I can read!
In the past month, I have also read a few good books. To borrow from Mondale, I shall now review them:
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
I had been looking forward to reading this for a long time, and was a bit disappointed in the end. The writing was a bit choppy, and did not have a clear tone. But, perhaps the book is purposely written this way to show how disjointed one's thoughts are after the death of a loved one. Didion write this memoir soon after the sudden death of her husband, and follows the year after his death. The book details her thought processes through the grieving while also going back and exploring highlights of their marriage. The book was still a good one, despite the disjointedness, clearly showing the long process one goes through when grieving, and how everyone grieves in different ways.
Ruminations on Twentysomething Life, Aaron Karo
While Karo's whole "recovering frat boy" schtick can be a little too..well...frat boyish, this guy still greatly amuses me. Thanks to my dear Kristin for getting me into him, lending me the book, and buying us tickets for my birthday to see him in Philly in November. This quick read covers the few years after college, and addresses everything from roommates to family antics to crappy jobs. It was great to see such a funny spin to early twentysomething life.
And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts
I watched the TV movie of this book for a college class, and was suppressions not bad considering it was produced by Aaron Spelling. I have always been fascinated with AIDS, and this book (coming in at about 700 pages) covers every detail of the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Both the book and the movie highlight how no one cared about AIDS until it started killing straight people. When it stopped being simply a disease that gay people and drug users got, only then was something done to try to stop the virus. Reagen did not even address the issue publicly until years later, when it was too late to stop the spread, and countless people had died. This book provides a clear portrait of the history and politics of AIDS, and it is definitely worth a read.
The Ruins, Scott Smith
Upon moving home, Stone Groove immediately started telling me how great this book was, and how I needed to read it. I picked it up at the library, and was at first quite skeptical. The book does not really pick up until around page 70, but once it does, it is very hard to put down. I quickly finished the book (before Stone Groove, which made him very upset that I finished before him.) This book is about four twentysomethings (Amy, Stacey, Jeff, and Eric) who have just graduated from college, and are on a last vacation in Mexico before the real world starts. They decide to follow a young German tourist they meet in Mexico to find his brother. The German's brother left to follow a girl, and left him a map.
Once they all get to where the ruins are supposed to be, things quickly go downhill. They are forced to stay on the top of this hill by native Mayans, who guard the bottom of the hills with guns and arrows. The reason they will not let them escape is because of a man-eating plant. If they leave the hill, something bad will happen ( I think the plant will grow or something.)
I know that this book sounds quite stupid from the description. But, it is more a tale of survival, and is somewhat like a scary "Lord of the Flies." I am now anxious to read Smith's only other book, published 13 years ago, "A Simple Plan."