Friday, December 08, 2006

Witz Pickz: Bookz

Tired of the "z"'s yet? Nope, me either. Here are some books worth reading:

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem:

I'm like you readers-- I'm tired of not reading books that are about Tourrette's ridden mafia-detectives solving their boss's murder. So I read this book by Jonathan Lethem and loved it from start to finish-- like a fudgcicle or the song Informer by Snow. I had been plodding through The Fortress of Solitude by Lethem for around a year off and on and so was skeptical of this other book. After one page, however, I was hooked, and read it through in no time. Definitely worth checking out.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hasseini:

The Kite Runner is one of those books EVERYONE was talking about and EVERYONE said was amazing. All I knew about it was that it was about children in Afghanistan, which somehow is not my go to genre. I ignored it for a few years and then found it on my friend's bookshelf. I read the first page and just like with Motherless Brooklyn was pleasantly surprised at how my expectations were entirely off-base. A week and 400 pages later, I was stunned with how good it was. The Kite Runner examines the lives of two children in Afghanistan, and while Afghanistan is alive and vivid on the page, it is not an "exploring afghanistan" novel. It is a human novel-- the story surrounding two boys and their families, guilt, life, and redemption. It is no more political that it needs/ought to be and focuses on people as people, not groups. One of my fears for all timely novels about other cultures/regions is that they are popular not because of their quality, but because of their subject-- that they are preachy and often times either describe an issue too simply, or in such a depth that the content is rendered useless. The Kite Runner avoided both of these potholes and stood out as one of the more vivid, meaningful novels I've read in years.

That's all for now. Two books, very few jokes. More to come.


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