Reading Update: From YA to Verbal Gymnastics

Greetings! I apologize for uploading this blog post two days behind my set schedule. I took some Me time Thursday to make ravioli from scratch with friends, then go to the movies. We went and saw Ghost in the Shell, and I was blown away at how faithfully the live-action adaptation followed the first two anime movies and the Stand Alone Complex Series. The story was compelling, as were the actors and action scenes. Even if you haven’t watched the anime, I recommend you go see it!

My latest completed reading …

Two weeks ago I finished reading The City of Ember, the first entry in the YA series by Jeanne DuPrau. I enjoyed this little tale of heroism and family ties, even though it was the lightest reading that I’ve done in months. Set in a dystopian city in which no sunlight exists, The City of Ember centers on Lina Mayfleet, a courageous and caring student. She is dismayed upon drawing the job of pipe works laborer during Assignment Day at her school. Lina’s dream to become a messenger is soon realized, however, when her peer Doon Harrow agrees to trade his messenger assignment for her pipe works laborer position, which has been his own dream job since he was a little boy. The generator that powers all of Ember beckons to Doon from beneath the city, even as the electric lights staving off the darkness begin to go out with increasing frequency…

The City of Ember

The City of Ember

DuPrau’s story is certainly adolescent friendly; there is minimal dread for a story in which the citizens of Ember struggle to secure food and shelter their families from the abyss encircling their city. However, she does add a respectable amount of emotional heft in portraying Lina’s losses and her struggle to expose the Mayor of Ember for the dishonest coward that he is.

The City of Ember is a fairly thoughtful YA debut, and one that I’m glad I picked up. I will probably pick up the sequel, The People of Sparks, within the next couple of months. I’m not clamoring to start it, but I still enjoyed Lina’s and Doon’s journey to find a better home for themselves and their family somewhere beyond the darkness.

Currently reading…

I picked up my latest book, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, last Saturday. I have a huge amount of respect for author David Foster Wallace. My first experience with his work was back in April of 2011, when I started reading his acerbic and mind-bending magnum opus, Infinite Jest, a gift I’d received for my birthday. Wallace was a master auteur of sprawling tales about addiction, specious intellectualism, and the self-deprecating nature of people obsessed with being entertained. Though none of his books are light readings by any stretch of the imagination, you can count on a mental workout every time you start reading one. Wallace is definitely a master of verbal gymnastics, and his messages stick with you long after the final page.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

I was bowled over by the vicious, violent, and pitch-black humor of Infinite Jest, so it’s safe to say that I’m eager to see how Brief Interviews pans out! I have read the first three chapters and am enthralled so far.

What are you currently reading? Is it enjoyable, or does it diverge from your usual tastes?

3 thoughts on “Reading Update: From YA to Verbal Gymnastics

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