my favorites of 2000’s…so far. you have 9 days to change my mind!
I’ll be posting these in a series over the course of the next 9 days.
1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
This book literally changed my life. I read it when I was 16, probably the most tumultuous year of my life so far. And Oscar’s life was way more tempestuous that mine was, but I felt deeply connected to the black Dominican whose family was cursed by fuku.
Junot Diaz’s way of writing was unlike anything I had read before. The narrator switched constantly and he used footnotes liberally. The entire book is in a weird Spanglish dialect that I couldn’t understand half the time, but I don’t think I really was supposed to. The diction was slightly different with each narrator, Oscar’s sister’s boyfriend sounding full of pathos and disgust simultaneously for the chubby nerd in his life. Oscar’s sister, Lola, was always full of worry for her brother but bubblyness of someone who doesn’t know or appreciate the troubles and curses of her parents. And Oscar, he always flows against the current, of his university, of expectations, of his family, with his words and actions.
The life that is wondrous in this novel is the family. I found Oscar’s mother and sister’s stories as compelling as his, and though the book is about Oscar, their stories are need because family interconnectivity is such a big theme in the novel and I believe Dominican life.
Um. Whoa. If you’ve only seen the movie, please read the book. I’m an advocative for great adaptations and I think this is one, but a lot is cut out and I found the movie a little hard to follow without knowing a lot of the history of the Iranian Revolution. But in the book, the reader literally learns with Marji because she has been presented with two differing realities, one from her teacher and one from her parents, about the justification of the Shah’s power.
The book is a lot more powerful than a newscast about the situation in Iran could ever be because Marji, in all her little black-and-white panel glory, creates so much pathos for the reader towards her. It really led me to question both our country’s past actions in Iran and our current policy there. And just like Marji, I sort of come up blank with answers for how I feel because just like Marji, I have been taught one thing my entire life and questioning it, no matter how logical it is, it seems too against the grain.
This voided feeling is unsatisfying, but the knowledge I gained from reading the book made up for it
Sadly, these really are the only good books that I’ve read from this decade. Not because the decade sucked. But because I suck!
really. c’mon I’m eighteen. I’ve spent all 10 of these years learning about old Literature to the point of exclusion of the good new stuff. I am ashamed.
but here are books from this decade I fully plan on reading by next december 22.
The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell: my dad really liked this book, and read three Gladwell books in about three weeks. And this man does not read quickly. In 18 years I’ve known him, he’s finished maybe three books for sure. He loves books, but tends to just stick receipts in them as book marks and buy new ones. So this one must be engaging.
Fast Food Nation-Eric Schlosser: Another finished Daddy book.
Atonement-Ian McEwan: Every girl I know read this after the movie came out. But I have neither seen the movie or read the book. So I’ll read the book first so I can be cute and hipster and annoying and remark about how much better the book is than the movie.
Everything is Illuminated-Jonathan Safran Foer: My mom really loved Incredibly Close and Extremely Loud, which I am reading now, but Foer’s debut is supposed to be phenomenal.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay-Michael Chabon: Paste Magazine’s number one book of the decade and I LOVE PASTE. so yeah.