Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Almost Moon

What if your whole life had been leading up to the murder of your mother? I feel like that is the case of Helen Knightly. Her mother is crazy. After the death of her father, Helen is left to care for her. She is divorced and her children have moved away. She also manages to alienate her best friend, really making herself alone. Does she do this on purpose? Yes and no.

The novel takes place over 24 hours (or a bit more). It starts one evening and ends the next. It also takes place over Helen’s whole life, as she looks back to see what brought her to this place. The Almost Moon had a good ending. I think Helen finally makes the right decision. However, it also left me with a lot of questions. Just a page or two more and I would probably have the answers I want. They’re just not there.

If you’ve read Alice Sebold’s amazing novel, The Lovely Bones, (if you haven’t, got get it, now), you’ll enjoy The Almost Moon. It didn’t have the same level of excitement for me, but that’s okay. It was a great read that definitely captures your interest. It’s Sebold’s style that holds you. I eagerly await another Sebold book.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Lump Of Coal

The Lump Of Coal is a children’s Christmas tale written by Lemony Snicket. When Lemony Snicket’s An Unfortunate Series of Events ended, I was sad. (You can find my comments on the various books on this blog in July, August and November 2006.) Not only did I want to know more about the Baudelaires, but I was going to miss Snicket’s unique style of writing. He has a way of teaching something to the reader, whether a moral or meaning of a word, with ease. He does not condescend; explanations are done plainly and with humour.

In this story, it starts off a little sad. No one wants a lump of coal for Christmas. At least, that’s what you think. Someone wants a lump of coal and it makes them very happy. Snicket turns a negative into a positive without being obvious. It just happens naturally, as we follow the coal on his journey. The Lump Of Coal, I think, actually teaches you to look beyond preconceptions. A cliché comes to mind, but I think it’s appropriate in this instance. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

PS: The cover is actually silver, not white.
PPS: The illustrations are done by Brett Helquist and they’re fantastic!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Negotiating With The Dead: A Writer On Writing

Negotiating with the Dead is Margaret Atwood’s tale of what it’s like to be a writer. It’s not instructions; it doesn’t tell you how to be a writer. Negotiating with the Dead expounds different aspects of what it’s like to be a writer. Atwood uses many metaphors and explains what is often going on in a writer’s mind. She also talks about the relationship between writer and reader. It is a good book; just don’t expect a road map on how to be as successful as the author