Good morning! It’s been so long since I’ve participated in Sunday Salon, that I knew it was time for me to start again. July started off as a month where I couldn’t read as much as I wanted to since I was taking two classes that occupied a lot of my time. After dropping my math class (yay!), I have more time to read and my reading life is back! I’m pretty behind in reviewing books, so I’ll just tell you about a few of the books I’ve read lately instead of trying to review them all.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I read this book back in June but I still wanted to write something about it. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the story of two teens with the same name who meet unexpectedly one day and who are changed by the meeting. Told from the viewpoints of both boys, readers learn the characters’ flaws and also what makes them so special. I really liked some of the diversity of the characters like Tiny, best friend to the first Will and a very talented teenager who puts on a school play about his life. Tiny is gay and there’s no bits about coming out or struggling with his sexuality. Tiny is who he is and he’s not afraid to be emotionally vulnerable. He’s a very caring guy who puts his neck out too much for other people. Some of the secondary characters were just as interesting as the main characters. This book is filled with humor and also had a few scenes that brought tears to my eyes. If you haven’t read it already, you should.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. This summer like every summer, I participate in my library’s summer reading program for adults. When you review three books, you can pick a free book to take home and Ghost World was my pick. Enid and Rebecca are teenage girls with a complex friendship. Like most teenagers, both girls are trying to figure out who they are while planning their futures. Enid walks around in these ridiculous costumes while Rebecca plays the role of Enid’s sidekick. It’s not until almost the end of the book that the roles are reversed and we get to see the characters for who they really are.
This is definitely a book that once you finish reading, you have to reread it for all the subtle things you miss. This was my first time reading a book by Clowes but I don’t think it’ll be my last.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Maree from Just Add Books decided to host a read-along for American Gods and since I’ve already read several of Gaiman’s books, I joined in.
Shadow is an ordinary man, counting down to the end of his 3-year prison sentence, so he can finally be with his wife Laura. When Laura is killed in a car accident Shadow is released early to find the mysterious Wednesday, ready to pay Shadow a decent amount of money to take a job as his “helper”. Shadow soon learns that this isn’t an ordinary job. Both men travel across America, finding the Gods of Old: Anansi, Kali, Czernobog, Eostre, and others who are willing to go to battle with the Gods of New like technology, media, and tv for the soul of America.
I love this book! Love love love! Gaiman uses American Gods as a way to ask and answer the question: what happens to the gods of certain cultures when its followers die off or assimilate into a different culture? The gods are personified and you see how they have suffered from the loss of belief. The gods can be obnoxious, funny, or dangerous. They come from a variety of cultures and lands. In the book they are like everyday people: fortune-tellers, cab drivers, even addicts. One of my favorite things about the book was reading the lives of different believers and how their beliefs are incorporated into their everyday lives. The book is funny but tragic and also beautiful. I listened to the audio book while also reading a print copy and enjoyed the dual way of reading. Out of the many books I’ve read by Gaiman, American Gods is probably my favorite.
A passage from the book:
People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe. And then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
So that’s only a tiny bit of the books I’ve read lately. What are you reading today?