Review: The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling

The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling
The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Over the weekend I was mock-pouting at my husband for “abandoning” me to go and run a marathon (seriously: why do folks in their 30s insist on this weird phenomenon?) and for the fact that I was up way too early on a Sunday morning because of his sudden need to sports. I then jokingly grumpy-yelled at him that he needed to go and find me a book to read and that he should be aware that the state of our relationship depended on his choice.

This is the book he brought me. I imagine it is because it was one of about 3 that he has read in my entire library.

So this book has a copyright date of 1976. Now honestly I find that quite impressive because often when I read older books, I find them filled with cliches. This is not necessarily the fault of the authors themselves, because maybe they weren’t cliches back then but they are today. Anyway – this book is quite low on the cliches and I love that becauseI personally suck at steering clear of cliches in my own writing, but am quite adept at spotting them in the work of others.

This is a fast-paced read and it’s heavy on the dialogue. Somehow it’s easy to read without being annoying, in fact sometimes it’s even quite charming with a hint of humour that doesn’t try too hard to be funny. It’s not meant to be a grand masterpiece and that’s fine. Just something easy to read over a couple of days before moving onto something a little more taxing, perhaps?

I loved the relationship between the protagonist and his sidekick. She is a lesbian, which is a subject barely tackled in the novel. I love how flippantly it is treated, like it was no biggie for those days. Then again, I suppose he is also treated as if his burglaring is no biggie, just an extension of himself. (I mean no offense in comparing homosexuality to burglaring – of course I don’t think they are the same. I am merely pointing out that these two characters were beautifully accepting of each other while never making any sort of big deal about the acceptance. It was nice. Especially out of a time when such things were far more taboo than they are now.)

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Review: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some books are kind of lovely when you think back on them, have you ever noticed that? It happens to me a lot. I find myself slogging through something that everyone else seems to have loved (I mean come on – this was one hella popular book at one point) and just longing to get to the end so that I can move on, and then once I’m done I kind of look back and go “hmmm that was good” and I feel all glad to have made the effort. Is that insane? I’m starting to think that maybe it is…

Anyway, The Lovely Bones is well written, of course. And the concept of it all is quite sweet. I want to rewatch the movie sometime (I remember not loving it before, but that is all I remember about it) so that I can compare the two. But I didn’t love this book. It is sad. And kind of heavy. Some folks say that it is hopeful but I didn’t feel that way about it at all. It was just heavy…

I never really know how to rate books that are good but that I didn’t enjoy. Enjoyment seems to be the point. I can understand how some might enjoy it, of course, so I can still value it’s merit. But I didn’t love it. And I think that loving it is kind of important. So my apologies for the 3 star rating, as I do feel that the book maybe deserves more. It just doesn’t deserve more from me.

Does that make sense?

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JK Rowling Makes So Much Sense

Anyone who knows me knows that JK Rowling is my queen and that I’d be the first to vote for her as world president. For one: you can tell a LOT about someone by reading their books, and she is no exception. Her heart, humour, and humanity is written all over those pages. She is so beautiful to me. She always has been.

But with this Lumos video? She’s outdone herself. I can’t stop thinking about just how much sense this makes. And I cannot fault how right she is. Thank you. Jo, for being the beautiful humanitarian that you are. We all have so much to learn from you.