Google him, he’s really interesting.
Then Chip wrote a book called “The Cheese Monkey’s”. It is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a young man, going to college and finding his way into a commercial art class. There is a lot in it about graphic design but the story it self is really good. Of course he himself being a misfit, he meets a misfit girl to hang out with. The coming of age story told again but in a wonderful honest, funny way.
The book itself is also a work of art. Chip designed it, chose the font and the layout. Just google it, it’s really rather fascinating.
Then Chip Kidd wrote a second novel, “The Learners” which is a continuation of “The Cheese Monkey’s”. This takes us into the world of a small advertising firm and the in’s and outs of advertising. It is also really good. Both very easy reads.
It Happened In Boston by Russell H. Greenan is a book that was recommended by Pages in Kensington.
It wasn’t what I expected, not sure what I expected. It’s the story of an artist and has twists and turns in the plot. It has one of the most heartbreaking scenes in it (I won’t tell you, wouldn’t want to spoil the story). Oh it is a great book, I think I actually hugged it when I finished it the first time.
It has a lot of information about art and the creative process but is about so much more.
Yesterday I said that Banana Yoshimoto’s books stay with me long after I read them. The same happens with Haruki Murakami, the stories linger.
Almost as if something is happening between the lines. I am now reading 1Q84 and will be sad when it is finished. It has kept me up late at night as he moves the plot along. He is so good at intertwining plots, characters and idea’s. He has patience in revealing the plot, his prose is beautiful.
Banana Yoshimoto I discovered by browsing a book store and waiting for a book to reach out to me. Ever do that? Wander through the aisles until one jumps out and you can just feel that it’s the right choice.
There is a quietness to the writing. The plots are not complex, in fact often little happens. Yet I love her characters, the books tend to linger after you read them. I’ll find myself still thinking about the books long after I’ve finished them:
I love Jane Austen, I love the books, I love the movie adaptations of her books.
They make me want to go back to England. Her characters are flawed and confused. She does the nosy Aunt so well. The stories are usually about young ladies, looking for husbands, navigating through society. The characters are always true to themselves, for better or worse.
I can’t pick a favourite, they are all great. It seems to depend on what I’m going through. How I’m feeling that on any given day will determine which heroine is my favourite at the time. Today I would say Fanny Price in Mansfield Park. You can’t go wrong with Fanny.
Or if you want to shake it up you could go for one of the reinterpretations:
Charles Dickens is a new love.
I had never read a Dickens’ novel until this year but always him on my list. I started with Great Expectations, then read The Old Curiosity Shop, the last one I read was Nicholas Nickleby. Dickens is so good, now I get it.
I love his characters, usually a supporting one becomes my favourite. He really makes me care and I will be reading more. Also I have my Grandmothers Dickens books and they make me feel a connection with her, she passed away over ten years ago. The books used to be in her family home when she was growing up and now they are with me.
Also some have beautiful illustrations throughout, I think there are fourteen of them which should keep me in Dickens for a very long time.
Winnie the Pooh is my favourite childhood book but here are two that I also adore. Mrs Piggle Wiggle is an older lady who parents call when they are having problems with their children. She supplies them with creative solutions and I still love the stories of children who won’t clean their room or share or eat their vegetables. Typical problems with fun solutions. I read them again last year when I had a cold and was home feeling sorry for myself. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle cheered me up.
They look a little beat up because they have been well loved over the years: