July 18th, 2012


Review: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan, and My Book List for July 2012

Because I'm really bad about reviewing books, and my goal is twenty books a month, I end up being really bad about posting here. So, um, here's a review that I got around to doing, along with my book list so-far for July.

Title: A Girl Named Digit
Author: Annabel Monaghan
Genre: YA, thriller, romance, comedy
Summary: Farrah "Digit" Higgins is a teenage math genius who cracks a code on television that leads to a eco-terrorist organization and has to run for her life, accompanied by an FBI agent.
Stars: 2/5, or "It was okay" on Goodreads.

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And here's my book list for July. If you're interested in any reviews of them, tell me and I will gladly write a bit about them, but I'm too lazy/distracted/unmotivated to write them unless requested.

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You can also ask me about any book on my Good Reads, but I primarily use that site to keep track of books since I keep on accidentally deleting book lists on my computer, so I haven't written too many reviews. But again, if you're curious about any book, feel free to ask and I will write a review.

13 - The Wind Through the Keyhole

I actually finished this one last night, just haven't had the chance to post until now lol. My first Stephen King of the year, and right back into the Dark Tower series. I really enjoyed getting to see Roland and his ka-tet again, it's been too long since I've read anything but the tie-in novels. Most of this one is background stuff, a story from Roland's past, with a story his mother used to tell him in the middle of it. There was world building going on in the childhood story, The Wind Through the Keyhole, which also tied into the situation that the regular characters were in. All in all, it was a short peek into the events between 2 books of a series that I've always enjoyed. It also made me want to reread the whole series again, if I didn't already have a good 50 books I haven't read yet. Definitely recommend to King fans and Dark Tower followers in particular.
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#73 A Passage to India - E M Forster (1924)

First published in 1924 – A Passage to India weaves together two complex themes, the friendship between men of different cultures and the colonialism and racism that continually divided those two cultures in British India. E M Forster is a severe chronicler of the British Raj in this novel, although neither British nor Indian come out on top in his story: Forster does not appear to take sides.
When Adele Quested arrives in British India with Mrs Moore - the mother of the city magistrate Ronnie Heaslop, - they are both determined to see something of the real India.
“She watched the moon, whose radiance stained with primrose the purple of the surrounding sky. In England the moon had seemed dead and alien; here she was caught in the shawl of night together with earth and all the other stars.”
Mrs Moore becomes acquainted with Dr Aziz after a moonlit encounter in a local mosque. Mr Fielding a college principle exists outside of the British club – he is a moderate thinking man, unprejudiced he is happy in the company of Indians – and so regarded with a certain amount of suspicion by the British. When the Collector – issues garden party invitations to local Indian gentlemen Dr Aziz finally gets to meet Mr Fielding - and a friendship is immediately born. Their friendship is not an easy one – mirroring the complexities of the relationship between the ruling white’s and both the educated and subservient Indians – they are continually misunderstanding one another.
An outing to the famous Marabar caves gives Mrs Moore and Adele Quested the chance they want to see the real India. However Miss Quested comes rushing out of the caves in great distress – and returns without the rest of her party – having apparently accused Aziz of some kind of assault. The British rise up against Aziz in defence of a young woman none of them had particularly liked or taken much notice of. Fielding though believes Aziz to be innocent – which puts him even more at odds with his countrymen and women.
The aftermath of his trial leaves Aziz cynical and bitter – his fragile relationship with Fielding is put under greater strain. Although Fielding is sympathetic to his Indian friends – he is still English and for a bruised Aziz represents much of the system which was at work to bring him down.
There are many stereotypes in this novel, stereotypes which would have been particularly recognisable at the time this novel was first published. E M Forster was exposing the British Raj’s racist injustices at a time when in India itself there was beginning the first rumble of the push to Independence from Britain. Forster’s conclusion was sombre but realistic. The following passage coming right at the end.
“Why can't we be friends now?" said the other, holding him affectionately. "It's what I want. It's what you want." But the horses didn't want it — they swerved apart: the earth didn't want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temple, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they emerged from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn't want it, they said in their hundred voices "No, not yet," and the sky said "No, not there.”

I first read A Passage to India about twenty years ago. I loved it then – and later loved the film just as much. I have remembered it with affection ever since. Luckily I still love it now. I was surprised though by my memory of Dr Aziz – in my memory he remained a wholly sympathetic character – all the flawed characters I had thought were the British. However I see now that in fact Aziz becomes less sympathetic after the incident in the Marabar caves. Not surprisingly given what had happened to him – so his attitude and bitterness remain understandable – but I found this side of him more irritating this time around. I had also forgotten that this is quite a slow – wordy read – I don’t mind that however – and I liked many of Forster’s descriptions of India.

Book #9 - Faker by Mike Carey/Jock

Title: Faker
Author/Illustrator: Mike Carey/Jock
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel
Publisher: Vertigo Comics

This book collects issues 1-6 of a Vertigo Comics mini-series.

Freshman year of college is the ultimate time for reinvention -- except when you can't physically justify why you even exist. This is the case for Nick Philo. The only thing that reassures him that he's not going crazy is that his best friends seem to know him. Or do they?

Chock full of ruthless characters with hidden agendas, this graphic novel proves that if you're up for it, you can lie, cheat and fake your way through almost anything.

(blurb from goodreads)

I read this as part of my ‘read everything by Mike Carey that I can find in my library’ goal and it is…interesting. Very different from anything else that he’s written that I’ve read.

It’s true that the characters are all ruthless, bar perhaps one or two of them.

The ending…well, I’m not sure how it could have ended differently, really, given what the setup was but…it didn’t sit particularly well with me. The reason for that is what happens to the characters: I don’t like what becomes of my favourite two.

This book did provide my first-ever ‘what the f*** did I just read’ moment, though, at about the end of issue four or five.

I guess it’s not bad, but I also think it’s not particularly my cup of tea.

I know I've added a lot of different tags, but I think I can explain why I used each one. Feel free to ask.