A BOOK : You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

23461003

Whew! So if you are interested in a brain workout, read You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman. I chose to read this based off of the So Many Damn Books podcast and goodness, it is quite the trip. 🙂

I’d say You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is good for people that like more challenging pieces revolving around idea rather than story. The first 2/3s is more focused on gathering your bearings and A’s slow descent into a different person, and then the last third picked up a lot for me as more things start to happen. Some things I liked:

– the relationship between A and B. At one point, A is asked, “Tell me, is there someone in your life who’s been sharing your life too closely?”, which essentially is their relatioship. The effects of extreme envy and how that changed A throughout the story was super interesting to me.

– B’s characer. B was such a grotesque character, but dang was she interesting.

– The overall discomfort the book gave me. Kleeman did such a great job with fully fleshing out this weird disjointed setting and getting inside of A’s not quite stable mind. It was a world where everything felt slightly off, discolored, and hollowed– at least through A’s eyes– and as a result it just gave that same feeling to me as I was reading it.

– The Wally stores. Kleeman took normal business practices, took them to the extreme and distorted them to create this really creepy store. My favorite part was the idea that the associates can’t really help the customer out by telling them where the product they are looking for is, but if you work the question the right way and you get the right associate you could get clues for where your desired item is (although I would hate that if that was real life!).

– On a side note, Booooooo C.

Kleeman is definitely a good writer with a bright [sorry, not sorry :P] creative streak!

Add You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine to your to-read list!

Advertisements

A BOOK : The Beautiful and Dammed by F. Scott Fitzgerald

B L O G M A S   D A Y   6

The Beautiful and Damned
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published 1922 The Beautiful and Damned is the story of Anthony Patch and his wife, Gloria. Harvard-educated and an aspiring aesthete, Patch is waiting for his inheritance upon his grandfather’s death. His reckless marriage to Gloria is fueled by alcohol and destroyed by greed. The Patches race through a series of alcohol-induced fiascoes – first in hilarity, then in despair. The Beautiful and Damned, a devastating portrait of the nouveaux riches, New York nightlife, a reckless ambition, an squandered talent, was published in 1922 on the heels of Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise. It signaled his maturity as a storyteller and confirmed his enormous talent as a novelist

Image and summary from Goodreads.com

 

If I am going to be perfectly honest, the reason why I started to read The Beautiful and Damned was because of Taylor Swift. In my head she had quoted this book by Fitzgerald on her instagram or somewhere, and I was curious about it. It turns out she did NOT quote The Beautiful and Damned, and instead quoted This Side of Paradise. Even though I got the wrong book, at first I found myself really enjoying this classic. I think it’s left over from high school, but in my mind it always seems like classics will always be more challenging than they actually are. Yes, they require more brain power than other books sometimes, but before I start reading something I make it out to be the biggest challenge EVER.

Classics musings aside, let’s move on to the book:

Honestly, my experience of reading The Beautiful and Damned feels split into two. At first I really fell into the book and found myself enjoying it. And then, well. It started to loose me.

It starts off with characters that I really didn’t like acting (or not acting) in ways that drove me nuts. It’s like a train wreck and you can’t stop watching. What isn’t a train wreck though, is the writing. It’s easy to sink into and there are several lines that are so quotable. I am going to share a few of my favorites at the end.

The thing with this Fitzgerald novel, is it keeps going. And going. And going. We follow Anthony and Gloria from when they are about 25 and 22 (I THINK. I can’t find their ages now) until they are about 32 and 29, and in this time you’re pretty much witnessing the slow and painful downfall of two people.

I started off thinking this is a more of a coming of age for those that are trying to answer that “what do I do after graduation?” question, and it kind of is, but in the sense where the main characters don’t ever even remotely “come of age.” It is more of a cautionary tale:

Work. Don’t drink too much. Listen to your friends’ advice especially when they are all saying the same thing.

The title of this book is REALLY accurate. Ha!

You should read The Beautiful and Damned if you…

…really like character studies.

…want to read about aristocratic beautiful people partying in 1910

…are in a mood for something more depressing

…want to read pretty writing.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“It worried him that he was, after all, a facile mediocrity… It seemed a tragedy to want nothing- and yet he wanted something, something.”

“So he built hope desperately and tenaciously out of the stuff of his dream, a hope flimsy enough, to be sure, a hope that was cracked and dissipated a dozen times a day, a hope mothered by mockery, but nevertheless, a hope that would be brawn and sinew to his self-respect.”

“What am I going to do?” he began at breakfast. “Here we’ve been married a year and we’ve just worried around without even being efficient people of leisure.”  (this just cracked me up)

“He was wondering at the unreality of his ideas, at the fading radiance of existence, and at the little absorptions that were creeping avidly into his life, like rats into a ruined house.”

A BOOK : Life With Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeir

blogmas

D A Y   4

 

Life With Mr. Dangerous
by Paul Hornschemeir
Published May 2011

Amy has a job she hates, a creep boyfriend she’s just dumped, and a best friend she can’t reach on the phone. But at least her (often painfully passive-aggressive) mother bought her a pink unicorn sweatshirt for her birthday. Pink. Unicorn. For her twenty-seventh birthday.

Gliding through the daydreams and realities of a young woman searching for definition, Life with Mr. Dangerous showcases acclaimed cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier’s gift for deadpan humor and dead-on insight with a droll aftertaste—an unlikely but welcome marriage of the bleak and the hopeful.

Summary and Photo from Goodreads.com

This is a graphic novel I picked up purely because of how colorful it is, to be honest. That electric blue caught my eye off the shelf and I was won over. The cover art portrays what the art throughout the rest of the graphic novel looks like- kind of a cartoon-y, yet realistic feel.

In just a short amount of time, Hornschemeir paints the picture of a 27 year-old who feels stuck. She lives alone with her cat, she comes home, watches TV, and day dreams. A lot. She is not happy where she is, but isn’t moving anywhere. This graphic novel is like reading someone’s journal. Some of the events may seem mundane and some events are REALLY EXCITING. It’s just life! With a little twist.

In a way it is a little bit sad. Okay, I found it a LOT sad personally, not in a pitying kind of way, but the kind of way that certain things in this book speaks to certain fears of mine. It is not necessarily a tragic story, but I think it just shows how disappointing life can potentially be, especially when you look at the mother character, and that in itself feels overwhelmingly sad because it rings so true.

Life With Mr. Dangerous might be for you if you’re looking for:

-a realistic story
-a book about growing up even when you’re technically supposed to be an adult
-a story where the character works at a retail store
-a teensy bit of a love story, but nothing that overpowers the main themes
-if you have an achy heart, and you want to make your heart feel a little more achy

Add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.