30 Day Book Challenge – Day 4

Book that makes you cry

As a rule, I like to read books that make me feel good, not sad or unhappy.  It’s partly why I love fantasy fiction so much, in that it allows me to escape the harsh truths of reality and enter worlds where magic happens.  It’s also the great thing about fiction, where the author has the creative license to make sure that everything turns out okay in the end, and generally speaking, it does.

In any case, every now and then I hear so many good reviews about a book not of the fantasy genre that I decide I simply must read it and see what all the fuss is about.  Sometimes this results in me being glad I spread my literary wings as I discover something amazing outside of fantasy.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  A great deal of the time it sends me running to my bookshelf, grasping desperately for a Harry Potter book or The Lord of the Rings, ready to re-immerse myself into lands where “stupefy!” will render my enemy temporarily immobile, or where I have a guardian wizard by the name of Gandalf who makes cool fireworks to brighten the night sky.  Happy days.

One such time that sent me running to my bookshelf, but not before I cradled my knees in the corner, rocking back and forth and weeping with sorrow, was Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.  I have great respect for this woman after discovering that she wrote the book during NaNoWriMo, something I’m looking forward to participating in this year.  It really is a beautifully written story, but honestly, I just couldn’t get past the cruelty to animals part of it.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand in this world, it’s the abuse and/or neglect of animals, and I find reading/watching/hearing about it very difficult.  I can’t even watch animated movies about animals because I know there’s always one that will be trapped or hurt or die and will have me blubbering like a baby.

The cruelty to the elephant in this book was just too much for my weak, animal spirited heart to bear.  And it was one of those things where I just knew that even if everything turned out okay in the end, the damage was already done.  *Cue more weeping*

So yes, this book made me cry, a lot.  And by the end I didn’t feel much better about it either.  *Spoiler Alert* The old man got to go back to the circus, but ultimately he was still rejected and abandoned by his family! Too sad…too sad I tell you!

~storytelling nomad~

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30 Day Book Challenge – Day 2

Least Favourite Book

You’re kidding right? I have enough trouble remembering my faves, let alone the ones I’d rather not remember at all.  Okay restorative brain power, come to me now.  Go go gadget memory!

In the vague mist of my long term reading memory (that would be, oh say, the last 5 years or so) I do recall reading a book that I thought was pretty good, light enterntainment.  Excitement, joy and happiness ensued at discovering an author who had written other potentially good books to occupy my twilight reading hours.  I sourced out another of her novels and set myself up in sweet anticipation.  But hark? What’s this? The first story told of a woman moving from Australia to Ireland, and this one now tells of a woman moving from Ireland to Australia?  The characters are different but some of the names are the same? Gees woman, in need of new material much? This royally pissed me off.

Honestly, I don’t remember much about the books other than that, and perhaps on re reading I wouldn’t be so harsh.  The author was Monica McInernay, and I think the two books were called Spin the Bottle and Upside Down Inside Out.  I’ve never read anything else of hers since, although that’s not to say nothing else of hers is any good.  Like I said, I enjoyed the first book I read, but didn’t appreciate reading such a similar story with the second.

On a side note, this book challenge business is obviously entirely subjective.  One person’s favourite is another’s least favourite.  I nearly went with Water for Elephants, because although spectacularly written and a moving story, it really was just too sad for me.  I could never bring myself to read it again.  But in fear of grand retribution, I thought it best to go with something a little less mainstream bestseller.

~storytelling nomad~