Monday, January 27, 2014

Irreverent fun.

How to properly describe a book like this?  I am not sure if I can.

I will start by saying that I really enjoy Moore's writing.  They are like no other books that I have ever read.  I would also say that I think he is very well versed in esoteric and arcane knowledge, with a fair bit of awareness about all different types of religions.  It would be easy to say that he is completely irreverent, or sacrilegious, but I don't think he is.  I think his books are highly intelligent, completely offbeat, peopled with wildly crazy and unique characters, and make me belly laugh.

You could describe this book as having dark humour.  It starts off with death, and is all about death.  Yet, this doesn't even begin to describe what this book is all about.  There is a little sex thrown in, a few hellhounds, celtic devils, a few good guys and the squirrel people. Yet, this book is also uplifting, and you think thoughts you would never imagine without having read this book.   This all takes place in the city of two bridges (San Fran).

I find that I stray away from providing a summary of the novels that I read.  I more want to capture the impression of what I am left with after I have turned the last page.  As the pages turned when I read this one, they started turning faster as I wanted to see how things would turn out.  It is one that will stick with me.

Moore's writing is refreshing, different, and genuinely funny.  Both books I have read by him have caught me off guard.  I will seek out more.  If you are curious, check out his website.  If you are looking for a book that is just a little bit different, a little bit edgy, that will make you laugh out when you least expect it - give it a try.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An amazing Canadian.

Every now and then, someone comes along that makes you feel really proud to be a Canadian.  I can think of a few offhand.  I think about Terry Fox, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, the 2010 Men's and Women's Olympic Hockey Teams… I could dwindle down in to politicians, musicians, actors and poets… but it does get you to stop for a moment and think about what national (or even local) folks you look up to, or can make you feel nationalistic pride.  I remember going to the Calgary Stampede in 2000, and feeling proud of being Canadian when I watched the opening ceremonies.  Having never crossed the Rockies before, it was a big deal to embrace these folks as "also Canadian".  I am really glad I asked (and received) this book for Christmas.  This is a book I want to read with my kids.  I will read with my kids.  What an inspiring man.  Hadfield quietly celebrates life, and in the process I think has inspired the world and helped many of us reconnect with space.  

Reading this book, I felt the urge to start to underline passages.  Not only does Hadfield make his experiences accessible to everyone, he describes his experiences and overall philosophy with a gentle grace, that has left me with nothing but respect for him as a person.  There are lessons within how he has lived his life, and with the joy he embraces the moments.  There are lessons within his drive, and even in the negative elements that he had to focus on to become an astronaut, which truly weren't negatives.  

This is an inspiring read.  Pick up a copy, and celebrate a truly fabulous Canadian.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

That Bard pops up in the strangest places...

When you stop and think about it, few writer's have had as much impact and influence as the great Bard himself, William Shakespeare.  I mention this in passing because of the father's obsession with the Bard in this book.  Each of the sister's is also named after famous heroines - Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia.  As someone who read a lot of Shakespeares' plays in my undergrad, I enjoyed this layer, even if it did wear thin in places (weirdly enough, I have issues reading things in italics if it goes on too long... who knew?)

This is a story about three sisters, and how they resolve their own idenity crises while their mother suffers through breast cancer.

It was a good book, and the title takes it's name from MacBeth's three witches - the original Weird Sisters.  I found the narrative voice to be a little irritating at times and hard to grasp and there were a few passages I had to reread to make sure I had the true gist of what was happening. 

This book was also about growing up in a small town, can't waiting to bust out, and that what happens when you leave and return as an adult, or for one sister, when you are fearful of leaving.  You add in the layer of post secondary life/town/career, and well, it was a book I could relate too.  Although I moved around a lot as a kid, I do consider myself from a small town.  It was a big deal when as a family, we chose to move back (for me) to this small town.  I grappled with was I ready and willing to embrace this community again, in my adult self.  Two years later, I have come to terms with this, and I am grateful for our community and the place we are creating for ourselves.  I see things in our community I was oblivious to when I was younger and itching to get away. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

I may be a fan...

I will admit it.  I like Allen's writing style.  When I need a light read, with a little bit of whimsy, I find that I have really enjoyed each of the books she has written.  She has a new one coming out in a few weeks, and I think I will head to the library and sign up for a library card so I can read her fourth (and maybe fifth) book without having to pay for it.  This is one of those books I can easily read in a day.  I started the day off lazing around in bed, and I finished the day back in bed turning the last few pages.

I even recognized a character from one of her previous books.  Sometimes it is nice to read a book populated with interesting characters that is about friendship - with a little romance, and a little earth magic (for lack of a better description). 

In my reviews, I find I try to capture more of the feeling I had when I read a book, rather than give a blow by blow summary of what happened.  I am not sure why I have chosen this path - perhaps it has been an unconscious choice from all the literary reports I wrote during my undergraduate degree.  I also think you can go to amazon or chapters for lots of plot and summary reviews, and I tend to express whether or not I enjoyed the book, or to relate something that moved me.  This was a pleasurable read, and I enjoyed the picture of a southern town with it's hidden history and relationships between women.  The writing isn't too ornate, and the reads are quick, and each of the three books I have read by Allen have all been enjoyable.