Thursday, April 20, 2006

On the Pile

Pile? What pile?

It has not been a good reading week for me. Atrophy set in hard during the three-day weekend. Probably because I got myself so stressed out about trying to read the towering pile of review books. As much as I love books, I sometimes have to step away and watch movies for a weekend or just flip through some magazines. Fortunately, the site I do reviews for has recruited another reviewer, so I don’t feel quite so pressed or so guilty for reading non-review books.

Finished: The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman. I sorted of cheated to finally get this done---skimmed a few interesting sections and ignored a lot of stuff that is way in the future for me. Now that I’m starting grad school, my only financial goals will be to keep my head above water and suck up my pride when it comes to asking my parents for help. Buying a house, saving for retirement---forget it.

Currently Reading: Maus by Art Spiegelman, which is very good. The author does a pitch-perfect rendering of his father’s Polish-tinged English. The story itself---of the author’s father’s young adult years as a Jew in pre-WWII Poland, including time at Auschwitz---is well told, but---and this is going to sound horribly callous---the Holocaust story has been dramatized so often that it’s lost some of its punch for me. I realize that Speigelman was initially ahead of that trend---having published Maus in the mid-80s---but I’m coming to his book late and having already seen several movies and read various stories about the Holocaust. I also think that the author’s use of animals to represent the various groups---Jews as mice; Poles as pigs; Nazis as cats---while providing much fodder for discussions of symbolism and identity, lessens the overall impact of the story. It’s easier to look at a picture of a cat beating a mouse than to see a human beating a human. Still, wonderful drawings and an interesting story.

Also still reading A Map of Glass. It’s sort of slow and descriptive and very Canadian, and I’ve been very distracted and sleepy this past week.

On Deck: The Spiral Staircase has moved to this pile while I get some of my have-to-reads done. One of which is The Dead Fish Museum and Other Stories by Charles D’Ambrosio. And once I finish Maus, I’ll start Fray, another graphic novel.

Added to the Pile: Two new review books. Pedaling to Hawaii by Stevie Smith and Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan.


At 7:50 PM , Blogger Lora said...

I loved Maus, having read it for the first time about ten years ago.


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