Thursday, October 23, 2008

Excellent. I finished two books a few days ago and look, I'm here posting in the same week. Awesome sign, totally evidence that I'm gong to do better....

Except NaNoWriMo starts in nine days and I won't have any time to read. Hmm, this might be a problem.

The Floating Brothel by Siam Rees was really interesting, if not what I thought it was going to be. In the beginning of the book, the author mentions how some of the female convicts who were sent to Sydney's Cove (Australia) became founding women of the colony there and I thought that I'd learn more about that. That didn't really happen; we do learn how some of the women end up, if they married someone there or found a way to return to England, but most of the book was from the memoirs of the ship's agent, who had been "married" to one of the women on board and who fathered a child on her. He'd always planned to go back for her, but he actually never made it and she married someone else. Like I said, interesting book with a lot of great detail. Got a bit dry sometimes, but I liked the subject material.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman was a very quick, very exciting read. I'm glad I finally picked it up; I'd started it a couple of years ago, and then for some reason never finished it. Carl's R.I.P. challenge was just the motivation I needed though to pick it up again. It's about Coraline, a young girl who moves with her family to an old house in the country. The house has been turned into a couple of flats, with two sisters, both retired actresses, living on the ground floor with their terriers, and an old man, who trains mice to play musical instruments, living upstairs. There is also a cat.

Exploring the inside of her new home, Coraline realizes that there's a door that leads to nowhere, bricked over as it is. Unable to leave it alone though, Coraline goes back and unlocks it one day when her parents are out and finds the bricks gone. Exploring (yes, that is a theme for Coraline), she goes through the doorway and finds herself in her other-apartment, with her other-parents (with creepy black button eyes), and her other-neighbors. There is also the cat.

Coraline's other-mother desperately wants Coraline to stay with her/them, but when Coraline refuses, she lets her return to her family...only for Coraline to find them missing. With no other choice, Coraline has to go back through the door and rescue her parents, facing down her other-mother at the same time.

It's the perfect blend of creepy and exciting, with great little details, that make it such an excellent book. I've said it before: I don't like Gaiman's "adult" books, but I love the ones he writes for kids. I wish my niece was old enough to read this, but she's only six and I think it'd give her nightmares. It's that awesome. You know that Coraline is going to be OK, but at the same time there's a good chance that the nightmare will get her and that is what makes it awesome, in my opinion.

I've just started One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick and it's really interesting. I don't usually like memoirs, but this one came highly recommended.

No comments: