Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Bookworms: More Tween Lit & Real Literature

Runner, Carl Deuker
216 pages, @ 2005

Funny story about this book! Jon and I exchange small easter baskets every Easter and we set a small budget to purchase little things (candy, lotto tickets, etc). This year, Jon was in the bargain book section of Borders and saw this book for $2 so he was like "perfect"! He gives it to me in my basket and I'm of course thrilled to get a new book (the little things in life!)

Well, after receiving the book I realized that I haven't read a lot of the books that Jon has gotten me during our relationship, because I've been "saving" them. So I decided I wanted to pick up Runner and looked it up on Amazon to see if it had gotten good reviews. This is when I realized that it was a "tween" book! I called Jon and told him but said it didn't matter (heck I was reading the Twilight books at the time) and I was excited to read it. We had a good laugh about it.

The premise is that Chance Taylor, a senior at Lincoln High School in Seattle, lives with his dad who is an alcoholic who has a hard time keeping a job. They live on his dad's small old sailboat. Since his father is unable to keep a job money is very tight. One day this man at the Marina offers Chance a job that makes easy money. All he has to do is wear a backpack when he goes out on his daily run and pick up a package at his turn around point. What is he picking up? He doesn't want to know. Easy money however always has consequences.

Deuker is a much stronger writer then say Stephanie Meyer. The flow of the story was good, the characters believable, and the problem very relevant to the times. Would I recommend it, that depends on if you read "tween" books? My only complaint with the book was that I felt he rushed the ending a bit. All of a sudden it was upon us and it was suddenly over with a shocking ending.

3 stars

The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
245 pages, @ 1988

This book was Shion's pick for our book group discussion in June. I was excited to pick this up, as I have heard a lot about Ishiguro's other novel "Never Let Me Go".

This book is about Mr. Stevens, a butler in a large home in England. The book takes place in the 50's after Mr. Stevens main employer, Lord Darlington has already passed, and an American, Mr. Farraday has purchased Darlington Hall. Mr. Stevens decides to make a cross country journey as part vacation and part visiting an old colleague from the days of Lord Darlington. During his journey he recalls times during Lord Darlington's life and explores his reasons for working where he did, for whom he did, doing what he did. His recollections take place in the 30's.

My biggest problem with this book was just the pace. It was only 245 pages so I expected to breeze through it, but the pace was much slower and it was a book I really needed to "read" not just read (if you know what I mean). That slowed me up a bit. Once I got into the story though it flowed more smoothly and became more interesting. It was a self examination of himself to see if his life had meaning and if he served the world well by serving Lord Darlington.

I will say that I felt the book group discussion allowed me to look at the book in a way I had not previously. It made me sit back and reflect and appreciate the sublties of this novel. It was a pretty powerful story when I really sit and think about it. I would definitely read Kazuo Ishiguro again.

3 stars

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Do you ever save books for later?

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I haven't read Remains of the Day, but Never Let Me Go is one of the best books I've read over the last few years. I was shocked when I read he had also written Remains of the Day, since I remembered the movie, and it doesn't seem to have much in common at all. I've added it to my list though!