Sunday, January 02, 2011


Oops, I just realized my chart was wrong because I forgot to review a couple of books - Winter's Bone and the Satanic Verses.

Anyway, the numbers look like this, for posterity's sake:
43 Fiction books
7 Non-fiction books
25 books by women
25 books by men

For some reason, I'm having trouble processing the Satanic Verses, which is an amazing and challenging book to read. We read it for book club and everyone loved it although most agreed it totally kicked their ass.

Winter's Bone (by Daniel Woodrell) deserves a longer write-up too, which I'm not sure I'll be able to provide. It's a fine little book that can be quickly read but better off savored. It's about a young woman who is searching for her meth-cook father in order to save their family shack, which is, nevertheless, the only thing they have. It's language and imagery is brutal - she's described as someone who looks like she had been "smacked and smacked again." There was an amazing part where she sleeps in a cave during a snow storm. She builds a fire and takes off her wet clothes and survives the night like a wild animal (or a resourceful pre-historic woman, perhaps). That part reminded me very much of an early novel by Margaret Atwood book called Surfacing where the protagonist goes into the woods to live. From Winter's Bone:
She stood in sunlight and stretched, a great long body pale and twisting at the brink of a cave. She walked to water dripping from the rock above the cave mouth, cupped her hands to the trickle and drank and drank deeply of the falling new water.

Here's my updated graph:

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