Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.
Bit of a catch up going on, but I've had two midterms so far this week and still have two essays due in the next couple of days.
A Book that Makes You Sad
Pieces of You
Reasons: This book is actually a collection of short stories, but each one kind of deals with the reality of growing up in an Asian household: forced to play the piano (or the violin), parents who think it's acceptable to hit their children and should be encouraged, experiencing racism as a minority, etc. While these stories may seem stereotypical, many people have lived through them and continue to. Tablo gives each story a resonant and heartbreaking revelation (for the most part). A bit hard to find since I had to order mine from Korea. Started from Tablo's creative writing Masters at Stanford, translated from English into Korean; however, I got the English edition (my knowledge of hangul means I can read the Korean, but my vocab and grammar is poor, so I can't understand it well). And if you have 7 minutes to spare: the Epik High (of which Tablo belongs) song of the same name (당신의 조각들; Pieces of You). That song makes me tear up like a big ol' baby. (Plus, that instrumental!)
A Book that Makes You Laugh
A Year in the Merde
Reasons: I only read it once, but I remember giggling throughout the whole thing. Clearly in 2005 I found British expats in France amusing, especially when it's about joking stereotypes but also the love of the country because, let's be honest, it's pretty great.
Most Overrated Book
Reasons: I didn't find it as funny as everyone says, nor did I think it was super well-written. I know a lot of people think Beckett is hands-down the best playwright to come out of the Modernists, but I don't really dig Theatre of the Absurd or that much nihilism/existentialism -- or at least the way he presents it.
A Book You Thought You Wouldn't Like But Ended Up Loving
The Last Oracle
Reasons: I got it as a birthday gift from a friend and I honestly didn't think I would like it as much as I did, especially since I don't really like it when people buy me books unless I specify exactly what I want. It was the newest book in the series, which I'd never read (and still haven't, whoops!), but it had a great mystery, likeable characters and writing that pulled me in despite being very pulpy. I wouldn't really say I loved it though, but I can't come up with another book that fits this criterion.
A Book that Reminds You of Home
The Jade Peony
(Sorry about the small image size! Blame Google Images' lack of cover images and Wikipedia's stupidly small dimensions.)
Reasons: Three Chinese-Canadian kids growing up in Vancouver (albeit in the '30s and '40s)? How could this not remind me of home and family?