Wednesday, February 04, 2009

bring on the books!

i finished the book The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett awhile ago and wanted to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new title to pick up. i really enjoyed this book, even with its sometimes repetitious vocabulary, predictable events to move the story along, and the oft described hair of one of the main characters. but i suppose in over 1000 pages long, dark curls can only be described in so many ways.

i felt a guilty pleasure in reading this book, almost like it was a scottish romance novel that i just had to keep going back to to find out what would happen, but i do feel as though i learned a thing or two about medieval england and the process and politics of building cathedrals in that time. don't be afraid of the length and weight of the book, you'll fly through it and enjoy every minute. it offers genuine, wholesome entertainment.

just yesterday i finished Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill and i am afraid that i am not nearly as enthusiastic about this book as Follett's. i must have had good luck in the book department lately because it has been a long while since i have not recommended a book i have read, but i would suggest you give this one a miss.

i liked Hill's novel The Book of Negroes and thought Any Known Blood would be of the same caliber, but it was much less intriquing and i never had much sympathy for the main character, Langston Crane the Fifth, in his quest to uncover truths about his family. i also felt that Hill was making too many blunt distinctions between canadians and americans and although there is surely truths to each of his comparisons, i felt they were forced, almost as if he had an alterior motive in positioning the two societies against one another. it was a story, a decent story, but one you shouldn't spend your pennies on.

10 comments:

Sara said...

i am just about to start the pillars of the earth (or pillars of the universe as i called it the other day) and looking forward to a good read.
now if i may use this "forum", if you will, to suggest another book. if anybody is interested in some non-fiction, i suggest outliers by malcolm gladwell. it is a relatively easy read and an interesting look at success based on the sociological aspects of our world. it is more interesting than the tipping point in my opinion.

k said...

now you go and make my twilight confession look even worse.. :) at least i have some other good ones to go to next (thanks!)

i liked the tipping point and have been wondering about outliers. glad to hear a good review!

Heather said...

I was going to say, I don't see Twilight on that list... tsk tsk.

lu said...

i just don't know about Twilight. it is about vampires and the only book i've ever enjoyed that was about vampires is The Historian. but it was also about history and about culture, i think the teenage love story would be lost on me in Twilight. but then again, it does come highly recommended...

k said...

don't do it. oh don't do it. you will either hate yourself for wasting your time because you hated it, or hate yourself for turning into a robert pattison-loving teenage girl.

(and i've always loved vampire books- a bit of a guilty pleasure for me)

lu said...

i have been meaning to say that if you love vampire books, that you should read The Historian and the author's name escapes me at the moment. i do not love vampire books, but i loved that one. vampires and eastern europe and a love story all rolled into one.

Christine said...

Pillars of the Earth is one of my all time faves. You do know there is a sequel right? I loved it too. I also have to say that I was totally skeptical about the Twilight books but really loved them too. They're not deep reading but make for some great entertainment. I'm actually reading her book The Host right now and am having a hard time putting it down.

lu said...

what is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth?! i will need to pick it up, i want to know what happens next.

Kels said...

umm some scottish romance novel..i think i know and LOVE the series. i am re-reading it as we speak.

miss you!

lu said...

to be honest, i have never read a scottish romance novel but have a good friend whose guilty pleasure is scottish romance novels. i am not sure i have enough guilty pleasures, so send me the name of the books and i will look them up!