How I spent my elective break

BY READING fiction.

1. Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. The reasons why people commit suicide often baffle me. I know people who've attempted to kill themselves, and some of them were successful in doing so. This novel doesn't explain — it illustrates — why people, teenagers especially, go to such lengths as taking their own lives. Is it the dysfunctional family, peer pressure, emotional instability? We shall never really know the reasons, but we shall be acquainted with the Lisbon sisters, told from the viewpoint of curious boys from the neighborhood. This may well be Jeffrey Eugenides's most powerful literary work.

Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides

2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarré. One of the finest thrillers/conspiracy novels I've read. Saw the movie, too, which was just as good.

John LeCarré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

3. As I Lay Dying by William Faulker. A mother is about to die and requests that she be buried in Jefferson, miles away from where she is. She sees her sons carving out her coffin. The journey to Jefferson is epic. I love this book, though I had a hard time reading through the Midwestern slang. Only when I read the words syllable by syllable did I get the meaning of some of them. I can't believe I only discovered William Faulkner recently! I need to get my hands on Light in August--I saw a copy somewhere.



4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Maybe you can read this, if you haven't yet.

Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (Php 20)

5. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. Reading about a writer's life made me appreciate the value of long, well-thought out novels. Michael Chabon has the mastery of language. Excellent prose. Many parts were funny. The parts about the professor smoking marijuana were disturbing, though.

photo

* * *

FIND ME in Goodreads, if you still have a space in your heart for another social networking site. It's like Facebook for readers.

Just in: Amazon will buy Goodreads soon (via LA Times). I don't know what that means, but I sure hope the user interface will be kept just as it is.

4 thoughts on “How I spent my elective break”

  1. I've read it, Mark. I enjoyed both. :)

    Middlesex was more an epic than a simple novel. It was longer, more medical (because the main character had "indeterminate sex" because of a genetic malfunction) and historical (the story spanned many generations). The Virgin Suicides was shorter, had fewer characters, and had a simpler story. I'll pick The Virgin Suicides over Middlesex, though, if it ever comes to that.

  2. I actually have both books, but haven't started them yet. LOL Maybe I should read Middlesex first. The best one may not be a good introduction to an author. Thanks! :-D

Leave a Reply