115. The Achievement of Theodore Roethke by William J. Martz (86 pgs)
"An inability or an unwillingness to participate in the act of wishing can be a formidable barrier in responding to Roethke."
"He teaches us how to feel."
116. The Waking: Poems 1933-1953 by Theodore Roethke (120 pgs)
117. The Far Field by Theodore Roethke (95 pgs)
My favorite Roethke poems include Dolor, The Long Waters, The Moment, and The Abyss. I definitely agree with Martz's assessment - these are feeling poems.
118. Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro (221 pgs)
All stories about musicians trying to make a living in Europe. Not that great, but a quick read.
119. The Fermata by Nicholson Baker (303 pgs)
I'm beginning to sense that Baker is one of the more obsessive writers around. When he writes a book putting the obsessiveness to use about the destruction of print resources, it is interesting and somewhat tolerable (Double Fold). When it is about poetry, it is charming, and as a reader it pushed me towards a poetry reading binge that has yet to wane(The Anthologist). I didn't care for it so much in this book, and I honestly don't want to go into much detail about why. I think in the world of Baker, this is one I would skip.
120. The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker (135 pgs)
Ah, postmodern lit, where an entire book can take place in the mind of an office worker as he rides the escalator. Can you write an entire chapter about shoelaces? How about several! With the usual Baker obsessiveness, this time with footnotes. :)
121. Collected Poems: 1923-53 by Louise Bogan (127 pgs)
122. Vox by Nicholson Baker (165 pgs)
Loved this book, reminded me of Before Sunrise (that movie about two strangers who meet on the train and spend the night talking in Vienna).
123. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (566 pgs)
I picked this book to read on a cruise with my in-laws during the holidays, and could not have anticipated as many connections to my own life as I found. The characters made me laugh and they all seemed rather familiar. I'm not sure I'd read it twice, but the first time through, it was a gem.
124. The Sea by John Banville (195 pgs)
I read this on a cruise, but it is really more about a man mourning his wife (and life) than it is about the sea. More than having much of a plot, it is a descriptive reflection on his life and his memories of living by the sea. Melancholic and immersive.
125. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (345 pgs)
A lovely light read, travel writing about the various places deemed happiest in the world, plus one very unhappy place. It was interesting to read different perspectives of unhappiness, and confirmed my desire to go to Iceland!
126. Rebecca by Daphne du Marnier (416 pgs)
I found this book in a cruise ship library when I was trapped at sea. I probably would have read it eventually otherwise because it ends up on a lot of lists, but gothic tales of mysterious dead wives and big bleak mansions aren't usually my thing. It was a quick read, and I am not sure I envy the second Mrs. de Winter for her impossible situation.
127. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (319 pgs)
I was adamantly not going to read this book! I hate zombies. I thought the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to include zombies could only be terrible. But then I was trapped on a cruise ship with few selections, and I have to admit to giggling through most of it. Part of it is the illustrations - I mean, you really need a visual to really grasp the Bennet sisters using Chinese martial arts tactics to kill zombies, as well as zombies doing such things as scooping out the brains of the kitche...more I was adamantly not going to read this book! I hate zombies. I thought the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to include zombies could only be terrible. But then I was trapped on a cruise ship with few selections, and I have to admit to giggling through most of it. Part of it is the illustrations - I mean, you really need a visual to really grasp the Bennet sisters using Chinese martial arts tactics to kill zombies, as well as zombies doing such things as scooping out the brains of the kitchen staff at Mr. Bingley's home. But more entertaining were the plot twists zombies afforded. Maybe the real reason Elizabeth turned down Mr. Collins was not merely because she did not love him, but because she knew her real purpose was to kill zombies. Clearly.
Officially, I'm still not a fan of this trend of rewriting literature to include supernatural beings, but I am finding it harder to resist.
128. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (352 pgs)
I found myself completely immersed in this book, from its interesting characters (who doesn't love overweight science fiction geeks?) and setting to how it spans various generations of a Dominican family that might be cursed. The voice pulled me in, the use of Tolkien and Dune made me laugh, and the story made me stay. I hope to see more from Díaz in the future, and what a great first novel!
129. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (535 pgs)
"Only the librarian has received the secret...."
A tale of monk factions, mysterious murders in a monastery, and libraries. Kind of like a slow-moving Dan Brown novel. ;)
130. Angel Time by Anne Rice (274 pgs)
Funny to read a book right after The Name of the Rose where a good half of it was set in the exact same year, with more monks!
It seems to be, at heart, a story of redemption. An interesting exercise in what would happen if your guardian angel recruited you for a mission. :)