The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
I read this novel almost completely blind, Patrick was coming to speak at my humble city and well, it was Booker prize shortlisted, that was more then enough for me to read it… And the novel was a gruff, western saga!? with tough as nails characters, a minimal fast paced writing style, and Wicca dark magic foreshadowing – a hugely enjoyable surprise; very compelling and a book that I would recommend.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
This book is kind of bleak, and definitively my least favorite thus far, that said I really dug the flying car, some very beautiful imagery with Harry and Ron flying to Hogwarts.
Neil Gaiman – American Gods
I have now read a few books from the 80’s, there is definitely a Gritty dark feel to a lot of them and I don’t think this aspect ages well. I wanted to love this book, I really did, and perhaps I was wishing it was in graphic novel format as there were so many scenes that stretched my imagination, that said – And I love Neil – I just found this book underwhelming. The stakes! The stakes didn’t work for me. I enjoyed the sub plot of the town more then the main arch… 😦
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
So, JK Rowling is an evil genius when it comes to getting kids to read, as she has scaled up the imagery and vocabulary breadth in this book. Interest in the opposite gender even starts to appear among the characters. Clearly, she is scaling her books and readability to the age of Harry (13 at this point), you could even surmise that this series and how it progresses from a formal point of view, is a complete reading education.
Is she improving as a writer? Or is that just a cover for her, as she tricked a generation of kids into learning and enjoying literature. This my is favorite book so far – so much hope.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within – Natalie Goldberg
Pretty good, a bit repetitive at points definitely written for poets or people writing about themselves/ literary fiction.
Some strong points on writing, Natalie uses this great analogy of a compost pile that I really like, the more you write the more junk you get out of your system, which refines down and causes other ideas to grow, very ‘write for the trash can,’ with a bit more of a positive spin.
I think she inspired the writing in public movement, also.