Wednesday, February 4, 2015

recent reads // a variety

The Joke by Milan Kundera

This book begins with a joke that goes horribly wrong in the face of the communist Czech government, resulting in the main character Ludvik being kicked out of the party, and his life is completely altered. 
The Joke was really interesting and beautifully written, but like the other Kundera books I have read, it really falls apart to the end.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

The story of on-and-off post office employee Henry Chinaski (the alter ego of Bukowski himself)
I felt it was hard to identify with this book in many ways. The main character seemed to care about so little that it was hard to identify with him. Henry was a real drifter, and although he did not strike a chord with me, I can see why this book has lasted so long-- the writing is very ernest and quite funny at times.

A quick-read about a radio broadcast from the afterlife, and his conversations with various dead people.
This book is laugh-out-loud funny. It is rare for books to be quite so hilarious to me. They are usually worthy of a quick chuckle but this book is just over the top hilarious and so very revealing about American culture.

Someone by Alice McDermott

A coming of age story set in Brooklyn. 
This tender and affecting book was very well written. It jumps around the main character's life is a innovative and moving way.

This book revolves around the idea of memory and history, as Tsukuru Tazaki is thrown out of his tightly-knit group of school friends for no reason. 
Colorless is better if you do not know what it is about when you go into it. It's one of those books that makes you really want to write, which I think is the best kind of book. I have to read more by this writer; he blends so delicately the supernatural with the daily life, and the natural surroundings with the emotions of the characters.

This book of scattered and very short stories is really fun to dip in and out of. She is a touch sarcastic, funny, and always insightful. They are a little wacky, but interesting to read into for that exact reason.


  1. Claire, please stop doing this me. Ugh, I've already spent all my book money.