Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
I have never read anything else by Vladimir Nabokov but I am fairly familiar with the premise of Lolita (I’m a bad film student – I haven’t even seen all of Kubrick’s filmography). When first stumbling across this book on Goodreads, I thought “oh! this will be a quick read” and “what a nice place to dive into Nabokov’s work!” but it wasn’t quite that simple. I found Pale Fire to be…a lot…to take in. The structure of Pale Fire is unlike anything I’ve ever read – a 999-line poem “written” by a deceased (yet fictional) writer and annotated by a (fictional) scholar and friend of the poet. I almost feel like I need to buy a hard copy of this book (I read it as an e-book) and re-read it to even begin to appreciate it to its full potential. Pale Fire has opened the door to the mind of Nabokov for me and I am fairly certain that you’ll be able to find me here for some time.
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
Birds of America is a collection of short stories. I haven’t read too many books consisting solely of short stories but I was constantly getting Lorrie Moore recommendations so I decided to go for it. Mostly, I absolutely loved it. Moore is a fantastic writer and the stories are clever yet manage to convey an extreme range of emotions. The only thing I didn’t like about the stories was occasionally feeling like I was reading about the same character placed in different situations when it fact it was an entirely different story with different characters. Many of the characters are very, very similar which I suppose can actually be a really good thing but I found just slightly off-putting. Again, I’m just someone who doesn’t really read short stories so maybe that’s just something I’ll have to get used to reading. I did, however, find her style very engaging and I am definitely planning on checking out more of her work very soon.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl was the first book I read after a couple months of not reading anything except for stuff for school. I was so excited for it! I was mostly reading it because I heard it was being adapted into a film and I love reading “soon-to-be-a-movie” books. I loved Gone Girl…for the first 300 pages. Things quickly (very quickly) went sour for me. I realized 75% of the way through the book that I hate almost every single character in the book. I know it’s “just a book” but they were all SO annoying and bratty. Between Nick’s insufferable indifference towards his wife and Amy’s insufferable desire to prove a point, I just couldn’t wait to be done with the book. And, of course, I’m one of the people who was just not satisfied with the ending. Although I wasn’t crazy about Gone Girl as a whole, I do hope to read more books by Gillian Flynn. I definitely was intrigued by her ability to make me feel so much towards the characters…even if those feelings were not so positive.